Choosing a school for your child can feel like an overwhelming decision. After all, they (and you) will be part of that community five days a week, 40 weeks a year for up to 13 years!
We speak with Bronwyn, one of our early childhood Key Workers for her tips for choosing a school for your child.
Bronwyn has been an early childhood educator for almost 15 years. She has had the privilege of supporting many children and their families in their transition to primary school.
Whilst choosing a school for your child can seem daunting, Bronwyn’s tips may help in making that decision a little easier.
Look at a variety of schools
Most schools will offer Open Days (virtual or in-person) or personal tours. This is an opportunity for you to get a general feel for the school and its community and learn about the programs on offer. Consider practical elements such as the distance from home, your finances and before and after school care arrangements in narrowing down your top choices.
Organise a meeting with your preferred school choices and ask questions about the below areas to find out how the school is prepared to support your child so their education is a positive experience and they can thrive.
How will the information I provide about my child be communicated to relevant staff members? How will the school ensure that learning and/or behaviour management strategies are put into practice? Who do I speak to if I need to update information or share important information about my child’s health or medical needs, or something that has happened at home?
Will my child be able to access all areas of the school easily? If your child needs a space where they can unwind and relax, is a safe, quiet space available?
How will my child be supported to overcome barriers that prevent them from participating in all aspects of learning and activities? How will the school support my child to attend school events such as sports days, excursions and school camps?
How will my child be supported to learn at their own pace? How am I informed about my child’s learning? Will there be regular parent-teacher meetings so I can stay up to date?
What measures are in place to ensure the safety of all children at school, particularly during recess and lunch? What is the school bullying policy and how is it followed through?
Being part of a school community means you have the opportunity to build relationships with a lot of different people. Make sure the culture aligns with your values. While every child has different needs, it can be a good idea to speak to other families who attend the school about their experiences.
The right school is one where you and your child feel welcomed, included and valued.