Guest Popestar

Any advice on finding a suitable school gratefully received!

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    Guest Popestar

    Hello there,

     

    I have been reading on this forum for a couple of months now as my family will hopefully be making the move to Adelaide in about six months from now. This is my first post so I am hoping that someone might be able to offer me some ideas re schools for my children.

     

    We have two children. Georgia is nearly six and by the time we come she will have completed Year 1 in the UK. Most schools I've spoken to (both state and private) will let her join mid year in Year 1 moving up to Year 2 in Jan 2014. I'm completely happy with this!!

     

    The problem is my son. He will be 4 in June this year. If we were staying in the UK he would start school in Sept this year, having already completed 18 months in preschool here. With the new same state date rules coming in in SA I know that in the state system he would not be able to start preschool until Jan 2014 and Reception in Jan 2015. We are only coming to Adelaide for around 3 years as my husband has been offered a secondment for three years and so my major concern is that when we return to the UK Joseph will only have completed 18 months at school vs his peers who will have done 3 years in the UK and he will be really behind. He's also really keen to start school and is already talking about it a lot.

     

    I have spoken the education department and they have confirmed that there is no flexibility in the start dates in state school. So we have been looking at private schools. Nearly every catholic private school I've spoken to are either full with long waitlists or are also following the state school timelines for starting. I'm still waiting to hear from some and keeping everything crossed as at least the prices for catholic private schools are relatively low. I have found four private schools that would take Joseph earlier than state schools (Westminster and Scotch would take him Jan 2014 for Reception, Annesley and St Andrews would take him July 2014 but their ELCs look great in the meantime). The problem is the cost. While my husbands work might give us a small contribution towards Josephs fees, they are unwilling to fund anything for Georgia and it's just so expensive. We are considering putting him in private and Georgia in a state school but I can't imagine trying to coordinate a zoned state school with a private school and finding a rental all in the same area.

     

    Anyway, I am slightly running out of ideas of how to find a solution. Sorry for the massively long post but if anyone has any pearls of wisdom I'd be so so grateful. I fear that if we can't figure something out we might stay here in the UK :sad:.

     

    thanks so much x

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    Hello

    a lot of primary schools aren't zoned. They only enforce their zone if they are nearing capacity.

    If you sent your son to Annesley, which is the cheapest by far out of the schools you have mentioned, then there are a number of options not too far away for your daughter. Near to Annesley is Goodwood Primary, Colonel Light Gdns Primary, Unley Primary.

    If you can get a place , there is also St Aloysius , a girl's catholic private in the city, also St Mary's in the city, both have fees around the $3-4000 a yr for your daughter's level. I'm not sure if you have tried them yet. If you do choose a private school for your son, there will be a state school close by which will be able to take your daughter I'm sure. Pulteney Grammar, a private on South Tce in the city, also has a good ELC . If you chose St Andrews , there is Nailsworth primary, Walkerville Primary and North Adelaide Primary not far away, but these are zoned primary schools, so you would have to live in the area.

     

    Have you asked St Peter's Woodlands at Glenelg whether they could take your son? It is reasonably priced private Primary with an ELC. St Leonards and Glenelg primaries are close by to this one. Their fees last yr were around $5000 for Rec- yr 5.

    They have places this yr in Gr 2 still if you could run to sending your daughter there. It is not far from Westminster if you sent your son there.

    Edited by Rachiegarlo

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    Honestly? I wouldn't worry about it and I'd just put him in the state school with your daughter. Choose your school carefully and the chances are when you go back to the UK there won't be much diffrence between your son and the others in his class. Kids tend to learn things at there own pace regardless of when they start school, so if they are ready to learn to read and write at four they will pick it up quickly, but if they are not ready to learn until they are six or seven then they will find it a struggle. We came over in July so my kids both started school in the UK. My oldest really struggled with reading until he was in year two when he suddenly started to 'get it'. My youngest was already reading by the time he started pre school at three. My youngest had just finished year two when we left and the variation in ability in his class in the UK was quite pronounced. He went in to year two here and did work at least as advanced, if not more advanced than in year two in the UK. My eldest had finished year 6 in the UK and went in to year 5 here. The only thing we found was behind where he was in the UK was the maths, but my son was ahead in maths in the UK as well and the school here put him in a special advance class for maths so even that wasn't an issue.

     

    Although it feels like having less time in school when you return to the UK will put your son at a disadvantage I really don't believe this is really the case. I think putting your kids in to different schools is going to cause you logistical problems and may also foster resentment between them. Having said that, if you think he is really ready for school (my oldest wasn't but my youngest was) then maybe trying to get him in for an earlier start would be better. Good luck with getting something sorted.

