School in Western Australia


So about those school terms. What are those by the way?

We head back to school in early February and the summer holidays for our family feel like they have been very short; Time has just disappeared!

We have 2 little ones and understanding how school in Western Australia works can be a little tricky when you first arrive. I’m still getting the hang of the schooling system, as we are only 2 years into the formal education system ourselves.

So whilst we are not experts the following information and websites are useful, however take advantage of information from those who have kids in the education system.

Websites that can help:

The main website you will want to use is the Western Australian Education Department this is the place where hopefully all your questions are answered for the public school system.

Another option is Australian Schools Directory  if you are just starting out and wanting to know all the schooling options in your area. It can also be good to join Facebook forums so you can ask people already living in the schooling areas or catchments, you are considering, their opinion.

Also just released is WA 2014 School Comparison Statistics, this gives a host of information about both State and Private High Schools (Secondary School) in WA and the results of the WACE exams.

You choose public, private or independent.

There are public, private and public independent schools to choose from. The WA Education system (public) offers a guaranteed place for each child within their local area/catchment.

You need to apply to enrol your children in school for 2015 if they are:

  • starting Kindergarten – 4 years old by 30 June 2015
  • starting Pre-primary, the first year of compulsory school – 5 years old by 30 June 2015
  • starting Year 7, the first year of secondary school in 2015
  • starting Year 8
  • changing schools.

School Terms and Key Dates 2015

WA schools in general start in February and run to Mid December. A Term is a period of time any where from 8 -10 weeks in duration our school system is mad eup of 4 terms, with 2 terms per semester. There is a 2 week break between every term and the largest break is during summer (December, January, February)  for 6 weeks.

Just remember that each school will have their on term dates that allow them to work in professional development days for staff, ie staff training.

The following table lists the 2015 dates*:

Semester 1
Term 1 Monday 2 February – Thursday 2 April
Break Friday 3 April – Sunday 19 April
Term 2 Monday 20 April – Friday 3 July
Break Saturday 4 July – Sunday 19 July
Semester 2
Term 3 Monday 20 July – Friday 25 September
Break Saturday 26 September – Sunday 11 October
Term 4 Monday 12 October – Thursday 17 December
*Note: A Department term dates calendar for 2015 can not be provided as each public school develops its own calendar.
Please contact your school directly for more information about its specific dates, including school development (‘pupil free’) days. WA Department Terms Dates

Things to remember:

  • Most schools have a uniform; which they encourage students to wear including a sun hat, as the majority of schools require a child to wear a hat when doing outside activities or play.
  • Depending on the size of the school there maybe additional programs running for the arts, music, language, gifted students it is best to check directly with each school.
  • Children attend Monday- Friday from Pre-Primary – Year 12 usually starting between 8.30am-9am and finishing between 3 and 3.30pm. They attend for the whole day and do not leave the school site for lunch.
  • Kindergarten and Pre-Primary students need to be dropped off and picked up by an authorised adult.
  • You will need to provide food for morning tea and lunch and a water bottle. Some schools have a canteen or tuck school that you can order lunches from. In addition some school will have a nut free or nut aware policy, ie students can not bring nuts or nut products to school as other students have an extreme allergy or reaction to them if they come into contact with nut products.

Good luck keeping up with clean uniforms, making lunches and getting to school on time!

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