- About us
- Principal's welcome
- Our values
- Our Leadership
- Our Results
- Our Traditions
- Our Community
- Our Sister Schools
- What's on
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do any of the staff have their own children at the school?
Yes - 25 sons and daughters of our own staff currently come to Northcote as students or have done so in the last few years. A significant portion of the parent body work in secondary schools, tertiary education, or other education related areas.
2. Single sex education versus coeducation? What’s best for my child?
There is a wealth of research available in libraries and on the web that shows coeducation is now regarded as the most desirable way to educate and socialise young people. Research done in the 1970s supporting single sex schools as good for girls (but not for boys!) has now been discredited. Again, however, we know this is a decision some parents make long before they even visit local schools, often for cultural reasons. Over the last six years there has been a steadily increasing number of girls enrolling at Northcote. For 2010 and 2011 the gender balance at Year 7 is roughly equal. The gender balance has been equal at VCE level for some time, due to a trend of girls enrolling at VCE level from other schools, including single sex schools. Northcote now has one of the most balanced gender ratios of inner Melbourne's coeducational government schools, returning to the situation of 1926-1928 again (See 1927 NHS picnic photo at right)
3. A small or large secondary school?
Although a population of 1,500 sounds like a lot of students to some primary school parents, by Australian and International standards Northcote is an average sized secondary school (of similar size to many of our neighbours, including Kew, Strathmore and University High Schools).
You can also read some of the most recent Australian research on the issue of success and school size at the University of Melbourne's website (click to follow link)
There is sometimes a parent perception that "my child will be lost" in secondary school. Actually, this can happen anywhere and for reasons not just to do with the size of the school. We only find this a rare experience at Northcote. The purpose of the core/elective curriculum structure, the pastoral care and transition programs, is to smooth the process of transition, quickly establish significant relationships and develop resilience.
One obvious advantage of selecting a school of Northcote's size is that your child will be able to continually develop relationships throughout their schooling, beyond what otherwise might be a frustratingly small friendship group. Many parents comment that their grade 6 child is already showing a desire to extend their friendship circle. Indeed, the smallness of some friendship circles can become a source of tension for some adolescents. Fortunately, parents in the inner Melbourne metropolitan area have a good range of schools to choose from. The final decision about the size of the school your child needs to be in is really one for the individual family, with the best external advice coming from your child's Primary School teachers.
4. Why does Northcote have a uniform?
Northcote High School has a uniform for three reasons. First, most of our parents want one. Our parents consistently tell us that school uniforms reduce the ongoing cost of clothing students for school, although there is the initial "start up" cost to bare. A second and equally important reason is that having all students in a uniform is a means to ensuring their security while at school. Outsiders are immediately identifiable. Finally, the traditional reason for having a uniform still remains – it helps to foster a collegiate spirit, and emphasize the feeling of connectedness with peers.
It is sometimes claimed that having to wear a uniform inhibits a young person’s individuality. We don’t believe this, and there isn’t the slightest bit of educational research to support the idea. In fact, most Victorian Government Secondary Schools have a uniform.
5. What is the school's policy on Bullying, and illicit drug use?
Bullying is unfortunately a phenomenon that is found in all schools, tertiary institutions and many workplaces. Students who feel they are victims of bullying are expected to report the matter. All reports are taken seriously.
- Habitual bullies are counselled and may be excluded from school. Support is available for victims of bullying.
- To minimise risk of bullying, at recess and lunchtime teachers supervise all areas of the school.
- Bullying and good friendship practices form part of the school curriculum in pastoral care sessions.
- Parents are asked to read the advice on Cybersafety, click here to follow the link.
Illicit drug and alcohol use is prohibited at the school. The school has a staged response plan to deal with illicit drug and alcohol use, based on Department of Education guidelines. Any student engaged in selling alcohol or illicit drugs would face Police investigation and be expelled. Counselling is available for other students hurt by such antisocial behaviour.