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    Just wanted to add my eldest son has a June birthday as well. He's gone from being one of the youngest in the year to one of the oldest and this has done wonders for his self confidence. My youngest has gone from being in the middle of the year to being one the youngest and that suits him as well. Whether starting school in Jan 2014 or Jan 2015 will be best for your son will really depend on his personality and you are best place to know what will be best for him. Don't push him in a year early just because you are concerned about being behind the UK, but do use the fact you will be going back to get him in early if you think he is ready to start school socially and emotionally as much as intellectually.

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    Guest Ann

    Hi There,

    I was thinking about the same and found it here........thanks to this thread.My elder son is 7 (born in January 2006) and he is attending year 2 in a voluntary aided state school here in the UK.He is really fast with his maths and other subjects as he does KUMON etc. Infact his class teacher says he is doing year 3 and 4 level reading and maths Wanted to know which grade will he have to study when we arrive Approximately June/July this year..?Do private schools do any entrance exams like here in the UK.my We will be working in TQEhospital and are looking for good private/public schools and house to rent ina safe and catchment area of a good school and also in a commutable distance from the Hospital.(15-20 mins drive)

     

    My younger son is 4 years (born in June 2008) He is attending Reception class here in UK and am worried which grade he will be going to when we arrive there..? Can anyone kindly suggest and thanks very much..

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    Hi There,

    I was thinking about the same and found it here........thanks to this thread.My elder son is 7 (born in January 2006) and he is attending year 2 in a voluntary aided state school here in the UK.He is really fast with his maths and other subjects as he does KUMON etc. Infact his class teacher says he is doing year 3 and 4 level reading and maths Wanted to know which grade will he have to study when we arrive Approximately June/July this year..?Do private schools do any entrance exams like here in the UK.my We will be working in TQEhospital and are looking for good private/public schools and house to rent ina safe and catchment area of a good school and also in a commutable distance from the Hospital.(15-20 mins drive)

     

    My younger son is 4 years (born in June 2008) He is attending Reception class here in UK and am worried which grade he will be going to when we arrive there..? Can anyone kindly suggest and thanks very much..

     

    Depending on when your son was born in 2008. What is his birth month?

     

    My son is 4, turns 5 in May and is in reception here in the UK presently. We are moving to Adelaide after the school summer holidays here and he'll go into reception in Adelaide and then all being well, in 2014 he'll start the new school year in Y1. As it is because of the current set up he'd not be able to start reception in Adelaide till July 2013 anyways as its the term after a child turns 5 at present. He would then do reception over again next year if he did this as would the other kids who only did one or two terms. Because he has done a full year of reception and will do a term at least in Adelaide when we move he should be fine to go into Y1.

     

    ETA - The timings of school have been the main thing to us moving to Adelaide in Sept. We didn't want to move too soon and not have him able to start school till July 2013 if he had already done pre school and some of reception. So we worked out the best way round it for all of us. Also it appears it will be easier to put him up to Y1 in 2014 and then hold him back a year or give him extra tuition if he needs it (being the youngest in his year then) than it will be to keep him back in YR again in 2014 and try to get him moved up a year. That appears to be a total non starter once the new intake kicks in.

     

    Feel free to drop me a PM, am happy to chat more about it :)

    Edited by snifter

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    Guest Popestar

    Thanks so much to you both. Really great advice. I do agree that it would be much better to have them both in school together. Lots to think about. Thanks x

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    Guest Popestar

    Does anyone have any experience of St Joseph's catholic school in Payneham or indeed the Payneham area? They seem like they may take our youngest earlier than 2015. It's so hard to tell just looking at a map!!

     

    Thanks in advance

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    We house sat a house in Payneham for a few months many years ago. There are some nice older-style houses there, we lived in a leafy road in a character-filled old cottage, but we didn't have kids at the time and you notice different things about an area then. It was an easy commute into the city and not far to the Parade in Norwood. The thing I didn't like about the area (and it would probably be worse now) was the amount of traffic and road noise from the busy main roads (Payneham and Portrush roads). Although the road we lived in was quiet, you felt surrounded by traffic. We much prefer being near the coast, as the amount of traffic decreases the nearer you get to the sea. Try using google streetview to get an idea of different areas.

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    Guest pizzicarella

    Hi,

    I have recently completed my entire schooling (R-12) - in South Australia, and my father works for the education department.

     

    The new rules whereby the child starts reception on the first day of term one do not take act until 2014.

    http://www.earlyyears.sa.edu.au/pages/HOME/samefirstday/

    Given what this says, he would have to wait until the year after. BUT... and here is a big but, you may be able to negotiate with principals for him to start early on account of the time he has been in preschool, and the time he would have started schooling in the UK. Arrangements for this would need to begin as soon as you arrive, if not now. Private schools will be more willing if he has aptitude.

