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Primary schools near Bruce?

By groovymumma - 11 July 2012 23

Hi rioters. We are moving to Canberra shortly for work. I will be working in Bruce and my hubby will be in the Parliamentary Triangle.

We are planning to live near my work – somewhere like Bruce, Kaleen or Aranda. My main concern is to find a school for my eldest (starts Kindergarten next year) and childcare for my youngest (2 years old). I have read lots of old posts on this topic on the RiotAct (very useful, thanks everyone) and I am also aware of the Priority Placement Areas. My plan is to try to find a school that suits us and then rent accordingly.

Schools that I have heard of are Kaleen PS, Maribrynong PS, Aranda PS and Macquarie PS. I have toured one, will tour two more, and one won’t let me have a look until we are already living in the area (??). Does anyone have any personal experience with any of these schools? My kids are more likely to be academic than sporty, if you know what I mean. Or are there other schools you would recommend (private could be okay but we are not on any waiting lists)? Also, any personal experiences with childcare centres near Bruce or near Parliament would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for helping out a newbie.

What’s Your opinion?


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23 Responses to
Primary schools near Bruce?
curlylocks 8:24 pm 11 Jul 12

I have 2 Children at Maribrynong. It is a fantastic little school with just over I think 200 kids. Yes new Principal this year but has been the assistant there for quite some time. (And yes she is the youngest Principal in the ACT)

As I said I have 2 children and one of them is in the LSU which is a fantastic little class with a wonderful and aides.

My other child is in the enrichment program for both Reading and Maths.

I have know most of the teachers at the school (one of my children is about to go into High school) . They are in my opinion all fantastic and easy to communicate with. The teachers that are there have been there for quite some time and seem happy.

I would recommend this school to anyone.

gumby34 5:41 pm 11 Jul 12

Not sure about the other schools but my friend had her kids in Kaleen Primary as it had a great extension program and a really good reputation. She liked it.

The schools in Canberra are zoned and if a school is having enrollment pressure they will not consider you unless you are in the area (and can prove it with mail drivers lic etc) or qualify for a specific program with them. Hope that helps. Not sure where you are coming from but on the whole ACT schools are fairly good so if you pick a good suburb the school with generally be pretty good too.

Parkway Parker 5:21 pm 11 Jul 12

+2 for Holden and sneaker’s comments on hubby.

Jethro 5:15 pm 11 Jul 12

Nice way to be welcoming guys.

I have heard good things about Aranda, Florey and Miles Franklin (in Evatt).

Aranda is probably the nicest suburb (although I’m going to guess some of the rental properties in the suburb could be a bit old and run down) and has the quickest access to Bruce and the Parliamentary triangle and is close to the Jamison Centre.

Elizabethany 5:06 pm 11 Jul 12

In terms of primary schools, it is best to have a chat to them and see which is the best fit, but in general at primary level they are all reasonably good. If you are planning on being here for a long time then consider which schools are feeder to the better high schools, but you can always move in 5 years to get to the right catchment.

Childcare is more of a problem. Pretty much apply to ALL of the providers in the area where you can live with them being (say belconnen and the city), including centres, YWCA family care, empolyer provided care etc, and then ring them EVERY week to remind them you exist and that you still want a place. Since the youngest is 2, it will be a bit easier than for a newborn, but it is still especially difficult to get childcare.

gospeedygo 5:04 pm 11 Jul 12

sneakers said :

I’m with Holden on this one, and would also like to add “Yummy Mummy” or any derivatives thereof to the filter.

Change it to ‘flirty girty’ and it’ll never be seen again.

Ailsa 4:54 pm 11 Jul 12

Our children attend Kaleen PS. We’re happy so far!

LSWCHP 4:47 pm 11 Jul 12

As well as Florey, another of my kids spent 3 years at Kaleen Primary, and I always thought it was an exceptional school, and very focused on academic achievement. The principal of the time (may have changed) was a marvellous woman.

LSWCHP 4:44 pm 11 Jul 12

shirty_bear said :

Maybe a little out of your range, but we’ve been happy at Florey PS. We’re out of zone (through a weird quirk of zone boundaries) but they made an effort to accommodate us (some 6-odd years ago, so the people pulling the strings have changed).

Not much clue re. childcare. We used to used YMCA at Jamison Centre (Macquarie) a little bit and the boy loved it there.

+1 on Florey Primary. I’ve had three kids go through there, and they’ve all had good experiences.

I was part of the parent work crew that put up the giant shade structure over the basketball court back around 2001. It’ll be sad when my youngest finishes at the end of the year and I won’t be going back to see that any more. It’s the best piece of trades-type work I’ve ever done, especially compared to my efforts around the home. 🙂

MisterTee 4:39 pm 11 Jul 12

Hi Groovymumma,

Some anecdotal opinions of the schools you mentioned from a local chalkie.

Kaleen – Uber popular school at the moment, kicking a lot of goals. I believe they have a G&T class for each grade other than kindy and although philosophically I’m not sure how I feel about this setup the community has responded very favourably. As a result it will quite possibly be hard for you to get your kids in unless you’re living in area.

Maribrynong – Different side of the spectrum from Kaleen, much smaller school with possibly (again just my opinion) a nicer “little school” feel. New Principal this year, who I believe is the youngest in ACT and I’ve heard great things about her. Not quite as affluent a population base as Kaleen, but still a lovely, small community school.

Macquarie – Don’t know as much about Macquarie, other than that the Principal, Wendy Cave, is really lovely and great to work for. Similar demographic to Maribrynong I believe.

Aranda – This would be my choice, that is if you end up living over near Aranda or Macquarie rather than Kaleen. From what I’ve heard a great school with a very involved, supportive community. The school has some brand spanking new buildings and has pretty high academic expectations, which sounds like it might suit your kids.

Anyway there’s my 2 cents. Obviously all just my own semi-informed opinion.

Good luck and welcome to Canberra.

Padoof 4:33 pm 11 Jul 12

My children attended Kaleen Primary School for 3 years (2006-2008) and it was brilliant for them. Kaleen is one of the only schools northside to offer an academic extension programme – if a child has aptitude (keep in mind a parent’s view of their child’s ability is often over inflated).

My younger child was in the G&T (gifted and talented) class for years 2 and 3; my older child for years 4, 5 and 6 (she told me that she was still teased for being ‘odd’, but at least at Kaleen the entire class was teased).

Having said that, my kids had friends who didn’t enjoy the experience there, so whilst my kids loved it there, it doesn’t mean that yours will.

Be guided by your gut instinct from when you visit the school.

Don’t forget that the ACT has a priority enrolment area, if you out of the area for a school, your child can only get in if the school has a place available.

Good luck!

sneakers 4:17 pm 11 Jul 12

I’m with Holden on this one, and would also like to add “Yummy Mummy” or any derivatives thereof to the filter.

Good call, Holden!

As for the O/T – I have no idea. Sorry. I’m a staunch advocate of birth control 🙂

shirty_bear 3:42 pm 11 Jul 12

Maybe a little out of your range, but we’ve been happy at Florey PS. We’re out of zone (through a weird quirk of zone boundaries) but they made an effort to accommodate us (some 6-odd years ago, so the people pulling the strings have changed).

Not much clue re. childcare. We used to used YMCA at Jamison Centre (Macquarie) a little bit and the boy loved it there.

Holden Caulfield 3:38 pm 11 Jul 12

Just wondering if RA can introduce a word filter for “hubby” … or am I the only one that cringes in embarrassment when I see that word?

Anyway, I went to Donald Duck in Aranda and thought it was ace. Although, that was a few decades ago now.

Zeital 3:32 pm 11 Jul 12

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