Many times I have sat down with the intention of typing this out and posting it but I always seem to get sidetracked Anyway, today is the day!
A few useful links for those looking at the education system here in SA. Anyone else with useful links or in general information (no one school specific here please) please feel free to add
My School website. I found this one really useful with regards to information about individual schools. It covers data from 2008 onwards so you can see a bigger picture. When you view info on a particular school there is the menu on the left hand side of the page you can select from to see different aspects reported on. School profile, finances, NAPLAN, VET in schools, attendance and local schools (a handy map of other schools in the area).
Bit of blurb from the site to give you an overview.
My School enables you to search detailed profiles of Australian schools simply by entering a school’s name, suburb or postcode.
On this site, you can quickly find statistical information about schools of interest to you and then compare their resources and performance with similar schools across the country.
Before you start, it may be helpful to discover more about My School and the expanse of information you can access here. Click on the ‘More information’ tab above, or view the video below.
Then we have
LINKS REMOVED AS NO LONGER WORKING
Both of these list the top ranked schools for NAPLAN, state and private combined for SA. Top 150 for primary, top 100 for high schools. If a school you are looking for is not listed you can search for it individually using the search function. Covers from 2010.
If you want more info on what NAPLAN is, what it means and so on, can read it here - http://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/naplan.html
Next, school zones.
Primary schools are not all zoned, only some are. This is usually simply due to lack of spaces left for students and so they apply a zone to ensure kids living nearest get a chance first. I found zoning for primaries to not be a solid indication of its standing or what it offers or achieves etc. For some schools it did appear to be the case they were highly sought after so people buy or rent a house in the zone (same as for high schools later on), but some did not seem to be so in demand and even though they were zoned, seemed to be happy to take kids from outside the zone so long as they had space. My own personal experience with ours attending a zoned school is that in the past in slightly quieter years, a number of kids from outside the zone were accepted. In busier years where demand is high (for example, this years reception intake), the zone is applied strictly.
Primary school zones - http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/locs/pages...ning/?reFlag=1
All state high schools (Urrbrae is the only one not zoned that I know of, its an agricultural school) are zoned. Living within the zone (and able to prove it with a years lease at least) is the requirement to attend generally (I can't comment on exceptions made as I don't know of any personally but if it can happen, happy for people to say).
Some state high schools offer programmes that kids from outside the zone can apply for with a view to getting on them and attending the school. Brighton HS for example, certain sport (IIRC its volleyball) and music talent (2 instruments played to the standard required I think it is) can see you accepted from outside the zone. Blackwood HS offers netball and Aussie rules football programmes with pretty high standards for academic side also. A few high schools offer the Ignite programme. If you live outside a zone but are interested in it see if it offers anything like any of these. May not, but its worth the time spent to check and see.
High school zones - http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/locs/pages...ning/?reFlag=1
OSHC - Out of School Hours care. This runs at many/most schools , before school and after. Also vacation care during school holidays where there are a number of day trips each week plus on site days. Prices will vary. For example, our school we pay $9 for before school care, $19 for after school, till 6:15pm. General cost for a full day during vacation time is $48-50
Here is a PDF of OSCH providers http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/docs/documents/1/SitesServicesOSHC.pdf
A couple of other things might be of use -
Packed lunches seem to be the norm. Schools generally do have a canteen of some sort where 'lunch' can be ordered daily or snacks purchased. Good packed lunch bags (with a cool pack in in hot weather) are the way to go for most. Also in hot weather consider getting a drinks bottle you can either freeze 2/3rds full overnight and then top up with water in the morning or one you can bung masses of ice cubes in.
No hat no play rule - Sun hats are required to play outside for about 9 months of the year. The winter term sees hats going away generally from what I can tell, but otherwise, hats rule.
I don't buy the schools own one as find them very pricey. Instead I head to Best & Less or Target or some place. It can depend on the colours allowed as the big stores only tend to stock the basic few colours, navy, bottle green, dark red/red. Also I try to buy hats with a UV rating. We prefer the legionnaires type style over the wide brimmed hats, find they tend to stay on kids heads better. Name them clearly I go for silver marker on the outside so its quick for the kids to find their hat and for others to not use it