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to expect primary schools to offer open days to prospective parents?

(19 Posts)
auntyspan Thu 11-Jun-09 18:38:30

I have been in touch with 4 primary schools in my area as DD2 will be going to reception in September 2010 and it's my understanding that the app forms have to be in before December.

I've been told that the open days being held this term are for parents for the 2009 intake only.

Is this normal?

nametaken Thu 11-Jun-09 18:42:16

Em no, it's not normal where I am.

It sounds as though the open day being held this term for the 2009 intake is more of an induction day. What I mean is, only the parents of children who will be attending are coming. So that's not really an open day, it's a "get acquainted with your new school before September" day.

What you're actually asking for is a look around all 4 schools BEFORE you apply. Am I right?

ellingwoman Thu 11-Jun-09 18:43:43

How long do you need??? grin

Secondary schools have all their open days in September/October and you have to have the forms in by the end of October. Everyone manages honest!

At primary level I would be suspicious of open days, much better to make an appointment and see a normal school day instead of a stage-managed one

ramonaquimby Thu 11-Jun-09 18:45:03

I'd wait until the autumn term - it's coming up to the end of the year and schools have a lot on - they will be more focussed on you and your visit in Sept. Likely this time of year it won't be a head/deputy showing you around, so I"d wait.

At the school I work at we're about to have induction days and an evening for the parents of these children - like nametaken said.

pointydog Thu 11-Jun-09 18:45:07

I suppose it depends on how many parents in your area consider all four schools and make a choice.

In my area, kids go to their local school and if you want to see round another one you phone up and get a one-to-one tour. There's no big demand.

If loads of you are doing tours it might be more sensible to have open days.

auntyspan Thu 11-Jun-09 18:45:10

YES that's exactly what I want to do. Look around the schools before I apply. I rang one of the schools and asked what provision they offered for prospective parents and the school sec said we could book an appointment with the headmaster, during school hours hmm.

Clayhead Thu 11-Jun-09 18:48:34

A look round with the head during a normal school day is the norm here - there are no open days as such (very little point as you would need to see the children as normal in their classes to get an idea of the place)

nametaken Thu 11-Jun-09 18:48:38

Oh right, I'm with you now. Yes, it's normal to book an appointment with the head during school hours. Well, it is at faith schools anyway.

Smithagain Thu 11-Jun-09 18:52:22

Same around here. An appointment with the Head, during school hours, is completely the norm. I don't understand the hmm. It has to be during school hours, otherwise you don't see what the school is like with children in it. And you are looking at the way the children behave, how the teachers interact with them etc as much as at the building.

Or many schools have open days (also in school hours) early in the autumn term, a few weeks before the deadline.

ramonaquimby Thu 11-Jun-09 18:55:06

why are you hmm about the arrangements - completely normal. they don't do huge meetings for prospective parents, it doesn't work that way in primary schools

oodlesofpoodles Thu 11-Jun-09 18:57:01

Its normal to be shown round by the head here too. I don't think there would be much demand for an open day. There are 24 dcs in ds's class, at least half have an older sibling at the school which leaves approx 12 parents but most of them would be applying anyway based on the ofstead/reptution and the next Catholic school is miles away. The secondry has 200+ per year so its worth setting a special day aside to accomadate so many people.

nappyaddict Thu 11-Jun-09 19:01:59

Round here you get shown around by the head and a year 6 pupil. They do these in the autumn term usually. They said one of the reasons was because if a teacher is leaving it will usually be in the summer term and if any changes are coming into place they will come in september. For instance one of the schools I looked round (for the nursery) told me as of september they will be integrating reception children and nursery children much more. I really like this idea but obviously won't be able to see how it works in RL until September so I decided looking round the rest of the school was pointless this term.

piscesmoon Thu 11-Jun-09 19:03:13

The Open Days will be aimed at those who are starting. I would wait.
Obviously you want to see them so just phone up the Head and ask for an appointment to see the school.

Foxy800 Thu 11-Jun-09 19:04:24

I have recently contacted 2 schools to arrange viewings as my lo will be starting school in september 2010. One was extremely helpful, asking when was good for me and working round that, the other not quite as helpful but did work out a viewing in the end (problem was they had 2 days they prefer to do viewings and times and I couldnt do times but we did work something out).

piscesmoon Thu 11-Jun-09 19:11:12

If they won't give you an appointment I would cross them off your list!

ThingOne Thu 11-Jun-09 19:28:28

My DS1's primary school is holding a open day for parents of 2010 entry this term.

When I was looking round, two years ago, I looked at this time of year. Some schools did individual tours by the head, some did it in groups. Nobody told me to bugger off because it was the wrong term.

So YANBU to ask at all.

bigstripeytiger Thu 11-Jun-09 19:33:14

Round here its normal to contact the headteacher for an individual appointment. It will be in school time, because they want to show you the school when there are children in it.

Flibbertyjibbet Thu 11-Jun-09 19:46:48

I went for tours of two schools last sept, where the secretary showed us round then the head has a chat after the tour.
We apply for schools mid oct so plenty of time to have a look at schools and decide.
Then last week there was an evening session where new parents can go and look round and talk to all the teachers, sign up for pta etc.
The open days at our school are for the pupils who will be joining in september, for them to have two short sessions before the full on new term starts.
I think the schools have enough on each year with accomodating parents and children who are starting the next september without accomodating parents whose children aren't due for 15 months yet.
Why on earth are you hmm at an appointment with a school headmaster having to be in school hours? Did you expect them to have evening or weekends available for possibly prospective parents who may be looking at 3 other schools? Here they just do the open evening for those that are definitely coming.

Gosh I can't wait for this oct when ds2 will just get in as a sibling grin

Hulababy Thu 11-Jun-09 19:50:05

Far better to view a school on a normal school day than at an Open Day.

Open Days are when the school is on show; they plan and prepare for it. Everything is clean and spotless and just right. And the children are generally not there.

Go ona proper school day and you see the school as it is. Have a tour, watch the children at work and play, listen to the way they communucate with staff, chat to them and the children about their work, etc. Oh and I took DD with me too - wanted too see how staff reacted to her, afterall she was the one who'd be going to the school.

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