Guest caoimhe

How to choose a School

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    Guest caoimhe

    I know the topic of education UK versus Adelaide has been done many times on PIA but I am at a loss at what to look for that shows a school is good.

    When our 1st son was ready for school he was enrolled in our local parish primary,which by luck would have it is a good school. All his brothers followed, it is a catholic school we live in the parish so there was no chance they wouldn't get in , that's the way it is in NI

    So I didn't really have to give it much thought but now going to OZ I will

     

    I know if we want them to continue in a catholic school we will have to pay, and I know the Catholic Education in South Australia state that "no catholic child will be turned down if their parents do not have the ability to pay" but we will be there on a temp visa so will not be entiltled to anything eg family allowance . Who decides on the ability to pay

     

    I know some state schools are good and have looked at some of their web sites and I haven't a clue about what shows it good or not so good

    So what I am asking, after all this rambling is if anyone out there could give me some advice on what to look for, what questions to ask etc

    Thanks all

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    Guest Fat Boy Fat

    You could base it on how many Adelaide School kids does it take to change a light bulb

     

    Scotch College

    Two - one to call the electrician and one to call their father to pay the cheque

    St Peters

    Two - one to mix the martinis and one to call the electrician

    CBC

    Eleven - one to change the lightbulb and ten to share the experience

    Elizabeth high School

    None - Elizabeth doesn't have electricity

    Concordia

    Two - One to change the lightbulb and one to crack under the pressure

    Marryatville

    Only one, but he gets six credits for it

    St Ignatius

    Just one. The school captain comes back after finishing year 12 so he can do it all by himself.

    Loreto

    None - their all too busy playing touch football wearing their pearls

    Uni of SA

    Seventy-six - one to change the lightbulb, fifty to protest the lightbulb's right to not change, and twenty-five to hold a counter protest

    Salisbury High

    None - Salsibury looks better in the dark

    Annesly

    One - she holds the bulb and the world revolves around her

    Prince Alfred College

    Five - one to design a nuclear powered one that never needs changing, one to figure out how to power the rest of Adelaide using that nuked lightbulb, two to install it, and one to write the computer program

    St Aloysius

    Five - One to change the lightbulb and four to find her the perfect outfit to wear for the occasion

    Modbury Heights

    Three - one to change it and two to figure out how to get high off the old one

    Rostrevor

    Ten - one to change it, one back up if the first guy's too drunk and the other eight to pray that it works

    Adelaide Uni

    Four - one to change it, one to call Parliament about their progress, and two to throw the old bulb at Flinders students

    Brighton Secondary school

    Two-one to change the bulb and the other to say loudly how she did it as well as a private school student

    Mary MacKillop

    Three - one to change it and the other two to stand up on chairs on either side of her with cans of hairspray just in case of the emergency that her 20cm high fringe drops 1cm

    Seaton High School

    Five-one to change the bulb and four to do an interpretive dance about it

    Croydon High School

    Three hundred - one to change the light bulb, two to start a fight two hundred and ninety-seven to chase the brawl around the school chanting, "FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT"

    Pembroke

    Eight - it's not that one isn't smart enough to do it, it's just that they're all violently twitching from too much stress

    St Peters Girls

    None - they are all too drunk to notice

    St Domenics

    0 - It's not like they're not smart enough, they just look better with the lights off!

    Flinders Uni

    Seven - one to change the light bulb and six to throw a party because he didn't screw it in upside down this time

    Charles Campbell

    4 - While one changes the lightbulb, one is holding the chair, and the other two are practising for the ballet concert in a couple of days.

    Unley High

    1 - one uses his mobile to call someone else to fix it, the rest of the boys are at shoppo, smoking and gelling their hair for the Siena buses to arrive..

    Norwood-Morialta High

    5 - one to change it after the other 4 have organised a student committee to look into lighting matters and how it affects students. They then go on about how great it is to be at the best non-private high school whilst studying hard in the library to justify their parents' money saving strategy of not sending their kids to St Peters, PAC or Loreto.

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    Ooh that's agolden oldie that's been circulating for a while, still makes me :), but it really is an insider joke, you have to have been here to understand that one I think.

     

    Anyways how to choose a school 101.....

     

    You are lucky because you are in a good school already.

    List down all the features you think make this a good school, not just the academic ones.

