Posted: 5th October, 2015. Topics:
It is that time of year again: the march of the Open Days. It is such a minefield and so much information to take in. We had lots of parents and pupils drive up the Abbotsholme drive in search of what they hope is the right school for them.
So what should you as a parent look for? As the dog that blogs, here are my top five tips:
1 – You know your child better than anyone. You will know what school suits them whether boarding or day, or both, single sex or co-ed, small or large. Ensure you look at a few schools to compare, and read their websites as thoroughly as you can, and their literature too. Go in prepared with questions that the literature and website does not answer.
2 – Take as much time as you need with any school. Visit as many times as you can to view different times of the day and school week. The Admissions Team should offer this as well as tasters in abundance. They know that your child is unique and special to you, and that having as much contact with a school settles a child much easier. Do not just rely on an Open Day.
3 – Smiling children and happy teachers are so important. On Open Day they are in abundance, because everyone is on show. This is why Schools should offer you lots of visits and tasters. People cannot keep up a charade for long. Talk with both staff and pupils at length. Ask girls a pupil guide where possible. You will see the product of the School you are viewing.
4 – Meet with the Headmaster / Headteacher. This is very important. The man or woman at the top embodies the school and should live and breathe its ethos. After all they are in charge of everyone living and breathing that ethos too, that you have painstakingly researched and have chosen to spend your time at.
5 – Academic or Extra Curricular – again you decide! A great advantage of independent schools is the breadth of curriculum they offer as well as the out of classroom activities. Be clear on what is going to suit your child’s aptitudes. If academic will the school be able to stretch your child, if they are less academic can the school provide the necessary support.
Don’t forget to look at the fees, and the fees in different year groups. You want to know you can afford the schooling not just for next year, but for years after. Many schools offer bursaries and scholarships, as well as school fee payment plans so do not be afraid to ask about these.
Finally, I am sure any mother would love a School that encourages this - click here to view!Continue »