Advanced search

to request a 'trial' day at our local state school?

(69 Posts)
thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 11:50:14

Do people do this?

I started a thread recently about moving my DC from Prep/PrePrep to the local state schools and had lots of useful comments.

I have spoken to the schools that we are interested in and will make an appointment to see the Head/s and look around.

It is the norm in the private sector for children to spend a day at the school they are planning to attend to make sure it feels 'right' for them.

So, do people do this in the state sector or AIBU?

Thandeka Sun 06-Sep-09 11:52:33

am a teacher (state) and never known it be done here (secondary) but parents are often shown round during lessons.

Think it is very mean on kid (and teacher) to have to come in billy no mates for the day.

KIMItheThreadSlayer Sun 06-Sep-09 11:55:51

I think schools are hard pressed enough with out people wanting to "try them out" It would be very unsettleing for the children who do go to the school.

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks Sun 06-Sep-09 11:56:06

I've done this with my DD. We moved her from one state school to another and the head suggested it. DD was 8 at the time. Its a big decision to make and we found it helpful. At the end of the day if you do move them then they're going to "Billy No Mates" for a day anyway, not knowing anyone on first day. Though IME all the other kids wanted to play with DD as having a new girl is exciting.

LIZS Sun 06-Sep-09 11:56:31

It works in reverse for those moving to independent schools (opportunity for school
to assess too) but whether this is the norm I'm not sure.

3littlefrogs Sun 06-Sep-09 11:58:04

IME the other children couldn't wait to look after dd and show her round. They made her feel very welcome.

thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 11:58:19

I haven't made the request yet btw.

I didn't actually know that it was pretty much the norm to go and look around/meet the Head and ask questions in the state sector until my other thread.

Thandeka Sun 06-Sep-09 12:00:13

maybe in primary but defo defo not in secondary

fattybumbum Sun 06-Sep-09 12:00:55

I am an ex state teacher ( I worked in very challenging schools) and whilst I've never encountered this practice, I don't see why you shouldn't go for it. I assume your child is up for it.

Schools are very good at presenting a fake facade to parents. We were told to basically lie our heads off on open evenings to make sure we got the 'good' children. Being in the classroom on a normal school day seems to me to be about the most honest view you'll get of your local state school, so I say go for it.

I would die before I'd send my kids to the last couple of schools I've worked in, yet on paper (including Ofsted) they are presenting as good with excellent features. Your child's education is too important to screw up so forewarned is definitely forearmed.

thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 12:01:59

DC will be in Yr4 and Yr1.

Millarkie Sun 06-Sep-09 12:03:30

We've done this at more than one state school (when moving to a new area/new school and when moving kids from Prep to state) - but only after being offered a place at the school. And not so much to check if the school is a good fit but to help the child adjust to the idea of going there.

I can't see an oversubscribed school offering trial days for children who are only on the waiting list (although they should offer to let parents/child look around the school).

violethill Sun 06-Sep-09 12:05:45

Not common, but I have known it happen. My school (secondary) had a Home Ed'd pupil try us out, because she liked the idea of starting at a school. It worked fine.

Most prospective pupils just come on a visit (normal working day, not specifically open days) but I really can't see any harm in requesting a trial day if you want to

Millarkie Sun 06-Sep-09 12:06:48

If you are still talking about the same school from your other thread then I know that they offer 'trial days' for children who have been offered a place, but they are heavily oversubscribed with a waiting list for all years and are likely to point out that you should apply to other local schools and not plan on getting a place there. Being in catchment is not sufficient reason to get offered a space.

thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 12:09:39

The school that I am thinking of is our catchment primary.

I agree Millarkie that it would be useful to help the child adjust to the idea of going there.

We have been to have an out of hours look around and the children have peeped in the windows smile.

They are happy with the idea of spending a day (or an afternoon) there before joining.

fattybumbum should I be suspicious if I ask and they say no?

violethill Sun 06-Sep-09 12:14:54

I don't think it should necessarily make you suspicious if they decline. As I said, it's not the normal procedure, and if a school is heavily oversubsrcibed, it isn't practical to have lots of pupils coming along for a day.

So it may be the sign of a very good, very busy school if they say no!

LadyMuck Sun 06-Sep-09 12:15:49

I think that if you apply and are accepted then you can do so, but that you would be refused this opportunity if you were simply waiting for a place.

Depends on what you want to do re giving notice to the prep. Parents do give provisional notice to stop themselves getting in a bother if they think that they can't pay fees or might be about to move. Unless your current school is very oversubscribed this might be an option?

thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 12:17:48

It is a small village school with places available for a January start so I guess it's not oversubscribed.

thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 12:25:03

LadyMuck I have already given notice to current school thanks smile

They are so happy there sad.

Still, moving them is probably going to be best for our family in the long run.

diddl Sun 06-Sep-09 12:35:26

If you have until Jan, I would also try & be there at drop off/pick up.
See if you recognise anyone so that your children can make friends beforethey start.

thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 12:40:56

diddl, I know the schools have only been back a day or two but I've already driven past at pick up time. There was a massive line of cars parked on the road.

thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 13:18:31

Thanks for the replies.

As it is not a completely unreasonable request I think I will go ahead and make it.

I plan to meet with the Head and have a look around (it's a very small school so there's probably not much more to see than what we saw when peering through the windows smile)

If I like it (I'm sure will) then I will ask for a trial day for DCs.

What are the telltale signs that the school may not be as good as OFSTED would have one believe?

Also if anyone has any ideas for questions to put to the Head I would be glad to hear them. Obviously I have a few of my own but I'm sure I haven't thought of everything.

hocuspontas Sun 06-Sep-09 13:24:03

I can't see the point. I would expect a trial day or days if previous HEd to be of value in settling in but if children have previously been in a school environment isn't it a waste of time? If they don't like it are you going to look elsewhere?

bibbitybobbityhat Sun 06-Sep-09 13:30:41

Honestly op you talk about state schools as if they are the very work of the devil. More than 90% of children go to them you know, the vast majority with good outcomes.

Did you know that some people who could afford limitless private education actually choose state schools because they think it provides a better experience for their dc?

You are beginning to sound like a stuck record.

"What are the telltale signs that the school may not be as good as OFSTED would have one believe?" -

I don't know I'm afraid but I don't think you're going to be able to find that out from sending your dc for a "trial day".

thedolly Sun 06-Sep-09 13:35:25

That question was based on the info in fattybumbum's post earlier on in the thread.

franklymydear Sun 06-Sep-09 13:36:29

"It is the norm in the private sector for children to spend a day at the school they are planning to attend to make sure it feels 'right' for them"

No and ROFL

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: