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Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Old Aug 14th 2005, 7:53 pm
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Default Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

As the time to go draws nearer my 13yr old son is getting the jitters about school, He has heard so many things about it that he is confused. At school he keeps getting told from 'people who know' and these are the teachers let alone the kids

1. that the English system is better/stronger than the Australian so that
all Brits going there get put up a year.

2. that the school cut off dates from Jan to Jan so that as his birthday is in
September he will stay in the same year as he is now, even after the
new year starts in January

Think we can work out the last point he was born in sept 1992 and will be going into year 8 England in sept, and as far as we can work out would start year 8 in Jan 2006 in oz, so will kind of hang fire between sept and Jan, hope that is right,

but have no information on the first, he would appreciate any info or any experiences that people who have moved over there could provide

Thank you

Nicky
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Old Aug 14th 2005, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

My daughter is a September babe aswell and I'm not really worried about the extra half term as I think it will be a great opportunity for her to get used to her year group and see how the school curriculum is in Oz. Subjects may be very different to what she is used to and so an extra term should help. Also she will be due another summer holiday to compensate for it all.

Looking at the other threads the kids settle in really quickly and it's not worth the sleepless nights.

Good luck
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Old Aug 14th 2005, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Originally Posted by Nightmair
My daughter is a September babe aswell and I'm not really worried about the extra half term as I think it will be a great opportunity for her to get used to her year group and see how the school curriculum is in Oz. Subjects may be very different to what she is used to and so an extra term should help. Also she will be due another summer holiday to compensate for it all.

Good luck
agree that an extra term to settle in will be good, give them time to get to know each other

Cheers
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Old Aug 14th 2005, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Age they start will vary state to state, where are you going?

Views on education are very divided, many kids do get put up a year, simply because more work is done in the early years in the UK, we have experienced both systems, age differences too, but mainly the work is easier here. Even my highschooler found it much easier when he arrived.

Discipline is more casual, unless you are paying for private, so are uniforms etc, generally 2 hours of sport a week but of course all lunches etc are outside.

Almost everyone whos kids have learning problems mild or severe have found there is little in the way of help, searching on dyslexia or ADHD should bring up many posts, funding is a problem in many areas and parents fund raise for many things. Computer use in state schools is often only 3 computers to 30 kids, private you usually provide the laptop, catholic varies.

Private schools usually have waiting lists, and interesting to note almost all teachers kids go private. Privates here cost around $5000 to $8000, catholic schools are basically funded by the state so are much cheaper.

Mine slipped easily into highschool even with being in the later years and changing subjects, be aware competition for the universities in the cities is VERY stiff with places going to those with marks well above the entry level required.

Socially school is brill, lots of swimming and outdoor activities in primary, High school once they get to 15 is usually combined with a part time job, one to watch they can become distracted some do up to 30 hours!, another distraction is the car at 17 socially again the kids seemed very independant compared to UK, own money and cars at an early age, and the independence and choices that came with that were often a little erm adult rather earlier than one might expect.
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Old Aug 14th 2005, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Originally Posted by halflinggirl2000
As the time to go draws nearer my 13yr old son is getting the jitters about school, He has heard so many things about it that he is confused. At school he keeps getting told from 'people who know' and these are the teachers let alone the kids

1. that the English system is better/stronger than the Australian so that
all Brits going there get put up a year.

2. that the school cut off dates from Jan to Jan so that as his birthday is in
September he will stay in the same year as he is now, even after the
new year starts in January

Think we can work out the last point he was born in sept 1992 and will be going into year 8 England in sept, and as far as we can work out would start year 8 in Jan 2006 in oz, so will kind of hang fire between sept and Jan, hope that is right,

but have no information on the first, he would appreciate any info or any experiences that people who have moved over there could provide

Thank you

Nicky
Hi Nicky,
We have been here for nearly 2 years now. Our (then 11 year old) daughter settled really well into the Aus school system, managing a half term in primary school to meet kids she would start high school with. She was always in the mid to mid top of her year in the UK but never right at the top. She is now half way through year 8 (her friends in UK have just finished year 8) and is doing very well. She has much less homework now than she had in year 3, they go to the beach for sport in the summer, we are all much less stressed about "good education' and "best schools' and she is enjoying life and school. Maybe the UK system is better - I don't know. Your son will probably go into year 8 - I have not heard of anyone going up a year. If anything - I have heard of children repeating a year in primary school if they are struggling. My daughter was born April 1992 and is one of the youngest in her year - some of her friends are May 1991 born.

