Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spoilt for choice

I am in the process of choosing a school for my son. 

Originally my husband and I planned for him to head across the road to the local Catholic primary school. We went to similar schools ourselves. The 'Catholic' part isn't important, we just want to send him to a good school and we love the fact that he can walk there. 

And being a diligent mum and a person who is mildly obsessed with research, I decided to tour several other local schools in the region. I wish I hadn't. 

I have never had any dealings/ experience in the state school system but I was really impressed by the way they run their schools. 

Compared to the local Catholic school, these facilities were positively engaging. From the computers located in every room, to the brightly painted walls with colourful pictures tacked on, to the mobiles hanging from the ceiling and the reading corners with cushions - I fell in love with primary education all over again. 

More than that, the state system appeared very progressive in its approach to teaching. There were several open plan classes where teachers mixed up composite with non-composite teaching. Even the class sizes were smaller. They aimed for just 21 children in a class. 

The facilities were better. All the local Catholic schools work on the ethos that asphalt is better for sport. I like nothing better to see a green oval (grass or turf). 

So now I've done it. I have marinated myself in too many choices and I'm about to burn from the stress of choosing a school. 

Unfortunately the best local state school is about 1.5 kilometres away - possibly too far for little legs to walk. And what about all the other children in our street? There will be several in my son's year and they will all be waltzing over the road to the local Catholic school. Some of the other mums from the street feel the Catholic school is a little archaic in its approach but they're putting the convenience ahead of the actual teaching abilities. I'd like to do that too, but it's hard when I feel there are other, better schools. 

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