How to choose a secondary school for your child Long Bay College Principal offers tips Parents feeling the pressure to choose ‘the right’ secondary school for their Year 8 student starting high school in 2019 are not alone. “It can feel really daunting,” empathises Long Bay College Principal Mr CJ Healey who personally experienced the process with his eldest child last year. As a parent and Principal, Mr Healey has a lot of insights about what to look for when choosing a secondary school. “Statistics such as academic results, ERO report, course and activity options, proximity to home and transport are all important, but finding the school that offers the best cultural climate to support the needs of your young person is key,” he says. Families often receive well-intentioned but conflicting advice from friends and relatives about College options, but parents know their own kids best and what is right for them says Mr Healey. “It is important parents do their own research and feel confident in their choice,” he says. Melanie Voss, a parent of a Year 9 student at Long Bay College agrees. She had no preconceived ideas about Shore secondary schools when she began her research last year. “I didn’t grow up here. I found choosing a College very difficult,” she said. “Our daughter wanted to go to Long Bay because her friends were but I felt the decision needed to be based on more.” Mrs Voss and her family attended open evenings at several schools and wrote pros and cons lists. “I tried to focus on things that really mattered to my child – a sense of belonging, a place where our child feels relaxed, secure and confident, where she will thrive and fulfil her potential.” Assured by their research, the Voss’ selected Long Bay. With 2017 academic results revealing Long Bay College students and those at other North Shore secondary schools are performing well above national standards, parents can feel reassured their children are receiving a quality education locally. “We are fortunate to attract high calibre staff and provide quality teaching environments and resources. We’re able to really focus on investing in our students from the start,” Mr Healey said. A school’s culture often reflects that of the wider community. “Our students are highly motivated to achieve personal excellence but they’re also very supportive of each other. We speak proudly of the uniquely inclusive ‘family’ that is Long Bay,” says Mr Healey. Mr Healey’s final tips for choosing a secondary school include attending public events at prospective schools, going on a school tour, observing students, talking to staff, visiting the school’s website and social media pages and reading the school’s newsletters. “You will soon sense what the school is all about,” he says. Long Bay College warmly invites Year 8 students and their parents to attend the school’s Open Night on Wednesday, July 25 from 4.30pm. An Open Day will be held on Wednesday, August 1 which Year 8 students are invited to attend with their Intermediate. In addition, school tours can be booked through reception. For more information visit www.longbaycollege.com.