We go to a regular state school in our area and like anywhere there are good and bad kids. Two of her friends parents are high school teachers so I figure if they are happy to send there kids there it can't be all that bad.

Tell your son not to worry - it will all be so much easier than he thinks.
Good luck with the move.
Julie

PS sorry if I've rambled but I'm in a hurry!!
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Old Aug 14th 2005, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

i have found that it is hard to compare the education between the two countries as it is so different. My 10year old daughter is ahead in maths, but here they don't just do sum after sum, they do more problem based maths. but she is behind in I.T. Here also they have to do presentations infront of the class and have to do more of their own research. She says that in UK they were just given everything they had to do where as here she has to put more effort in herself. All I can say is she loves school and I figure that Australia must do something right as they leave school to go to uni a year earlier than in UK!!!.

Amanda
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Old Aug 15th 2005, 1:02 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

This is a much debated subject on here.
It's really a matter of personal choice. We weren't happy about how ours (5) were being challenged (particularly in the three Rs) in a 'so called' better State school (approx 1.5-2 years behind the UK) and are gradually moving them into private. We were lucky to find a reasonably local one with a waiting list and fees that weren't too bad. Having said this, I agree with the comments re. better socialisation in Aussie schools in general.
With regard to your 12 year old, out eldest was 12 in late July and will be in year 8 from next Feb.

Brian
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Old Aug 15th 2005, 1:21 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Originally Posted by bal56
This is a much debated subject on here.
It's really a matter of personal choice. We weren't happy about how ours (5) were being challenged (particularly in the three Rs) in a 'so called' better State school (approx 1.5-2 years behind the UK)
Brian
A lot of people from WA seem to make that comment. Maybe the WA education system is different from the rest. ? ( I have a feeling of de ja vue here, but can't remember why )

We seem to find that the early years education concentrates more on interaction, and confidence, and then the actual learning process evens out during the later years.
 
Old Aug 15th 2005, 1:42 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Hi Nicky
I won't repeat all the praise I have given my sons high school in previous posts - if you are interested do a search.
I think one of the main differences from the uk is the fact that the oz system (can only talk about Mountain Creek High) seems to reward kids for their achievements. In the uk, there was an air of 'non-competitiveness' (even sports day). Mustn't let kids who are not as good feel bad, so don't identify those doing well. Even the way the reports were written was confusing. I used to have to ring the school up and say 'what does a 4.35 mean?

Here the reports are easy to understand A, B, C, D for behaviour, industry and attainment. Simple. There is competition. There are awards and certificates for achievement in all areas - sports, arts, academia etc. My son Jake has won certificates, ribbons, a free bbq meal (during school lunch break), entry to a draw to win a swim with sharks/seals. I think this works well particularly for boys.

Jake found the work really easy in the first month. However, he has been moved into the 'high achievers' stream and is now getting challenged. The subjects are different. There are the core academic subjects, but also subjects like Japanese, Computer Graphics, Engineering, Drama etc. Kids choose depending on what career they want - so can focus on practical stuff if they want to go into a trade.

The discipline does seem to be more relaxed - kids can swear if they don't go over the top. Jake says the whole atmosphere is more relaxed and friendly. The teachers are not as authoritarian and more student-centred.

For my 14 year old the Australian education system has turned him from a drop out to a uni candidate.

Rachel
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Old Aug 15th 2005, 2:40 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Not sure about schools but university-level education is certainly behind in my lecturing experience. This seems partly due to relatively poor written skills of Australian students, and the written and oral difficulties faced by large numbers of overseas students (mostly mainland China and Hong Kong) who pay very high fees. This means that teaching is aimed more at the lowest common denominator. It is a positive for less able students, who are able to get into a university, or one that ranks in the top eight in Australia compared to the top eight (or ten or 15) in UK. For more able students, the level of teaching is less challenging but enables them to get higher marks.

