Parents should if possible look at the school’s website. This should give you a flavour of the school and provide access to inspection reports. However, it will only be by visiting the school that parents and children will gain a true insight into the education provided and help you decide if it is right for your child.
An open morning is always a good introduction but be mindful that everyone is, or at least should be, on their best behaviour! I feel it is important to also visit the school during a normal working day to get a real sense of a ‘typical’ day.
When visiting a school look beyond the facilities, the real work of a school goes far beyond the bricks and mortar. Ask yourself:
- Do the children look happy and engaged in class?
- Is there a sense of order and discipline?
- How are children and their teachers interacting with each other?
- Is there a sense of a learning journey being undertaken together or is it one of conflict?
- Will my child be happy here?
- Will the staff be working with my child to enable them to reach their full potential?
The answers to these questions will tell you if it is the right school.