Tips For Choosing A School
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They say choosing a school is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Making sure you choose the right school for your children from the beginning is a sound investment that could save you a lot of heartache.
Private or government school?
Do you value individual pastoral care for your child? Are academic results important to you? Do you value facilities? Ultimately it’s up to you, but do your research and also give strong consideration to what community you want to be part of. 12+ years is a big investment so make sure you like the community too. When you’re based overseas it can be tricky to tap ‘local knowledge’ so do the next best thing. Check out the school’s website and Facebook page (if they have one) to see if the community is one you could envisage you and your children belonging to. Monitoring both over a few months should help you build an accurate picture of the school’s community and activities. Once you’re in Perth, you can simply visit the schools for yourself but at least you’ll have an idea of the ones you like!
Co-education or single sex?
If you’ve decided that a private education is the right fit for you, then the next important step to consider is if co-education (co-ed) or single sex is the way to go. Lots of literature has been written on the educational benefits of single sex schools, however there’s no conclusive evidence to suggest single sex schools are better than co-ed schools. Research shows that co-ed can prepare your child by developing their social and problem-solving skills in an environment which is more reflective of broader society. Co-ed can also help develop a greater sense of equity in your child.
Consider the whole picture including academic performance, community service programs, facilities and business/community partnerships. It might surprise you that some ‘lesser known’ schools offer similar opportunities to many ‘higher fee’ schools. St Stephen’s School for example not only owns a 100-acre adventure property in the South West, like the more established ‘higher fee’ schools do, it is also a top 50 WACE school for university entrance and equal number one Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider. The final word; take time, look around and don’t be afraid to ask.