Get the whole picture

Wellbeing: Students with high levels of wellbeing tend to have better academic and life outcomes, in school and beyond. Photo - Shutterstock.
Wellbeing: Students with high levels of wellbeing tend to have better academic and life outcomes, in school and beyond. Photo - Shutterstock.

School days should be the happiest days of your child's life.

Of course, the school's academic performance should play a major factor in your decision. NAPLAN or final high school results should certainly be something to compare.

But you want your child to more than thrive academically, they also need to survive school.

This means, of course, ensuring the pastoral care provision at the school will meet the physical and emotional welfare of your child.

A successful pastoral care program means that your child is safe, happy, involved and able to perform to their potential.

According to the federal Department of Education, student resilience and well-being are essential for both academic and social development, and are optimised by safe, supportive and respectful learning environments.

One important question is how does the school deal with behaviour management.

It's more than how your school deals with bullying issues; all schools should have an anti-bullying policy.

It's about taking a whole-school approach, focusing on safety and well-being and helping students to become confident, strong and able to face the challenges they may experience in the workplace and after-school life.

School environment

Dr Stephen Heppell is a world-renowned expert on the future of learning and learning environments.

As a leader in his field, Dr Heppell has received numerous awards including the BETT Award for Outstanding Achievement in ICT Education in 2008.

His studies have shown that an optimum learning environment can deliver as much as a 10 per cent gain in learning outcomes.

Environmental factors include light readings, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, air pollution and air pressure. These are all factors that affect concentration and the ability to learn.

Other considerations

  1. Does the school have the same values as your family?
  2. How many children are in each class?
  3. Is the school co-educational or single-sex?
  4. What co-curricular activities are offered?
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