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melbourne - primary schools?

(38 Posts)
Lozzer Mon 15-May-06 15:15:04

We are moving to Melbourne in a few months. On past visits have stayed in the Albert Park area and really liked it. Do any of you have any advice/experience on primary schools around there? Could go private if needed, but would prefer a good state school if at all posible. DS1 is 5 (currently in a British curriculum school in Kuala Lumpur) and DS2 is 3.
Many thanks, Lozzer

ghosty Tue 16-May-06 07:54:38

Hi Lozzer,
I will be watching this thread with interest ... my DH has been offered a job in Melbourne and I am in a bit of a state about it - I know nothing about Melbourne.
We have lived in New Zealand for the last 4 years and I was just saying on the other thread how I am now finally feeling it is my home ...
HELP!!!!
My DS is 6 and a half and DD is 2 and a bit ...

ghosty Wed 17-May-06 01:08:59

Bump ....

threebob Wed 17-May-06 05:58:14

We are going for 4 days next month Ghosty - I'm sure I can suss it out for you in that timeframe.

It's supposed to be lovely - but extremely expensive to buy a house.

If anyone from melbourne is listening - I would like some good gluten free places to eat. Starting a bit of a wish list here!

Oh and congratulations Ghosty's dh.

eidsvold Wed 17-May-06 06:00:24

general info

schools info

your 5yo would probably start school next Jan and the 3yo would be eligible to attend a kindergarten - usually private and fee paying - we pay about 14 dollars a day and dd1 attends two days a week - usually a 2 day or three day a week programme. ( we are based in Qld though)

Generally children attend the local primary school depending on your location. You would also have the option of non government schools - usually church schools ie catholic/anglican or others in that vein.

\link{http://www.careforkids.com.au/search/location.asp?ut=4&ctype=5\search for a kindergarten.

hope that at least gives you a start.

eidsvold Wed 17-May-06 06:00:59

search for a kindergarten

sorry

eidsvold Wed 17-May-06 06:02:04

told you ghosty - very cosmopolitan - probably similar weather although can get rather hot in the summer if the wind comes down from the centre of Aus.... not far from adelaide wine district, close to ski resorts.....

ghosty Wed 17-May-06 06:42:17

Ta eidsvold ... I did read your post on the other thread but by the time I got round to writing a reply I thought it would be lost in the intros from other overseaers!
I have heard nothing but nice things about Melbourne except it is 'bloody cold in Winter and stinking hot in summer' ... that from a kiwi

How do I find out if a school is good or not? Do they have what we call ERO reports (Educational Review Office ... similar to UK's OFSTED)? In NZ they don't have any sort of league tables so I used my educational background to read between the lines of the ERO reports and chose DS' school on that and word of mouth recommendation.
We had been here for 2 and a half years before DS started school so we had time to suss it all out but we will need to get it right first time this time ... I don't want to get there and then move again in 6 months time ....

threebob Wed 17-May-06 07:27:34

So you are really going Ghosty?

ghosty Wed 17-May-06 07:35:59

Well, it looks like we probably will be going 3bob ... it is a promotion that he has been waiting for really, although the position he originally wanted was the Auckland office. The Auckland position won't be available for another 2 - 3 years but the position has come up in Melbourne. His boss has told him that there won't be any black marks against him if he chooses not to take it but has advised him that taking the Melbourne position will give him a broader knowledge of the company/industry and some insight into the Aussie side of things which will give him more opportunities in the future.
This is the third time they have offered him a job in Australia and the last two times he turned them down as they were jobs doing what he does Auckland.
Although I love NZ and Auckland and am very happy here it would be silly of us not to take this opportunity and wait the 2 - 3 years for the Auckland job.
Ho hum ... there you go ....

threebob Wed 17-May-06 08:14:26

Well there would be worse places to live!

Dh moved around a lot as a kid every time his dad felt God had told him to go to another place, including changing from a boys school to a mixed school 200 miles away the year before Uni. I can't see dh ever taking a job that would involve ds having to change schools, simply because of his own upbringing. So it's so far outside my experience really that I can't comment, except to say that NZ will miss you.

ghosty Wed 17-May-06 11:21:51

Thanks threebob

Interesting that you say that about your DH. My parents moved us a lot when we were children too ... luckily I was the youngest of the 4 of us and so I managed to go through one secondary school but my older siblings weren't so lucky. We moved from England to the Netherlands 6 months before my brother was to sit his O levels ...
I am in an interesting situation right now because I always told myself I wasn't going to do what my mother did (up sticks and move every 3 years) and put my children through that but so far in the 12 years I have known DH the longest we have lived in one house is 2 years!
But ... we both see that this opportunity is a step to bigger and better things for our family. DH has grown so much as a person since we moved here, since he joined the company - it would be small minded of us to say no when he is on a crest of such a wave at the moment.
DH and I both feel very strongly that it is best, if we do have to make DS move schools, that the time to do it is while he is still young. By the time he is 11 I want to commit to seeing his (and DD's) school years out in one place. DS is a sociable soul and so moving him now won't be a problem but I don't want him to have to move when he is facing adolescence and all the crap that goes with that ...



