If you are moving to New Zealand with a family, one of the most difficult decisions is which school to send your child to. Depending on the age and stage of your child there are different factors to consider, as well as different education systems, different assessment styles, and the different needs of your child.
So where do you begin?? Of course much that governs your decision will be location as New Zealand is governed by a zoning system, which means your children must go to the local school, unless you opt for a private school, or you choose a school based upon religious grounds.
So here is my advice...
DO YOUR RESEARCH?
Before you come to New Zealand get a clear understanding of the local options you have in the area you will be living. Look at local schools that are zoned for your area, private schools which are close by or possibly religious schools if you feel this may suit your child.
Make contact with the school and explain your situation- your tentative arrival dates, your children's ages and interests and see what response your receive from the school. Much of the decision you make could well be on the response you receive. ( Keep in the back of your mind- if this is how they approach me now, will this be an indicator of the service I will receive when I arrive, or when I am in need of help).
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
When you arrive it is always a good idea to make an appointment at a school before you show up expecting good service. Schools are busy places and the response you receive could be dependant on what is going on that particular day- so give schools the courtesy of a phone call.
Be well organised with your child's documentation-previous report cards, immunisation records, certificates, special needs records. The more information you can provide your school the more they will be able to place your child in the most appropriate classes.
STAY CALM AND BE POSITIVE
Just remember...it will all work out. The more calm you are the less anxious your child will be in their new adventure. Remember that they are the ones who are beginning the new journey and they need to feel excited, not anxious. The more calm you are the more they will open up about their feelings, the more anxiety you place on them the less likely they will be to share how it's really going as they are worried about how you will feel!