Amy still has a couple of years before she is due to start school, so naturally, you’d think I still have a lot of time before I’d have to start thinking about potential schools, right?
There are several reasons to this. Let me share with you what I have learned (pun unintended) since we arrived in Melbourne.
Firstly, private schools.
If you plan to send your kids to private schools in Victoria, let me tell you: there is a crazy long waiting list. It is, apparently, a norm for parents to send in applications for their children’s primary school spot as soon as they are born. Yes, you read that right. I kid you not. So, the sooner you send in your application, the better chances of you getting a spot for your kid at your preferred school.
Also, I have been advised not to apply for just one school, because a) I might not get it; b) by the time Amy is ready to start school for real, her personality might not suit the school I originally wanted for her (i.e. the school is too academic for her, or she might do better in a school that is more performing arts-based, etc.).
So, again, it’s a norm for parents to apply for several schools to allow themselves the luxury of choice when the time comes for the little ones to start prep (short for preparatory class, or foundation class. Basically the year before they start Year One).
But if private schools are not for you, let’s talk about public schools.
Australia is well known for their education standard, but even then, there are good primary schools and not so good primary schools. Most of the good primary schools are zoned; meaning, their top priority is to accept families who live within a certain zone in the suburb. And most of the designated zone areas are quite small, so you really have to live near the school to get in.
Therefore, if you want to send your children to public schools, it is advised that you do your research way in advance, choose a school, and then live within the zone of that school. Not just within the suburb, because sometimes the designated zone might only cover a certain area of the suburb, instead of the entire suburb.
Interesting, isn’t it? And I haven’t even gotten started about childcare and preschools – all of which also have long waiting lists. I also have not really looked into public high schools yet; that is perhaps way too far off for now (or maybe not… hmmm… haha).
Hence, schools and suburbs have been my preoccupation lately. At times, even in my sleep I continue to dream about schools and suburbs!
Anyway. Here are some pictures we took when we attended a friend’s wedding last weekend (our first Aussie wedding!!). The matrimony was held at the majestic Sts Peter and Paul’s, South Melbourne, while the lunch reception was at the beautiful Vines Helens Hill, Yarra Valley.