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Angela820

Impressions of Gov & Private Primary schools in ACT

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There seem to be a few questions on here about Primary Schools in ACT and we have just gone through the process of researching, visiting and choosing a school so I though I would share my findings with anyone who is interested

 

I did a load of research first from the UK in terms of "good" schools - alot of info came from this forum and alot came from other forums. I have a son who is gifted in Maths so I really wanted a good school for him. I do think you need to visit the schools when you get here if you can and alot of this can be arranged before you get here. Its well worth the time. I printed off a map of Canberra and put it next to my computer and shaded areas where there were the "target" schools and their catchment. I shaded area private schools differently. Jut this visual aid helped in me narrowing where we may be looking for housing and also allowed me to further research commute times and bus routes.... The list of schools I visited were:

 

Gov schools:

 

Curtin Primary

North Ainslie

Aranda

Kaleen

Torrens

 

Private schools visited:

Emmaus Christian School

Holy Trinity , Curtin

St Peter and St Paul, Garran

Montsorri, Holder

Girls Grammar School

 

I wanted to visit more. Garran and Chapman Gov schools will not let you visit unless you have a confirmed place to live and paperwork to prove it in their Catchment. They must get innundated! Both are EXCELLENT schools with excellent NAPLAN results but I could not visit them. If we decided to live in either of these areas we were prepared to take a chance on the schools but nothing happened to be suitable and available at the time and this is a key thing as the rental market here is a nightmare. Will maybe post findings on this separately if people are interested. There were more private schools I also wanted to visit but they were full and therefore did not want even a speculative visit for going onto a waiting list.

 

You can check the results of a school my going to http://www.myschool.edu.au/ and finding the school you want and clicking on NAPLAN on the left hand side. I would look at results in "numbers" as the graphs and others are confusing. I would also not take the results completely to heart as its a relatively new thing - but I do thnk its fairly good indicator of things and is a good benchmark - some may disagree. I just wanted schools that were above or exceptionally above average in most of the areas tested as this was a promise I made to myself on moving here in that I just wanted an excellent school for my son.

 

All the Gov schools I visited were good and I would not be worried if my son went to any of them however not all were best fit for him - some had an Arts focus and were creative, some focussed on other areas etc...but once I had a short list of favourite schools we narrowed our search on houses to certain areas.

 

I have to say if you look at the "ranking" of the schools I visited, they all had relatively good results so Im not sure how the other schools I did not visit were so cannot comment... All schools in Canberra (and rest of Ox I think) received a massive grant of around $1,5 million dollars when the world went into recession, to inject money into the local building trade so they all have a new gymnasium, library or hall or something. This applied also to private schools.

 

In comparison to the Private schools, I would say places like the grammar school are in a class of their own but I did not choose it as they had this strange policy of wanting to put my already advanced son back a year into Pre School instead of Kindergarten which is where his age allows him to be, simply because he was a boy and therefore may not be "mature" enough!. Im sure if I pushed it they would have said ok to Kinder but it was not for us in the end..

 

I really liked Emmaus and have put both my kids on the waiting list there and my son will go to North Ainslie in the meantime. Some private schools are definately better - just better equipped, better results, seem better organised, facilities are newer and the libraries are lovely. That said Torrens primary had a gorgeous library and I though this was an EXCELLENT government school and was definately in my short list and would have chosen this over some of the private schools I saw. its all a matter of taste and what your child needs.

 

The problem with the very good private schools is that they all have MASSIVE waiting lists and I mean a 2 - 3 years long at least and so we did not have any choice. If I did I would have chosen Emmaus. I like Holy Trinity Catholic school in Curtin but Curtin Primary which is a government school was just as good in some ways (if a bit chaotic). If we lived in Curtin I would have chosen Holy Trinity simply on the fact that it was smaller in size but eveything else was the same and Curtin has a good "gifted" scheme.

