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About sandramcd

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  • Birthday 03/03/1972
  1. sandramcd

    Schools in Newcastle?

    How exciting! We have friends in North Sydney and it takes about 1 hr and 20 mins from here to get to them. I reckon there is more freedom for kids up here. Belmont is lovely - beach and lake, don't know anything about schools though. Happy to help with any more questions, haven't been on here for ages but got the email notification
  2. sandramcd

    Schools in Newcastle?

    Hello! We ended up in the New Lambton area so our kids have gone/are going to New Lambton Heights Infants School (gorgeous!), New Lambton Public and Lambton High. Very pleased with all of them. Unfortunately we are far enough out of New Lambton itself that nothing is really walkable! Other good suburbs with nice schools would be The Junction, Kotara, Adamstown (Bel Air) or Eleebana down at Lake Macquarie. Good luck!
  3. NSW Public Schools Home Page This website gives you some info on NSW Public Schools including their websites. You might want to keep google earth/maps open in another window so you know which suburbs you are looking for!
  4. CJ's more clever than me - I haven't worked out how to add links so I've pm'd them!!
  5. Hi there, as far as suburbs and schools go, New lambton is one of the best ones. I have 2 kids (soon to be 3) at New Lambton Public School which is great. It is the only school in Newcastle with no grass, but don't let that put you off!! My lot came from a school with massive playing fields over looking Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth and it doesn't bother them. My younger 2 go to New Lambton Heights Infants which tends to feed into NLPS in year 3. They have a massive field which is lovely. New Lambton and New Lambton Heights are both nice suburbs, New Lambton is flatter, walkable to shops and has parks, while The Heights has trees, hills and is a bit easier to access the hospital, uni and the Lake, and is about 15-20 mins drive from the centre of Newcastle. Other nice suburbs are Kotara, Adamstown and Adamstown Heights or areas at the Lake such as Eelebana and Warners Bay. Please feel free to pm me if you want more info about the schools. Sandra x
  6. sandramcd

    What is the right age to take children to Australia

    We have been here 11 months now and came because my husband was offered a job. Our kids were 10, 8, 6, 4 and 9 months when we arrived. They weren't involved in the discussion and were told this is what would be happening. Kids are far more adaptable than we give them credit for, and often asking them just gives them more responsibility/worry than they need. As far as we are concerned this is not a permanent move, but are aware that it has probably now set an itch in the kids feet! Having read various threads on here about how traumatised people have been, I wanted to make sure that our kids see this as an adventure. One day we will most likely go back to the UK but not to where we previously were so things won't be the same anyway. We've said that where ever they go they'll make friends and then they will have contacts all around the world in years to come - fantastic for gap years, holidays etc! They have all settled very well here, as have I (husband finds work very frustrating but that's a whole other story), but ultimately who knows where they will all end up. I think we are lucky as we have choices where others perhaps feel trapped. We've found the schools here suit our kids better and may well wait until our youngest has at least been through Infants and got a good start. By that time No1 will then be looking at Uni, so could be perfect timing for them. Having so many it's always going to be tricky for someone - so wish us a wee bit more luck!!
  7. sandramcd

    Something with 7 seats...

    We went for a Tarago as we have a fair-sized tribe! We had a Galaxy in the UK and the Tarago gives us that bit more space. It has 8 seats and we still have a boot. For you it would be great when the kids want to have friends come home, or when family come to visit. There are smaller 7-seaters, but I would always go bigger just in case.
  8. We flew from Edinburgh to London in order to fly with Singapore on the A380. We managed to do both London to Singapore and Singapore to Sydney and they were great. I was terrified of flying at all and figured we should have the most comfortable flights possible so that I was in a fit state to look after all the kids and not be a quivering mess in the toilets! The planes are so comfortable that it was difficult to tell when we had actually taken off! I would say it is well worth the extra journey.
  9. sandramcd

    Something I read . . .

    That's exactly what we thought when considering our move to the other side of the world with 5 small children! Life is just too short for regrets!
  10. sandramcd

    Newcastle Mums Meet?

    Lovely! I'll have a paper under my arm and a red rose between my teeth!:laugh:
  11. sandramcd

    Newcastle Mums Meet?

    How does 10.30 at Swells tomorrow (thursday!) look? Hopefully the weather will be as glorious as today! Leave a note on my page or pm me.
  12. sandramcd

    Religious Education in Australia

    Thanks Andy, I know there are teachers out there who perhaps do that but I hope I'm not one of them! I passionately believe that good RE teaching could go a long way to helping a lot of problems in societies today. Maybe I'll write to K.Rudd...!
  13. sandramcd

    Religious Education in Australia

    I think my problem is that I want my children to be educated by people who have a educated knowledge of what they are teaching eg I would want them to be taught languages by people who are fluent in that language and know the ins and outs of grammar etc, not by some one who happens to go on holiday there a bit. I studied for 4 years at Uni and love my subject (am slightly put out by the suggestion that RE teachers only read from a book...). There is a place for visitors but then surely there should be Muslims, Jews etc represented? I was lucky enough to go to a good Catholic School in Southampton where the Catholic girls had all their "faith stuff" (for want of a better term!), but we were also given good, objective RE classes where debate was encouraged and people's views respected.
  14. sandramcd

    Religious Education in Australia

    Thanks Hazel, in the UK I taught Re 2x a week in an Essex state school to every kids in every year in the school. We looked at signs and symbols, Science and religion, indiginous religions, ethics, philosophy aswell as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism. What I believed was not relevant and RE was taught from an objective point of view to give kids an understanding of where other people are coming from. We often invited people in to discuss their faiths with the kids to make it a bit more "real" to them. We teach our kids what we believe at home and are looking for a church with a Sunday School to do the same, but I just don't see that that is what I should be finding in school. I have a friend who, as an atheist, has been very upset by what her son has been told at school about her beliefs!!
  15. sandramcd

    Religious Education in Australia

    Thanks for your replies. My experience so far has been well-meaning ladies from a very conservative evangelical church coming in to tell my kids that God literally made the world in 6 days and that this is what everyone should believe. As a theologian (and my DH a Prof of Theology) I just feel a sense of despair. Surely in such a multi-cultural society RE should be taught properly to explain why people behave the way they do and to teach children to treat others, and their beliefs, with respect (I do see the irony about what I have just said btw!). The thing is that despite years as an RE teacher, I can't offer to teach here because we aren't yet members of one of the Churches that have been OK'd by the NSW Gvmnt Education Dept! My DH is setting up one of the first Theology Depts to be in a secular uni context in Australia and is finding the lack of any kind of theological knowledge very frustrating. Is it any wonder people think Christians are nutters?! ps thanks for letting me rant!