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Kindergarten is not just for finger painting … Kindergarten is where our children learn how to learn. For some, Kindergarten will be the first year of formal schooling, and it’s where children make huge gains socially and emotionally. Kindergarten paves the way for more formal schooling with writing, spelling and numeracy a focus for learning.

Many parents will plan for part of their child’s education to be in a private school environment. It might be that they had private school experience themselves or that they like the sound of what is on offer. In some cases there is an aspiration to offer their child an opportunity that they did not have themselves.

Parents will often ask me, “When is the right time to start my son or daughter at private school?” In truth, there is no ‘right’ time and the answer is very personal — it will depend on your child and your family.

To help with your decision here are 3 tips to consider:

  1. Get your name down on the list of the school/s you are considering: Most schools finalise enrolments at least two years, and sometimes four years, before the year of entry. Waitlists are a given at most high fee private schools.
  2. Understand what the school’s values and culture are: Know what the real, current culture of the school is, not just the reputation of 20 years ago. If it matches with your own family’s values, then add them to the ‘investigate further’ list and start the process.
  3. Consider when you want the advantage of the school to have an effect: If you are seeking the support a private school can offer, then maybe the early years are the best time to start. A strong house is built on good foundations and all that early learning provides the building blocks for school success. It might be that you are looking for a diverse social program, so camps, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs are attractive. In this instance, perhaps primary school is the right time to enrol. Some families will choose high school because it is the ‘important time’ and the pressure will help prepare them for university entrance.

I say, know your child and know what is going to be the best fit for them to grow and succeed. Be sure to talk to the schools and ask questions so that you fully understand their offerings.

At The Scots College, our Brave Hearts Bold Minds education philosophy recognises the need for a special journey and adventure in the hearts of young boys and men. From Transition right through to Year 12, development-stage-relevant models of learning seek to make every day in a Scots boy’s life part of an exciting adventure.

Written by Mrs Gaye Entwistle, Director of Early Learning.

For more information on early years education at The Scots College, please download your copy of our Early Years Centre Prospectus.

The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.