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  1. #1
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    Default Starting big school next year

    Our DS1 (4yrs old, will be 5 in October) is going to big school next year and we don't really know what the protocol is for researching, contacting, visiting schools or what to consider.

    What are some of the most important considerations when deciding on a school?

    I should mention that he will be going to public school.

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    rainbow road is offline look at the stars, look how they shine for you
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    Quote Originally Posted by witherwings View Post
    Our DS1 (4yrs old, will be 5 in October) is going to big school next year and we don't really know what the protocol is for researching, contacting, visiting schools or what to consider.

    What are some of the most important considerations when deciding on a school?

    I should mention that he will be going to public school.
    If he's going to a public school you probably won't have a choice - he will likely have to go to the one your house is zoned for.

    If you want to apply to an out of area school you'll need to start calling now and getting on waiting lists. A lot of schools don't accept out of areas at all anymore though.

    Otherwise you can get in contact with your local and enrol now. Even if you don't, they have to accept him if he's in the area, but most schools do kindy orientation in October or so and it is nice to be enrolled and go and meet future classmates.

    In your area there aren't really bad schools so wherever your zoned for will probably be excellent.

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    witherwings  (23-02-2016)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow road View Post
    If he's going to a public school you probably won't have a choice - he will likely have to go to the one your house is zoned for.

    If you want to apply to an out of area school you'll need to start calling now and getting on waiting lists. A lot of schools don't accept out of areas at all anymore though.

    Otherwise you can get in contact with your local and enrol now. Even if you don't, they have to accept him if he's in the area, but most schools do kindy orientation in October or so and it is nice to be enrolled and go and meet future classmates.

    In your area there aren't really bad schools so wherever your zoned for will probably be excellent.
    Thanks for the feedback Hun we know about the catchment issues but we can still get on a waiting list and our preschool director will give him a reference if he needs one based on his friends all going to a particular school etc.

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    Default Starting big school next year

    Most public primary schools in metro areas are at capacity and take catchment only students so mostly likely if you are looking at public then they will go to the one you are zoned for. Otherwise if you much prefer a different school email them about the likelihood of taking out of area next year is and ask what the protocol is for coming to see the school and speak to someone. My DS's school only takes in area so doesn't offer any tours or info nights etc

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    witherwings  (23-02-2016)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bel2466 View Post
    Most public primary schools in metro areas are at capacity and take catchment only students so mostly likely if you are looking at public then they will go to the one you are zoned for. Otherwise if you much prefer a different school email them about the likelihood of taking out of area next year is and ask what the protocol is for coming to see the school and speak to someone. My DS's school only takes in area so doesn't offer any tours or info nights etc
    Thank you for the advice

    So basically we have one school in our catchment area but it is only a few blocks away from another school which we are just out of the area for. There is a further school which we thought we were actually in the catchment for, but turns out we are one street away from being in the catchment! That particular one is the one that my nephew will be attending so if it turns out to be somewhat better for our Boys' needs, we might have a case for being on the list.. As for the other one out of our area, most of my son's preschool friends will be going there, as well as most of the boys in his soccer club that we have just enrolled him in.. Not sure if the soccer will weigh heavily there .. That will depend on his ability and level of interest.. But it's something to consider..

    In my area there are a handful of very popular private schools and it's a pretty affluent area, so I have a feeling that the 3 schools we are looking at are not at full capacity.

    Lastly, we are going to rebuild our house in the next 12-24 months and will have to rent something in the meantime so we could just rent a place in the catchment we want, but this would be an extreme measure..

    So let's assume that we have a choice of 3 schools, forgetting the catchment issues...

    What things should I care about when "rating" the schools?

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    Hi there, i wouldn't go on a feeling. If you want to go out of catchment ring that school asap to see what is involved in getting on a wait list. Eg: can you hand in references etc. In my area, being on the other side of the street means you can't get in
    ..all the best

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    Pd: academic ratings were definitely something i looked at. Plus the breakdown into subjects. Also i considered activities the school offered. Eg: band program, drama, dance, which pssa sports were offered.

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    I'd consider things like:
    -What programs/support if kids need extra assistance?
    -What are the average class sizes ?
    -total size of school
    - main extra curricula activities offered
    - do they have composite classes
    - OC classes for those needing to be extended
    - before and after school care options

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    witherwings  (23-02-2016)

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    I realise its different for every area, but your description of where you live could also describe my suburb (affluent, high number of children in exclusive private schools etc.). Despite this the local public primary is very strict on intake. They knocked a friend back because she was two houses out of the catchment zone, even having an older sibling at the school doesn't secure you a place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by littleriv View Post
    Hi there, i wouldn't go on a feeling. If you want to go out of catchment ring that school asap to see what is involved in getting on a wait list. Eg: can you hand in references etc. In my area, being on the other side of the street means you can't get in
    ..all the best
    Yes we are going to call one of the schools tomorrow and see whether they have space and whether we can get on a waiting list. From what our preschool director has told us, it seems like for this particular school, it is possible to get in with a reference from the preschool.. As I said, if it came down to it, we could always move to that suburb, since we have to in any case in the near future.

    But while I really appreciate all the cautionary advice about catchment issues, what i really want to know is what sets schools apart? For example if we were choosing between private schools, what would be factors to consider? Eg naplan results? Are they even worth looking at?


 

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