A Guide To Primary Schools In South Melbourne

Primary school

Finding the right primary school for the little people in your life can be a nerve-wracking experience. Do they have good facilities, are their NAPLAN scores up to scratch? There are so many things to consider when picking a place of education for the start of your child’s schooling career.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite south Melbourne schools with their ICSEA scores to help you out. 

What is ICSEA?

ICSEA is the “Index of Community Socio-educational Advantage”. 

The Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority collects students’ family background data and their NAPLAN results and comes up with an ICSEA school ranking. 

Rankings have a median of 1000, with ICSEA school ranking trends showing a score of around 500 belonging to the extremely educationally disadvantaged, and a score of around 1300 belonging to the more advantaged. 

Albert Park Primary School

(Bridport St, Albert Park VIC 3206 – Image from school website)

  • Government, coeducational school 
  • No advised student capacity limits, but their current enrollments sit at approximately 600 students.
  • The uniform is compulsory and enforced
  • ICSEA ranking 1156

Albert Park Primary School in Melbourne, was founded in early 1873, under its original name “Mechanics’ Institute School No. 1181”, this is displayed on their primary school building to pay homage to the school’s history. 

Opening their classrooms to children and staff of all genders, ethnicities and backgrounds, Albert Park Primary School boasts a diverse socioeconomic school culture. 

The primary school has increased enrollments by 200% since 2001, so it follows zoning to control its registrations. If you register your child and reside outside the set zone, you may still get accepted, however, it depends mainly on facility limitations. 

Albert Park Primary School focuses strongly on all the main areas of the Victorian Curriculum – Literacy, numeracy, physical education, technology, science and the arts, however, they also offer a range of clubs for students to partake in such as Lego, Dancing, Drawing and Mindfulness that can provide children with a sense of belonging and purpose outside of their regular curriculum program. 

Out of all the reviews, only a small handful are negative; with remarks such as “…lack of correspondence…” and “…lack of interest when asking for help…” being mentioned. 

However, these negative reviews are few and far between with many more parents boasting nothing but positivity for their local primary school, with some going so far as to say “..Beats all the schools of the area with high praise and quality. Albert park is perfect for all.” and “A warm, welcoming environment that cares about students’ wellbeing.”

 With glowing positivity like that, why wouldn’t you check it out? 

Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School

(301-319 Bank St, South Melbourne VIC 3205 – Image from school website)

  • Catholic, non-government, coeducational school
  • Smaller school community with under 350 students, and around 20 staff members
  • The Uniform is compulsory and enforced
  • Non-Catholic families will be considered for placements upon interviewing. 
  • ICSEA ranking 1168

Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School is the only catholic school in the area and was the first registered catholic primary school in regional Victoria

Opening in 1994, Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School provides a Catholic-focused education for prep to grade 6 students. With programs such as school camps, incursions and excursions, students are invited to partake in a range of social activities to encourage teamwork and resilience. 

They also hold masses for students and families to help them connect their faith and education in a communal and welcoming environment. 

Galilee Regional Catholic Primary School has a range of reviews online from the extreme negatives of a student being told “Do not tell your parents that I am saying you’re going to hell, but the bible says if you don’t believe Jesus is your saviour you will not go to heaven” to the more prominent and glowing reviews focussing on the “Great Community” the school provides for students, and even from past students themselves saying how great the school is. 

It’s a great Catholic school in Melbourne, with a real sense of community and faith. 

South Melbourne Park Primary School

(29A Albert Rd Dr, Albert Park VIC 3206 – image from school website)

  • Government, Coeducational prep-6 school
  • 550 student capacity
  • The uniform is compulsory and enforced
  • This school was opened after the last ICSEA rankings and hasn’t been assessed as yet

Opened in 2019, South Melbourne Park Primary School is all about “inspiring curious minds”.

Although the buildings are formed around the heritage-listed structures of Albert Park Signal Depot and the adjoining Drill Hall, South Melbourne Park Primary School has worked with the heritage team and incorporated newly built additions to the already existing structures and has provided students with the best of modern facilities to support their learning and the expansion of their curious minds. 

South Melbourne Park Primary School is also environmentally conscious and has added rainwater tanks to their yards and the buildings utilise natural ventilation wherever possible to reduce their carbon footprint.

Being such a new school, there aren’t many reviews online, however, the few that are accessible are nothing but positive. The primary school has been described as a “state of the art facility” with “fabulous teachers” by one parent, with another stating “it’s a very modern School with impressive facilities” that has an “excellent team of teachers and staff lead by an amazing principal”. 

Sounds like the ideal place to play and learn. 

South Melbourne Primary School

(129 Ferrars St, Southbank VIC 3006 – Image taken from Google)

  • Government, coeducational school
  • The capacity of around 525 students
  • The uniform is compulsory and enforced.
  • This school was opened after the last ICSEA rankings and hasn’t been assessed as yet

Operating since 2018, this modernly designed, state-of-the-art school is the first vertical government school in Victoria. It has even won awards in Berlin for its architecture. 

Not to be confused with the above, South Melbourne Primary School is a P-6 facility that focuses on providing an educational setting where students partake in a school culture that is gracious, empathetic and cares for the environment. 

Alongside classes on the Victorian Curriculum being followed, the school also has an out-of-school-hours care that runs a holiday program. This allows students to socialise and experience new things through their holidays rather than being stuck at home. 

 With a few reviews stating that the “school is racist” and that their children are coming home saying they’ve been “bullied and wish [they] weren’t Chinese”, whilst these negative reviews cannot be ignored, the number of positive reviews far outweigh the negative. 

Some parents are saying that the principal is “raising the bar for what great public education should be” and rebutting the negative with comments such as the school having “caring teachers with diverse and inclusive community spirit” and one parent referencing herself as being a “teacher in another school and I’m greatly impressed!!” 

You know a school has fantastic potential when even teachers from other schools can’t help but boast about it. 

Port Phillip Specialist School

(Pool St &, Nott St, Port Melbourne VIC 3207 – Image from school’s foundation website)

  • Government-funded, coeducational 
  • Early years education through to senior years (2.8 years-18 years)
  • A specialist school for students with mild to severe intellectual and physical disabilities
  • This school doesn’t require an ICSEA ranking due to its specialist nature

Port Phillip Specialist School was opened in 1997 and provides education and learning opportunities to a diverse community.

This primary school in Melbourne provides alternative classes alongside the Individual Education Program coordinated by a team of professionals to support the emotional, social and educational needs of students. Alternative classes include but aren’t limited to independent living skills and gardening skills and they even have a pool onsite for hydrotherapy. 

The playgrounds in the schoolyard are designed by occupational therapists and physiotherapists in order to make a safe and appropriately challenging area for students to develop their social, physical and coordination skills.

Parents have taken to the internet to share their experiences, stating that the school has “wonderful staff and facilities” and that the school “always puts the needs of children first”. With such a caring and kind community, there’s not even a negative review in sight. 

If your child needs extra care, Port Phillip Specialist School may be worth looking into.

Whether you send your child to a private school, public school or a catholic school, they all have to follow the same Victorian curriculum and will get an excellent education wherever they go.

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