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Urgent: St Ives High or Kuringai High?

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    I really need some help urgently. Time is running out and I need to make a decision. 

    My husband is working in Sydney and is renting a flat in Waitara. We will be coming over to Join him in the new year. His flat is in the catchment area for St Ives High School and we have been offered places for our two boys, for next year. 

    However, when we all move over to join him we want to rent initially and then later buy in Berowra or Hornsby Heights. This falls under the catchment area for Kuring Gai High School. 

    I have been round both of them. I really liked the calm,  caring and respectful atmosphere of Kuring Gai. It is located on th edge of the National park and sits in huge green grounds. It has better sport facilities due to the land size. Academic results sit at 7% for band 6 HSC results compared to 10% for St Ives. St Ives sits in a more suburban area and seems busier (the school is larger). Again the students seemed focused and polite, so no difference. 

    If we live in Berowra the journey to St Ives would mean a train and bus ride totalling 37 mins (plus possibly a lift to the station or a 15 mins walk).  If we went to Kuring Gai there is a school bus that trundles around berowra making its way to school in about 60-70 mins. 

    What’s their reputation like?

    advice please. 

    Got to go.... thank you

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    I live locally but don’t know the schools, so

    will try and help


    I *think* St Ives possibly has a better reputation, but I don’t know people with kids at either school - people we know with secondary age kids in the area have them at one of the catholic schools (2 in St Ives, 1 in Normanhurst), NBCS at Terrey Hills, one of the private schools in the Upper North Shore, or Turramurra High


    Personally I am sceptical when it comes to academic reputation, having gone to a comprehensive with a terrible rep that was actually pretty good, and a sixth form college with a great rep that was ordinary. My advice to people is always to visit the school and see if it FEELS right - which you have done


    Berowra to St Ives is a horrible schlep in rush hour even by car. I think that’s too long a journey in a bus. It’s less distance from Hornsby Heights. Put it this way, we live in Wahroonga and my son goes to school in St Ives, it’s a 25 minute drive at best at school times. 


    I think you you are looking at nice places to live, Berowra/Mt Kuringai/Mt Colah/Asquith/Hornsby Heights so much cheaper than anywhere from Hornsby south and there are some lovely close to the bush areas, particularly Berowra, Asquith and Hornsby Heights I think.


    Did you write off Asquith boys/girls or visit those too? I know it might seem weird having so many single sex schools but it’s very common in Sydney. Both have good reps and will be convenient geographically.


    I believe going out of catchment for high schools is not that hard except for the really sought after ones (only really applies to Killara of the comprehensives around here for some reason, and all the selective schools) because lots of kids go private for secondary school. 

    So pick where you want to live, and pick a school you like where the travelling won’t be horrendous, after a quick check with the schools direct on their catchment policy/reality

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    Thank you for your insights and for confirming where we want to base ourselves is a great place to be. Your advice has been helpful. 

    We looked around Asquith Boys too. It would have been ideal in terms of distance but having two boys who enjoy having girls as friends, the idea was blown out of the water. 


    Edited by Akasully2
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    At the risk of making life harder, if your boys enjoy female company I wouldn’t completely write off some single sex schools: my son is at Sydney Grammar Prep (all boys) and has closer relationships with girls he knows at Brigidine and Roseville College than his mates at co-ed Wahroonga public

    This isn’t posted in favour or against any particular school, it’s just to say that single sex education is common here and things work slightly differently: so if you like a school but it’s single sex, don’t discount it

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    On 11/26/2017 at 18:48, Akasully2 said:

    If we live in Berowra the journey to St Ives would mean a train and bus ride totalling 37 mins (plus possibly a lift to the station or a 15 mins walk). 

    I cannot comment on their reputations. But I know a lot of schoolkids that live in Berowra and go to school in St Ives. They get the train from Berowra to Gordon (Waitara is on the same train line). Then a bus to the school. Doesn't seem to be a drama for them. Some schools also have their own buses that pick up and drop off for students that live a distance away.


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    Thank you @FeralBeryl for your thoughts.  Asquith boys wasn’t for us. We have decided on St Ives High. For the next 12 months we will rent locally but with the intention of buying In Berowra or similar, after that. Good to know that loads of kids commut in. Thanks for that reassurance. Just got to make the move over in the new year now.

    Then it’s starting all over again. New friends to be found, but we did it here and I’m sure in time it will happen there. Difference is though, when we applied for the visa from England originally, we established a friendship group of similar people heading for the same place. All we had to do was meet for a coffee to cement that bond. This time I’m going in cold. Not too fazed though, all in good time. 

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