    List also what you as a parent require from a school.

    Look at what extracurricular things you would like a school to offer, eg music lessons, or a drama focus.

    Look at how far you are prepared to travel to get your children to school, or is it important for it to be as local as possible.

     

    When you find out where you will be living, hop on the internet and suss out all the primary schools in that area.

    Read the context statement for that school, look at its website, is it informative, chances are that if a school places all the info you need on its web then it knows its parent base well. However schools are not going to put neg stuff on their web. So... if their newsletters are available online, read a couple cos this is where they will complain to the students about their behaviour, remind parents about stuff, but also you get a feel for how the school celebrates its students, and what else is going on in the school.

     

    Hopefully by this time you will have shortlisted a few, go and visit with your children, and lastly take astroll past at lunch when the kids are out playing to observe supervision, general vines etc.

     

    Or just enrol in the nearest primary and hope for the best you could strike lucky with a little gem.

     

    Rachel

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    Guest caoimhe

    Thanks Rachel,

    Can i just ask, in the schools context statement - what it all means????

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    Guest Libby1971

    Trust your instincts - you know your babies better than anyone else.

     

    Walk in, look around at the other kids and ask yourself if you could see your children being happy in that environment. Are there examples of students' work on the walls meaning that efforts are appreciated? It also means that the kids have a sense of pride in their work. How do the kids look in lessons? Do they look interested or bored? Does the teacher look interested or bored?

     

    Remember, here no-one gives a damn about pigeon-holing children and labelling each unique one according to a level. Here the focus is on educating the whole child and enjoying education. I love seeing smiling children, not stressed out unhappy children worried about getting a level 4 in year 6 when they should be laughing their heads off as they run around a beach.

     

    Libby

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    Guest caoimhe

    Remember, here no-one gives a damn about pigeon-holing children and labelling each unique one according to a level. Here the focus is on educating the whole child and enjoying education. I love seeing smiling children, not stressed out unhappy children worried about getting a level 4 in year 6 when they should be laughing their heads off as they run around a beach.

     

    Libby

     

    I agree with you there Libby, here we still have the 11plus and my eldest is preparing for it now for November (I hope we are away by then) He does 2 papers a week at school and 2 at home as well as ordinary homework. He was off for a week and brought 2 papers home to be completed while on half term. He came home after getting the result of a test and cried because he dropped from, 75% to 62%, he is only 10 years old- the stress he feels is ridiculous :mad:

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    Guest Aussie pat

    Just to reassure you, the education over in Adelaide can compete with the best of them. I have recently been working with a woman who moved back to the UK in the past 2 years. She had no choice as her husband got a big promotion. She was horrified at all the testing in schools in the UK. Her eldest son is now at Cambridge even though the uni didn't know how to assess him because his Adelaide school reports weren't crammed with grades. Her youngest is also doing really well in the UK despite not being tested to death before he got here.

     

    Libby is right, follow your instincts when you visit schools. Don't worry that there are no league tables to follow. They are a UK phenomenon and are meaningless to people in Adelaide.

     

    Hedy

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    Guest katsmajic

    We went into Moana primary and were really impressed, it was busy and some rooms looked a bit overstuffed with things (not kids) but all the kids were happy, we walked round during a break and the kids were really polite, bouncing round, playing with the on site pets, loads of space to run around and climbing frames, the canteen was full of healthy options and they were stricy about it too. Lots of work up on the walls, very light rooms, lots of pc's - more than i expected! a great library.

    My little girl was grinning ear to ear on the tour and wanted to sign up on the spot!

     

    The high school were equally as welcoming, took kids off on a tour, let them chose options, lots of options available, loads of work on the walls, and lots of previous years work too - not just the current year groups.

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    The scholl's context statement is the document the school produces for the ed dept detailing enrolments, facilities, school governance, etc. These have only recently been available for everyone. You used to have to know where to delve in the decs website. They were also meant as info for teaching staff, so a lot of it contains edubabble(sorry teachers) but useful info can be gleaned from them as to whether teachers gain extra points from teaching there due to the levels of difficulty experienced, and also the types of families and areas the school services. On high school ones it is also poss to track enrolment and see what the drop out rate is between yr 8 and yr 12. They are useful to narrow down the ones to visit as in some areas there can be lots of small primary schools.

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