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This article contains information that is for general information only and should not be used for the basis of making any decisions regarding education or anything else. It is solely the writer’s opinion of the writer’s experience of one open day at the school and the writer’s interactions with the people present on that day. The writer’s article is purely subjective. Facts and information may or may not be complete, accurate, reliable or valid reflection of the school in question.

I encourage you to personally tour the school and meet the educators and students, form your own opinion and leave a comment here.

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Name: Carey Baptist Grammar School- Kew Campus

Sector: Private

Gender: Co-educational

Religion: Baptist

Year 12 Fees: $37,976 (For 2024)

Location: 349 Barkers Road, Kew 3101 VIC

Phone number(03) 9816 1222

Website: https://www.carey.com.au/

Tour Details

Presentation slide show by principal, head of middle school and head of senior school

Tour around the Kew campus of Carey Grammar was taken in small groups of two students to each party

No opportunity to meet the principals after the tour

The vibe at Carey Grammar School

There is a general vibrancy and buzz around at Carey Grammar School.  Students mostly seem to be not learning in traditional classroom setting with a teacher standing in front of a class, but moving, chatting, working in small groups or otherwise engaged. There are many collaborative open spaces being used so it has the feeling of freedom and creativity of a university or a public space.  The buildings at the  were a mix of modern glass buildings for middle school and more traditional older buildings for senior school.  Grounds and buildings were clean but not overly formal.

Leaders’ presentation ( Carey’s principal and heads of middle and senior school )

The principal Jonathan Walter’s presentation had a strong emphasis on developing individuality, wellbeing and character of students and students being supported throughout their time at Carey.  

He believes that wellbeing and learning go hand in hand and wellbeing must be looked after first and foremost.  One of the main goals that was emphasised is at Carey, they promote holistic education or a balanced approach, I presume meaning that academics is only one part of the education.  The aim of the education is to help students find out who they are and where their strengths lie rather than just focussing on achieving a high ATAR score.  He spoke about helping students to understand their learner profile and how universities are increasingly giving pre selection to students based on their learner profile rather than just looking at an ATAR score.

View full gallery here.

Michael the head of middle school also stated that “students need to feel safe to learn”.  He spoke about the wellbeing program and acknowledged that it’s a hard time to be a student with all the outward pressures of the world.  He says school can be a protective factor.  At Carey, he wants students to come to school every day and look at their time table and have something engaging and fun to look forward to.  He wanted to give the students a sense of agency and believes in co-creating their learning journey.  

Jonathan is a strong believer in co education because it’s closer to real world situations.  Carey has a 50:50 female / male split.   

Jonathan spoke about giving young people a sense of their place in the world and helping them be aware that they are part of a diverse world.  

He acknowledged the school is large with 2600 students, however they put a lot of work into ensuring that students feel like they belong with 500 staff who support them and the house system which he says are like families within the school.  

Sport at Carey Grammar School

Sport is compulsory at Carey.  They are part of the APS / AGSV which means they participate in interschool sports on the weekend and often train after or before school.  

There seems to be every sport on offer with a sport complex with an indoor pool and gym at Carey’s Bulleen campus. 

Arts / music at Carey Grammar School

The students spoke of the many and varied bands, orchestras and choir groups at the school.  Music is compulsory up to a point ?year 7 and then can be taken as an elective.  Students can also take private lessons at the school, but presumably it’s an extra fee.  

3 x 3 program at Carey Grammar School

The 3×3 program students spend time outside of the school grounds in the city, in the country and on other campuses.  This is Carey’s answer to MLC’s Marshmead, Lauriston’s Howqua and other private schools’ year 9 off campus boarding.  

Students still live with their families at Carey’s program, but have the opportunity to experience the city, rural settings and rural campuses.

This program plus others like the Robinson River program where students visit a remote Aboriginal community and the international exchange programs aim to give the students context – a sense of where they are in the world and how they fit into the world.  

Diversity / inclusivity at Carey Grammar School 

The student population at Carey seems to be diverse with students from different nationalities.  There are many signs around the school to promote gender and sexual diversity and two clubs to support them.  

I asked about neurodiversity, although the staff I asked weren’t 100% clear on processes they did say they are an open entry school with no requirements or interviews on entry.  They said generally the neurodiverse kids are supported by the wellbeing team.  

Religion at Carey Grammar School 

Carey is a Baptist school.  Although there is a small ( and cute ) chapel out the back of the campus and they have some religious education there.  The students assured me that they don’t get preached to and it’s more of an education about doing good in the world and for disadvantaged people and learning about different religions in the world.   

Student comments

The two year 11 girls that took us around were very well spoken and very confident.  They were also exceptionally enthusiastic about the school with very little negative things to say.  They seemed genuinely happy and engaged at Carey and appreciated the opportunities that were offered there.   

Interactions that I saw with teachers were casual and friendly – more like peer relationships.  They said that they didn’t have much to do with the new Principal and he had only started during lockdown.    

“ What I like most about Carey is the culture.  There is a warmth and everyone is really nice and inclusive.”

“ I came from another private girls school.  I really like Carey because it’s co-ed, I like how it’s near the city and close to public transport.  I think Carey is much more diverse and less academically focussed than my other school.” 

“ I can’t think of much I don’t like.  Maybe a couple of teachers I didn’t like, but mostly they’re really good.”

Last words

The tour at Carey was impressive.  The students were mature and outspoken and obviously enthusiastic about their school.  Whether it’s sport, art, music, subjects, VCE or IB, on campus or off campus experiences, Carey seems to offer myriad opportunities and encourages students to try everything while they are there.   There seems to be a huge array of camps, tours and experiences that are available for students to partake in. 

There is a distinct progressive feel about the school which makes it feel like university grounds and carries the feeling of potential and agency.  It seems like a good mix of independence and care that is offered.  There is the sense that there is a lot going on and a lot of opportunity to partake in anything that may interest you and school isn’t all about academic achievement. 

Do you have any experience, questions or comments about this school? Let our community know and add a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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