Guest Speaker: Panel consisting of Karen A-D,Sarah B and Kate B
Topic: Mums talk about the experience of choosing a school for your children
Morning Tea Theme: Lunchbox foods
Craft: Sock Puppets
Summary of session:
Kate B (Head of Womens Ministry at MBC) spoke first about her experience of schooling. A few of her main points were to see each of your children as individuals and the school that suits one may not necessarily suit another. Realise also that you become a part of a school community. Sarah B spoke about selecting a primary school for her son based on lots of questions and research (she said to not be afraid to ask questions and speak up if want to know something as its a big decision you are making). She said one main factor in helping her choose a school was to look at her sons interests and skills and try and find a school that also emphasised those areas.
Karen A-D also spoke about the school community and mentioned her school has multi-age classes.
School and Preschool Option in Queensland
PLEASE NOTE THIS SECTION IS STILL BEING WORKED ON - NOT COMPLETE AND OPEN TO INPUT FROM OTHERS THANKS
School starts in Queensland with a (non-compulsory) Prep year for children turning 5 by June 30th.
Preschool options - Prior to this time your options include:
- Child staying at home with parent
- Child at home with a paid or unpaid carer (eg home based nanny or family member). There are some nanny agencies such as (ADD SOME HERE). If a family member good idea to have some guidelines/rules in place to increase consistency across carers etc
- Child Care/Creche/Day Care - this may be either centre based care or family day care in the home of a qualified carer. Centre Based Care - Available 5 days a week (you nominate days you want) and open generally from 6.30am to 6.30 pm. Fees vary. Some families eligible for Government subsidy. Waitlists can be long in some centres and for some age groups. Some centres ask for a booking fee. You will need to enquire at each centre you are interested in. Its a good idea to find a centre close to home or work if possible rather than one out of your way. Ask around for recommendations. Word of mouth is always a good way to find a quality centre but remember what one family wants/needs out of a centre may not be the same as yours. Best idea is to make a short list of centres and physically visit them to get a feel for the place - do the children look happy, do the staff look happy, what does the centre offer, what are the centres hours, policies, fees etc. Ask some current parents about things such as how any problem behaviours are managed or is there a high turnover of staff. Ultimately you are asking - would you be ok about your child being cared for by these workers and in this centre. Family Day Care has the advantages or being one carer with a smaller group of children in a home environment. To find out more about Family Day Care here on the coast see this site or contact xxxx TO BE ADDED.
- Taking part in a Kindergarten/Pre-Prep program for the year immediately prior to prep - These pre-prep programs are offered via some day care centres and more specifically via centres such as C& K etc. Most C&K Kindergarten/Pre-Prep have either a 2 day or 3 day group OR a rotating 2 day/3 day fortnight. Note that the day is shorter than that available via child care centres. Most C&K programs run from 8.45-2.15 or 9 to 2pm. C & K Pre-Prep only runs during school term. If you are considering C&K, be prepared to put your name on a waitlist at least 12-18mths prior to when you want your child to attend as places are limited (often only 2 groups of around 20-25 children). So this would mean figuring out what year your child will be attending Prep (e.g., Prep in 2012) and then you'll want to enrol your child in C & K for Pre-Prep the year before this (Pre-Prep 2011) so ideally you would then count back 18 mths prior to this year to enrol to increase your chance of a place (enrol by mid-2009) - should you choose this option. Please note that I am by no means wanting to alarm anyone but rather some info/advice/planning ahead that I wish I had known/been given/taken notice of/acted upon.
Preparing your child for school/Readiness for school
See these sites for further info (to be added)
Choosing a School - link to Fact Sheet by Dr John Irvine (to be added)
School Zones - to be added. Does anyone know if you can access a map of school zones or is a matter of contacting the school you are interested in?
The School Enrolment procedure - each school varies. Most have a website or a prospectus (or both) with enrolment forms. In terms of Prep most school advertise their info nights around Oct/November for parents wishing to enrol children for the following year
Private/Independent vs Public/Government
See Education Queensland website for lots of information and practical advice
THIS PART BELOW WAS ADDED AS A FILLER WHILE I FOUND TIME TO ADD THE SPEAKER NOTES - V TEMPTED TO DELETE BUT NOT SURE OF THE ETIQUETTE OF DOING THAT ON A BLOG??
In the meantime here's something to make you laugh.
All this talk about school made me dig out the old albums. This is me (Michele) when I was in Grade 5. I was "9 years 11 mths" according to Mum's writing on the back of the photo. Don't you love the skivvy. Very practical for those cold school days in Victoria I am sure, and I still remember those "Hoppers" overalls. I loved them and thought they were very cool !
And what I wouldn't do to get my natural hair color back again ....
Posting this photo makes me think of a magazine article I read recently where someone wrote a letter to their current adult self from their 10 year old self....that would be an interesting exercise ....another time perhaps ....Amongst other things it would definitely include something along the lines of "Don't dye your hair ...ever ... as you will NEVER be able to return to your natural colour no matter how hard you try or how much you are willing to spend"