Primary school visits

(8 Posts)
blue22 Tue 26-Feb-13 20:17:21

I'm about to start looking at the local (state) primaries next week for DD1. There are about 5 that are pretty close and their ofsted reports are all pretty similar, nothing exceptional, nothing dire.
What would be the main thing you look for in a primary and any good questions I should be asking?
TIA

Might be worth posting in Prinary Education topic as well. I'd be asking about staff turnover, as well as looking at the facilities and getting a gut-reaction to the atmosphere and how the pupils and staff present themselves.

blue22 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:04:03

Thanks, good idea

brainonastick Wed 27-Feb-13 15:17:25

See how happy the pupils seem. Ask about extra-curricular activities. Ask how they tailor lessons to each child (especially if you feel your child may need extra help in any aspect - eg gifted, or struggles with co-ordination, or loves music etc etc). Ask how parents get involved - is there an active pta for example? Ask how the school communicates with parents.

In short, try to see how the school fits with your child's personality. Ofsted reports don't tell you that.

blue22 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:29:03

Yes they're all interesting points - what level of sport/p.e would you expect at a primary? Would you expect inter school competitive team games? I'm just trying vaguely to recollect my primary school and think we were playing netball by around 7.

brainonastick Wed 27-Feb-13 15:38:59

I don't know - the school that dd1 goes to they only do PE once a week in Reception and Year 1, and that is in the hall. More down to the logistics of getting 30 tiny ones changed into PE gear and back again I imagine! Year 2 (i.e. the third year) is more going down the road to the playing field etc. Reception year they spend half their time running around the playground outside anyway (child led learning smile).

Another thing I would look at is the wall displays. My mum was a teacher, and reckoned that the quality of the wall displays would tell you a lot about the school, i.e. how passionate/interested the teachers were, and whether they showed the topics in a dynamic/interesting way, rather than bog standard and boring.

blue22 Wed 27-Feb-13 15:44:18

Yes that's a good one - also I guess how often they update the wall displays.
I'm getting quite excited about looking around!

brainonastick Wed 27-Feb-13 15:56:12

I found it quite an eye opener. Some of the schools I assumed would be good because of the ofsted reports, I didn't like at all, and others which got poorer reports I thought were brilliant! (albeit with a new Head since the ofsted).

Also take a tissue - I got quite teary thinking about my little baby being a big school girl smile.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now