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Chat to other parent's about Stages of Development; Eating; Sleeping; Temper Tantrums;

9 posts Page 1 of 1

Postby missm03 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:50 pm

I think I am beginning to sound like I have no idea what I am doing as a mummy!! :oops: But I have another question....

Little man number one starts prep in 2014 (although going off the website I was looking at, to me he should be starting next year according to his birth day so I am confused again :spin: )

As I grew up on the Goldie I have no idea about schools around here (Brissy...more Logan though) and FH is quite keen on sending them to a private school ( :$$$: )

Anyway I was just wandering if anyone has any advice on choosing a school for him? What did you look for in the schools you chose?


Proud to be Rebecca08's Belly Buddy
Postby Mrs.S » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:13 pm

Can't help much (Sorry!) but, thank you for posting the question. Is something I think of regularly (even though the twins are only just 1).
Oh, how do you figure out which year they start Prep?
:angelic-grayflying: Our little scorpio angel ~ 25/10/2013 (5 weeks)

"Can you hear the silence? Can you see the dark? Can you fix the broken? Can you feel my heart?" - Bring Me the Horizon
Postby missm03 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:29 pm

I used this site but if you are not in QLD not sure if it will be right...

Proud to be Rebecca08's Belly Buddy
Postby sweetime » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:32 pm

I fully realise that I live in a different state, but we're going through the same dilemma of choosing a school for future step-son (and moving future step-daughter), so here's what I was looking for in a school:

1. Play based learning in prep. It helps make the transition from kindergarten (where it's semi-structured) to having to do things like sit down on the mat and listen to someone talk a lot easier. Preferably somewhere that has been doing play based learning for a fair while, not just somewhere that's only just implementing it (and thus still trying to work out how to make it work).

2. Transition programs. Both from kinder to school and from each grade to the next. Ie, towards the end of prep you start moving towards the kind of learning (not necessarily the work, just the way you do the work) in grade one. And so on.

3. No composite classes. There's a lot of arguments that suggest that composite classes can be beneficial to children that are struggling if they're in the higher class (ie, a struggling grade 1in a prep/1 composite) and *possibly* for a bright/interested lower class (ie, a bright prep in a prep/1 composite), but I think it makes teaching harder when you have to be splitting the way that you teach (for instance, if you're doing maths and a grade 1 kid asks a question about what you're doing, you can't stop the whole class and explain it, because the whole class isn't learning the same thing).

4. Ability for children to switch between classes. So, even though I'm not a fan of composite classes, I do like schools that say: "you're a bright kid, we're now doing grade 1 maths, but you're already all over it, go do maths with the grade 2s for an hour". Or "you're having trouble with grade 1 reading, go hang with the preps for an hour while they practice their reading." This is similar to having acceleration programs, of which I'm also in favour.

5. Intervention for issues such as low level literacy and numeracy to a high grade level (ie, intervention as high as grade 3 or 4). Where someone realises that a child is having problems and works with them one on one (or in small groups with other similarly placed children) to help address the problem.

6. Extra curricular activities - cooking, music, plays, concerts, languages etc etc. You get the idea. This includes things like inter/intra school sport competitions, etc.

7. Student led learning. And real student led learning, not just "here, your child is going to present how they're doing at school at a parent/teacher interview." I'm talking children setting their own work and monitoring their own progress (with assistance from the teachers) kind of stuff here.

8. The kinds of high schools they feed into. If the primary school is feeding into a low achieving high school, they're less likely to aim high for their kids. (Or so I assume. I may well be wrong).

I'm sure there are others but I can't recall any. Bear in mind that a) I'm not really as nazi-like as I seem and b) what I think is important isn't necessarily what you think is important. For me, high level education is super important, and so I want schools that encourage and focus on that. You may be interested in social skills, or musical abilities or ... umm sports? I can't think of anything else. But you get the idea.
Postby kylo » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:25 pm

Firstly, I'm so impressed with the advice already given .. thanks ladies!
Secondly, we're not even considering private school for our boys till at least high school so my POV is only re public schools
We did a lot of asking around in mums groups, playgrounds, playdates, googling, forums .. anywhere where there was someone with an opinion on the local public schools as there are lots in our area
It just so happens that our closest local school (the one we fall into the district of) has an excellent reputation and a choice of main or Steiner streams (we'll be going mainstream) .. so our choice was actually really easy in the end and we've enrolled both boys (who are only 3 and 4.5) in the local public kindy/junior primary/primary school
We'll think about high school a bit later when we know a bit more about the public system and can make a decision about finances
What we like about the school (now that we've been in it as far as the kindy goes since the start of this year) is:
- transition visits from kindy to reception
- a system where every younger child gets matched up with an older 'buddy' from just before they leave kindy until the end of their reception year
- the division of the school yard so that there are 3 separate play areas to keep the younger kids, the middle kids and the big kids mixing with their own 'size' from reception to Yr 7
- 'learning journals' developed for each child from their first week at kindy which shows what they've been up to and what new skill/fact they've learnt from being involved in a particular activity

I don't know if any of that helps but that's our experience and criteria so far .. we've been really impressed with the kindy/school this year and really hope that continues as DS1 moves into reception next year, and DS2 starts kindy the year after (he has to wait till he's 4.5 as his birthday is right in the middle of the year)
** Together since 2002, sons born November 2007 and July 2009, finally married 2012 after 10 years **
Postby mrskc » Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:36 am

Just wanted to bump this post for others to post their opinions/advice.

