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?
How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)
What grade levels are represented at this school?
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.