We recently had to make this choice, and NAPLAN was not even a consideration for us, although I did look at the results out of curiosity and all 4 schools we were considering had almost identical results (all very high performing). If anything, high naplan results make me nervous about the expectations that the school might force onto my children. But all the principals we spoke to were adamant that NAPLAN was not something they focused or cared so much about.
We were selling our house and buying another in the area and it just so happened that in a very small geographic location there were 4 different school catchments (we only considered public).
Met with all the principals and looked around the school grounds and met the children and the first and foremost thing that swayed us was the "feel" of the place. DH and I had the exact same feelings about each school.
The next most important thing for us was the teaching philosophy/pedagogy. We were interested in a more learner-centred teaching style and there was one school in particular that had a huge focus on delivering the curriculum in a modern/non traditional way (for example, Yr6 classes were combined into one room with 3 full time teachers and the children did all the learning in various groups based on their interests - kind of Montessori style).
Then we looked at what sort of areas they focused on, in terms of sport, music, art.. One of the schools had a strong focus on swimming and had their own swimming pools. Another school had a renowned band and another school focused strongly on sport in general, particularly athletics and team sports.
School size was something we thought a lot about but couldn't work out what would actually be best for our kids. One of the schools had 300 students and 2 of the others had over 600 students.
All the schools had about 1/3 of students from non-English speaking backgrounds. This wasn't really something we took into consideration.. Our kids are used to socialising with people of different cultures. We ourselves are not Anglo-Saxon and speak different languages at home sometimes.
I found the schools all had the same sort of bullying and homework policies. They all had similar after-school care and other facilities..
One of the schools was very institutional looking and had two campuses divided by a road, it was a bit weird and put me off.
One of the schools had a beautiful bush setting, lots of trees, lots of open spaces for kids, lots of play equipment, and this was the school we ended up going for, although it was very closely followed by our preference for the smaller school because of their teaching style.
Both our top picks had a very strong focus on professional development of the teaching staff, and they both had young, energetic principals, who seemed to get along really well with the teachers.