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Parent's Review of International School of Western Australia (ISWA) in Perth, Australia

What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

International School of Western Australia (ISWA)

In what town or city is this school located?

Perth

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

International

What grade levels are represented at this school?

1-12

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

Driven by parents (also bus, walk, bike)

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

We have a gym, school fields, and playground. There are extra-curricular activities and clubs, and most families participate in community sports and activities as well. A lot of Australian sports are played within a club system and not a school system. For example, my sons play basketball, and the best basketball is played through the club system. Kids from every school come to participate.

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

Our school is small and very flexible and accommodating in helping new expats. The school is set up to deal with the needs of expats. The school calendar is on the northern hemisphere time table, and the curriculum is more similar to ours than the Australian curriculum. My sons didn't have any problem making the transition. We are also already prepared to transition home when we need to. It was also very easy for my sons to make new friends.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

The parent involvement in our school is very high. Everyone gets to know each other very quickly and there are lots of school socials and coffee times for the moms. There is a parent committee that meets monthly and updates parents. Most parents regularly volunteer at the school.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

There are a lot of choices in Perth for schooling. There are public and private options. The Australian private schools are very nice and flashy, but expats must fit into that system. That may or may not work for every family. The public system is a step down from the private system. Our school is a private school with an international focus. We are very pleased with our school and our kids are thriving.

Research your options and don't put any money down until you have a trial period of a couple of days. Once you pay it is difficult to get out of a school if you are not happy. Make sure your kids are going to be happy. If your kids are not happy, your posting will be a disaster.

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Comments about this Report

emblem1
Feb 2, 2011 06:44

Thanks to share your informative information in this forum site the topic is very useful about the Australia school systems.

emblem1
Feb 2, 2011 06:45

Thanks to share your great informative topic in this forum site like you said the it was great information thanks to share it.

guest
Feb 3, 2011 02:09

Thank you for the report as we are thinking of moving to Perth coming from Bangkok I must admit that the choices of subjects are really limited at IWSA and I am concerned about my 2 girls Y7 and Y11. We are thinking of moving for next year. My older daughter will be doing her IB and she will have to change 2 of her main subjects.... As anyone been through this... Finally I can not get the IB past results until Monday which will be too late so can anyone help me. Kind regards Nathalie

guest
Mar 14, 2013 12:54

I have a child at the school and frankly I wish I hadn't and I wish I'd picked another school. The issues are that The school is not interested in involving parents The academic standards are of no interest to the governing body who only seem interested in the school as a business. The majority of parents are frustrated that they cannot get problems sorted as the head blocks any communication. The turnover of teachers is a worry and children are frequently left having to have study periods as no teacher is available to take their class. I could go on but I will conclude with one word AVOID.

guest
Jul 27, 2013 07:40

I also have children at ISWA and have very mixed feelings about the school in general. We moved here from the states and have tried an Australian school and ISWA. Education in Perth is very different than education in the US. The only advantage to ISWA is they operate on the northern hemisphere calendar. Parent involvement does not exist and the administration wants to keep it that way. It is really ashamed considering the amount of professional spouses that aren't working. There are not any sports through school and when the school is approached to a parent volunteering to coach a team the administration flat out tells you they are not interested. I am not sure avoidance is the right choice. It is probably better than anything else but it falls short of satisfactory.

guest
Jun 16, 2014 15:12

Can anyone give me the latest reviews about this school. Perth is on our relocation list but I am not sure about the schools in perth. We are now at an international British School and if we move to Perth my eldest has to do her IB there.

zakzakeri
Jan 27, 2015 15:02

I am also thinking of moving to earth Australia . How would you compare it with usa.

TravellingMom
Oct 20, 2015 00:45

I have 3 children at ISWA and we have been here for 4 years. The principal changed in Jan 2015 and there has been a huge change at school. They have introduced many extra-curricular activities before and after school that range from surfing to cooking to soccer to Spanish club. The Parent Association is very active and the school welcomes and encourages Parent help and suggestions. It is a small school so there will never be as many choices of subjects as in a larger school but the teachers are all very good and the level of education is excellent. I would recommend ISWA for expats and for anyone who wants a global perspective that is different from the local private schools.

anneperth
Oct 20, 2015 01:32

ISWA has changed significantly for the better under the leadership of Principal Maria Coate who started January 2015. The quality of the teaching in the year as 7-10 has really improved,Music and Drama have been added as well as a stronger extra-curricular offering. I agree with the postings form 2013 about the previous principal but would suggest that the atmosphere has really changed this year. There is a wider profile of families coming to ISWA from many countries and a growing proportion of internationally minded Perth locals.

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