Gaining a strong education is often a huge priority for new migrants to Australia, but how can you ensure that your children are getting the most out of the experience?
Education experts encourage parents and carers to be actively involved in their children’s school and learning.
Here are some of the ways you can help your child to get a better school experience.
Positively engage in your child’s education
Making sure your child attends school each day is key. School attendance can have a major influence on your child’s educational outcomes.
Getting your child to attend school is helped by having a positive attitude to learning and education. Create a daily routine that helps your child get to school stress-free.
Stay informed about the school and be involved
It’s good to be familiar with common Australian school practices like the need to provide a child with a lunch box or be on time for pick up after school. There are also activities you can do outside of school which can help your child, you can talk about school and ask what they are learning, or ask them what was fun about their day.
Regularly read to your child or ask your child to read to you. However, it’s good to set achievable expectations. A 2009 OECD report found teenage students whose parents often read books with them in their first year of primary school had higher scores than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all.
Actively participate in parent-teacher meetings
Attending parent-teacher meetings, which are normally offered twice a year is a key way to engage with the school. This is a one-on-one discussion between you and the teacher.
It provides an opportunity for you to meet your child’s teacher and foster a positive relationship with your child’s school. It's recommended that you attend the interview with an open mind and talk honestly. The majority of schools have access to translators, according to the diversity of the community.
Volunteer at your child’s school
Taking part of a child’s school life goes beyond attending meetings. You can volunteer listening to children read in the classroom, assist with sports activities, in the school´s canteen or in the garden. Joining a parent organisation connected to the school is another way to participate.
The My School website provides valuable information to help make informed decisions about your child’s education.
A useful online Guide for Parents on School Boards and School Councils explains some of the ways to get involved in your child’s school and the different school systems across Australia.
Related: Testing Teachers premieres Wednesday, 19 April at 8.30pm on SBS and will be available after broadcast, streaming anytime on SBS On Demand. Watch the trailer below: