The Canberra Times

Mid Year EnrolmentsAdvertising Feature

Find the right questions for open daysAdvertising Feature

Attend a school open day with a list of questions relevant to your family's wants and needs. Photo: Shutterstock

School open days can be exciting, but it's important to do a bit of preparation.

To make the most of open days, it is essential to ask questions. It is the perfect opportunity to direct all your queries on every topic of concern to the right person, be it students or staff.

Prospective students and parents need to develop a list of questions relevant to them, and every family's list will be different.

As the name suggests, an open day is when you can meet with the principal and ask questions. It's when teachers get to showcase their classrooms. It's where senior students act as guides.

"When I checked out our local primary schools, I found it was all about whether we felt comfortable with the staff. They were approachable and personable," the parent of a first-year student, Ben Riley, said.

You can also gather information on what is available to you and your child academically, athletically and more.

First, think about what's most important to you when choosing a school for your child. Is it academic achievement, is it behaviour management, is it the overall feel of the school, is it the teachers, is it the facilities and resources? It might be a combination of all these things. You get to go behind the scenes as a prospective family.

Come armed with questions

Write down all the things you hope your potential school can deliver. Use these things as a starting point for any essential questions you need to be answered.

Every school will have a handbook covering the essentials. This gives you a good overview of the school and its approach. However, you may have more questions about the school's teaching philosophy, approach to discipline, and life outside the classroom.

Look around you

Another way to gauge whether the school is right for your family is to have a look around. Do the students appear happy? Do the teachers seem approachable and friendly? Can you picture your child here?

Sometimes these observations can carry the most weight, and even if your questions have been answered well, if any of these don't seem right, then it may not be the school for you.

Talk to other families

"We did talk to the neighbours, but being our first school year, we only knew a handful of the parents from kindergarten," Ben said.

Other parents can give you insider knowledge and share what they like best about the school.

However, always come back to your first list of what's most important to you, as this can vary from family to family. Make sure you choose based on your own needs and values and not what is discussed as a 'good school'.

Many boarding parents want to know things about homework support opportunities, mobile phone policy, how the school deals with issues, and even career pathways. They may have questions about how children will be looked after from a pastoral point of view and their health and well-being.

Parents should consider what elements are most important to them and ask questions accordingly.

Your child will want to jump into junior school at TrinityAdvertising Feature

Find out more about Trinity Christian School by booking yourself a place to attend the open day on August 3. Photo: Supplied

Trinity Christian School provides a robust Christian education from preschool to year 12.

The school's campus includes indoor and outdoor learning spaces, sporting facilities, a library and resource centre, a commercial kitchen and a purpose-built Trade Skills Centre.

In 2020 a brand new kindergarten building and an amazing new junior school playground were opened.

In June 2022, the school commenced a full redevelopment of a key middle school building that "will deliver flexible and open classrooms and new, significant breakout and dynamic learning spaces," a spokesperson said.

Additionally, the school recently announced that "work will be begin soon on an architecturally designed specialist performing arts centre in the centre of the school campus.

"Trinity Christian School is committed to equipping students to live meaningful lives in and outside the classroom.

"Trinity is a learning centred school, focusing on the learner and the learning. It provides opportunities for all students to grow academically and mature in faith and service."

Over the past five years Trinity has continued to experience incredibly high demand for entry at year 7.

Students are encouraged to question, grapple, explore and reason

- Trinity Christian School

"It is wonderful to see so many families seeking a Christian education at Trinity for their children. However, places each year are limited, with the school open for enrolment applications for year 7 in 2024 and 2025."

Currently there are also a small number of available places in Trinity's early learning centre (ELC) and junior school for 2023.

As such, the school is taking the opportunity to invite prospective families to consider having their child join the early learning centre and junior school communities next year.

"Junior school and the ELC are exciting places where education is designed to inspire and equip students for a lifetime of learning, purpose and engagement.

"Students are encouraged to question, grapple, explore and reason so they may become capable, confident and powerful learners.

An early learning and junior school open day will occur on Wednesday August 3.

Pre-registrations are essential and it is recommended that families book early to avoid disappointment.

For further information about the school just visit

Spectacular location, inspiring learning environment at SMGSAdvertising Feature

Snowy Mountains Grammar School offers day school from kindergarden to year 12 and boarding for a number of their high school students. Photo: Supplied

Uniquely located in the Snowy Mountains region of NSW, Snowy Mountains Grammar School (SMGS) is a kindergarten to year 12 co-educational day and boarding school that offers all of its students a very diverse range of learning and development opportunities throughout the school year.

"We enable this through a modern and innovative approach to education where every student is truly known, and our co-curricular programs are influenced by our unique surroundings," a spokesperson said.

"Our spectacular lakeside location nestled in the mountains provides our boarding and day students with an environment in which to grow and develop that is nurturing, clean and healthy.

"The natural playground that our students call home is simply inspiring. Canberra is an easy two-hour drive to the north, while Perisher and Thredbo are just thirty minutes away."

With residents coming from all over Australia, the boarding house at SMGS is large enough to foster growth and self-confidence, but small enough to notice and cater for individual difference.

"With twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week support from our exceptional and caring boarding team, the boarding house community is underpinned by the school's core values of CARE [which are] courage, authenticity, respect and empathy, whilst further instilling trust, responsibility and developing independence.

"These values foster the development of a positive environment where each boarder is guided and encouraged to achieve their personal best, aligning with values experienced in the day school learning environment for all students.

"Our boarders are provided with an excellent activities program, taking advantage of our unique location near the ski fields and the beautiful natural environment of the surrounding rural areas."

During winter, boarders have the option to be on the mountain three days a week.

Other activities include equestrian, aviation, mountain biking, trampolining, netball, soccer, rugby and Navy Cadets, providing boarders with ample activities throughout the year.

"Our weekend program often takes advantage of Lake Jindabyne, Kosciuszko National Park, Canberra and the South Coast."

Exciting developments for the school

This year SMGS began works on stage one and stage two of its master plan, which will see a new learning hub and sports precinct.

These will be ready for students from the end of term one, 2023 for the learning hub, and term four 2022 for the sports precinct.

2022 has also seen the launch of two new programs, the Equestrian Development Academy and the agistment facility, as well as the Mountain Bike Academy, "which fosters the development of advanced gravity riders."

Students have also been enjoying the new enrichment programs and service-learning programs.

SMGS offers students a number of flexible boarding options including weekly, full-time, winter-only (term three) and the renowned Elite Snowsports Academy (ESA).

Boarding bursaries and scholarships

SMGS offers a range of scholarships for middle school and senior school students.

These include rural farming and boarding bursaries, academic excellence, general excellence merit, music and arts, and excellence in innovation and technology.

Scholarship applications for 2024 enrolment will open in late October 2022.

To learn more about any of these programs, or for anything else you'd like to discover about Snowy Mountains Grammar School, visit