Our Tips For Choosing The Right School For Your Child
- Parents Only
By: Hayley Dean, ellaslist
Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. We have set out below some things you might want to think about when you’re evaluating a school for pre-kinder, half way through year 3 or perhaps high school:
- Give some thought to your child’s potential to succeed at different things and in different environments.
This will make it easier to know what you need to look for in a school. Think about your child’s personality, strengths, needs and interests. Ask your child about what they like and dislike about school and their own strengths and weaknesses.
- Don’t focus to much on standardised test scores
NAPLAN is the standardised testing regime in Australia. Good NAPLAN test scores can be an indication that a school is doing a good job of educating its students, but it can also be an indication that the school is teaching to the test. One thing you need to remember about NAPLAN is that it is made up of 5 tests, four of which are literacy tests. NAPLAN doesn’t test science (other than maths), music, arts, foreign languages, history or any other subjects in which your child might excel.
- Look beneath the label
“Public” or “private” doesn’t really tell you much, so don’t scratch a school off your list just because of how it’s governed. There are terrific and lousy schools in the public and private school sectors, so relying on labels alone is a big risk.
- Visit the school during the day
This is probably the most important thing you should do. When you find a school that you think looks like a good fit for your child, try and arrangement an appointment to visit the school during day time. The school visit is important – that’s where you get a sense of a school’s ethos. You want to try and get a picture of what the school is as it really is, rather than the polished ‘sell’ that is presented during open days and glossy brochures. Look carefully at what’s going on and note the atmosphere. What does the school feel like? How do students behave walking around the school, towards one another and their teachers? Do the children seem to be engaged and learning? What’s your gut instinct about the school?
- Look for a student-centred approach
The best schools are the schools that have a student-centred approach, not a parent-centred approach or a school-centred approach.
- Be diligent, but don’t go overboard
Sometimes too much information is a curse. Remember that no school is perfect. If you go looking for perfection you will end up disappointed and needlessly anxious about your child’s education.
How will you decide on the right school for your chiild? Share your tips below!