     

    I would suggest that you get a report from his preschool in the UK, and possibly a report from a psychologist.

     

    St Joseph's is a good school. I have many friends who attended the Norwood campus school, and I believe that they are fairly similar - just with different staff!

    http://myschool.edu.au/MainPages/SchoolProfileRep.aspx?SDRSchoolId=49761&DEEWRId=0&CalendarYear=2011&RefId=5o6YvCIarmEcuWhcRvtKDw%3d%3d

     

    It apparently does fairly well on NAPLAN scores. I think the major benefits in this school are that it is co-ed, and perhaps most importantly, it is cheap (for a private school at least!!). Here is the fee schedule for 2012 http://stjopayn.adl.catholic.edu.au/2012_School_Fees.pdf . I can't find anything more recent online, but most schools do not increase their fees by more than $200 in a given year.

     

    Payneham itself is a nice enough area, it is close to the city, has good local shops - close to the avenues, the parade, and marden shopping centres- and it is very close to public transport.

     

    I feel a bit weird talking about this but, hey, it is always good to hear from a local right! Feel free to PM me, or email me directly (jasminsophiaw@gmail.com) if you need more info. I am happy to answer any questions about schools/areas/things to do etc.

     

     

    P.S.

    Annesley junior is a co-ed school. Both your children could attend.

    Edited by pizzicarella
    want to add some info

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    Guest pizzicarella
    Hi There,

    I was thinking about the same and found it here........thanks to this thread.My elder son is 7 (born in January 2006) and he is attending year 2 in a voluntary aided state school here in the UK.He is really fast with his maths and other subjects as he does KUMON etc. Infact his class teacher says he is doing year 3 and 4 level reading and maths Wanted to know which grade will he have to study when we arrive Approximately June/July this year..?Do private schools do any entrance exams like here in the UK.my We will be working in TQEhospital and are looking for good private/public schools and house to rent ina safe and catchment area of a good school and also in a commutable distance from the Hospital.(15-20 mins drive)

     

    My younger son is 4 years (born in June 2008) He is attending Reception class here in UK and am worried which grade he will be going to when we arrive there..? Can anyone kindly suggest and thanks very much..

     

    If you are arriving midway through this year there will be no problem with your youngest son joining a reception class here in Australia. This means he would complete reception in December of this year, and begin year one in 2014. It is a bit behind the UK, but it is the most likely arrangement. There is a possibility that he could go into a year one class as he would have done the equivalent of three terms of reception. This means he would start year two in 2014. You would need to speak to the school about this and explain the situation, and specifically how long he has been doing reception and how ready he is to go straight into year one. If you think he wouldn't be ready, there is nothing wrong with that - him going into a reception class in term three will not be a problem.

     

    As for the elder son - if you believe he is gifted you could either negotiate him to begin in a higher year level when he arrives here (Yr 3 probably), or find a school which has mixed year level classes (i.e a mixed yr 2/3 class). Personally I would try to get the mixed class. That way he can do the higher level work and if at the end of the year the school agrees that he is exceptionally gifted negotiations can be made to skip a grade.

     

    I would suggest looking for schools/housing in west lakes or grange - they are both in between the queen elizabeth and the beach!

     

    PM me if you need more info!

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    Guest sithewindows

    We came back to the UK for the same reason, timing of the youngest boy starting school. His birthday is in July so we thought we had the same problem. I personally think he was too young as the difference between 4 and 5 is quite a lot at that age. At the start of his schooling he was behind as he was that much younger and not ready. This went on for a couple of years and we were worried as his brother is top of the class in most subjects. He will be nine this July and he is now one of the top performing in his year. My opinion for what its worth would be that he will not suffer and probably benefit from his time in Aus, he will be able to get out more and learn things for himself rather than being stuck indoors for months on IPad, XBox or PS. We are now coming back to Aus and one of the main reasons is to give the boys more of an outdoor life. As I said this is only my opinion.

    Simon

    Hello there,

     

    I have been reading on this forum for a couple of months now as my family will hopefully be making the move to Adelaide in about six months from now. This is my first post so I am hoping that someone might be able to offer me some ideas re schools for my children.

     

    We have two children. Georgia is nearly six and by the time we come she will have completed Year 1 in the UK. Most schools I've spoken to (both state and private) will let her join mid year in Year 1 moving up to Year 2 in Jan 2014. I'm completely happy with this!!

