How Do I Tell Which Is A Good Brisbane School?

Choosing a school for your Brisbane Kids will be one of the biggest life decisions you make for them, dictating their future friendships, early education experiences and ultimately playing a major part in their life direction. So how do you make a choice that you will be happy with. How do you do due diligence in deciding which school is best for your child?

Fast Tips for Choosing a Brisbane School

  1. Go to the school website. Here you can access all the official documents such as the Vision, Mission and Values statements, academic history, facilities and services, policies and procedures, Strategic Plan, enrolment information and more. You can also check out the Brisbane school catchment areas and see if you will have to apply to be accepted Vs simply enrolling.
  2. Visit the school during drop off and pick up times and see what the school community is like. Are parents taking a moment to chat with each other after school? Are kids remaining behind to play on the playgrounds? Are their teachers on duty to oversee the pick up and drop off points, are they friendly?
  3. Attend an Assembly. This will give you an insight into the relationship between the Principal and the students. It will also allow you to see how the school celebrates victories and handles more difficult situations as a whole. Student participation in assemblies is a great indication of how the students feel about their school.
  4. Listen to personal recommendations but be alert for personal reasons & stories that may be the determining factor for the favourable or unfavourable accounts of a school. Be wary that one experience does not necessarily paint a picture of a school and may be a poor experience limited to a teacher or individual learning or social challenge.
  5. Attend a school open day. Contact your potential school to find out when their open day is on. These are a great way to see the school functioning and have interaction with the students.
  6. Attend the school fete and also find out about other school community events. The quality and quantity of these events is a great indicator of an involved parent and teacher community.
  7. Attend a P&C Meetings – These meetings will give an insight into another side of the school and a potential way to become involved as a parent.
  8. Make an appointment with the Principal – A one on one meeting with the Principal or Deputy Principal is a great way to get all of your questions answered. They can be very busy people so be prepared to book in advance and even be a little bit flexible as their students’ welfare will always come first which may mean having to wait or reschedule if there is an urgent matter to be dealt with.
  9. Be mindful of using NAPLAN and other scoring indicators to choose a school. NAPLAN is great for schools to plan for future learning but it is not an ideal way of choosing a school and will not determine your child’s future success and happiness at a school.
  10. When you attend any interviews with your child look for the educators to talk to THEM. Do they bend down and engage with your child? Do they chat with your teen about their future plans… afterall it will be them attending, not you.
  11. Sign up to their school newsletters – it will give you a great snapshot of the schools tone and direction.

awesome schools in brisbane

How To Identify A Great Brisbane Primary School

  • What facilities does your child need?
  • Location – How long will it take to get to and from school?
  • What is the Principal and Leadership Group’s involvement in the school?
  • What is the size of the school – i.e. How many students? Class sizes?
  • What opportunities are there for parent involvement?
  • Does the school have a connection with its community?
  • What is the Transition Program for Prep?
  • What is the reading program for prep?
  • How well does the school perform and what is their participation rate in NAPLAN. Is it high? Does it encourage participation and inclusiveness despite the risk to end scores.
  • Public Vs Private.
  • What extra curricular activities are available.
  • What is the school’s future plans in terms of planning for facilities such as airconditioning, play areas, new buildings.
  • What extra support is available if needed.
  • If your child has special needs how will they be supported.
  • How does the school feel. Instinct is important. Does it feel warm and friendly?

Things to consider when choosing a Brisbane Highschool

  • Public V Private – this can impact how early you need to enrol your child.
  • Fees and costs involved including scholarship options.
  • Distance from home- transport options.
  • Enrolment requirements e.g. religion, catchment areas etc.
  • Study options e.g. High School Certificate (HSC), Vocational Education and Training (VET) etc.
  • Subjects offered – smaller schools can have limitations of what subjects they offer.
  • Sporting and Extra-Curricular needs.
  • Extension or accelerated learning programs e.g. language immersion courses, advanced maths and science courses.
  • Child’s Interests – e.g. Does the school have music or drama programs?
  • Culture – does the school’s culture align with our Family Values?
  • Special Needs – will the school be able to support the specific needs of your child and your family.
  • Siblings – do your children need to be at the same school?
  • Co-ed or single sex education. Some Co-ed schools have single sex class options.

HOW CAN YOU FIND ALL THIS INFORMATION ABOUT A SCHOOL?

Visit the school – Drop off and pick up times are a great way to see what the school community is like. Take a walk to the school and talk to some of the parents – most parents are willing to have a quick chat about their school.

Attend an Assembly – This will give you an insight into the relationship between the Principal and the students. It will also allow you to see how the school celebrates victories and handles more difficult situations as a whole. Student participation in assemblies is a great indication of how the students feel about their school.

Attend school events – School Fetes, concerts and exhibitions are a great way to learn more about what the school has to offer.

School Open Days – Contact your potential school to find out when their open day is on. These are a great way to see the school functioning and have interaction with the students.

Attend a P&C Meetings – These meetings will give an insight into another side of the school and a potential way to become involved as a parent.

Make an appointment with the Principal – A one on one meeting with the Principal or Deputy Principal is a great way to get all of your questions answered. They can be very busy people so be prepared to book in advance and even be a little bit flexible as their students’ welfare will always come first which may mean having to wait or reschedule if there is an urgent matter to be dealt with.

Every child and every school is different. Talk with your partner and your children about what you want for your child and from your school. Make a list of the top 5 things and start your search from there. You may be surprised which schools can and cannot check off all your needs.

Check our My School which focuses on fair comparisons to be made between schools with the intention of celebrating success or identifying areas for improvement. Over 10,000 schools are compared.

 

 

 

About the Author
Stirling
Ngaire Stirling
Owner and Founder of Brisbane Kids, Ngaire grew up in Brisbane and lives with her husband, 3 kids and too many animals. She has marketing and teaching qualifications focused on the early year of schooling. She loves long summer days, bright starry nights and working on Brisbane Kids.

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