 

When we arrived we looked at houses in ALL areas (except Tuggeranong) and we looked at things like commute to Civic/public transport as well as the area of the shortlisted schools. We loved the space in the massive houses in Gunghalin but when I did some research, the schools results near to houses we looked at were not great, this was only in a few of the suburbs and we decided it was too far so did not research too many of the areas here.. We wanted to try and get away with having one car (Cars are EXPENSIVE) hence choosing the Inner North in the end. We liked Belconnnen and looked in Aranda but no houses came up in the time we were here and looking and I think this is what you also need to consider. I think you need to have a few areas to consider as had we found a house in Aranda we also would have moved there.. but nothing came up..

 

My husband came on a 457 visa and we were advised my Saskia Hancock at the Dept of Education here that unless we were on the SOL list, we would have to pay an annual fee of 9.9K$ for going to government school. Some private schools are cheaper (the catholic ones) but the problem in some of the good ones is getting a place. Holy Trinity, St Peter and St Paul had space, Radford who I approached did not, Emmaus does not, St Josephs who I approached did not... There are many which do have space of course but you will find that the ones with excellent results will not (much like the UK)

 

As it happened, my husbands work is on the SOL list so once we had found a property on a long term rental, we emailed Saskia Hancock stating we wanted to register Ethan at North Ainslie as we were in the catchment. She issued us a waiver, told the school of this and we enrolled him directly with the school.

 

It is worth taking time to research and people talk about more than 50% of the population put their kids in Private schools and this may scare lots of people off and make you think that the gov schools are terrible. I do think you have to chose carefully and do your research. Definately some gov schools have problem kids there who may have been chucked out of all the local private schools... and this is a difference in that gov schools have to take kids in their area even if they are full and cannot select whereas the private system can. Look at the demographics of the area, the houses etc..I think this is often a good indication of the school overall. Definately the facilities in the private school are better, but there are good gov schools.

 

Most private schools have lower fees also than the government imposed $10K. (The grammar is around 11K so you may as well consider this if you have to pay the gov fee. private schools are generally around 2-4K a year so not that expensive. Just find a good one that has a spot.

 

Hope all this helps...happy to answer any questions

 

 

Angela

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The Government schools aren't that bad at all in Canberra really. You certainly can get bad apples in any school regardless of if it's public or private. I read the bit you wrote about problem kids out to my husband who was born and bred in Canberra and was schooled here. He laughed and said all the drug dealers when he was at school came from Radford!!

 

It's the super schools I'd be avoiding. Like Kingsford Smith School in West Belconnen which takes from preschool to year 10. It's probably just what I'm used to but the thought of a big school like that leaves me feeling cold.

 

 

ETA: It's also interesting to see what Canberrans think of schools and it's often discussed on Riot Act. This thread is asking about primary schools and there are links to several other threads in post 3. Slightly dated but may be of use.

http://the-riotact.com/canberra-primary-schools-what-are-they-like/19166


It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins - Chinese proverb

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Start planning now for where you want to send them to HS!!! This year, for the first time, over 50% of HS students went to non gov schools.

 

I agree with Jurls, the superschools are probably to be avoided at the moment at least - bear in mind that they are placed in areas where the government school enrolments were declining and the SES of the local area wasnt brilliant so the native catchment areas arent great (Amaroo probably being the exception to that)

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Which are the good gov and non gov high schools in your opinion? Was just thinking of that the other day! Angela

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Which are the good gov and non gov high schools in your opinion? Was just thinking of that the other day! Angela

 

Check out the NAPLAN site!!! That pretty much tells you what you need to know!

 

Lyneham HS has a gifted and talented class (they assess in mid year 6 and take kids from all over the ACT).

 

If you have a child who is bilingual French/English then Telopea Park is the one to go for.

 

If you can afford Grammar or Radford then get their names down now - you can always revise down the track if you think you can find something better, cheaper but you cant usually make the decision to enrol them in year 7 when they are in year 6!!! Actually a trick with both of them is to try and enrol them later in primary school and tell the school that you will be happy with a place at any time - many parents wont move a kid part way through a year and will wait until the beginning of a year or a natural enrolment point which means that sometimes they have mid year vacancies that they cant fill. Burgmann is slowly developing but hasnt cracked the elite level quite yet.

 

In the Catholic system, St Edmunds and Marist are the two boys schools of choice and St Clares and Merici the two girls schools. Daramalan and Francis Xavier (both co-ed) follow behind them.

