May 20, 2020 Maddy Arthur

Is a Selective School Right for You?

With almost endless options available for High School education selecting the right school to enrol your child in can feel very daunting. The school you choose will be a place where they spend a large portion of every day for six years and develop friendships that could blossom into lifelong bonds. What they learn there, both academically and socially, will carry on with them throughout their entire lives. So, when we look at a question like ‘Is a Selective School right for you?’ We should take the time to consider multiple elements of the high school experience.

If you are someone who loves a challenge and really enjoys succeeding at school, then Selective Schools are the place for you. These schools offer challenges every day that will help you grow and develop self-confidence and resilience. If you are a parent of such a child, I would highly recommend looking into Selective School enrolment. Additionally, if you have a child who can perform very well academically but simply lacks the motivation to apply themselves then Selective Schools might be the right option as they provide a controlled amount of external pressure whilst fostering intrinsic motivation to help get your child engaged instead of coasting by.

You should also consider what your personal interests are. For example, do you love to play music? Perhaps you should have a look at the arts programs available at the schools. Selective Schools often offer extensive music and performing arts programs. Do you really enjoy maths or coding? Selective Schools often offer high quality learning opportunities as well as competition opportunities in these fields, as well as debating opportunities for their English focused students. Or does your passion lie in sports? Not every school has the same commitment to their sports program, and if you believe you are a talented sportsperson you might need to look at what schools will offer you the best training and competition opportunities. Every child needs to opportunity to develop their unique talents and interests, so making sure that your chosen school has programs that can support them is a key element in selecting a high school.

You should also consider the social and emotional elements affecting your decision for enrolment. Does your child have any friends also applying for that school? Will they welcome the opportunity to make tonnes of new friends when they arrive, or is it important they stay close to their best buds from primary school? For many students the opportunity to meet lots of new people with shared interests can be both nerve wracking and exciting. In a Selective School you’re bound to find many students who have overlapping personalities and interests, meaning their lifelong best friends might be just beyond those gates! On the other hand, if you think your child might find the process of fitting into a school with no friends from primary school around for comfort too daunting then you might need to consider a more appropriate school so they don’t withdraw socially.

Additionally, Selective Schools come with their own unique set of stressors designed to keep their students motivated and engaged. If you have a child who is resilient and can cope with a bit of pressure, then enrolling them into a Selective School is a good idea as these skills will be developed further over time and these stressors tend to help them thrive. However, if your child tends to withdraw from stressful environments and has negative emotional reactions to academic pressure then you might find they will thrive in a non-selective school environment.

Maddy Arthur

Maddy Arthur

Maddy is a writer, Alchemy tutor and former selective school student. She attended Manly Selective so knows the highs and lows of selective schooling intimately and is now committed to helping students perform at their best. She is currently studying to be an English teacher at University.