     

    The problem is my son. He will be 4 in June this year. If we were staying in the UK he would start school in Sept this year, having already completed 18 months in preschool here. With the new same state date rules coming in in SA I know that in the state system he would not be able to start preschool until Jan 2014 and Reception in Jan 2015. We are only coming to Adelaide for around 3 years as my husband has been offered a secondment for three years and so my major concern is that when we return to the UK Joseph will only have completed 18 months at school vs his peers who will have done 3 years in the UK and he will be really behind. He's also really keen to start school and is already talking about it a lot.

     

    I have spoken the education department and they have confirmed that there is no flexibility in the start dates in state school. So we have been looking at private schools. Nearly every catholic private school I've spoken to are either full with long waitlists or are also following the state school timelines for starting. I'm still waiting to hear from some and keeping everything crossed as at least the prices for catholic private schools are relatively low. I have found four private schools that would take Joseph earlier than state schools (Westminster and Scotch would take him Jan 2014 for Reception, Annesley and St Andrews would take him July 2014 but their ELCs look great in the meantime). The problem is the cost. While my husbands work might give us a small contribution towards Josephs fees, they are unwilling to fund anything for Georgia and it's just so expensive. We are considering putting him in private and Georgia in a state school but I can't imagine trying to coordinate a zoned state school with a private school and finding a rental all in the same area.

     

    Anyway, I am slightly running out of ideas of how to find a solution. Sorry for the massively long post but if anyone has any pearls of wisdom I'd be so so grateful. I fear that if we can't figure something out we might stay here in the UK :sad:.

     

    thanks so much x

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    Guest Renal Nurse

    Hi popestar, hope you don't mind me tagging onto your post.

    we hope to move in over in July this year. We have 15, 9 and 7 year old boys.

    Though we're waiting on definite dates and visas etc, we're starting to think about schooling.

    We won't be able to afford private ed, so are there any do's / don'ts we should know about or sort before we come?

    any advice would be much appreciated.

    thanks

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    Hey Popestar,

    just a thought...how about a slightly different route?

     

    The Montessori school in Aldgate would cater for both your children, in the same place. Here's their link:

     

    http://www.montessori.sa.edu.au/

     

    I know there's another alternative but I cannot think of the school's name but at least this one might be a start.

     

    :) LC

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    Guest pizzicarella
    Hi popestar, hope you don't mind me tagging onto your post.

    we hope to move in over in July this year. We have 15, 9 and 7 year old boys.

    Though we're waiting on definite dates and visas etc, we're starting to think about schooling.

    We won't be able to afford private ed, so are there any do's / don'ts we should know about or sort before we come?

    any advice would be much appreciated.

    thanks

     

    Hi Renal Nurse,

     

    There really aren't any do's or don'ts when it comes to choosing a public school. That is because there is so little choice, particularly for high school. I guess since you are going to be moving here you do have a bit of a choice - you can choose to move to an area in the zone for a particular high school. (There's always the university senior college for yr 11 and yr 12 in the city though - that is about $7000 a year) For primary schools you will have a bit more choice, as they aren't all zoned. Sometimes there are a few schools in the area, and you can have a pick. Or you may find you want your child to go to a school nearby your work.

     

    You will want to do some research into:

    -The schools location.

    -The schools NAPLAN results http://www.myschool.edu.au/

    -The schools facilities - or if it has any special programs (Volleyball, Tennis, Music, IB, Ignite etc.)

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    Guest Popestar

    Thanks all so much for all your advice and views and opinions. It's really useful to get some alternative points of view. I thought I'd add a little update to let you know where we are up to....

     

    So we came for a reccie mid march and really liked Adelaide and have decided that we are definitely going to move over. Most likely it will be at the very end of July after our eldest has finished the school year here. We looked at a few private and catholic schools and spent some time in different suburbs. We have decided that we love Norwood and definitely want to find a house within a reasonably short walk of the parade. So we gave decided to send the kids to St Joseph's Memorial School which is a catholic private school in Norwood and Kensington. We loved the area and the small size of the school, the fees are really reasonable, the kids seemed really happy and confident and chatty with us and in answer to my very first concern on this thread, they are willing to bend the dates a bit so that our youngest can start school a year earlier than he really should do under the new rules. So he will go into preschool when we first arrive but be able to move up to Reception in Jan 2014 despite missing the birthdate cutoff by a few weeks.

     

    So all in all we had a really useful trip and I'm feeling happy to have the school sorted (we also really like St Joseph's in Payneham but really want a school right in the heart of the community in which we hope to live rather than having to drive to school every day).

     

    I hope that anyone else wondering what to do with schools will also find a great solution that works for them.

    Thanks again all xx

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