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Hi Angela,

 

am going to move to Canberra with my family (wife and two kids) in September from Italy but I will come for a week in May (from 19ty to 25th) just to see Canberra and to visit some schools.

 

I have two children (boy will be 5 in July and girl will be 3 in May) and, as you can imagine, they are my main concern about this move: children usually adapt very easily but do not speak English right now. I will be working in Weston Creek and I am thinking to settle in the inner south area (Hughes, Garran, Griffith or, if I will find an affordable home, in Yarralumla or Deakin) though this is not a must and visiting suburbs is just one of the reasons for coming in May.

 

I understand from you email that you have a clear picture of both gov and non gov education in Canberra and I would really appreciate if you could share some more info with me and give me some tips. I would like to do what you have done: getting a map ready, with schools and catchment area then preparing a shortlis of schools, write an email to the principal in order to visit them in mid May and, eventually enrolling my children or at least put them on the waiting list. I am not sure how many chances I have with the girl because she may be too young for attending kindergarten but I would like to have a try: in Italy she started the nursery at 8 months and taking her out now that she will be three sounds a bit wierd to me.

 

Could you give me your impression on the schools worth visiting with special focus on the inner south area but eventually also other worth visiting. Which are the best suburbs for a family in your opinion: in principle we are heading the south inner but, as I wrote, it is just a clue and we could change our mind if we like more other suburbs.

 

Thanks in advance

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Hi and thanks for the message

 

Your kids are the same age as mine:-) I have a 5 year old sone and a 3 year old daughter!

 

First of all - are you thining of government or pricate schooling for the kids? I have visited both. The inner south is where you want to be if you want private as the grammar school are based there, but I would think about getting your kids on a waiting list if thats what you want. All the good government schools allow kids from their catchment so where you live will determine where your kids are likley to get a place in a school.

 

the inner south is the most pricey place to live in Canberra but very nice :-) The Inner north is very pricey too and also nice as are other places, however my hubby works in the city and so he did not want to commute so we live next to the city (and pay for it!)

 

Did you know that Yarralumla Primary school is Italian/bilingual. They teach 50% in Italian and 50% in English so your kids may be suited here? Yarralumla is a lovely place to live here as is Deakin. The shops in Deakin are great and there is a Fitness First there too which I go to after I drop the kids off at school.

 

I think that your plan is an excellent one and its what I did. In fact we did not even look at houses until we had shortlisted the best schools and then looked for a rental in the areas where we like the school. I would try and write and call the principal as often they did not respond. Garran and Chapman will not allow a visit unless you already live in their catchment as they are very good and popular schools.

 

Regarding your daughter, you are in the same position as me. My daughter turns 4 in July and the deadline here is the 30th April to turn 4 before you can attend pre school. They are vvvv strict about this and we have appealled twice to the government to allow our daughter to attend school here as we are on a temporary visa but they will not allow it unless you are on a 2 year visa. You can try but thus far Mia is going to school later than she would in the UK because of this. She goes to The Montesorri Pre school which is next to Yarralumla Primary and on their grounds, 2 mornings a week at the moment and this is EXCELLENT and they take them from 3 (waiting list also but is accessible).

 

The Catholic schools are also good and there is St Peter and St paul in Garran, The Catholic school in Curtin which is good also (cannot recall name..). Curtin Primary is a good school esp if you child is artistic but I did not go for this as I was looking for a school with ceratin focus for my son who has a gifted maths ability. Garran Primary is EXCELLENT but driven by catchment and I would strongly reccommend this school but they are strict on catchment. Yarralumla, Deakin and Red Hill are good schools in the Inner south - but I have not visited them but have heard from other parents. They are not the best (if you are just looking at NAPLAN results) but they are in a good demographic area so benefit from that I think. There is of course the Grammar schools in the inner south which have excellent results but is a costly option. We did not opt for this because we came to Canberra with little notice and my son needed to start school straight away but I did look round them and they are good. We live next to one of the campuses actually.

 

Torrens Primary is also another v good school that I visited and thats in the Inner south.

