Many Schools have open days. An open day is a chance to get a feel for the school, inspect the facilities and chat with pupils and staff. It is useful to visit more than one school, even if you think you have your heart set on one in particular, so that you can compare and contrast.
As a mum with children now in year 3 and 1 i’d say it’s crucial to understand exactly where you are sending your little one and have a plan of how to approach open days and choosing a school.
I found a handy guide on what to look out for!
Quiz the hand-picked pupils who show you around
Ask to go to the toilet – especially the ones that pupils use
Bring your child to the open evening/day – gauge their reaction on whether this is an environment in which they’ll thrive.
Listen to the head teacher’s speech. Leadership is everything in a school…if it is a good head, everything flows from their leadership.
Ask tough questions. What strategies are in place to ensure the children learn and achieve well, what are their intervention strategies. Be specific.
Take a good look at the teachers. Good leadership might be key, but it is the teachers who will have the most day to day impact on your child. Staff should look like a corporate body, welcoming and keen to talk about the school.
Visit the school again – at home time. Going back when the pupils are leaving to go home gives you a good sense of the school as you can see the beahaviour of children.