A consideration of which high school your child will go to starts early, but by this time of year it is of particular concern to parents of Year 6 students. There will be competing factors in making this decision, which could include where you live, affiliations with your child’s primary school and encouragement from teachers, where siblings or friends attend or will attend high school, consideration of religion or values, what is said about the teaching staff and what subjects and activities are on offer at each school.
Parents now have more information at their fingertips than ever before, with resources such as My School and Facebook chat groups for parents, but often more information equals more confusion. In addition, no two children are the same and as parents know very well, what works for one child will not necessarily be the best choice for another.
Dr Nicky Dulfer, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Melbourne suggests that there are more important considerations than the type of school (e.g. government, private, religious, international) unless your values are strong around one of these types. She states that the most important thing is that your child feels they belong, and this may simply be a matter of the school being part of the community you live in.
In addition, Dr Dulfer suggests looking at:
We also asked My Academy’s Director, Rachel Dreier, for her top tips gained from the insights she hears from the education community, parents and students every day.
Rachel’s top 5 tips
The first thing I must mention is that there is no “perfect” school. With having to cater for such a wide variety of children it would be impossible for any school to achieve the “perfect” status. However, there is very likely a perfect school for your child. Here are 5 of my top tips when looking at which school to choose:
Finally, please remember that the decision you make now is not cast in stone. There is nothing educationally wrong with changing high schools should you discover that the school is not suitable for your child, as long as it is not an annual event!
It’s most important to understand that students can excel at any school.Studies show that many factors affect a child’s performance at school besides what is offered there – things like cultural background, parent expectations, home life, level of health and daily physical activity, personality, resiliency skills and confidence, and level of involvement in the child’s learning by family members and community.
More important than facilities, subjects and even teaching styles is how your child feels at school. A big part of this is fostering a feeling of calm and confidence through open communication and acknowledgement of interests and concerns your child may have.