The Selective High School placement process is intense and highly competitive. The journey is challenging for both parents and students and requires a lot of commitment from the start. Though many students (around 15,000) begin the journey with high hopes, unfortunately the journey quickly ends for most. However, being declined a Selective placement does not have to be the end. There are other paths students can take after receiving the news of an unsuccessful outcome for the Selective application.
This blog follows the journey of a parent to a student who embarked on an alternative path to still achieve her academic goals. Though the parent in this story is fictitious, the journey resembles that of many students we have come across over the years.
She’s doing it! After much umming and ahhing and conversations with teachers, Annabel has decided to apply for a selective school! I couldn’t be prouder right now; I know it’s a brave decision she’s made. Annabel knows it’s a big commitment and that it will require her to be more studious than ever but she says she’s ready and I believe her. With just over half a year of Year 5 to go, she’ll need to put her head down and apply herself to boost her school assessment scores. I also realise Annabel will need all the support she can get from me and as her mother, I’m prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure she’s well supported. This is an exciting next step towards Annabel achieving her dreams! I’ll be by her side every step of the way.
Today Annabel and I sat down together to submit her application for entry into a selective school. It was surprisingly easier than expected, they make it so convenient these days with online processes. You don’t even need to leave the couch! I thought selecting school choices would be an arduous process (there are so many great schools) but to Annabel there was no question about her top school – Caringbah High School. It’s close to home and we know children of family friends who’ve attend the school and loved it. I must admit, I’m slightly nervous about her chances of getting into a selective school, the minimum entry scores jumped up last year which makes it even harder for students to receive a placement. Even so, I have faith in Annabel.
If the key dates on the NSW Department of Education website are still accurate, Annabel’s school assessment scores were submitted today. She’s in high spirits and nothing seems to faze her so either she has no idea the scores were submitted or she’s feeling confident. It’s probably the latter, as she’s been studying diligently over the last 6 months with additional support from her teachers when she needs it. I’m so glad Annabel isn’t afraid to ask for help. It’s a quality more of us should have!
We got information about the placement test today – where it will take place and when. The test will be on 12 March, so now we’re mentally preparing and practically planning for the next few weeks in the lead up to the test. Again, Annabel is surprisingly calm about it – she certainly didn’t get that from me!
It’s done. Today, Annabel sat the selective school placement test. She was cool, calm, and confident going in and slightly on edge coming out. She hasn’t said much to me about the test except that it was “fine”. Oh well, there’s nothing else we can do now but wait for the outcome.
So, the selective school placement outcomes were released today. Unfortunately, Annabel didn’t receive a placement or make it on the reserve list for any of her selected school choices. I think she expected it because she didn’t seem surprised when we saw the outcome, just withdrawn. I tried talking to her about possibly trying the appeals process but she dismissed it quickly, saying she wasn’t affected by any exceptional circumstances. I understand. All I can do is keep encouraging her and give her some space to process the outcome.
It’s been one month since Annabel’s unsuccessful selective school application and she’s finally herself again! After opening up about her disappointment, she’s decided to only look forward and continue pursuing her goal to study law at The University of Sydney. That’s my girl. We’ve decided she’ll go to a local public school and get additional tutoring support to help her excel. I’m confident that a tutor will teach her how to learn effectively, how to become a problem-solver and think outside the box. Perhaps this is what she needed all along.
Annabel has been at her new high school for just over a year (now in Year 8) and today we received the news that she’s been accepted into the gifted class! Her consistent tutoring has truly paid off. Though not a selective school, the gifted class offers high performing and academically gifted students the opportunity to engage in advanced learning. This is perfect for Annabel, I couldn’t be happier about the outcome. Not only does she get to go to school with her closest friends, she also gets to nurture her academic abilities for future success. I’ve always believed in her and I always will.
I know I haven’t sat down to write in a while, it’s been a big few years for our family that I just haven’t had the time. However, an upcoming milestone has warranted some thought processing. Annabel’s HSC exams are approaching, and I don’t know who is more nervous – me or her! She’s been a high achiever throughout high school and so I’m confident she’ll succeed. Her trial exam results were promising, especially if they’re any indication of how she’ll perform in the real thing.
The results are in – she did it! With an ATAR of 97.8, Annabel not only made it into her first choice of university, The University of Sydney, but also for her degree of choice, Bachelor of Law. My daughter is going to be a lawyer! My heart is swelling up with so much pride right now that I have nothing else to write. So, I will leave it at that.