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  1. #1
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    Default What reasons do you use/need to pick a school for your kids? Is naplan even a choice?

    I don't want to derail the other thread but I wanted to see who actually uses naplan to pick a school.

    I don't even look at myschool or naplan. Here in Canberra we are somewhat restricted by zoning but we picked our school because
    1) catholic education
    2) well equipped school with good facilities and lovely principal
    3) wonderful feel to the school- real community atmosphere.
    4) attached to our parish
    5) defence service transition aide present and good at their job.
    6)reasonably sized of 400 kids (preschool-6)
    7) zoning

  2. #2
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    Subbing... I'm thinking of changing my girls' school.. I was just looking at the myschool website..

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    We were moving before our kid's started school so had the choice of hand picking, and then movimg in zone. Our considerations were:
    The zoned area - who would our kids be wanting to play with in the afternoon (sounds so snobby, but there are a couple of particular areas we wanted to avoid due to the fact that it's just not safe to be in the area the kids would be coming from).
    - School's philosophy. What was their focus? We wanted a well rounded school that would allow our kids to grow and be comfortable with who they are as a person. We avoided the school's that primarily focused on academic achievements. There is so much more to school than that for us.
    The community.
    School size.
    Homework expectations.
    Teaching styles (our school is all composites as the kids learn in stages, not years).
    Our gut feeling. We had a couple of schools to choose from in the end. We ended up going with the school that just felt the most right to us.
    ETA - it's been years since we looked so forgot these things...class size (although quickly learnt that public school classrooms are capped so no real issue there), and we liked schools that had alternatives to scripture (ethics was only just been discussed when my kids started school, and we are a non-scripture family). We considered school grounds (avoiding one that had no grass at all for example, nearly all schools here have vegie gardens so that wasn't high on our list as it was pretty standard)
    NAPLAN was not a consideration. We met with the principals of the schools we considered, everything we needed to know we got from actually going to the school. I didn't even look at the myschool website. NAPLAN tells you absolutely nothing as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited by Full House; 17-09-2016 at 08:05.

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    I can't say that I have specific criteria that a school needs to meet but reasons why I chose our primary were:
    - proximity
    - Catholic
    - size (-100 kids, coming from a 600+ primary; classes under 20 kids per teacher + aides and complementary staff)
    - programs (DD is gifted)
    - feel (they have a lot of learning through discovery/play for P/1; a veggie garden the kids plant, pick and cook; a country feel in the suburbs)
    - opportunities (small school and community ties = whole school excursions to several cultural experiences inc. plays and performing arts, sporting events and leisure eg. Snow).
    - community (small school = many school events creating a real sense on community; many shared meals; many languages and cultures incorporated in learning across all year levels.

    We have a high level of international kids and the myschool isn't great. But it has been perfect for my 3 kids, and certainly didn't affect my eldest's (who is now in secondary) learning.

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    Default What reasons do you use/need to pick a school for your kids? Is naplan even a...

    I think all the points you listed are great considerations (although maybe be parish aspect wouldn't be a high focus for me due to not being religious).

    I would still look at Naplan just to make sure there were no possible skeletons in the closet of the school that I didn't know about (below average Naplan *could* be a sign the school is facing challenges which spending on the nature of those challenges *could* mean it wasn't the best fit for my kids).

    I would also factor in diversity (as I woukd like my kids to be exposed to different religions and ethnicity) and closeness to home and work.

    I wouldn't rule a school in our out based on Naplan alone. I could envisage scenarios where I may pick one school over another even though it had below average Naplan results (care, community and social empathy of teachers is a huge thing for me). I could also envisage scenarios where I ran a mile.

    So for me - it's looking at combination of all possible factors, and then making a decision.

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    HLE  (17-09-2016)

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    Default What reasons do you use/need to pick a school for your kids? Is naplan even a...

    Catholic
    Sense of community
    Co-curricular / extra cirricular activities
    Assistance for special needs kids
    Anti bullying policy that actually gets put into practice
    Kids that look happy and engaged in their classrooms

    Size was never an issue until we realised how nice it was to attend a small single ****** school, and how moving to a double ****** school lost that personal feel. Of course that very much depends on the individual school.
    Last edited by misho; 17-09-2016 at 07:55.

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    Rose&Aurelia&Hannah  (17-09-2016)

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    Default What reasons do you use/need to pick a school for your kids? Is naplan even a...

    1) size of classes /school
    2) subjects offered - music, language and sport were important to us - we wanted an IB school
    3) what high school is attached /zoned and what it offered
    4) curriculum ( we preferred an IB school)
    5) principal and teachers
    6) school facilities
    7) reputation ( reviews from people I know who currently have kids there)
    8) we preferred multicultural areas, not suburban
    9) communication - how do parents and teachers communicate
    10) bullying, social media policy
    11) transport , after school care, canteen , pick up -drop off facilities ( yes I looked at everything!!!)

    NAPLAN and location of the school did not even cross my mind , it's only since reading posts on here about it that I looked it up out of curiosity

    I forgot to mention the kids, in all the school tours I've done ( with DS and my nieces) it's great if you can speak with the kids and ask them questions about their school , one Montessori school that we went to looked great on paper and the teachers seemed lovely but the kids were all like zombies and just didn't look happy and seemed nervous to answer our questions whereas DS school and the school my nieces go too the kids were fantastic , really engaging and all seemed to just love their schools ( and not rehearsed answers as I asked tons of questions!!)
    Last edited by Elijahs Mum; 17-09-2016 at 15:02.

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    * Small class sizes
    * Public - I'm atheist and not a fan of the private system for many reasons. No judgment to those to do utilise it.
    * G&T program
    * Multi culturalism encouraged and integrated into lessons.
    * Approachable teachers
    * Strong stance on bullying

    I don't care about naplans. As I explained in the other thread, there are lots of reasons for poor scores which don't equate to being a bad school or being bad for higher performing kids. Frankly I don't like standardised testing in this format at all....

  11. #9
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    Subbing. We have 3 choices for DD. All well performing but 3 very different schools:

    - private school, p-12. High fees. Excellent facilities and extra curricular activities 15 mins from home

    - small catholic school, around the corner, small campus, good community feel

    - well performing public school, 20 min drive from home

    We are torn between finances, opportunities & facilities. The private school with high fees has an excellent reputation and we loved it, but we also had a good feel from the other schools. Too much choice can be a bad thing I'm realising!

    We did look at naplan, private school is in the top 7.5%, public school 12.5% and Catholic school 15%.

  12. #10
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    Default What reasons do you use/need to pick a school for your kids? Is naplan even a...

    NAPLAN was only a consideration in that I did not want DS2 being required to participate!

    So for us considerations we're:

    Play based preschool/kindergarten (1st year of school here in ACT)

    Delayed introduction of formal schooling (7/8 years onwards no earlier)

    Holistic approach to child

    Extensive opportunities for outdoor play and activities - so school vegetable gardens and animals, nature walks, free unstructured play.

    Technology free in primary years.

    Limited or no religion (more DH than I)

    No standardised testing or optional

    Encouragement of independent and critical thinking and learning from primary.

    No homework in primary.

    Strong bullying policy. Strong social media policy.

    No particular order although no formal schooling until 7/8 was non negotiable and probably the number 1 priority. Followed by no tech in primary.

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