Canberra Primary Schools

catsgotit 15 December 2010 19

My husband and I have previously lived in Canberra and will return in the next year or so with our son. We used to live in the Inner North and that is the area we hope to return to.

Our primary consideration when choosing a suburb to buy into is the local public primary school. We’d like to live in a suburb with a school so I am thinking either Lyneham or Ainslie if we can afford it (I am well aware prices have gone a bit crazy in Canberra).

I have checked the myschool website but we don’t trust NAPLAN results alone.

We don’t have any family or friends with school aged children in Canberra so I’m not aware of primary school reputations. Does anyone have any comments on Lyneham Primary School, Ainslie or North Ainslie? Turner and Campbell are out of the question in terms of affordability – I have heard you have to live in the suburb of the school to guarantee entry.

Am I missing any other great public primary schools in Canberra?


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19 Responses to Canberra Primary Schools
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LSWCHP LSWCHP 10:10 pm 27 Dec 10

Dunno if this is too late, but one of my kids has just finished year 6 at Kaleen Primary. It’s a great school with a truly outstanding Principal in Grace Dunlop, and a collection of fine teachers. One of my friends likes it so much he takes his kids there from Ngunnawal, which is a helluva drive.

Can’t recommend it highly enough.

catsgotit catsgotit 8:02 pm 18 Dec 10

Thank you all so much for your feedback. It all makes for interesting reading. I agree the home environment is most important – but it’s still great to feel like I am going in with a bit of background to the school eg about Lyneham Primary’s focus on the arts…

I’m so impressed with the speed and quality of all your comments, will have to ask further questions about other Canberra issues as our move draws nearer.

Grotto Grotto 7:25 am 18 Dec 10

dtc said :

One benefit of private schools is that the overall quality of teaching is higher, because the lower end teachers dont get to stay.

Seriously? So what exactly is a lower end teacher? I’m sorry but it is the attitude that private schools are better than public schools that is damaging our public school system. There is no evidence to suggest that students receive a “better” education at private schools. Canberra has an excellent public school system full of excellent educators.

somewhere_between_bundah_and_goulburn somewhere_between_bundah_and_goulburn 1:16 am 17 Dec 10

Maribyrnong Primary

Kuku Kuku 4:18 pm 16 Dec 10

We took our kids out of Wanniassa Hills Primary as well. They weren’t terribly naughty or academic geniuses. They were middle of the range and just fell between the cracks.

I hope things have changed.

Rangi Rangi 11:08 am 16 Dec 10

We took our kids out of Lyneham Primary this year because we felt that if the kids were not into music and drama they didn’t rate. Since moving them there attitude to school has improved a great deal, which shows in there work.

*their

dtc dtc 10:52 am 16 Dec 10

You can check enrolment areas at

http://www.det.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/126101/2011_PEA_MAP_-_PRIMARY_-_NTH-STH.pdf

If you can manage to get into O’Connor Co-op (which basically means pre school entry) then you can choose either Lyneham or Turner as a primary school regardless of where you live (as I understand it), plus your actual local school.

It is all a bit of a lottery. Your kid gets the good teacher, or the bad teacher, in a particular year (or a teacher they like or who doesnt like them) and there is a dramatic difference regardless of the school. One benefit of private schools is that the overall quality of teaching is higher, because the lower end teachers dont get to stay. (of course private primary school seems a huge waste of money to me and there are other issues with private schooling).

Rangi Rangi 10:22 am 16 Dec 10

We took our kids out of Lyneham Primary this year because we felt that if the kids were not into music and drama they didn’t rate. Since moving them there attitude to school has improved a great deal, which shows in there work.

Kerryhemsley Kerryhemsley 10:14 am 16 Dec 10

Deref said :

Lyneham Primary – best school, bar none, in the ACT.

Deref- I agree with you as far as music and the arts. It has been a struggle convincing them to get more sport going in the school.

Disinformation Disinformation 10:10 am 16 Dec 10

You all need to have a read of Freakonomics where the Chicago Public School system and the good school/ bad school theory is shot to pieces. What I really mean is that you should all read Freakonomics anyway. You’ll never look at anything the same way again, but the amount of data gathered by the Chicago Public school system is quite enlightening.

It shows just how much a waste of time the Myschool websites is and that the “conventional knowledge” about schools being supremely important in someone’s education potential.. isn’t.

troll-sniffer troll-sniffer 9:39 am 16 Dec 10

Mein freund who is a professeur over at Macquarie Primary spent some time at Farrer Primary and reckoned it was the best school bar none, thereby completely neutralising the claims of Deref above, who is obviously biased and has not based his or her statement on any supporting facts.

WonderfulWorld WonderfulWorld 9:14 pm 15 Dec 10

puzzlepunk said :

In my opinion school rankings, especially for primary schools are a waste of time. It’s your role as parents that has the biggest impact on a child’s “success” at school. Just make sure you read to your children and encourage their learning. The schools follow the same curriculum and results on a school by school level generally only reflect the demographics in the area not the quality of the teaching.

Completely agree, I’ve got kids in the Catholic system southern Canberra, niece/nephew in the public central Canberra (now high school and college) and niece in alternative (Montessori) in Sydney. My niece in public school has went through a public school system and has gained automatic pre-entry to university and is studying at both college and univeristy when she just entered u11.
It comes down to the kids and the parents, and the commitment and time taken into schooling.

trevar trevar 6:54 pm 15 Dec 10

You’re missing Wanniassa Hills PS! Nowhere near the inner north, but they are an excellent school with very committed teachers who pay a lot of attention to their students and are doing a great job with my three little Trevars.

Deref Deref 6:04 pm 15 Dec 10

Lyneham Primary – best school, bar none, in the ACT.

harley harley 6:00 pm 15 Dec 10

Amanda Hugankis said :

Curtin has an established reputation, as does Garran.

Curtin’s reputation is based on past leadership. I don’t believe the quality of education has deteriorated since.

I don’t want to say what I really think. The lines you need to read between are pretty wide.

capn_pugwash capn_pugwash 3:44 pm 15 Dec 10

There is a lot of info on parenting forums such as Essential Baby (www.essentialbaby.com.au) – they have an ACT subforum with a lot of regular discussion about public schools in various areas. Also a lot of other resources such as before and after school care, vacation care & all sorts of other stuff.

Amanda Hugankis Amanda Hugankis 3:34 pm 15 Dec 10

Curtin has an established reputation, as does Garran. It does depend though on if you’re looking for something particular out of your public school – e.g.: support for learning/behavioural issues, stong music curriculum, etc.

Having said that, both those suburbs are pricey also (current allhomes listing commence at $440k for 3 bed apartment up to $990k in Curtin and $575 for 3 bedroom dual occupancy up to $1.15million in Garran).

I can’t speak for outside Woden, although Kaleen used to be decent (this may have changed).

puzzlepunk puzzlepunk 3:05 pm 15 Dec 10

In my opinion school rankings, especially for primary schools are a waste of time. It’s your role as parents that has the biggest impact on a child’s “success” at school. Just make sure you read to your children and encourage their learning. The schools follow the same curriculum and results on a school by school level generally only reflect the demographics in the area not the quality of the teaching.

sepi sepi 3:02 pm 15 Dec 10

I would go with Ainslie over Lyneham. Watson is meant to be good too.

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