Announcing the inaugural Inner West Independent Schools Expo

Families in the Inner West have a new, local, forum to discover more about the range of excellent independent schools servicing their area.

For the first time, the Independent Schools Expo is hosting a dedicated Inner West event at the Le Montage function centre in Lilyfield on Sunday, May 1.

Choosing the right school can be a difficult decision for parents. With so many educational options on offer, gathering enough information to make an informed choice is a complex and time-consuming task.

At the Inner West Independent Schools Expo, parents can meet face-to-face with staff and students from some of Sydney’s leading private schools – in one convenient location. Days of research can be accomplished in just a few hours.

Expense, location, academic standards and facilities are all important factors when selecting a school; but equally vital to a child’s happiness and success is a school’s culture.

Many parents look to independent schooling to foster traditional values in children, such as self-discipline, integrity and respect for themselves and others. A good education is expected to produce confident, grounded adults well-prepared for life after graduation with the skills to achieve their full potential.

But schools are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. To determine the best fit for your child, it is important to consider a number of questions. What is the school’s focus? In what areas does it excel? Can it accommodate your child’s strengths and needs? Is its social atmosphere suited to your child’s temperament?

As well as the right educational environment, parents will want to find a school that is in harmony with their own family values and beliefs.

Above all, parents want their children to enjoy school. To feel a sense of belonging and social ease among like-minded friends in a safe and caring school community.

At the Expo, families are encouraged to engage with school representatives and explore their offerings in detail to find the best match between school and child.

Participating schools include boarding and day schools, single sex, co-ed, faith-based and secular options from preschool to Year 12.

Every child is unique. Here is your opportunity to find the school to which your child is uniquely suited.

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Questions parents can ask to help with their research in selecting a school

Does your child have a particular interest that you want the school to nurture such as:

  • music
  • sport
  • languages
  • vocational studies
  • academic studies
  • Does your child have specific learning needs?
  • Does the family have particular religious beliefs or educational philosophies?
  • Are out of hours school care and vacation care important?

Location

  • Is it important that the school is close to where you live or work?
  • What transport is available?

Check the locations on Our Schools page to see which schools are in your area

School Characteristics

  • Is it important that the school is single sex or co-educational?
  • Is the size of the school important?
  • Do you want a pre-school, a primary school, a secondary school, or a combined primary and secondary school?
  • Are boarding facilities important?
  • What is the school’s educational philosophy?
  • What are the school’s values?
  • What are the facilities?
  • What does the school offer that makes it unique?
  • What is the average class size?
  • What is the school’s disciplinary code?

Curriculum

  • Does the school have a comprehensive curriculum?
  • How does the curriculum meet the needs of your child?
  • How does the school challenge and extend students of all abilities?
  • Does the school have a homework policy?
  • What is the access to computer facilities?
  • What co-curricular activities are offered such as, sport, music and camps?
  • Are any of these activities compulsory?
  • Is there an additional charge for such activities?

Assessment

  • How your child will be assessed and how is assessment reported to parents?
  • How does the school measure its performance?

Pastoral Care

  • What structures are in place to ensure a caring and nurturing environment in the school?
  • How does the school provide support for students with specific learning, language and/or cultural needs?
  • What policies and procedures are in place to ensure the safety of students such as child protection and bullying?
  • How is career advice given?

Parental Involvement

  • How does the school communicate with parents?
  • What opportunities are there for parents to be involved with the school through a parents association or volunteering?

Cost

  • What fee levels are you prepared to pay?
  • What are the arrangements for paying fees?
  • Are there additional costs for text books, uniforms, excursions and extra-curricular activities?
  • Are scholarships or bursaries available?

School Visits

  • Ask for a copy of the school’s prospectus
  • Check the school’s website. Some have a ‘virtual tour’.
  • Make an appointment to take a tour during school hours to see how teachers and students interact.
  • Ask if the school is considering making any changes that may affect your decision, such as altering teaching methods or school philosophy, or going coeducational.
  • Involve your child. Attend together school activities such as drama performances or concerts, carols nights, art exhibitions etc.