I am currently going to see prospective secondary schools for September 2013. The thing is I don't know what to look for. 'd know exactly what matters to me and therefore what to look out for at a primary but I have only learned that through experience.
The thing is all schools choose their most personable pupils to do the tours so I 'm more interested in observing the behaviour of kids in class and how the teacher manges them. I'd also look beyond the GCSE results and investigate their ebacc results this gives an idea whether the school is concentrating on academic subjects. I'd be very wary about high GCSE passes and the school pushing encouraging dc's into taking GCSEs early. This is a sign the school is playing the system of maximising their results but dc have high chance of getting lower grades than if they've sat exams in yr 11. Their streaming/ setting system would be of interest and finally do not underestimate the journey to school. Ds1 has just started secondary and his is a 1 train journey taking 45 mins door to door. Some of his mates have very complicated journeys involving a tube ride then catching the school bus. this has been very stressful for dc if they miss their connection and there is no other bus for another hour.
I have a feeling our options about Ebacc% numbers would horrify most MNers. 8-17%.
schools choose their most personable pupils to do the tours
Ah, you say that, BUT One of the children at Open Evening I was shocked to see, shocked to see her being friendly, because I vividly remember DD coming home to say that same child had harassed her & even spat in DD's face. She is personable, but not always nice!
Try reading this blog - it linked me to loads of free advice and explains everything to kids as well. We filled in the form with ds last night with surprisingly little complaint from him. rightschool.wordpress.com/