But overall, the issues I encounter can only stem from shortcomings in basic education, particularly in English language. Unfortunately the university system has become a degree factory, and even some specialised higher degrees (esp. Masters by coursework) are very pedestrian.
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Old Aug 15th 2005, 2:57 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Originally Posted by ShozInOz
Not sure about schools but university-level education is certainly behind in my lecturing experience. This seems partly due to relatively poor written skills of Australian students, and the written and oral difficulties faced by large numbers of overseas students (mostly mainland China and Hong Kong) who pay very high fees. This means that teaching is aimed more at the lowest common denominator. It is a positive for less able students, who are able to get into a university, or one that ranks in the top eight in Australia compared to the top eight (or ten or 15) in UK. For more able students, the level of teaching is less challenging but enables them to get higher marks.

But overall, the issues I encounter can only stem from shortcomings in basic education, particularly in English language. Unfortunately the university system has become a degree factory, and even some specialised higher degrees (esp. Masters by coursework) are very pedestrian.
I think you are right about the general drop in standards in regard to higher eduction. However, I think this is also true in the UK. I have family working in further and higher education. My dad recently took early retirement because he couldn't handle the drop of standards. He was expected to pass x amount of students regardless. If he didn't he was in trouble. He reckons that a degree is no longer worth what it was even 10 years ago. There seems to be a general 'dumbing down' to meet the government targets of increasing numbers of people with degrees. We need plumbers, not people with pointless degrees.

I am hoping to get involved in lecturing over here in oz. It saddens me to think I will be working in a degree factory.

Rachel
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Old Aug 15th 2005, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

So how many of these people walking out the degree factory get 2.1 or 1'sts?

From my recollection 15 yrs ago there was a large percentage of the year who got a degree (ie very few failed) but the avg was 2.2 then the remainder and the large majority got below 2.2's. A good few got upper second and the elite really really really bright ones got 1sts. of my class of 15 there was only 1 1st and he was truly clever. I think we had mostly 2.1's and a 2.2 but we were a company funded group so were not normal by any standards. (im still not normal)

I'd be interested to hear if its changed much.
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Old Aug 15th 2005, 3:08 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Mixed bag, some schools are crap some are good. I guess it's like the UK.

Primary schools are definitely behind, My boy who was 8 yesterday was doing "the wheels on the bus go round and round" at school. Back in the UK he did this when he was 4.

The girls, aged 6 are doing the hungry caterpillar AGAIN for the 3rd time (first done in play group oin the UK).
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Old Aug 15th 2005, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Originally Posted by renth
Mixed bag, some schools are crap some are good. I guess it's like the UK.

Primary schools are definitely behind, My boy who was 8 yesterday was doing "the wheels on the bus go round and round" at school. Back in the UK he did this when he was 4.

The girls, aged 6 are doing the hungry caterpillar AGAIN for the 3rd time (first done in play group oin the UK).
I agree the schools must vary a lot. My daughter 9, year 4, is onto reading Anne Frank's diary at school.
 
Old Aug 15th 2005, 3:14 am
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Default Re: Ahead or Behind - Australian Schools

Originally Posted by spalen
So how many of these people walking out the degree factory get 2.1 or 1'sts?

From my recollection 15 yrs ago there was a large percentage of the year who got a degree (ie very few failed) but the avg was 2.2 then the remainder and the large majority got below 2.2's. A good few got upper second and the elite really really really bright ones got 1sts. of my class of 15 there was only 1 1st and he was truly clever. I think we had mostly 2.1's and a 2.2 but we were a company funded group so were not normal by any standards. (im still not normal)

I'd be interested to hear if its changed much.
Hi Spalen, I was one of 3 out of 30 in my degree to get a first class. My dad felt it necessary to point out that my first was equivalent to a 2.1 10 years ago (thanks dad). But, seriously, a lot of my year got 2.1.

My BSc Hons did not include any original research. Here in oz, you are expected to have undertaken research to get an Hons. So, I am having to do a 'bridging' research course before I can do a phd. Perhaps this indicates that their standards are higher than the uk? Don't know because I don't have enough experience of the ed system over here.
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