Choosing a school for your child can be a very daunting task for a parent or carer. Not only does it take a bit of time for a parent to come to terms with the fact that their little baby is nearly ready for school, but then comes the task of working out which school you will send them to. For many parents the choices can be overwhelming.
Do you want them to go to the local government school? Are there greater benefits sending them to a private school? Is religion a factor? Would you prefer a big or small school? Co-educational or single-sex? There are so many questions that may pop up during your journey to finding the right school.
Most schools will start holding school tours from the commencement of Term Two and it is a great idea to try and visit schools during this time because you can gain so much more information about a school in person, than you can by just looking at a website, or chatting with parents from the school. Below we have listed a few things for you to consider when choosing the best school for your child and some things to think about when going on school tours.
We have created a 4 step guide for you to follow to help make this decision that little bit easier.
Grab the whole ‘Choosing a School for Your Child‘ guide today.
Step 1: What is best for your child, and your own personal values, preferences and practical considerations?
One of the first things we always tell parents is to think about the individual needs of their child first. You want the school to be a good fit for your child.
Next, we ask parents to consider what they feel is important when choosing a school. We all have our own beliefs and values about education and also about what we want for our kids, so it is important to consider that when making your choice.
Step 2: School specific factors
If you are like us and have multiple schools around you to choose from then you will want to look at the specific factors of each school and make up a bit of a pros and cons list. This is one reason why school tours are really important because you can get a lot of information and a good feel for a school from checking them out in person. That’s not to say that checking out a school’s website and also chatting to people in your area about the local schools, isn’t also just as valuable.
Step 3: Questions to ask, and things to take notice of, when on school tours
Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are on a school tour. Principals and teachers are eager for you to find out all that you can about their school, rather than you make an incorrect choice and then what that may mean later down the track. We have put together a list of important things for you to ask when on school tours, as well as some things to just take note of as you are moving around a school. Many of the things that we discussed above can be found out by looking on a school’s website, or even by word of mouth. However, the things below are more of those ‘not so obvious’ things that you will want to know more about.
- What distinguishes your school from others?
- What does a day at school look like?
- How are behaviour problems dealt with?
- How much homework do students get in each year level?
- Do they offer a Transition Program for Prep students and what does this entail?
Step 4: What next?
Most schools have already begun accepting enrolments for next year, so now is the perfect time to start (or continue) researching and booking in school tours. If you cannot find any information about school tours on their website, make sure you ring the school and ask what they offer.
It is also important to find out what the enrolment process is for each school, as some schools will vary. Make sure you find out when enrolment forms are due in by, so you can ensure that your child doesn’t miss out on a spot.
Lastly, if you are confused about where to send your child, speak with your child’s kindergarten teacher, as they will often have a wealth of knowledge about the schools in the area.
Congratulations on all the research and planning you’ve done to reach this point. It can be very emotional and overwhelming. Your child will benefit greatly from your active care and involvement with his or her education. By collecting information, talking to parents and visiting schools you can now take the lead in making sure your child gets the best possible start to their education.
Download the complete guide here – it has many more factors to consider and provides more detail than what is written above.
We hope this has been helpful for you and make the decision that little bit easier.
P.S – if your child is starting school next year (2021), then be sure to download our other FREE parent guide ‘Is my child ready for school’.