Guide for Every Parent about Schools in New South Wales, Australia

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Australia has remained a popular destination for international students because of its excellent internationally recognised education, high quality of life and laid-back lifestyle. The country also provides a safe, comfortable and multicultural environment for students. Australia’s high schools are well known for its highly qualified teachers, high standard and comprehensive curriculum. High schools in Australia can be public (70%) or private (30%); these schools are all subject to stringent rules and inspections where non-discrimination and equal opportunities are highlighted. Australia’s education system aims to provide students with skills for tertiary education and in principle, Australian high school certificates are recognized and appreciated anywhere in the world. 

In Australia, school begins with six years of Primary Education (Year 1 to Year 6), followed by six years of secondary school (Year 7 to Year 12). The New South Wales (NSW) school system is Australia’s largest educational system. There are more than 200 primary schools and secondary schools. In 2013, NSW State Government began to follow the Australian National Curriculum and is making progressive changes every year. 

Assessment Method

Students who complete Years 11 and 12 with success will receive High School Certificate (HSC) which is equivalent to German Abitur or Baccalaureate, and are eligible to enter tertiary education (university of college) in Australia or anywhere else in the world. Depending on the combination of topics and results, each student’s HSC score is ranked at 1 (highest) to 25 (lowest). Most universities in Australia establish a minimum HSC score for admission to students. Achievements are evaluated through assignments, tasks, oral and written exams and practical tasks. At the end of each term, a report card describing progress in the respective subjects is issued to students. 

For more information about minimum HSC score or academic entry requirements to enter Universities in Australia, please kindly contact Excel Education. 

Speak & Live like a Local

In all Australian high schools, English is a compulsory subject. Mathematics, natural sciences and physical training are in most cases also obligatory. Some have advanced modules for ambitious students, such as mathematics. Since English is a compulsory subject, attending high school in Australia is a very efficient way for international students to improve their English level. Students will be totally immersed in the language, which means studying in class and applied what they have learnt right after class in their everyday life. Students are also going to pick up Australian slang and perhaps even Australia’s beloved accent. It’s easier to make new friends in high school and international students will have better integration with the local community which will benefits them later on when they move on to university life. 

School Terms & Holidays

The NSW school year usually begins at the end of January and is divided into 4 terms of about 10 weeks. Each term is split by holidays of about two weeks. The school year ends in December (the date depends on the school and sector) and is followed by a break of five to six weeks before the next school year starts. 

Australian schools are doing more than educating students. They prepare students for life − developing skills for communication, self-discipline and respect for themselves and their peers. They also strongly believe in the advantages of a comprehensive education–including teamwork, self-expression, and personal development outside the classroom. In Australia, students are enriched as personally as they are by a diverse learning environment and develop the skills and qualifications needed in a changing world. 

If you are thinking sending your child(ren) to study at Australia primary/ secondary school, we have a few recommendations for you. 

Top 5 high schools in Australia NSW




2019 Capacity 

2019 Intake 

Indicative Annual Fee

Northern Beaches Secondary College – Mackellar Girls Campus 


Northern Sydney 

Capacity in all year levels must commence Year 11 in Term 1 

Must enroll through to Year 12 

30/01/2019 – 12/04/2019

Around AUD $14000-15000 per year, for more information please contact our E2 consultants 


Epping Boys High School


North Western Sydney 

Capacity in all years 

30/01/2019 – 31/01/2019

Around AUD $14000-15000 per year, for more information please contact our E2 consultants

Castle Hill High School


North Western Sydney 

Capacity in Years 8-9,11

29/01/2019 – 31/01/2019

Around AUD $14000-15000 per year, for more information please contact our E2 consultants

Burwood Girls High School  


Inner Western Sydney 

Capacity in all years

30/01/2019 – 31/01/2019

Around AUD $14000-15000 per year, for more information please contact our E2 consultants

Strathfield Girls High School 


Inner Western Sydney 

Capacity in all year levels 

Limited home-stays available 

30/01/2019 – 31/01/2019

Around AUD $14000-15000 per year, for more information please contact our E2 consultants

Entry Requirements: 


  • Students entering the preliminary course (year 11) must have completed year 10 or its equivalent in Australia and overseas. They must also have good passing grades in school reports in the main academic subjects and English 

  • Students enrolling in years 7 to 10 must provide evidence that they have good passing grades in the main academic courses including English. 


  • Enrollment in a NSW government school Intensive English Centre 


  • Secondary studies conducted in English for a minimum of two years 


  • Minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing System, General or Academic) score of 5.5 (year 11) or 5.0 (years 7-10) or equivalent results in another approved English language test (including TOEFL, AEAS and Eiken)

Application Process 

  1. Student submits completed application form with supporting documents to Excel Education. 

  2. Excel Education assesses the application against eligibility criteria and, if successful, confirms placement with IEC and school.

  3. Excel Education issues offer letter detailing study plan and course costs.

  4. Student and parents accept offer and return signed offer to Excel Education with payment of fees.

  5. Excel Education issues confirmation of Enrollment (CoE) and confirmation of appropriate accommodation and welfare (CAAW) form (if required).

  6. Student applies for student visa and start packing. 

Too many things to remember? 

Complete the form below and we will provide you with a one-stop solution from getting a student visa to finding an accommodation. We will also email you a copy of the checklist to kick-start your studies in Australia.

Contact us to find out more:

Sydney, Australia
Phone: + 612 8385 7224

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Phone: +60182414802

Guangzhou, China
Phone: +862 0223 77740

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About Post Author
Yvonne is a former psychology student from the US. She is passionate about empowering students to achieve their educational goals. If you wish to know more about Yvonne incredible experiences being an international student, you can contact her through Excel Education =)
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