“So, what are schools like in Australia?” my daughter asked…and more importantly, “What colour are the uniforms?”
Fair questions, and ones that are not easily answered given we live 6,000 kilometres away. My husband has seen the school our kids will go to and said it was great, but we won’t get a chance to see it until we move. So we did the next best thing – trawled the internet for anything we could find.
The school’s website listed quite a variety of information from curriculum to uniform lists (green – not her preferred choice of colour, but ah well!) and they enjoyed reading the class blogs. The school is quite small in comparison to the one they currently attend (350 students versus 2,500!), but my kids seem quite excited on how community-focused it appears to be. They even run a breakfast club twice a week where kids can just go and hang out with their friends before school.
Using Google maps, we calculated the distance from home to school and were really happy with the result – it’s a 10 minute walk away. By changing the setting to “street view” we could see around the school grounds a little too.
But from a parent’s perspective, I wanted to know exactly what we’d walk into on the first day so I rang the principal. Patiently she answered my laundry-list of questions and also gave me some information that I hadn’t thought to ask. She said if we got there before the end of term then the kids could come in for a visit, meet their teachers and even go half days until they felt confident enough to attend full-time. Very reassuring!
One of my daughter’s biggest fears each time we’ve moved is “what if I don’t fit in?” and “What if I can’t make friends?” In the environment we’re brought them up in, people generally move on after two or three years. If it’s not us leaving, it’s someone else. Therefore, it was comforting to hear that they have very little movement in the school. And because they don’t often have new kids in the school, everyone wants to make friends with the newbies! I got off the phone about half an hour later feeling that we’ve made the right decision.
So – house sorted, schools sorted – it’s time to tell the kids…