FIND­ING THE PER­FECT SCHOOL

Feel­ing over­whelmed by the re­spon­si­bil­ity of choos­ing the right school for your child? Here are the top 10 ques­tions to ask to en­sure a bright fu­ture.

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Not ev­ery pri­vate school suits ev­ery child. De­cid­ing where to send your young son or daugh­ter is a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion. Just be­cause a par­ent is a past alumni isn't nec­es­sary rea­son enough to de­cide to send your child to the school which you loved. On the other hand, a schools pedi­gree and your per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence is im­por­tant. There are so many things to con­sider. Here is our check­list of the 10 ques­tions you re­ally should ask be­fore de­cid­ing on your lit­tle one's fu­ture.

QUES­TIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR­SELF

what age do I want my child to at­tend an in­de­pen­dent school? Prep or se­nior en­try? Some par­ents de­cide to send their chil­dren to a nearby kinder­garten or pri­mary school so they make lo­cal friends, then trans­fer them at 11. Oth­ers pre­fer a con­sis­tent school life where the choice is made early.

I choose coed or sin­gle sex? Much re­search has been done on the pros and cons of both op­tions. The com­mon view is that boys fair bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion­ally in sin­gle sex schools, but is this also true in terms of so­cial devel­op­ment? Are pupils in sin­gle sex girls' schools meaner? Will your daugh­ter be more stu­dious in a sin­gle sex en­vi­ron­ment? Do your own re­search and think about the na­ture of your par­tic­u­lar child be­fore de­cid­ing.

How im­por­tant to me are the league ta­bles? These ta­bles are use­ful, how­ever, don't for­get that these ta­bles are dom­i­nated by se­lec­tive schools and do not nec­es­sar­ily give an idea of how well the school per­forms rel­a­tive to the av­er­age stan­dard of en­try, nor of the school's gen­eral ed­u­ca­tional ethos.

board or not to board? Those who live ru­rally may not have much of a choice with this one. Oth­ers choose to have chil­dren just board in year 11 and 12. “I felt the home­work dis­ci­pline and rou­tine helped him con­cen­trate”, says one mother whose son boarded for the last two years of school. His 96.7 ATAR may have proved her right.

hot-house or a more di­verse

school? This will de­pend on your val­ues and as­pi­ra­tions for your child, as well as their in­di­vid­ual tem­per­a­ment. Not ev­ery­one thrives in a highly com­pet­i­tive at­mos­phere. Some chil­dren need to be nur­tured to bring out their best – what­ever that might be. Not ev­ery child is a univer­sity can­di­date and you may have a bud­ding artist or car­pen­ter in the fam­ily with hid­den tal­ents.

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