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Eastern Schools Private & Public - Tintern, Knox, Blackburn, Nunawading


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#1 Tyriana

Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:04 PM

Hi there! Any mums (or your friends) have kids in Tintern, Knox School, Blackburn High or Nunawading Christian College? They are all quite different and I am having trouble prioritising them.

Our search is for a sensitive boy with delicate health! Otherwise overall good marks and attitude. He likes music but is not sure about much else.

Nunawading is tiny, spiritually focused and I doubt there will be much bullying.. but I am nervous of the 7th Day Adventists as my Ex 7th Day friends all think of it as a cult...

Blackburn High may be great or not. I know some people who like it, I am concerned about his health issues being taken for granted, bullying could result in physical dangers for him etc.

Knox School presents well, is a bit far, is also expensive. But I do like the school being musical and not too hot house flower at the same time? They seem robust and practical.

Then Tintern Grammar is more expensive still, but at least offer a good bus system and seem to provide a nurturing approach. I feel most comfortable with this choice - except the price.

Looked at Kingswood, but have not heard impressive stories lately, especially where anyone is 'different' and needs a more individualised approach.

Thank you so much! If you have any recent experiences I would love to hear them!

#2 born.a.girl

Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:21 PM

7th day adventists are definitely not a cult.  I can well imagine people who leave a religion having a dim view of it, if parts of it don't fit with their current lifeview.  I'm like that with the Catholics.

I spent a few years in Warburton, then a major 7thDA location, about 1/3 of the population were 7DA.  At high school, you'd not have known which ones were and which ones weren't.

Only difference was there was a significant percentage of vegetarian food in the canteen.

#3 Tyriana

Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:26 PM

Thanks, as ex-Catholic with ALL the baggage, I feel the same. I have been to the school, the kids all seem lovely, I am more concerned with the staff and administration. They seem not prepared to deal with individual needs that don't match their religion. ie. being gay seems an issue.

#4 born.a.girl

Posted 16 September 2019 - 06:31 PM

 Tyriana, on 16 September 2019 - 06:26 PM, said:

Thanks, as ex-Catholic with ALL the baggage, I feel the same. I have been to the school, the kids all seem lovely, I am more concerned with the staff and administration. They seem not prepared to deal with individual needs that don't match their religion. ie. being gay seems an issue.

Ah well yes, that would be a completely separate issue, and something to seriously consider.

I'm vaguely in the area, and Kingswood had a great reputation 20 years ago for kids who didn't fit the mould. Sorry to hear that's changed.

#5 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 16 September 2019 - 07:54 PM

So I take it Whitefriars is out of the question then? I have a friend with their boy there and they are really happy. They moved him from Box Hill High which they weren't happy with.

#6 nom_de_plume

Posted 16 September 2019 - 08:11 PM

Not sure what direction you’re looking in and/or where you’re zoned for but have you considered Vermont SC or Ringwood SC? There’s also Templestowe College that offers something a little different.

In terms of private schools I’d also check out Emmaus College in that area.

#7 alias grace

Posted 16 September 2019 - 09:29 PM

I know two current Blackburn High students and both seem quite happy there.  One is quieter and a bit different from his peers, but has really found his niche in the music program and has made a good group of friends through that.  The other is a more confident all rounder, so would probably do well anywhere.  I am not aware of any specific concerns re: bullying from either of them but am not close enough to know too much.  

Preshil in Kew may be another potential private option to consider if you wanted a smaller and more alternative/progressive school.  It is further away than the schools you have mentioned, but still on the Belgrave-Lilydale line.  I know someone who's planning to send their grade sixer there next year and they have been impressed by the nurturing culture and individualised learning approach (one thing to note though is that they offer IB only and not VCE).

#8 Tyriana

Posted 16 September 2019 - 11:08 PM

Thanks for your replies! I tried Emmaus but they are not accepting students who aren’t Catholic and their books are basically full. I am happy not to send him due to my unhappy relationship with the Roman Catholic Church RCC. Ditto Whitefriars.
Sadly Preshil has gone to the dogs in a big way apparently. Expensive and money thrown in the bin with kids managing their own education and no discipline at all.
The other high schools are further away, I am zoned for Blackburn HS. This is problematic due to his health issues. I can’t consider private schools further afield due to having nursing staff there.

#9 Tyriana

Posted 16 September 2019 - 11:10 PM

Whups! I mean to say that I have considered private high schools further away as they have a nurse on staff.

#10 Tyriana

Posted 16 September 2019 - 11:16 PM

By the way the comments about Preshil were from someone who has experience working there. I would recommend your friend think again! They said that apart from the lack of effort to teach the facilities were very degraded. Pity as I know people who went and liked it 30 years ago.

#11 PabloS

Posted 16 September 2019 - 11:37 PM

Pretty surprised you’re considering Blackburn here in this mix. Fairly low academically considering its location. Have you considered other non zoned eastern suburbs schools? Some are getting very high medians.

