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Thinking of Moving to Pakenham

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#1 creepycookie

Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:22 PM

Hubby and I are thinking of moving to the Pakenham (Vic) area. We are currently in the eastern suburbs but keen on the idea of having a nicer, new house, and need a bigger house now with another bub on the way. of course all this means moving further out of town, which we are slowly coming around to!

We have spent a bit of time looking around, but would like to get opinions on the local schools, and also kinder/ early learning? If anyone knows what they are like, if your kids go there what do you like/ dislike about them, which do you recommend and which should we stay away from?

I have a 1 year old and one on the way, but feel this is something worth looking into before we up and move. I'd like to have ds in both 3 and 4 year old kinder when the time comes, and we would be looking at comparing public and independent private schools in the area, absolutely no religious schools.

Appreciate your input, TIA!!

#2 MitchNme

Posted 15 January 2013 - 08:08 PM

I lived in Pakenham for a number of years and am now in Nar Nar Goon which is about 6mins out of Pakenham. I teach at a small school about 15mins out of Pakenham and have done casual teaching in a few of the Pakenham schools so will tell you what I know of them.

I'll start with my experience of childcare. My DS goes to Ryan Rd Childcare in Pakenham and I absolutely love it. I couldnt speak more highly of the facilities and the staff. I have 5 friends who also send their children  and they love it as much as I do. They have an indoor swimming pool there so your child gets a swimming lesson once a week included in the fees as well as a pony ride once a fortnight. They also do a music program. Definitely check it out. DS will be doing 4yo kinder there this year. I have no experience of other childcares in Pakenham so cant comment on others.

Most of the Pakenham schools have a fairly bad reputation unfortunately. I know alot of people who travel the extra distance and send them to one of the smaller schools just out of Pakenham. There are currently 3 public schools in Pakenham. One is Pakenham Hills which has a shocking reputation as a rough school. All the teachers I know who have worked there would never send their child there. Pakenham consolidated used to have a bad rep, but is getting better I believe. Heritage Springs is the newest and I have heard both good and bad things about it, and it is very large. All schools have good and bad points though and parents will tell you different things so it would be a case of looking at them and seeing what you think. There are a number of smaller public schools within 10-15mins of Pakenham which are all lovely and attract quite a few pakenham kids. By the time your children start school, there may be another public school open in Pakenham.

As for private schools, there is Beaconhills which has a great reputation. Fees are quite high. There are some lovely little catholic schools just outside pakenham too but you said you dont want religous schools.

Pakenham can have a bit of a rough reputation but Ive never had any problem with it. There are some lovely areas and another shopping centre has just opened up. Plenty of parks and a couple indoor play centres. And Fountain Gate Westfield is only a 15min drive away.

Best of luck with your search.

#3 JKTMum

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:34 PM

I dont think any of the private schools around Pakenham are independent (ie non-religious). Closer to Berwick and Officer you have St Margaret's (non denominational co-ed for ELC up to year 4 then girls only) in Berwick with Berwick Grammar (in Officer) being the boys equivalent from year 5. The fees are quite pricey for that one, and Hailebury in Berwick is even more expensive (co-ed in ELC and junior levels, then single sex classes but on the same campus) Pretty much everything else is either multi-denominational (Beaconhills is affiliated with three churches), Catholic, Lutheran, Muslim, other smaller Christian groups etc.

Some of the state schools have a fairly good reptuation, others not so much. Pakenham Consolidated used to have a really bad rep, but has changed alot I have heard. Pakenham Springs seems to be one with a not so good rep at the moment, but I suppose it depends who you talk to, same with Pakenham hills. As with PP I have heard of a number of people who live in Pakenham but send their kids to state schools further out, Officer, Cardinia etc.  The state secondary school has had a bad reputation for quite awhile, was even on the news a few years ago with all the issues they were having with bullying, non-attendance, violence towards other kids and teachers, drug problems etc. Dont know if that has improved or not.

#4 againagain

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

I would NOT do it. Not over my dead body. There is a reason why Pakenham is so cheap, honestly.

#5 creepycookie

Posted 18 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE (againagain @ 17/01/2013, 01:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would NOT do it. Not over my dead body. There is a reason why Pakenham is so cheap, honestly.

Lol I have said this kind of thing myself so many times in the past, unfortunately it comes a time where we are just running out of options!

#6 MrsLexiK

Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:39 AM

QUOTE (creepycookie @ 18/01/2013, 10:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lol I have said this kind of thing myself so many times in the past, unfortunately it comes a time where we are just running out of options!

There are some nice/ok areas of Pakenham.  There are some good primary schools, high schools well you still have about 6 years to make a choice if I could afford independant schools I wouldn't worry as much.  I know people who went to Berwick, Beaconsfield and Warragul for high school and some that stayed in Pakenham.  

Personally I wouldn't move there but that is not because the suburb has a bad name, because it is a fair way out and that bloody Monash is a nightmare! (I only go on it from Eastlink and it is bad enough) and for me I like living close to the water and it is too inland for me.  (I know in the other thread I also told the person moving from interstate to not move there first, that is because my preference when moving interstate would be to settle in a subrub known as a good suburb and then look at my options of which other suburbs I may look to stay at.  The fact you are already in the state makes it a bit easier, you can drive around Pakenham in the different areas and get a feel for it and different times)

One thing that I will say is that as a teenager there wasn't much to do there (I didn't grow up in Pakenham but my boyfriend lived there so used to visit a lot in our 4 yr high school/young adult romance) This was before Lakeside though, and before Dotti and all that opened (I think there was a Target, & Gloria Jeans to go to) I think Lakeside was just being built at the time, I know that it is much different to how it used to be but not sure if there is still enough to do IYKWIM.  We used to catch the train to Narre and walk to Fountain gate a lot, some of the things I saw on that train at at those 2 stations, well lets say it was nothing like catching the train from where I lived and getting to Southland.  

I live in a good suburb, the high school really doesn't have a great name though however we plan on religous schools so it is not an issue, if it had been issue and we could only go to public I would have looked at a different suburb or investigated how hard it was to get my child into another public school in another suburb.  My surbub also doesn't have much for teenagers either which does worry me - hopefully they will take the bus further down the pennuinsula and not want to hang around a certain shopping centre in the opposite direction, but if you are in the East I take it Knox is not too far? or Eastland? If this is something that will be a big thing for you, somewhere like Berwick or Officer (closer to Fountain Gate and better high school options) may be somewhere to think.
(they too have lots of estates which are not too pricey to get into - depending on which ones of course)

I have said before I would happily move to Berwick if it was closer to the water lol!

#7 Cindy1014

Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:02 AM

We live in Pakenham at the moment, and are looking at new areas due to the poor quality of schools in the area. we currently home school our 9 year old daughter due to this.

officer and cardinia PS are great options though  original.gif

Pakenham is not as bad as its made out to be, we have lived here 6 years and have not had any type of problem that i have not found in more affluent  areas that i have also lived in.

As a PP has mentioned the traffic into town is shocking! so if you will need to travel for work then you should take that into account.

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