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It's hard to believe that I started this blog just after Miss Daisy was born... and next year she will start school! We're currently locked in a decision making tug of war as we try to decide between two schools. It was interesting to put our own considerations into words and share them here.
Don't choose a school for your child until you've looked into these 5 important considerations. Selecting a school for your child can be a complicated and stressful process. It's important to consider which school will best benefit your child's learning and development and build upon the foundations you've begun at home.
1. First and foremost you need to know what you want
This will usually come down to a combination of the needs of your child and your own expectations and belief systems. A simple exercise is to write a list of features which are important to you and your child. You then have a reference point to work from as you consider individual schools in your area. Your child's opinion may be of greater relevance as they get older and become more aware of their own interests and needs in relation to their education.
2. Consider potential schools for their location
No, I'm not talking about a school with beach views (although I did teach at a school who had a special ring of the bell when a whale was passing by and we would run out and whale watch at the front fence! Amazing!), I'm talking about considering the benefits of the school's location in relation to your home. Consider whether the school is close to your home or workplace. What mode of transport will your child have to use and for how long each day? Also remember that your child's friends will generally live in a nearby radius to that school so if you are willing to travel for schooling, are you also willing to travel for play dates and sporting commitments that may arise from their attendance at that particular school.
3. What's the school's reputation?
Consider what you know about the school via word of mouth - gather as many opinions from friends, neighbours or locals that you can. Also consider looking at the school's academic reputation which is available online or often shared on the school's website.
Sometimes the best way to know what a school is like is to go straight to those parents, students, teachers and community members who are involved directly with it. We're really impressed with our local school and have friends who are heavily involved and extremely happy. This definitely stands out in our minds as we consider school choices.
4. Shop around online
In this age of technology it is easy to do lots of school research on the internet. Most government and non government schools have a website and you are able to gain access to their school ethos, curriculum, staff, extracurricular activities, resources and so much more! This is an excellent way for you to research schools that match the criteria you've decided on above and start a list of the schools you'd like to visit or pursue further! School Places is a great place to start and find current vacancies at private schools in your area to suit the grade level you are looking for from Preschool to Grade 12.
5. Visit and observe schools
Once you've narrowed your list of potential schools it's important for you and your child to visit the schools and observe the teachers and students in action.
You'll get a general feel from the school from simple things like the office staff at the beginning of your visit and the school's appearance and general daily happenings.
Meet with the principal or your child's potential teacher(s) if you can. Take advantage of school open days or parent information sessions and find out about the parent/community involvement within the school.
All of these considerations above will hopefully make it easier for us to decide on a school for our children to attend. And perhaps it can help you too!
What was the biggest factor for you when choosing your child's school?
Or are you still deciding like we are!?
This post is part of a Nuffnang native advertising series.
SchoolPlaces.com.au helps take the pressure off families looking for a private school vacancy for their child. Search real-time vacancies and claim a last-minute place at one of Australia’s leading schools. Get on board and start saving today.