#12 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:45 AM

Interesting your comments regarding Preshill. My friend's child is at the junior campus and my friend is really concerned about her child's slacking off. It sounds like the move to the senior campus won't be any better. Plus her child was subjected to minor bullying as well.

#13 SFmummyto3

Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:47 AM

Have a look at Luther College in Croydon. I know quite a few people with kids there and they are all very happy. The fees are less than some of the bigger private schools too.

#14 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:12 AM

View PostPabloS, on 16 September 2019 - 11:37 PM, said:

Pretty surprised you’re considering Blackburn here in this mix. Fairly low academically considering its location. Have you considered other non zoned eastern suburbs schools? Some are getting very high medians.
Which schools are you referring to?

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes, 17 September 2019 - 06:12 PM.


#15 Tyriana

Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:13 AM

 SFmummyto3, on 17 September 2019 - 09:47 AM, said:

Have a look at Luther College in Croydon. I know quite a few people with kids there and they are all very happy. The fees are less than some of the bigger private schools too.

Hi thank you for directing me there! This looks like a great option as it is a bit more affordable. It is far from us, and the greater the distance the more concern I have due my child's health, though I will look into it!

#16 AggyW72

Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:28 AM

I've heard great things about Forest Hill College a few years ago.
My DS did a program for G&T kids and the teacher running it recommended it for him (DS has Aspergers and severe anxiety), as her son was there and had additional needs (physical and mental health) and she was delighted with the care and attention.
That said, I know from past experience how dramatically and quickly a school can change with a new principal. So I'm not sure if that info is up to date.

Good luck, it's super hard finding the right fit when you have those extra needs.

#17 annodam

Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:33 AM

Have you thought of Rudolf Steiner in Warranwood?

#18 alias grace

Posted 17 September 2019 - 06:10 PM

View PostTyriana, on 16 September 2019 - 11:16 PM, said:

By the way the comments about Preshil were from someone who has experience working there. I would recommend your friend think again! They said that apart from the lack of effort to teach the facilities were very degraded. Pity as I know people who went and liked it 30 years ago.

Thanks for the feedback.  That is helpful, but disappointing, to know.  I admit that I was really surprised when I heard how high their fees were.

#19 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 17 September 2019 - 06:12 PM

OP I have sent you a PM.

#20 Tyriana

Posted 17 September 2019 - 06:37 PM

Thanks annodam, I have been to a Warranwood open day and I looved the tribe there. But my partner freaked out when a year 12 was selling us ticket and couldn't subtract 2 from 5...! I had an ex student tell us that she loved primary at Steiner but would not send a secondary school child there, especially if they are STEM inclined. I would have loved it there, lol.

Forest Hill College is an interesting one. I do have a friend with a child there who is very happy with the school and will send her other children too. It has a very diverse lot of kids attending for better and maybe worse - at least to judge by on the public transport! That may not reflect the school at all, I think they deal well with lots of kids with various needs from what I understand. I am not sure it is academic enough for my taste, though I think it has a lot going for it... I don't think my fears around his safety and well being are going to be allayed by what I know of Forest Hill?

#21 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 17 September 2019 - 06:51 PM

My only comment is that Forest Hill going by the kids at the daycares nearby plus the feedback I heard about Mt Pleasant Primary in Nunawading is that the suburb is radically changing. That with the large number of new builds ( worth a lot of money to purchase) in the area attracting certain ethnic groups, all with a high academic focus. Take a look at Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre. I heard that 10 years ago it was a real dive of a place. Now it's a bustling ethnically diverse complex.

#22 rosie28

Posted 17 September 2019 - 07:14 PM

View PostSFmummyto3, on 17 September 2019 - 09:47 AM, said:

Have a look at Luther College in Croydon. I know quite a few people with kids there and they are all very happy. The fees are less than some of the bigger private schools too.

My cousins attended Luther and they and my aunt were very happy with it. They both finished up a couple of years ago now.

#23 rosie28

Posted 17 September 2019 - 07:15 PM

Not sure how far afield you’re willing to consider, but Eltham College is well worth a look. I’m a former student (and they always used to have a nurse on staff, not sure now), it has a slightly alternative bent and a great music program.

#24 Tyriana

Posted 17 September 2019 - 10:38 PM

View Postrosie28, on 17 September 2019 - 07:15 PM, said:

Not sure how far afield you’re willing to consider, but Eltham College is well worth a look. I’m a former student (and they always used to have a nurse on staff, not sure now), it has a slightly alternative bent and a great music program.

I had never heard of them... this is far, but it looks really nice. Sadly it is expensive! Thank you so much for contributing, I will check them out.

#25 PabloS

Posted 22 September 2019 - 10:21 PM

 FuzzyChocolateToes, on 17 September 2019 - 10:12 AM, said:


Which schools are you referring to?

Off the top of my head, unzoned schools with higher Results in the area are mullauna, and even better results at Koonung. I’d avoid forest hill, Blackburn  and Doncaster. Anywhere else in the area is pretty much zoned.




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