I am very proud of DH and what he has achieved in the last 4 years ... and it isn't about the money or the whole career thing - it is about him and his confidence ... and mine too. This whole life thing is an adventure and IMHO DH and I are so lucky to be of the mindset where we can take on board situations like this and face it head on. Amazing stuff considering when DS was a baby I struggled to go to the corner shop

eidsvold Wed 17-May-06 13:08:55

I will ask around. I know with QLD it is word of mouth and area. I know with the QLD ones you can see things like enrolments, ethnic breakdown, staffing, extra curricular etc

Sorry I can't help any further.

I look on life as an adventure - only way I could have decided to up sticks and move to the UK resign my job let my house and all that in 2 weeks!!! I knew no one... came back with a bit more luggage than I left with - dh, dd1 and dd2 on the way wouldn't have changed that for the world.

Probably stand him in good stead if he has had experience of the job here in Aus if he was interested in applying for same in Aukland in a few years time.

EmmyLou Wed 17-May-06 14:05:31

FWIW, i've recently returned from a 5 week stay in Melbourne & vicinity during the Commonwealth Games with dd1 (10) dd2 (7) and dd3(2) and had a FAB time. Thought city was great for kids with loads to do, clean, friendly, near to lots of places. Spent 3 weeks hanging out and doing tourist stuff on my own with kids as dh busy working. Mind you, was coming from small village in UK during wintery March - you might not have such a favourable contrast Lozzer?

SueW Wed 17-May-06 14:24:51

Hihgly recommend Sandringham which is where we lived when out there. 30 mins by train from the CBD. Nice schools and, apparently one not so nice, according to the mums I got to know out there.

Will try to send more info later but have to take DD to fracture clinic now.

SueW Wed 17-May-06 20:51:24

Bayside is the area down the eastern side of Port Phillip bay. I'm not sure how far north/south it goes but it covers towns like Brighton, Hampton, Sandringham, which were the main ones we looked at.

Brighton is the wealthiest of those, IMO, and they get more 'real'/suburban as you go south and possibly more 'trendy'/alternative as you go north.

Further inland are Toorak (home of the Toorak Tractor i.e. 4x4) and South Yarra. We had friends who lived in a lovely rented house with plunge pool in Toorak, 2 mins from the station. I think (back in 2000) they paid about A$600/week to rent it. We paid $450/week to rent a larger house but in worse condition with bigger pool and a lawn in Sandringham.

The local libraries were great for info. And we used to pick up Melbourne's Child on a regular basis for listings info. Great beaches, fab parks. Lovely sunshine. Nice shopping and fantastic places to eat.

I want to go back. DH currently looking at contract but only 11 weeks long and he isn't so keen on Oz as DD and I are.

SueW Wed 17-May-06 22:52:08

I have some info on schools sent to me by a friend of a friend for when we were looking at going back last year but even she said it was a couple of years since she'd looked. Drawn from someone's opinion and a Victoria schools league tables thing.

Private Girls Firbank Brighton which starts from primary and carry's thru to secondary. Rated '21'

Second choice St Leonards which is on South Road Co-ed starting at primary thru to secondary. That rated '49'.

Fave for boys: Brighton Grammar.

Catholic primary school "Star of the Sea" but may be Y7 upwards.

(Our friends' in Toorak - their children went to Glamorgan which is part of Geelong Grammar. They loved it and had always sworn state ed was fine in the UK. They moved away form Melbourne and the children are now in Oz state school)

ghosty Wed 17-May-06 23:13:34

SueW ... thank you so much for that information - that is just what I needed to make a start on my investigations!
Even having some names of schools and suburbs will give me a starting point!
Toorak sounds very much like Remuera in Auckland and if it is I will steer clear ... the whole rich mummy/status thing isn't me really.
I would like to find an area that is similar to where we are here - nice, good schools, ordinary families, professionals without being arsey status people ... IYKWIM?
The suburbs DH's boss has suggested are Canterbury and Camberwell - do you know much about them?