 

 

The inner North has some good schools. Emmaus Christian school I liked alot (waiting list), If you are going further north Aranda Primary was good also.

 

 

To be honest I shortlisted the good schools (NAPLAN results) so cannot say I saw one that I hated but I did have preferences. For example I felt Curtin was excellent but very chaotic in style and my son would not have thrived in that environment. It has an excellent gifted scheme though and a focus on ART so some kids (like my daughter for example) would fare well there I think.

 

Write and Ill answer any questions you might have :-) my email is angela820@hotmail.com

 

Angela

 

Hi Angela,

 

am going to move to Canberra with my family (wife and two kids) in September from Italy but I will come for a week in May (from 19ty to 25th) just to see Canberra and to visit some schools.

 

I have two children (boy will be 5 in July and girl will be 3 in May) and, as you can imagine, they are my main concern about this move: children usually adapt very easily but do not speak English right now. I will be working in Weston Creek and I am thinking to settle in the inner south area (Hughes, Garran, Griffith or, if I will find an affordable home, in Yarralumla or Deakin) though this is not a must and visiting suburbs is just one of the reasons for coming in May.

 

I understand from you email that you have a clear picture of both gov and non gov education in Canberra and I would really appreciate if you could share some more info with me and give me some tips. I would like to do what you have done: getting a map ready, with schools and catchment area then preparing a shortlis of schools, write an email to the principal in order to visit them in mid May and, eventually enrolling my children or at least put them on the waiting list. I am not sure how many chances I have with the girl because she may be too young for attending kindergarten but I would like to have a try: in Italy she started the nursery at 8 months and taking her out now that she will be three sounds a bit wierd to me.

 

Could you give me your impression on the schools worth visiting with special focus on the inner south area but eventually also other worth visiting. Which are the best suburbs for a family in your opinion: in principle we are heading the south inner but, as I wrote, it is just a clue and we could change our mind if we like more other suburbs.

 

Thanks in advance

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I went to a catholic school in Canberra and now live in London...doing it the other way around I guess. We lived in Latham in Belconnen and I bused to St Edmunds each day which was a decent trek. I arrived in Canberra with my english parents when I was in year 5 (about 11 years old).

 

In truth Daramalan or Radford are a good choice on the northside, but if you live on the south side (and may not want to go to Grammar) then either Eddies or Marist are good options for boys and St Clares and Merici for girls. Eddies/Clares was particulary good for boys/girls from Queanbeyan as it is on that side of Canberra.

 

The catholic schools are very sport focussed, we had to play sport each term but the academics were good too. It all depends on what parents prefer. Rugby union is the sport of choice at catholic schools along with cricket in the summer months.

 

Prior to this I went to Cranbrook School in Sydney, and before that Downside School in Purley, London.

 

Government schools are also very good and there were many people at university from both the private and public systems. Although I do remember some interviews for graduate recruitment where they asked me what school I went to...once I said one of the private/catholic schools an instant "old boys" rapport comes up and the interviewer starts talking about rugby or some other sport and it makes the process alot easier. Not that I support this, but rather to ensure you realise this side of it too...best of luck all :)

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Hi Angela,

 

I have been in Canberra and visited a few schools. I just meant to thank you because your suggestions, especially the ones on the bilingual course and the Montessori Yarralumla, were very useful. I have put my daughter (3 years old) in waiting list for the Montessori and I keep finger crossed she will be enrolled for 2013 (two mornings a week is already a good start) while for 2012 I think she will attend some playgroups with my wife.

 

I think I will enroll my boy (5 years) to the Yarralumla Primary Kindy in the bilingual program (I do not need to stay in the catchment area for the bilingual program) and I he will attend also 2013. The Yarralumla seems to be a nice school and the principal was very nice. I also visited some other Catholic schools but so far I am happy with the Yarralumla and, if for any reason I should not be happy with in in the future, I can always think about alternative solutions. But so far I had a very good feeling.

