Strathcona, Fintona, Korowa (or others) Opinions?
Melbourne girls' schools help
, Dec 21 2012 12:53 PM
14 replies to this topic
Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:53 PM
I'm after options on the above schools in particular or any others that could be recommended given our preferences outlined below. I know nothing about these schools as I live in Tassie, and would like an idea of the general culture and success of the school in the eyes of the general public or from existing parents if possible.
We want a relatively small school, girls only, that goes from K-12 and also has small class sizes. School populations over 1000 probably won't interest us.
Must be private, preferably non-denominational or Independent Catholic, but we are open to other religions.
Strong focus on pastoral care, each student valued etc. Academic is also a priority, but we really want a school that focuses on developing the potential in each girl regardless of interest or ability. Also want a good community feel and welcoming atmosphere about it too. The music program has to be strong as well, we are musicians and both the girls are musical too.
We already have a slight leaning to Fintona but only because it is the sister school of where they are currently enrolled.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:59 PM
assume you r moving to melbourne?
i went to mlc - has everything that you mentioned!!!!
or try plc
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:03 PM
I researched fintona, strathcona, Plc, mlc and ruyton befor enrolling our girls in strathcona.
This is just based on my observations and talking to parents but hopefully it helps you. Fintona seems more academic focused than strathcona, strathcona does very well academically but has more of a well rounded approach. The culture at strathcona was nicer than anywhere else I looked at, not too snobby, nice mix of people, not too many mums dripping designer etc. I'm yet to meet anyone with kids at strathcona who doesn't love the school.
Fintona would be my second choice though, it also seems like a very good school. Ultimately it depends on where you are going to live too, if you have two schools you like I would go for the closest one.
Friends at Korowa in junior school love it but I've heard less positive reviews of the senior school.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:05 PM
Mlc and plc are both enormous, not what the OP is looking for I think.
Ruyton, camberwell girls and lauriston may also be worth looking at.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:07 PM
We have DD down at Korowa... I like the grounds, the location, the feel of the school. They are neighbours to Sacre Couer, and a friend of mine teaches at SC. She tells me that the 2 schools share a few things if there aren't enough facilities at one school or the other.
We opted for the "buy your spot" approach, and are happy with our choice.
I like the location as well - I went to a girls school, and suffered for a bit of male interaction - I would have been hopeless at a co-ed, but we were the other extreme. The school is very close to Glen Iris station, where I get on to go to work - it's a hotbed of teenage romance/hormones, with lots of school interacting there!
It's not cheap, but I really like the feel of the place. I went to a couple of school mornings etc, and really liked to vibe. It's a small school, feels very nurturing etc.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:12 PM
When I saw this in recent topics I was expecting to see I was in Babay Names Section
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:14 PM
We opted for the "buy your spot" approach, and are happy with our choice.
This is one thing that I liked about the info from Korowa. The 'buy your spot' approach is readily available down here, and I prefer to be guaranteed a spot rather than waitlisting at a number of schools. We're not even certain of the move year, it is just something that may happen with DHs job in the next couple of years. Hence, I'm putting feelers out early on the schools front as I know how terribly difficult it is to get into them.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:19 PM
Fintona is fantastic. We've just got the academic results for the state and Fintona came second amongst independent girls schools in the state (I think it was 7th overall for all Victorian schools), which is an amazing result. It is a very highly academic school, but it also has an amazing art and music program, and it really does encourage and inspire every girl to reach their potential in whatever they love.
It's also very gentle and supportive, with very small class sizes. It can't and doesn't want to be a massive school - the land they own doesn't support it and it goes against the ethos of the school. Class sizes in primary don't exceed 20 per class, with the general number being more like 15 or so. Primary is only up to Year 4, at which point they move across the road to Middle School. It's fantastic - it makes the girls feel so grown up.
It's the only school I've encountered where the bigger girls really do adore the younger girls and they practice what they preach. It's inclusive, warm and the co curricular programs are fantastic.
Edited by Quill, 21 December 2012 - 03:13 PM.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:22 PM
What I also liked was the shared community with SC. Korowa don't mention it on their website, but this is from the SC website:
We also have a sharing arrangement with Korowa Anglican Girls’ School which means our students can access the broadest range of VCE subjects possible.
They also share grounds, have a combined book club, do student retreats etc together, have ecumenical masses, etc.
So even though it is a smaller school, we're reassured that the breadth of subject choice will still be there.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:37 PM
I have two daughters at Fintona.
Class sizes in primary don't exceed 20 per class, with the general number being more like 15 or so.
Happy to answer as many questions as you need.
Thank you Quill!
So, could I assume that gaining a place at Fintona at short notice for any primary year level may be achievable given this info about their class sizes not always being full up to 20?
It is a concern of mine that we won't be given much time in the lead up to the move going ahead, thus finding a school to take us may be difficult. I have 2 daughters who will be in consecutive year levels to fit into the same school.
The girls are 2 & 3 already and obviously haven't been down since birth for any Melbourne schools. There is a feeling of 'don't even bother applying' if they haven't been down since birth. So we are not real keen to pay multiple waitlising fees at lots of schools 'just in case we move' if there is little hope of getting in, but we will if it is necessary.
Thanks to all ladies so far on the reviews. It is good to get some perspective on schools away from their prospectus' that's for sure :-)
Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:50 PM
Hmmmm, Year 2 and 3 at the moment, eh? So going into Year 3 and Year 4 for 2013?
Edited by Quill, 21 December 2012 - 03:14 PM.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 02:00 PM
Oh, I meant to say they are 2 and 3 years old
, sorry. My eldest is going into 3yo k next year at Fahan. We wouldn't be moving before 2014 at the earliest. Fintona sounds wonderful from what you're saying. I must say out of all the prospectus' theirs did impress me the most.
Thanks so much for your 1st hand info. I may get in touch with them early next year. DH will at least want to take a tour at some point when he is over there too.
Posted 21 December 2012 - 02:14 PM
Well, it sounds like you're giving yourself enough time to investigate then, and the school would be able to tell you more.
Edited by Quill, 21 December 2012 - 03:15 PM.
Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:10 PM
My daughter school has been fortunate enough to employ an senior leader who has recently left Fintona. The way she talks about that school is inspirational. Equal emphasis on pastoral care, academic achievements and community service.
Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:56 PM
3 simple words ...
Lauriston - Lauriston - Lauriston.
I interviewed them ALL and chose Lauriston for my Year 5 daughter. Cannot praise this school enough. It has surpassed our expectations on every level and our daughter is thriving. Good luck with your choice
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