EmmyLou Wed 17-May-06 23:53:45

I actually brought a couple of copies of Melbourne's Child back with me to read on the plane and still have them if anyone thinks they may be of any use to flick through....let me know, would be happy to post but of course there is a website www.melbourneschild.com.au

SueW Thu 18-May-06 13:42:36

ghosty that was why we liked Sandringham. We met people who were like us - e.g. they had the money to buy a house to do up their but not the money to buy a house ready made with marble kitchen counters and fab bathrooms, etc iyswim

Personally I'm a 'walk by the sea' kinda gal hence choosing Sandringham over somewhere like Canterbury or Camberwell. Some friends we had lived that way but I can't remember which suburb.

This has turned into a bit of a brain dump!!! (she says having typed lots an ocme back to edit!)

PLaces like Frankston are much further out and therefore a lot cheaper but I think it was only 45 mins on the train. It was a 'slow' train for the first part of the journey then fast. Our little train out to Sandringham took about 25 mins but stopped at all the stations. And it was entirely possible to jump out at Brighton, nip to David Jones to pick up fab M&S/Waitrose-style foodie bits, then jump back on the train

Also Melbourne has the best taxi system I had ever come across. It registers your phone number to the address and after the first call, you only have to press '1' and a cab arrives within about 5 mins!

Children's entertainment was brilliant e.g productions taking place in the Botanical Gardens - we saw Wind in the Willows and it moved around the park for diff scenes. Fantastic.

Science museum is great - we went out by train and came back by ferry boat (capacity about 12 people!) which stopped on the south bank opp FLinders Station.

Although everyone said we would need a car, we managed very well without but mainly because we chose to live close to station and rarely needed to travel anywhere other than CBD or easily accessible by train places.

We used internet shopping for big stuff and shopped almost daily for food, just picking up fresh food on the way home from a day out or from the local shops.

We ate out quite regularly.

We had a fantastic babysitter (who is in Italy at the moment travelling but I would recommend her in a heartbeat) and also used an agency sitter. The agency let us choose older granny type or younger nanny type. We wnet for granny.

The shops weren't busy even at Christmas!

DD and I took a coach sightseeing trip out to the Dandenongs and Phillip Island to see penguins and to a farm where I milked a cow and we both drank milk-still-warm-and-fresh-from-the-cow!! And saw sheep shearing demo - typical tourist stuff really. Other than that our weekends were busy just being a family iyswim.

Happy to brain dump more on request!

ghosty Thu 18-May-06 20:17:22

Oh SueW ... you are such a star! I feel quite excited about it reading that!
DH's office is in Kew and proximity to work is something we will be after .... but I think they are going to fly us over next weekend to have a 'look see' - we will hire a car and drive around.
I can already see that a car may not be as necessary as it is in Auckland ... - if I do get one it will be a small one ...
I think it will all be more 'city living' than here ... our house in Auckland is the furthest eastern suburb from the city and we have LOADS of space - huge garden etc ... if we need to live near DH's work then we will be back into the city thing ... I won't know till I get there if that is a good thing or not ...

SueW Thu 18-May-06 20:47:26

The city thing isn't so bad in Melbourne though - you aren't forced to live in an apartment if close to the centre e.g. friends in Toorak as mentioned earlier but you will have a paved 'yard' most likely and maybe a pool. Kew rings a bell but I'm not sure why. Have just been looking at online maps to see if I can remember.

We stayed for the first month in these serviced apartments in South Yarra. A few mins walk from the station and from Toorak Road and Chapel Street which is very trendy - sort of Chelsea equivalent I suppose with a good dash of Aussie down-to-earthness

I guess you have seen on other threads to look at Domain.com.au ? Also once on the ground, visit agents and see what they have.

I'll email my friend (who emailed me this morning having heard rumours of DH's being sought to work out there!) and ask what she can remember. They stayed out there after we left, then moved to Sydney and have now settled in Perth.

SueW Thu 18-May-06 20:48:14

You must, must pick up a Melway street directory!! You can't get a feel for the city without it imo.

SueW Thu 18-May-06 20:56:28

Just found this place which is just up the road from where we lived most of our time there. I think we were at no 34.

EmmyLou Thu 18-May-06 21:28:52

Blimey - just had a phonecall from my husband saying they are thinking of setting up a section of his business in Melbourne. Mumsnet braindrain?

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