OK, you’ve filled out the enrolment forms and booked your child’s private school interview.
How do you make sure everything goes smoothly?
Get tips in our latest guide.
We’ve spoken to schools about this process and the biggest piece of advice they have for prospective families is to relax and view this as a two-way conversation. Isn’t that comforting to know?
Read on to discover our 10 best tips to help everyone in your family prepare for the big day.
Before you attend the school interview find out which documents or information you’ll be required to present.
Regan Verwey from Calvary Christian College says supporting documents can include: “Written family references (preferably from a Pastor/Minister of Religion, Doctor, family member or friend, or professional), last two school reports, national testing results, medical reports and any court orders (pertaining to guardianship).”
When arranging an interview time try to be flexible as there may be specific time slots available only. It is ideal if all family members can attend the interview, which is likely to be held during standard business hours.
Be on time.
If you’ve already visited the school during an open day you should have a fair idea of where you are going. If not, arrive 15 minutes before your interview so that you can find the right room and arrive calm and relaxed.
Find your “Sunday best”.
Try your best to have everyone neatly dressed. In particular, have a look at your child’s clothing ahead of time – we know how fast they grow and that button up shirt they’ve probably only worn once before could end up being too small on the day.
Talk to your kids.
Make the time to have a discussion with your family about the interview process. Talk about the school, explain why you think it’s the ideal school for them, and gently discuss the interview process.
Think about your questions.
Even though it can seem like the onus is on your family to answer the school’s questions, it’s also an opportunity for you to learn more.
Principal Polly Flanagan from Shelford Girls’ Grammar says they view this as a conversation rather than an interview.
“It is an opportunity to assist families to better understand the ethos and values of the school, the range of programs that we offer, and to answer questions that might arise.”
Think of your responses.
Obviously, the school will ask you questions so have of think of responses ahead of time. As well as academic questions, be prepared to talk about your family. They will likely want to know more about your child, their siblings, and any interests.
Be prepared to take the back seat.
Even though you’ll be tempted to advocate for your family, remind yourself to let your child answer questions on their own. Conversation will be directed at them and its best if they’re allowed to participate back.
Comfort young kids
If you have a very young child be comforting and encouraging before and during the interview. Make sure they’re aware beforehand that they’ll probably be asked to do small tasks like counting or identifying colours.
The most important thing is that you try your best to be relaxed about this process and just be honest in answering questions - if you’re not sure about something say so. Remember, this is supposed to be an open discussion, and is not about right or wrong answers.