 

Thanks again about your suggestion,

Massimo

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There seem to be a few questions on here about Primary Schools in ACT and we have just gone through the process of researching, visiting and choosing a school so I though I would share my findings with anyone who is interested

 

I did a load of research first from the UK in terms of "good" schools - alot of info came from this forum and alot came from other forums. I have a son who is gifted in Maths so I really wanted a good school for him. I do think you need to visit the schools when you get here if you can and alot of this can be arranged before you get here. Its well worth the time. I printed off a map of Canberra and put it next to my computer and shaded areas where there were the "target" schools and their catchment. I shaded area private schools differently. Jut this visual aid helped in me narrowing where we may be looking for housing and also allowed me to further research commute times and bus routes.... The list of schools I visited were:

 

Gov schools:

 

Curtin Primary

North Ainslie

Aranda

Kaleen

Torrens

 

Private schools visited:

Emmaus Christian School

Holy Trinity , Curtin

St Peter and St Paul, Garran

Montsorri, Holder

Girls Grammar School

 

I wanted to visit more. Garran and Chapman Gov schools will not let you visit unless you have a confirmed place to live and paperwork to prove it in their Catchment. They must get innundated! Both are EXCELLENT schools with excellent NAPLAN results but I could not visit them. If we decided to live in either of these areas we were prepared to take a chance on the schools but nothing happened to be suitable and available at the time and this is a key thing as the rental market here is a nightmare. Will maybe post findings on this separately if people are interested. There were more private schools I also wanted to visit but they were full and therefore did not want even a speculative visit for going onto a waiting list.

 

 

 

 

Angela

 

 

We were able to visit Garran and were impressed but found visiting Chapman very difficult. My husband arrived first to visit the schools we'd short listed from our research and then to find a long term rental in a priority enrolment area (PEA). Hubby found a rental in Chapman for which we were accepted but he then got pushy with Chapman saying he was wouldn't risk taking a rental without seeing the school. Once he got ast the "guard" and met the head he was really impressed with the school. Our daughter is now in Chapman and we are really impressed withe the school. The head mistress knows all of her pupils and has time fr everyone, parents included. Great school!

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Really pleased you got so much sorted out

 

I hear good things about the bi lingual programme at Yarralumla.. I am pleased you sorted it all out and am glad to be of help

Angela

 

Hi Angela,

 

I have been in Canberra and visited a few schools. I just meant to thank you because your suggestions, especially the ones on the bilingual course and the Montessori Yarralumla, were very useful. I have put my daughter (3 years old) in waiting list for the Montessori and I keep finger crossed she will be enrolled for 2013 (two mornings a week is already a good start) while for 2012 I think she will attend some playgroups with my wife.

 

I think I will enroll my boy (5 years) to the Yarralumla Primary Kindy in the bilingual program (I do not need to stay in the catchment area for the bilingual program) and I he will attend also 2013. The Yarralumla seems to be a nice school and the principal was very nice. I also visited some other Catholic schools but so far I am happy with the Yarralumla and, if for any reason I should not be happy with in in the future, I can always think about alternative solutions. But so far I had a very good feeling.

 

Thanks again about your suggestion,

Massimo

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H i Angela,

Iam moving to canberra with my 2 sons one is going to be 5 in August and other turned 3 in this February. I a, going to move in city cox of hussle bussle hence looking for the school for my kids. Now the question is i want to enrol my elser one in KG as he is already going into kG here in Singapore but as per ACT policy he should turn 5 b4 30 April. So kindly advice me a all round school for my son to proceed amd if hez not getting admission in kg then what kinda activity i shouls follow to keep him engage in entire week like school. I'm looking for Ainslie and and Turner but not sure about kg admission. Pleae reply me soon aa i hve to leaseout my apartment also which is already decided and only payment is left. Regards

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H i Angela,

Iam moving to canberra with my 2 sons one is going to be 5 in August and other turned 3 in this February. I a, going to move in city cox of hussle bussle hence looking for the school for my kids. Now the question is i want to enrol my elser one in KG as he is already going into kG here in Singapore but as per ACT policy he should turn 5 b4 30 April. So kindly advice me a all round school for my son to proceed amd if hez not getting admission in kg then what kinda activity i shouls follow to keep him engage in entire week like school. I'm looking for Ainslie and and Turner but not sure about kg admission. Pleae reply me soon aa i hve to leaseout my apartment also which is already decided and only payment is left. Regards

