How to choose your school

I belong to the Facebook community group “People who live in Midrand” and occasionally see someone asking for recommendations as to the best school for their child.

The result is that someone or other recommends just about every school in the area. So, really, the question was a waste of time.

So, here’s my suggestion –

  • Decide what you want most for your child.
  • Happiness at school, sport, good education, small classes, low fees, continuity from Grade 1 to Grade 12, flexibility regarding payment, school bus transport, modern approach to the syllabus, special medical needs.

Yes, you’ll probably tick most of those boxes, but if you do, sort them from highest to lowest priority

  • Now draw up a list of available schools.
  • Visit their websites/Facebook pages and check what they offer against your list.
  • Eliminate those that don’t fit.
  • Now visit each school. Not on open day, but in normal teaching hours.
  • If they will not allow this, cross them off the list. They don’t want you to see how they operate.

Now, for each school, score them on each of your requirements.

Choose your school from the results.

You may not choose Gallagher Combined School, because, as will always be the case, we are only strong in certain areas.

Our strengths are –

  • Low fees. From R2 645 to R2 890 per month depending upon the grade.
  • Happiness at school
  • Good education
  • Small classes. Our maximum is 25.
  • Continuity grades 1 through 12
  • School bus transport within a reasonable distance
  • Modern approach to the syllabus. Abacus Maths is compulsory for grades 1 to 6 and robotics for grades 7 and upwards.

You will not score us high on

  • Sport – We do have soccer and netball pitches, but we are not a sport driven school.
  • Flexibility regarding payment. We have zero tolerance for unpaid fees.
  • Special medical needs. We can only accommodate minor conditions, and then, only by special arrangement.

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