I was recently asked to review The Good Schools Guide Victoria for 2014.
The Good Schools Guide is the ultimate secondary school handbook for parents looking for the right school for their child. Containing every Victorian secondary school: Government, Independent, Catholic and Boarding!
Who better to help me out with the review than the mother of a child in Grade 6 this year and a secondary school teacher who is also the parent of a primary school aged child.
Here’s what they had to say.
Kellie (Mother of three primary school aged children – one of them in Grade 6)
With so many schools to choose from it is hard to know where to start when deciding on an appropriate school to send a child. The more information we can find out about a school will only assist in making the right decision.
I found the Good Schools Guide to be a very informative resource in helping to choose a secondary school for my child. It was user friendly with information on how to use the guide, explanations on education providers (eg. government, non-government, independent and catholic), costs and results. The section on Understanding Curriculum and Pathways was very informative.
While results are important in the decision making process it is not the only thing. The guide also provided information on other educational aspects each school offered including subjects, activities, student support, VET programs and single sexed classes to name a few.
As a mother of a child in grade 6 I found the book overall to be very helpful. But I would recommend that you read this earlier as many schools have waiting lists, residential zones and prerequisites for enrolments. Once you have short listed possible schools I would highly recommended a school tour.
Anthony (Secondary School Teacher & Parent)
This is a great book for parents who have students in Grade 4 -6 and even for those parents who like to plan their child’s education from their early years. The book looks at the wide variety of primary and secondary schools from all three sectors, government, catholic and independent. Schools are divided and are listed alphabetically according to which region they fall into. The introductory chapters are useful and provide information and advice to parents on a variety of topics including how to use the book, costs of schooling, enrolment and post enrolment, understanding curriculum and pathways, VCE, VET, International Baccalaureate, boarding, school environments (ie year levels, ethos, single sex or co-ed) and scholarships.
Readers will be surprised at how easily accessible and transparent information from each school is to view and understand. All schools are given the opportunity to describe and highlight their distinctive features; ethos, facilities, resources, environment and extracurricular activities in detail and in their own words. Surprisingly not every school takes this opportunity to help distinguish themselves from the others but at least as a reader you are provided with the ‘Key facts’ from all the schools. These key facts include the 7-10 curriculum, activities and support(extracurricular), an overview of VCE studies offered(subjects/units), VCE results, VET results and destinations of the finishing students. Many parents will want to know what kind of results students attending and completing studies at these schools are attaining. The results section provides specific school information on the percentage of high performers (40+ study scores) and also the mean(average) study score of all year 12 students at the school. All of this provides you with a good understanding of how the staff and students of the various school have performed and what pathway students moved into on completion of their secondary education.
If you have just moved to Victoria from interstate or from overseas, have a child who is fast approaching completing primary education or you just want to look into what’s out there then this book is a must have. It will enable you to have a look at, compare, eliminate and select schools that are a possibility or just help you narrow your search. The only difficult thing left to do then is visit a couple of schools, take a personal tour, attend any open days and make your choice.
For more information about the book or to grab yourself a copy (at the discounted price of $11.95) click here.
For your chance to WIN one of five copies of the book, see below.
Entry is open to all Melbourne Mamma newsletter subscribers. Subscribe to newsletter here.
To enter you must leave a comment on this post telling me “what is the most important thing when choosing a school for your child?”.
Competition ends Thursday, 27 March 2014 at 10:00 pm AEST.
Entry is open to Victorian residents, aged 18 years and over.
This competition is a game of chance, and skill plays no part in the results of this competition. Winners will be selected at random.
Entries not completed in accordance with these terms and conditions will not be considered valid and will not be included in the draw.
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