They have full days, but not crazy

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Best Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

s ne, brains and sport­ing abil­ity can co­ex­ist when he was named dux of his grad­u­at­ing year.

“When I came to this school a lit­tle while ago there was a com­mu­nity per­cep­tion that the kids just play sport all day long,” En­deav­our prin­ci­pal James Ko­zlowski says.

“But we run the full cur­ricu­lum and there are only a max­i­mum of three sports ses­sions a week. Our school is about pro­duc­ing well­rounded in­di­vid­u­als and we get them to the best point at which they can have a ca­reer in sport if they choose it. I recog­nise that these ca­reers can be fleet­ing and over in a heart­beat, but a good ed­u­ca­tion lasts for life. My No. 1 pri­or­ity is aca­demic achieve­ment and we’re now be­ing recog­nised as a school that puts learn­ing first.”

This is what at­tracted Re­becca Os­bald­is­ton when she was look­ing for a school for her tal­ented daugh­ter, Maliyah, 12, se­lected to play net­ball in the NSW Pri­mary Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tion rep team.

“Maliyah is ded­i­cated to her sports, it’s her life’s pas­sion,” Os­bald­is­ton says. “What drew me to En­deav­our High was their fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion. It’s very im­por­tant to me that her school nur­tures her sport­ing abil­ity, but also gives her a huge amount of sup­port with her ed­u­ca­tion.”

Bon­nor, who co-au­thored What Makes A Good School with Jane Caro, says the de­bate about se­lec­tive schools is di­vided.

“You can look at it from the per­spec­tive of how it ben­e­fits the in­di­vid­ual stu­dent and how it ben­e­fits the com­mu­nity at large,” Bon­nor says. “In a se­lec­tive school, the per­for­mance of kids can get a boost be­cause these schools are a gath­er­ing of en­gaged and mo­ti­vated stu­dents and that may lead to a ben­e­fit in achieve­ment.” Maliyah Os­bald­is­ton at­tends En­deav­our High, says mum Re­becca, be­cause it fo­cuses on a rounded ed­u­ca­tion as well as nur tur­ing her sport­ing dreams. Pic­ture: Toby Zerna SOPHIA Sproat has tried many dif­fer­ent school­ing sys­tems for her chil­dren, both in Aus­tralia and Europe where the fam­ily lived tem­po­rar­ily, in­clud­ing pub­lic, pri­vate and even home school­ing. She set­tled on The Con­ser­va­to­rium High School for Emily, 12, and Matthew, 14, who play the clar­inet and sax­o­phone re­spec­tively. “In gov­ern­ment schools they got bored and ran the risk of coast­ing,” she says. “I love that this school is small and it chal­lenges them aca­dem­i­cally as well as mu­si­cally. It’s not just about the mu­sic, if your aca­demics are not good, you won’t get in.” So pop­u­lar are the lim­ited spots at The Con­ser­va­to­rium High School that about 370 stu­dents au­di­tioned last year for around 30 place­ments in 2017. Gain­ing en­try to these ex­clu­sive cam­puses of­ten re­lies on strict au­di­tion­ing per­for­mances and aca­demic tests. Emily bat­tled it out for one of 16 Year 7 spots and her brother Matthew got one of only two avail­able spots in Year 9. “The au­di­tion­ing process was in­tense, it in­volved a per­for­mance and work­shops so they can re­ally see their abil­i­ties,” Sproat says. “There’s a lot go­ing on for them, they have full days, but not crazy. They start at 8.20am and fin­ish at 3.30pm like most high schools and some­times have choir at lunch or a les­son after school. But I see it as a good trade off, be­cause if they didn’t have these classes in their school day, I’d have to find them out­side the school, which would make for a much more hec­tic sched­ule.” Julie Sim­monds says, while the school is pub­lic, all place­ments are by au­di­tion only. Matthew, 14, and Emily Sprout, 12, went through a tough au­di­tion process at Con­ser­va­to­rium High. Pic­ture: Jonathan Ng

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