Jump to content

You're currently viewing the forum as a Guest
register-now-button_orig.png
and join in with discussions   
ask migration questions
message other members

..and much much more!

richselina

Primary Schools in ACT

Recommended Posts

We've got our 176 State Sponsorship and will be coming to Canberra in a few months to look for schooling for our 6 year old daughter and would appreciate any guidance on some good schools that we should look at. Our main concern is finding a good school in a good area for her.

 

We've done some online research, but nothing is as good as first hand knowledge, so would appreciate some viewpoints.

 

Thanks so much,

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just avoid Charnwood and Narrabundah and Richardson and you probably wont go too far astray.

 

Most people in Canberra choose their homes because of access to work, affordability, preparedness of landlord to give them a go. None of the schools are really beyond the pale and even if you happen to score a dud, chances are it will change next year with a change of executive staff and if that fails then you can try the private system - fees range from $3k - $15k pa so you have a large choice really. Be aware that all the gov schools in Tuggeranong are open space - the ambient noise of a 4 teacher unit can be a bit daunting even with the best teachers in the world and when you try and cram 25 big primary kids into a space which is smaller than a traditional classroom that, too, can be an issue. Personally I wouldnt opt for any of the Tuggeranong schools but that may be construed as snobbishness on my part. Usual rule of thumb is that if you cant see yourself living in a suburb then you wont want your kids to go to school in that suburb!!!

 

If it were me, I would be aiming to get her into Girls Grammar (or boys grammar until year 3) and rationalize your expenses accordingly (we sent our boys to Boys Grammar and didnt begrudge a cent although it seriously strapped us financially for a good many years).

 

If you have to aim for a govvie PS school then check out http://www.myschool.edu.au/ My own choices would be Majura (Watson, Downer), Aranda, Ainslie (for the music program), possibly Garran or Kaleen PS if you have a G&T kid although North Ainslie is doing its best to attract those kids with the primary IB at the mo too. Forrest usually also gets a guernsey and Chapman is proud of its reputation as being the pseudo grammar. If she happens to be bilingual French/English then Telopea Park would be the one to go for. Close to 50% of kids in ACT go to private schools - just over the 50% for the first time this year for HS kids!

 

The trick will be to get a house, full stop, there is real pressure on rental accommodation these days and you will probably find that the school wont take an enrolment until you have a permanent address anyway. Good luck with it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, many thanks for the detailed response - most appreciated. Could I please ask you where you would say the top 5 places are we should look for housing. We have a budget of about $550-650, but looking on the Internet from 12000 miles away you can't get the real feeling. We're clearly looking for good schools but also a good area with a 3/4 bed house on a largish plot. Your views would be most welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi, many thanks for the detailed response - most appreciated. Could I please ask you where you would say the top 5 places are we should look for housing. We have a budget of about $550-650, but looking on the Internet from 12000 miles away you can't get the real feeling. We're clearly looking for good schools but also a good area with a 3/4 bed house on a largish plot. Your views would be most welcome.

 

The larger blocks are in the older suburbs so generally the further out you go, the smaller the blocks get but, ironically also often the bigger the house so in some of the new builds you get monster houses on tiny little blocks.

 

I'd say look for something which is going to be close-ish to where you are going to be working. Although commuting in Canberra isnt anything compared with UK cities or the bigger Aus cities, if you have to do it, it does become a pain in the bum after a while (everything is relative, huh!) Personally I would be looking to the inner suburbs but that is just my personal preference and over the years I have worked all over so always going against the traffic for the commute. The top end of your budget might be ok for the inner suburbs (watch out for Narrabundah - it's like the curate's egg and it has an early childhood school which has a significant number of children with special needs)

 

We live on 1/4 acre block in Ainslie but our house is cr*p - little 3 beddie weatherboard with a tin roof, much better since we have begun renovating but it is pretty basic and one just like ours was going for $600pw recently - cant believe they let it at that but it went off the market very quickly.

 

You wont get the feeling until you arrive and have a look. It really depends on what you are prepared to put up with and which landlord is prepared to give you a chance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest SandP

Quoll is right you won't get a feel til you get here.

 

When we were on our way we booked appointments with a few Principals in various areas then looked at houses within the areas where the schools we liked were.

 

We have ended up in the North in Ngunnawal with a brief stay in Amaroo. Amaroo was more expensive and quite new looking. If you want more established then you need more central suburbs but they can be quite expensive and the standard of house can be a bit dated. We looked in Curtin and they were very 70's looking. The house we are in now was built in the 90's so not as new as Amaroo, Bonner, Forde and others in the North.

 

Regarding schools the Grammar is really quite expensive, Catholic private schools are less (we pay around $2500 pa) and there are some good public schools. With hindsight I may have gone for a public school but we came from catholic education and decided to continue. The only down side to some public schools is that they go from preschool right up to year 10 so you have 5 years old going to the same campus as teenagers which you may not feel comfortable with.

 

Noone will stress if you don't put your daughter in school immediately. Take your time and find teh right school/area.

 

It only takes maximum 45 minutes to get from top to bottom of Canberra anyway so if you have a car you should be able to commute to work from anywhere - not that Canberrans do - they tends live and work in either the North or South and rarely venture to the other side! I have had some funny looks when I tell people I have commuted for two hours to work in UK.

 

Anyway good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×