There are several ways of assessing a school’s curriculum. You can consider its success in teaching the main subjects that virtually every school provides. This can vary a great deal and can only be assessed on a school-by-school basis via reports and by talking to people associated with the school, including students and parents. Please note that a national Year 7–10 curriculum is currently being rolled out.
The second way is to look at the breadth of the school’s offerings. Here you are considering the range rather than just the standard of the academic curriculum. The options include the choice of languages, but also the special interest subjects such as arts, sports, technology and cultural activities such as religion or debating. When these special interest subjects are offered outside of class, they are part of what is called the ‘co-curriculum’.
It is a great sign if a school offers a variety of cocurricular activities. This allows your child to explore their strengths and talents, develop friendships and have unique experiences outside of the classroom. The range of co-curricular activities will depend on the school’s resources, but at least some of the following programs should be available. Look out for:
In addition, a major drawcard for some schools are specialist programs that remove students from the mainstream school environment, often to a separate campus, where they undertake a special curriculum centred on life-skill development.
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