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Visiting child's prospective primary school - what should I ask/look out for?

(9 Posts)
Frustratedmummy79 Thu 15-Oct-15 20:40:53

I'm going to look round my local primary school next week with a view to applying for a place there for my preschooler to start next September. The headmaster will be showing me round. Does anyone have any advice as to important things to look out for or questions to ask?

Snossidge Thu 15-Oct-15 21:11:44

I would ask how much free play time they get, not just in Reception but up the school too. Some schools all the learning through play stops by Year 1. How long have the teachers worked at the school, what is turnover like? If most of the teachers are NQTs or new to the school it may reveal an issue...
How long do they get for lunch, how are lunchtimes managed? How many dinner ladies are there per class?
What is the homework policy.
How much religious stuff do they do.
How much notice do they give of days they want parents to come in to school.

Frustratedmummy79 Thu 15-Oct-15 21:53:14

Thank you - that's given me some ideas that I wouldn't have thought of

KohINoorPencil Thu 15-Oct-15 21:57:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NormaSnickers Tue 03-Nov-15 20:35:27

Hope you don't mind me bumping this, we have an appt on Thurs to look round prospective school for DS and wondered if anyone else has anything to add to these great suggestions?
Thanks

PerspicaciaTick Tue 03-Nov-15 20:43:21

A busy reception class can appear noisy and chaotic BUT stand still for a moment and watch. You will hopefully realise that the noise is the busy hum of engaged children playing and learning, and the chaotic activity will resolve into purposeful activity. A bit like taking time to watch a hive of bees and realising that they are all buzzing and moving with purpose.
If it remains noisy chaos then you might want to see some more schools.

ungulater Wed 04-Nov-15 07:32:16

Ask how they deal with toilet accidents. Many horror stories on here about hideous experiences for children and parents (shouting, leaving a child covered in poo, making parents come in to clean a child etc). I think the way a school deals with this is very revealing.

Ginmummy1 Wed 04-Nov-15 08:18:51

Ask what reading scheme they use. Lots of schools use 'mixed methods' rather than following a particular programme. Ask why. Often it's due to lack of money, but ask to meet the reception teacher or person in charge of early years reading. Look for passion for teaching reading!

Ask how they differentiate, how they support any children that are struggling, and how they provide appropriate opportunities for those that are ahead of the pack in some areas.

Ask how much homework they get.

You might like to ask about their bullying policy.

Ask how much TA support they have, especially for the younger years.

Ask about wraparound care if that might be useful to you.

NormaSnickers Wed 04-Nov-15 15:59:36

Thanks all, some great suggestions there and certainly lots of things I wouldn't have thought of.
Fingers crossed that the school ticks all our boxes, it's the only one within walking distance and I really don't want to drive DS to school for the next 7 yrs!

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