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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.

Best of luck with your search for the perfect school!

Name: Tintern Grammar School

Sector: Private

Gender: Co-educational

Religion: Anglican

Year 12 Fees: $33,216 (For 2024)

Location: 90 Alexandra Road,PO BX 26, Ringwood East 3135

Phone number(03) 9845 7777

Website: https://www.tintern.vic.edu.au/

Tour Details

Presentation slide show given by principal 

Tour was taken by a teacher and a group of students 

The Principal met the parents after the tour

Vibe at Tintern Grammar School

Tintern is set out in the leafy green area of Ringwood East, the backdrop of the education is acres of land and lush surroundings.  The vibe was generally quiet and calm, the students seemed similarly quiet and calm.  The campus is quite large with a lot of greenery and we didn’t see many classes in action on the day.  Grounds and building are clean, the classrooms we saw had surprisingly bare walls. 

Principal’s presentation at Tintern Grammar School 

Brad’s presentation focussed around the values of the school and how Tintern aspires to create people of character who are thinkers and problem solvers who are ethical and principled in their actions.  Rather than just focussing on academic results, the school aims to create educated citizens who are thoughtful and reflective of their actions and thinking.  

He spoke about how the world is rapidly changing and we can’t know what the world will look like when today’s preps graduate school, however, we can equip young people with a positive disposition to “create people who are future focused and ready for the 22nd century”.

He said “This won’t look like specific knowledge and skills, but more an open mindedness and curiosity to learn.”  He spoke about balanced risk taking and trying and failing.

View full gallery here.

Tintern’s focus is on care and how to demonstrate care in everything they do including decisions made by the teachers and students.  The school aims to foster emotional intelligence and self awareness.  He acknowledged that well being in young people has declined over the years he has been in education and Tintern is well aware of that and trying to address the situation for their students.  

He made an interesting description during a small group conversation that Tintern’s culture is a mix between “Melbourne High in the ?70s – purely focussed on academics and Preshil – where school doesn’t matter at all”.  I believe the point was that Tintern’s culture is a robust mix of academic excellence and knowing that there is more to life than study.  

Parallel learning at Tintern Grammar School

One of the big selling points of Tintern is parallel learning in middle school up to year 10.  All classes ( and sports activities ) are single sex run in parallel with each other.  Girls and boys socialise outside at lunch and with other activities.  

This method seems popular with the students.  A few of the girls commented that they really enjoyed being in a single sex class as they felt more confident speaking out.  “ I found is easier to concentrate compared to being in my co-ed school. ”

Brad took us through why parallel learning works despite it being “not economical” for the school as classes need to be duplicated.  

Reasons he mentioned included:

  • Adolescent boys and girls find it easier to talk about tricky and awkward topics with members of the same sex –  “sex, drugs and rock n roll” type topics 
  • Girls and boys learn differently from each other and need to be taught differently 
  • Girls and boys even have different body temperatures so their classrooms may be set to different temperatures to make them feel comfortable
  • Boys take up a lot more “space” in the room – meaning the time and attention of teachers.  Girls in a female only class tend to be louder and more inclined to “take up space” and speak up compared with in a class with boys.  

After middle school, co-education returns in year 11 and 12 where classes are mixed again.  

Tintern Grammar School wood farm

Given that the farm features heavily on the website, there was surprisingly not much emphasis or mention of the farm.  The principal didn’t mention it at all in his presentation – and disappointingly the tour group weren’t given the opportunity to tour the farm saying that there wasn’t enough time.  

Our tour teacher Wendy did speak about the farm saying they have a variety of animals and crops.  Students can take agricultural studies as an elective and have the opportunity to go and play and look after the animals at lunch times.  Young Farmers is a club that gives interested students opportunity to be involved with farm.  

Apparently many students choose to become vets from Tintern. 

Clubs at Tintern Grammar School

There seem to be a number of clubs around that students can join, although the students I asked weren’t 100% clear on them.  The ones mentioned:

  • Debating 
  • Young Farmers 
  • Maths club – for maths tutoring 
  • Students can start clubs by talking to their pastoral mentor.  

Sports at Tintern Grammar School

The school offers a wide variety of sports and seems to be well equipped with its own gym and even indoor rock climbing wall and indoor pool center.  There are no after school sports and no weekend sports.  All interschool sports take place during school hours.  

Diversity and inclusivity at Tintern Grammar School

“Students are accepted as they come, they don’t need to conform.” says the principal. 

When questioned about neurodiversity, the tour teacher said kids are screened to ensure the school can cater for their needs in terms of stretching their academics if they are advanced.  Socially she said that they were looked after by the pastoral care mentors but wasn’t specific about how or what that looked like.    

She didn’t seem to think that there were many neurodiverse kids at the school at all.  

There were a number of signs around the school in support of trans and LGBTQI interests.  

Student comments at Tintern Grammar School

Students were welcoming and polite although a little more subdued than I expected.  The students that took the tours were volunteers and mostly year 8 students, so perhaps a bit younger.  I didn’t really see them interact with any teachers around the school and they mostly deferred to the teacher to lead the group.  

They were however, confident to chip in and have their say when they had something to add.  

Reponses to some of the questions I had: 

“I like the school because I know everyone in my year group and everyone is nice.”

“ I like the wide variety of electives and I like the grounds the school is on because it’s really green.” 

“I don’t have much to do with the Principal, it’s mainly the student leaders.”

Last words 

Tintern seems to be a small school built on large lush grounds with a boutique offering of parallel learning. This is one of the major drawcards for parents of both boys and girls.  Their other major difference from most schools is Tinternwood Farm which surprisingly wasn’t emphasised on the tour.  

The principal’s approach is that care for students’ wellbeing is required for students to excel academically and emerge as thoughtful, educated citizens of the world.  The aim at Tintern is to create an environment where both confidence and excellence are nurtured.  In my opinion, this is exactly the kind of thinking I’d want in an education institution’s leadership and a great starting point as culture comes from the top.  

However, I do find it difficult to see evidence of how this thinking and these values are carried out in the everyday activities at Tintern.  It’s great to have such excellent values at the top but I do wonder how much is translated into everyday life as a student. 

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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