 

Unless he is profoundly gifted and talented you won't be able to bend the 30 April cut off and an August birthday is well beyond any state's cut off date so not really worth the effort TBH. He should get 15 hrs of preschool at a local preschool and you will have to find a long day child care centre for the remainder - will you have PR? If not you will probably be required to pay for gov education. Some long day care centres operate a preschool program which you will pay for. Of the two, Ainslie maybe has the edge but if your child doesn't have good English then North Ainslie may be a better bet as it has an Intensive English Centre

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Hi,

Thanks for the reply. Yes i do have PR and on that basis have to stay canberra for the given time period. Indeed, my son excell in englishhenxe communication is not a problem. Now i would appreciate if you proide me the names of any daycare cum pre school centers in 2601 or near to that postal code where i'm going to reside, it would be good for my son too to attend pre school before moving to Kg inorder to grasp the environment as well. As he is coming from Singapore quite a happening and glittery place whereas i've heard Canberra is quite and relax place to live unless you're not living near to Canberra centre or any shopping mall at arms length. Regards

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Hi,

Thanks for the reply. Yes i do have PR and on that basis have to stay canberra for the given time period. Indeed, my son excell in englishhenxe communication is not a problem. Now i would appreciate if you proide me the names of any daycare cum pre school centers in 2601 or near to that postal code where i'm going to reside, it would be good for my son too to attend pre school before moving to Kg inorder to grasp the environment as well. As he is coming from Singapore quite a happening and glittery place whereas i've heard Canberra is quite and relax place to live unless you're not living near to Canberra centre or any shopping mall at arms length. Regards

You can do a Google search for child care centres in the area. There are quite long waiting lists for many. Where will you be working? Some employers have crèches. Canberra is definitely not like Singapore!!!

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Hi, I am heading to Canberra with my 15 year old daughter and 11 year old son soon.

As I cannot afford private schools, I hope to enroll them to good public government schools.

From their age, I reckon that one would go to High school while the other would still be in the Primary school.

Any recommendations for good public schools for them? Preferably schools which are not too far from each other so that they can both walk to school.

Thanks!

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Where will you be living? People usually live where they can afford/have access to services they want/with proximity to work. Personally I'd stick with inner suburbs and the inner suburb schools are generally fine. Personally, too, I would avoid Tuggeranong if education is a priority. Edited to say, have you checked the myschools website?

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Thanks, Quoll, for the reply.

 

I don't have any particular suburbs in mind. My priority is to find some good public schools for my children and then try to look for a place affordable to rent nearby the school so that they can walk to school. Having said that, probably I should have a list of schools which are considerably okay, and another list of schools which I should absolutely avoid (like Tuggeranong as you mentioned). Do you have any suggestions? Thanks a bunch...

 

BTW, I did check the myschools website, but being new in this, I do not have any idea what I should look out for in particular in this website. Any guides would be great for me so that I know where to start from. Thanks!

 

Where will you be living? People usually live where they can afford/have access to services they want/with proximity to work. Personally I'd stick with inner suburbs and the inner suburb schools are generally fine. Personally, too, I would avoid Tuggeranong if education is a priority. Edited to say, have you checked the myschools website?

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Thanks, Quoll, for the reply.

 

I don't have any particular suburbs in mind. My priority is to find some good public schools for my children and then try to look for a place affordable to rent nearby the school so that they can walk to school. Having said that, probably I should have a list of schools which are considerably okay, and another list of schools which I should absolutely avoid (like Tuggeranong as you mentioned). Do you have any suggestions? Thanks a bunch...

 

BTW, I did check the myschools website, but being new in this, I do not have any idea what I should look out for in particular in this website. Any guides would be great for me so that I know where to start from. Thanks!

 

Where will you be working? That'll probably be the lynch pin! There isn't that much mileage in choosing a rental because of the school - you have to live in a house 24/7 and it rather depends on what you can afford and what you expect of a house really. Inner suburbs are more expensive for less than outer suburbs but transport not so much of an issue as outer suburbs.

