DD is a few years off school but we know we will have to move before she starts school so I've been looking (see my real-estate obsessive thread). When I see a house I look at what schools are around and then check their naplan scores and then the school general ranking. We havent decided if we'll go public or private, we just want a good school!
So Im wondering how others select a school, and what to look out for.
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20-03-2013 09:29 #1
How do you choose a school?
20-03-2013 09:42 #2
We looked at naplan and school ranking (However, I don't think that these are true indicators of the quality of a school). I also asked around. A friend had previously worked at the school we ended up sending DD to and she said it was an amazing school. It is public. We handed in an application yesterday for a private school where DD will hopefully Be accepted for next year where she will do kindy again as she didnt make the age cut off for this year and they don't offer prep. its naplan and school ranking are excellent and It is a K-12 school.
We have decided to go private because I don't like any of the high schools in our area. From year 2-12 it is an all girls school.
20-03-2013 09:45 #3
Be careful using NAPLAN results and rankings as a sure indicator, in private schools especially, these can be skewed.
I chose a school that's in line with our parenting style, is child centred, aims for well rounded children, rather than amazing results, has a great culture and a beautiful, flexible learning environment.
It was also important for us to have our kids in a school that has a community of open minded and accepting people, as kids in our family have been bullied for their ethnicity since moving to Australia (by teachers and students), so I'm eager to avoid this.
I don't know if you're hunting that far south, but Coomera Springs is one of the top schools in the state and is excellent.
20-03-2013 09:54 #4
Read the school's annual school report. NSW public schools have this published on the school's website. This will give an indication on number of students, how many children in each class (class size is important IMO), number of teachers and what they teach (eg. reading recovery, other support teachers, etc.) what programs they offer, extra-curricular activities they do, and a lot of other good information.
Do a tour of the school, meet with principal, look at playground etc.
Asking parents whose children already go to that school.
I would not base any decision whatsoever on myschool. Schools are compared with other "like" schools, but this is a bit of a joke. The school I work at is in a very disadvantaged suburb of western Sydney. You'd think the school up the road would be similar (I know it has similar size, clientele etc.) but do you think our school is compared to any in the same area? No, our similar schools are inner city schools or isolated coastal schools. Stupid!
20-03-2013 10:02 #5
20-03-2013 10:25 #6
It IS a nice area, but it's still Upper Coomera, so has a lot of rentals and being in the bracket of where people have money for lots of toys, but no security system, it's also got quite high crime rates (but I imagine better than suburbs north of there). Don't get anything that backs onto a road, as those were always being broken into because of the easy escape options. We also had noisy neighbours, some who partied all night and the other side had a yappy dog who was always left home alone. In saying all that, my DHs aunty still lives there and she's got no complaints, so luck of neighbours maybe?
The school is fantastic though. It was built while we lived there and is state of the art, it also has a C&K being built next to the school (by the lake). We were foster carers and the CSOs would be so excited when they realised we were zoned for Coomera Springs, it's VERY popular, people falsify their addresses etc... to get their kids in.
We would receive homework, newsletters, notes about behaviour via email, so I could be at work and would know before pick up that my kid had a bad day, which was awesome and a very discrete way of dealing with it. They use a lot of technology from my experiences.
The zoned area is slightly more 'upper class' (haha) than the rest of the suburb, so your kids are in good company. I have a friend who drives her kids there from Pacific Pines every day (they moved, but didn't want to leave the school).
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