What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)
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?
Pre-School through Year 12
How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)
My 3 children are all in the junior school, which goes to Year 6. Because of the ages of the junior school, almost all the JS children are driven to school. The senior school children use all means - walking, bus, driving their own cars, etc.
How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?
Scotch has almost every feature that a parent would ask in a school. It places great emphasis on a broad curriculum in the junior school years, and as such, children have the opportunity to participare in activities ranging from the arts, drama, in and out of school community activities, a diverse sports program. A high degree of self expression is valued.
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?
Although a local school, there are a number of international and out of state students who attend through a number of programs. There are boarding facilities, exchange programs, and a history of attending to children of expatriates.
In the early years (my children are in the pre-school, Year 1 and Year 5), there is great emphasis on social integration. As a result, children have the opportunity to be with their peer group, both socially and academically.
The Junior School has a number of mixed classes, e.g., a Year 2 and 3 mix in a single classroom. This allows children exposure to a curriulum suited for them without the obvious challenges of age appropriateness.
While there are no specific programs to prepare for repatriation, there is an awareness of the number of expat children, and with the active interest taken by the faculty, I imagine that this can be handled appropriately.
One thing to be cautious of is the difference in the Australian (Feb to Dec)and US (Sep to Jul) academic calendars, and the trouble that may cause when either relocating or repatriating.
How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?
Scotch is in many ways a community in addition to being a school. Families are actively involved in the school through a number of avenues. There are activities that are family oriented, and others that are parent centric. There is an active parent - teacher structure in the school, as well as an open door policy that is unique. As appropriate, parents are allowed to spend time in the classroom in the morning hours, either observing or participating/assisting with activities. The younger ones have the opportunity to have their parents stay and read with them in the morning right after school has started.
What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?
Places can be difficult to obtain without advance planning, however if you are able to secure one, grab it!