How to choose a good primary school in Brisbane

The New Year is the time when most people start thinking about future plans. If you have children, one of those plans might be to start thinking about school choices. But how to choose a good primary school in Brisbane? Where do you start? What do you look for? It’s a question most parents ask at some point.

Brisbane has such a vast educational landscape with so many good primary schools. It can be overwhelming. Have you picked the right one? How will you know?

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. We’ve asked around and have come up with the most important things you need to consider when deciding how to choose a good primary school in Brisbane.

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Step One: Personal Preferences

The first step is to determine your personal preferences so you can narrow it down.

  1. Do you want your child to attend a public school, or a private school?
  2. Would you like the school to have a particular philosophy or religion that fits with your family beliefs and practices?
  3. Will all of your children be able to attend the same school?
  4. Do you want your children to go to school with their friends and neighbours or does that not matter?
  5. Do you want the school to be nearer to home or work?
  6. How far are you and the children willing to travel each day?

It pays to look into public transport options before you go much further. Long term, it’s something you might need or want.

These six questions allow you to draw a big red circle on a local map highlighting the area in which you will begin your search for a good school in Brisbane.

Social Proof

It also pays to ‘put it out there’.

Ask your friends and family their thoughts on how to choose a good school in Brisbane. Survey your friends on social media, and listen closely to the parents who are already a part of the school community. Hearing first-hand feedback from a number of parents who are intimately involved with a certain school will be your best indicator. (Remembering that we all colour our experiences of schooling with our own backgrounds, expectations, history, and worldview. I’m reminded of that old adage, “There’s three sides to every story – one side, the other side and the truth, somewhere in the middle”. It’s safest to go with the general consensus).

It’s then time to make a big list of schools that fit your brief. Once you have that, it is informative to take a look at the My School website. My School gives you readily accessible information to help you compare school achievements, characteristics, size, make up of the student bodies, and cultural backgrounds of the schools you research. It may help you to narrow your list further too.

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Step Two: Meet and Greets

The second step is to organise Meet-and-Greets with the schools that now top your list of possibilities. Prepare for your visit by making an appointment or signing up for a school tour. Arrange to visit with your child or children in tow so they also have a chance to feel out the place. It’s then time to ask the hard questions. Here’s our list of considerations for how to choose a good school in Brisbane.

School Culture and Leadership

  • How long has the school been established?
  • Who leads the school, it’s culture and ethos?
  • Is the school ethos based upon a particular religion or philosophy? Does that fit with your family’s outlook on life?
  • How long have your teacher’s been at the school?
  • What is their homework policy?

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School Size

  • How many students does the school have, across how many year levels?
  • How big are the class sizes?

Curriculum and Program

  • What does the school curriculum and educational program look like for each year?
  • Are there opportunities for children to specialise in things they like, or are good at?
  • Is there a learning support program?
  • Is there a music program and who is involved?
  • What does the school excel in each year? (for example; sports, eisteddfods, music, debating, creative arts, or science and math?)
  • What is the school’s approach to discipline and behaviour management in and outside the classroom?
  • How does the school deal with bullying and disruptive behaviours?
  • What are the school’s most recent results in NAPLAN? How did the most recent school graduates fare with their OP results?

Ultimately, NAPLAN results are not a fair measure of a school’s performance and should not be relied upon too strongly to judge the potential of a primary school. A warm caring environment, enthusiastic teachers, like-minded parents, and a common goal can be a much better indicator when contemplating how to choose a good primary school in Brisbane.

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Facilities and Technology

  • What facilities does the school offer the children?
  • What is the school’s view on technology?
  • And also, how does the school deal with the challenges of technology and social media?

Community and Involvement

Most schools also have their policies and procedures on their website, and often provide parents with a copy of their school’s handbook but if doubt, ask.

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At the end of the day

Most often, visiting a particular school is the action that seals the deal. Most parents just know when they’ve found the right place for their child and family – it’s in the air! But visiting a number of possibilities gives you more scope and if nothing else, helps you to be even more solid in your decision on where you will send your precious children. That’s our guide to on how to choose a good primary school in Brisbane. Do let us know if you have other questions or considerations you would add to our list.

We’ve made it even easier for you to choose a good primary school in Brisbane. Click here to see a list of Primary School Options in Brisbane and surrounds.

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