Gov schools really are much of a muchness, there are few to avoid at all costs (the website does reflect that) but in general terms if you can't see yourself living in the suburb then you won't want your kids at that suburban school! If it were me, I'd start close to the centre and work out wards. You could do worse than Majura PS/Lyneham HS or Aranda PS/Canberra HS or Forrest PS, Garran PS/Alfred Deakin HS. Private schools aren't as expensive as in England so you may be able to afford Catholic.

 

on the myschools site, I tend to look and see how the skills rack up against national and SES similar schools

Edited by Quoll

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Where will you be working? That'll probably be the lynch pin! There isn't that much mileage in choosing a rental because of the school - you have to live in a house 24/7 and it rather depends on what you can afford and what you expect of a house really. Inner suburbs are more expensive for less than outer suburbs but transport not so much of an issue as outer suburbs.

Gov schools really are much of a muchness, there are few to avoid at all costs (the website does reflect that) but in general terms if you can't see yourself living in the suburb then you won't want your kids at that suburban school! If it were me, I'd start close to the centre and work out wards. You could do worse than Majura PS/Lyneham HS or Aranda PS/Canberra HS or Forrest PS, Garran PS/Alfred Deakin HS. Private schools aren't as expensive as in England so you may be able to afford Catholic.

 

on the myschools site, I tend to look and see how the skills rack up against national and SES similar schools

 

I don't have a job yet, but would try to look for one once I settle down. I am in the ICT.

 

I have not been to Canberra though I had been to Melbourne and Perth many years back. I have no idea where to begin looking for a place, hence I thought maybe I would just look for a rental wherever is convenient for the children and then I would explore other possibilities from there. Hmm... you think this plan won't work?

 

What do you mean, "you could do worse than Majura PS..." Does that mean I should look there, or I should avoid there?

 

From the myschool site, how do I know which schools to avoid? There are numbers and colors, but how do I interpret those as good or bad? Actually I am thinking of Lyneham because the primary and high schools are close by, and there are some units for rent besides the school. Or, the area near Canberra High and Aranda primary school...

 

What do you think?

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I don't have a job yet, but would try to look for one once I settle down. I am in the ICT.

 

I have not been to Canberra though I had been to Melbourne and Perth many years back. I have no idea where to begin looking for a place, hence I thought maybe I would just look for a rental wherever is convenient for the children and then I would explore other possibilities from there. Hmm... you think this plan won't work?

 

What do you mean, "you could do worse than Majura PS..." Does that mean I should look there, or I should avoid there?

 

From the myschool site, how do I know which schools to avoid? There are numbers and colors, but how do I interpret those as good or bad? Actually I am thinking of Lyneham because the primary and high schools are close by, and there are some units for rent besides the school. Or, the area near Canberra High and Aranda primary school...

 

What do you think?

 

No, the ones I mentioned are the ones to look at!

Get a job first if you can - if you can get a job in ICT it could be anywhere! You will want to avoid long travel at rush hour - you could get a house in Amaroo and a job in Tuggeranong for example - not good! No one is going to get their knickers in a knot if you take a month or two to get settled. If you really have no idea then aim for inner north or inner south and then you'll either be close to work or going against the rush hour traffic to get there.

 

re the website, green = good! red = not good!

All the schools have up and down periods and I've been away a while but if you look at the demographics of the suburb you'll get a bit of a picture - Lyneham still has quite a bit of social housing which was reflected in the PS profile - the HS is big but attracts kids to its specialist programs. Honestly, it probably isn't going to matter! There is no gov school which is head and shoulders above the rest. Take your time, check out the suburbs - just drive around and see what they look like. Then look for what you want in a house and how much you are prepared to pay for it. Check out the neighbours and if you can't see yourself living in a suburb then you won't want your kids to go to school in it. http://Www.allhomes.com.au is going to give you the best view of bang for your buck.

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No, the ones I mentioned are the ones to look at!

Get a job first if you can - if you can get a job in ICT it could be anywhere! You will want to avoid long travel at rush hour - you could get a house in Amaroo and a job in Tuggeranong for example - not good! No one is going to get their knickers in a knot if you take a month or two to get settled. If you really have no idea then aim for inner north or inner south and then you'll either be close to work or going against the rush hour traffic to get there.

