Growing families relocating or buying into a new area will understandably check out schools in their suburb and nearby.
From prep to primary through to high school, private, religious and everything in between, parents pay close attention to the education options for their children.
When it comes to making the right choice, the Kingston council area in Melbourne’s south-eastern bayside region has a plethora of high achieving and facility-rich schools.
Mentone alone has one of the highest concentrations of schools in Melbourne, with about 6000 students attending seven schools within 1.75km of the main centre, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
In Mentone, growing families capitalise on making the most of the schooling options, according to Barry Plant Mentone-Cheltenham sales and marketing executive James Colyvan.
“The suburb is a hub for growing families and it all comes down to the vast array of education options,” Mr Colyvan said.
“All of the schools have really great reputations and the location is really second to none with easy transport access, as the Frankston line runs directly through the suburb.”
Mentone Girls’ Grammar School was recently ranked as one of Victoria’s best primary schools, according to the independent Better Education website. Of 100 state and primary schools, the Grammar received a score of 99 for excellence in literacy and numeracy.
Formerly known as The Boys’ Grammar, Mentone Girls was introduced in 2006, and now has over 700 pupils.
A close second for the suburb, Mentone Grammar received a score of 97, with a large enrolment of 1548 students.
There are various options when primary school children transition to senior level, and Mentone Grammar caters for Early Learning (ELC), age three, and right through to Year 12.
The independent private school has adopted the parallel learning approach, known as the Together-Apart-Together model. Middle school students from Years 5-9 boys and girls are in separate classes and for ELC, primary and senior school students, co-educational classes are reinstated. Praised for exceptional VCE results, one student received a perfect score of 99.95 for their ATAR in 2020.
Mentone Grammar has a proud sporting history and extensive coaching academy with excellent facilities to suit. This includes an indoor aquatic centre, two multi-sport courts with seating for 300, 17ha of playing fields, including six tennis courts, three ovals, two soccer pitches, cricket nets, a club house and three pavilions.
Still in bayside, Mordialloc Beach Primary School wasn’t far behind Mentone Grammar with an overall score of 94. The zoned government school opened in 1868 and has just over 200 students, with a teacher-pupil student teacher ratio of 1:14.
St Patrick’s Primary School in Mentone was the third highest-rated primary school of the suburb with an overall ranking of 91. The Catholic school hosts just under 400 students.
A state school, Patterson Lakes Primary School, known for its outdoor curricular activities and location near rivers and lakes, achieved a score of 89.
The zoned school is made up of 571 students, with 89 per cent achieving at or above the expected Victorian curriculum level in English and Maths. The school has a ‘KidsMatter’ approach, with a strong focus on well-being, mental health, and driving communities together through recreational activities.
St Bede’s College campus in Mentone is a renowned boys-only Catholic school, founded in 1938, and is located adjacent to the foreshore. The school just recently expanded to a second campus in Bentleigh East.
The college has a strong focus on sporting programs, including inter-school competitions. It is home to a state-of-the-art 3G football pitch, a further three full-size grass football pitches, two junior football pitches, two rugby pitches and a cricket pitch.
Sister school Kilbreda, also in the heart of bayside, received an overall state ranking score of 87, according to the Better Education website. The class of 2020 had a 98 per cent pass rate with 52 per cent of students receiving study scores of 40 plus.
Nearby, Cheltenham Secondary College caters for students in years 7-12, and the co-educational school recently completed a $7 million building program to provide students with one of the most contemporary campuses in the south-eastern suburbs.
Boasting impressive sporting facilities, Cheltenham Secondary comprises two full-size indoor courts, electronic scoreboard, elevated spectator seating, plus fully equipped change rooms and kitchen facilities.
The college scored an overall ranking score of 89, with a 99 per cent pass rate and 25 per cent above 40 study scores for the class of 2020.
VCE results from 2020 shows public and private schools in Port Phillip and Bayside were among the best in the state, including Parkdale Secondary College which had an average study score of 30 across the year level.
The co-education college was established in 1964 with 200 students, it has since seen impressive growth, even with zoned boundaries as it caters to almost 2000 students.
Known for its Arts Enrichment Program and USA musical tour, the school has a strong focus on extra-curricular activities including their trips abroad to the Sister School, Nishi High School in Osaka, Japan and French Exchange Trip to Bordeaux. Parkdale is also involved in the iiNet which allows international students to study at the school.
The college has also recently completed the first and second stage of a major upgrade, which introduced an Early Learning Centre to the campus.
Mentone Girls Secondary College is also highly regarded for its excellence in numeracy and literacy, receiving a score of 92, with a decent enrolment of 1200 students. The college also had a median study score of 30.
All classes run for 75 minutes to enable deeper learning and development, while leadership within the school is highly prioritised to set up students for leadership roles within the workforce.
The girls’ school was established in 1955 specifically to encourage women to stay in school and go to university.
Specialist activities are encouraged through pottery halls, wood tech facilities, media studies rooms and visual arts facilities. The comprehensive sports and aerobics programs have many teams competing at state level.