We are currently talking about school for DD even though she's only 1 as our first choice has had some really bad reviews in regards to girl children going there (have never heard anything bad from parents with boys for some strange reason). Our only other choices are to send her to a Catholic school or send her to a small school out of town, and we can't agree on which one would be better. Financially and socially the small school would be better but the Catholic school has a good primary education program and goes up to Year 12 so she wouldn't have to switch schools at the start of Year 8.

Proud to be BlushinB's belly buddy Due July 2012 - It's a boy! Welcome Noah Ethan!

Super excited to be Arashell129's belly buddy Due January 2013 - It's a boy! Welcome Wyatt Christopher!
Postby Arashell129 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:53 am

As a primary school teacher I saw this post and thought I'd give you some insights. There is a website that can give you a lot of information on your local state schools its called:

Within this website you can access all manner of information about the population of the schools you're looking at, the ratio of boy/girl/indigenous/non indigenous, you can see the schools Naplan data (which is a national test students undertake in years 3,5 and 7) testing their reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation and numeracy, you can compare schools and even gain a fair idea of the amount of $ a school has.

I would also suggest you set up to go into the schools you are interested in and ask to be shown around, I would do this around midday, 1pm as that is usually not long before 2nd lunch break and the students do tend to be a little less settled so you can see how prospective teachers deal with that type of situation. If you live close by ask when the whole school parade/assembly is on and go check out how the cohort is as a whole during these types of events.

In terms of curriculum, QLD has begun using the new Australian curriculum this year. So Prep is no longer a play based year of learning, which is actually a good thing as no other state has the first year of school setup that way and IMHO was detrimental to our students once they began 'school' in yr 1. At the school I am at we have a timetabled explicit reading lesson 4 days a week starting from prep all the way through and we've seen huge, HUGE! gains in student reading levels because of this. Maybe ask if the school is following any particular types of educational philosophy?! Up here in FNQ a lot of our schools and the way we deliver the curriculum is based around John Flemmings work, you could most certainly google it if you would like to check out more information. Basically its about teaching explicitly all day, everyday, so if you're not teaching whole group, you're teaching small group, and if you're not teaching small group you're teaching individual. It is more complicated than that but thats the general gist... If you wanted to check out the curriculum to see what your children would be learning a couple of great websites are:

Queensland Studies Authority


Hope this helps!! If you have any questions you are more than welcome to PM me!



Belly Buddy- The awesome mrskc :)
Postby sweetime » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:47 pm

Arashell129 wrote: So Prep is no longer a play based year of learning, which is actually a good thing as no other state has the first year of school setup that way and IMHO was detrimental to our students once they began 'school' in yr 1.

This isn't strictly true.
In Victoria a lot of schools are moving towards having prep as a play based learning year (we explicitly chose a school that had this for our austically-diagnosed son/stepson next year).

I would also be wary of choosing a school based solely on the NAPLAN test (ie, its myschool ranking)- all it does is tell you how well the schools/teachers teach to a test, not how well they teach overall, or what they teach generally. Though that's not to say that it doesn't have a role to play in helping you to choose :)
Postby KattNWozz » Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:35 am

My experience is in nsw and qld.

Mine went straight into kindergarten from daycare (they were in the daycare preschool program which was important to me)
It wasn't play based, which was good as i didn't want them going to school to "play".
The days were as long as every other school years hours.
I picked their school, as i had lived in the area for a long time and knew the reputation of the other schools.
This one was new and their family and friends from daycare were going to be attending also.
And in all honesty, that was a big thing....where their friends would be going. As its scary enough them starting school, let alone worrying if they will have/make friends.

I did not want them to be in composite classes at all, and then the look and feel of the school and teachers came into mind, as did the transportation to get there and security, when we did the tour for the enrollments.

In the end even after all the good things i had heard..sometimes your experience isn't the best, which ours wasn't really, but that was to do with one teacher only and it was fixed quite quickly.

Then we moved to QLD when the kids were in years 1 & 3.
We arrived in July, and we relied only on what we had seen on the internet search and a couple fo friends had told us about the school and the info pack we were mailed.
Again, location was important as well as transport and for cairns, we didn't want them going into a school that had a bad name etc.
As soon as the kids started they were way ahead of what the kids were already learning.
So much so that they'd have nothing to do as they'd already been taught all this stuff..that surprised me that qld was so far behind, but apparently they're trying to bring it up to speed soon.
As soon as dd hit year 2 she was put into a composite class of 2/3.
And they taught them year 3 work as there were more year 3 kids in the class (this was all explained to us before we gave our permission, they were confident she was bright enough for it)
We are now going through the motions of getting her into year 4 next year instead of year 3 due to the fact she has already completed year 3 and would just be repeating what she has already learnt, she is excelling through year 3 in this composite class.

I have never even considered a private school until they hit high school maybe and even then if they're doing well, i wont move them into one...only if they need the extra help.

It's good to talk to the other parents too.
Your child may have a learning disability later on and you need to know if they supply a teachers aide..but not only many hours they supply one for..sometimes the politics are frustrating and while it looks good on paper..the reality is sometimes far from whats written.

Another huge thing is their stance on bullying.
Alot of schools are good with it now, but you need to make sure of that.
KattNWozz's S&T


Belly Buddy is Kylo!!
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