We had a tour of the school we’ve identified following some good reviews on the web.
Absolutely fantastic is all I can say.
The school is a primary school but more importantly it offers a pre-primary school or kindergarten (kindi)
We were taken on a quick tour by the school principal (headmaster).
Compared to UK schools I’d say its of a similar size but the quality of the facilities is what really gave it the two big thumbs up.
Nice big, colourful, airy classrooms.
We had a walk round some of the classrooms whilst lessons were taking place. I guess we were only there during registration but the rooms seemed to be buzzing with energy.
In the Kindi sections the kids were literally having a song and a dance with the teachers. What was really nice is that the parents were not rushed through the door as soon as registration started and were encouraged to take part. If anything (the principal said) they were encouraged to remain with the kids at this early stage to reduce any anxiety and slip out when they felt the kids were happy.
Each day is started with some form of physical exercise. On the way in we noticed a group of older children doing stretching exercises in the playing fields..I know I’m probably making all this sound like some kind of boot camp but the kids were genuinely enjoying their start to the day and in my mind this is a much better way to start the day then sat in a playground eating chocolate and Crisps.
As a second language the children are taught Japanese which makes some sense with Australia being so close to Japan and the rest of Asia. A little different from the French or Spanish I was taught as a kid.
We saw some of the older children having an IT lesson. One very new looking PC per child with the class size being no more then 15 kids.
In essence it appears to be an excellent school.
Thankfully It also fits into the area where we may or may not eventually settle.
I say this because sorting or at least identifying a good school was near the top of our list for this rekkie.
Having said this some of the schools (similarly to the UK) have quite strict catchment areas meaning that if we selected this school we would have had to find a house to rent within the catchment area.
Fortunately, this particular school does not have this strict policy and although it encourages parents to live in an area close to the school (if anything down to the social aspects of school life) it will accept pupils from outside its ‘local’ area. It is a popular school though so understand why the school requests that our application is lodged a year in advance of the actual school year in which our son will start to attend kindi (bless!)
I’m really pleased that one of our more important tasks appears to be completed. However I would suggest that parents contact prospective schools early by e-mail or phone to understand how much notice they need to register successfully for the more popular schools otherwise they may be disappointed.
Thankfully the Internet is a wonderful thing and you’ll be surprised about the number of Schools have their own very detailed websites providing info about their curriculum, surroundings, culture and all those other great things.
Ok, whats next on the list…