Whether it’s primary or senior schooling, your child is likely to attend the same school for many years to come, so selecting a school that meets your requirements now and into the future, isn’t an easy task.
Sometimes the decision is made before your child is born, and sometimes the decision is made purely out of necessity and catchment restrictions. Regardless, there’s a few common areas of interest that should assist in your decision making:
- Does the school have before/after school arrangements?
- Can your child walk or ride to school?
- Does the school provide a bus service or is there public transport available?
- Does the school offer a range of extra-curricular activities?
- Does the school cater for and provide further learning support?
- What is the overall online and community feedback of the school?
If your child is already participating in sports or the arts, it’s important to ensure the school caters to this area of interest. If your child is particularly talented, explore the possibility of scholarship opportunities and what year levels this is open to.
NAPLAN has received a lot of attention in recent years, but don’t base your academic expectations solely around the published results. Instead explore the academic curriculum at the school, and any extension or gifted programs the school may have on offer.
Not all schools provide a special education program so if your child has a disability or additional learning needs, be sure to explore further how the school can or does cater with additional support.
Most schools will host annual or multiple open days throughout the year, and these days are valuable sources of information and opportunities to meet staff and current students. Be sure to tour inside as many of the facilities as possible.
Aside from attending a school’s open day or structured interview, you can tell a lot about school community by visiting the school at drop-off and pick-up times. Don’t be afraid to approach a family and ask for their advice.