 

re the website, green = good! red = not good!

All the schools have up and down periods and I've been away a while but if you look at the demographics of the suburb you'll get a bit of a picture - Lyneham still has quite a bit of social housing which was reflected in the PS profile - the HS is big but attracts kids to its specialist programs. Honestly, it probably isn't going to matter! There is no gov school which is head and shoulders above the rest. Take your time, check out the suburbs - just drive around and see what they look like. Then look for what you want in a house and how much you are prepared to pay for it. Check out the neighbours and if you can't see yourself living in a suburb then you won't want your kids to go to school in it. Www.allhomes.com.au is going to give you the best view of bang for your buck.

 

Thanks, Quoll!

 

That's some good information which I need to look into. Guess I really have to learn how to read and understand data in the myschool website. BTW, what is PS and HS profile?

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Thanks, Quoll!

 

That's some good information which I need to look into. Guess I really have to learn how to read and understand data in the myschool website. BTW, what is PS and HS profile?

Sorry, shouldn't use jargon, should I? The profile of the school reflects the socio economic status of the kids who attend - so (horrible generalisations here) but if you get a lot of social housing in an area those kids will be in the school and, sadly, they are often kids with poor skills and motivation and little parental involvement. For a primary school which has a smaller catchment area a critical mass of kids with higher needs does tend to influence the school performance and environment. High Schools have larger catchment areas so potentially has more kids from more affluent/engaged families and so dilutes that critical mass. Lyneham HS is one of the oldest schools in town and has worked hard to inculcate some acknowledgement of elite performance so it has a gifted and talented program, elite sports program etc so it is popular with out of area enrolments.

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Sorry, shouldn't use jargon, should I? The profile of the school reflects the socio economic status of the kids who attend - so (horrible generalisations here) but if you get a lot of social housing in an area those kids will be in the school and, sadly, they are often kids with poor skills and motivation and little parental involvement. For a primary school which has a smaller catchment area a critical mass of kids with higher needs does tend to influence the school performance and environment. High Schools have larger catchment areas so potentially has more kids from more affluent/engaged families and so dilutes that critical mass. Lyneham HS is one of the oldest schools in town and has worked hard to inculcate some acknowledgement of elite performance so it has a gifted and talented program, elite sports program etc so it is popular with out of area enrolments.

 

Hi, sorry, not very sharp with jargon, but I finally knew PS and HS.

Thanks for bringing up all the factors I should consider. That's really something I should not ignore. Looks like I have a lot more things to learn.

 

So, from the myschool website, there is a table for Distribution of Students with Bottom, Middle and Top quarter. Any advice what I should get from the percentage? And the ICSEA value, the higher the better? Also, how would I know which school is good in Arts, Sports, Language, etc?

 

You were right about affordability. Any recommendations for good HS and PS which are not in the inner suburbs, as I most likely could not afford a decent place in the inner suburbs.

 

Thank you so much for your patience.

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Hi, sorry, not very sharp with jargon, but I finally knew PS and HS.

Thanks for bringing up all the factors I should consider. That's really something I should not ignore. Looks like I have a lot more things to learn.

 

So, from the myschool website, there is a table for Distribution of Students with Bottom, Middle and Top quarter. Any advice what I should get from the percentage? And the ICSEA value, the higher the better? Also, how would I know which school is good in Arts, Sports, Language, etc?

 

You were right about affordability. Any recommendations for good HS and PS which are not in the inner suburbs, as I most likely could not afford a decent place in the inner suburbs.

 

Thank you so much for your patience.

 

The myschools website really doesn't tell you much more than how the kids in that year at that school compare with kids of that age nationally and with kids in schools with a similar social mix on a particular test on a particular day and looking at school trends is one of the more interesting activities. The narrative will give you a thumbnail of what they claim to be good at then you can go to their websites and have a look.

 

Really, it's not worth getting anxious about. The schools are all very much of a muchness! Basically though the "better" ones are in the more expensive suburbs!

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