Reception entry for 2018(5 Posts)
Hi, not sure if there is already a thread about this and apologies if so, but couldn't see one. Currently looking round primary schools and just wondering what should be looking out for really. I know every child is different, but it woukd be lovely to have some general pointers for guidance. I'll post below some very helpful tips I've already been given in case it helps anyone.
Are the children happy and polite, eg opening doors for you.?
Are the y5/6s like you want your child to be?
Does the adult showing you round interact well with the children?
Are there displays of children's work on the walls - does it show arangeof ability (or are only the best displayed)?
Ask about homework
Ask about phonics teaching (you want to hear phonics not some guff about mixed methods). Related to this what are their phonics screening checks like in y1. You donotwant to hear that 'the best readers often fail the screening test' or other such nonsense.
Ask/check online re outgoing SATs scores. But remember that some schools get high results due to high pressure on the kids and you might not want that.
How do they push on the brightest or support the weakest.
How can you contact the class teacher (some schools everything goes via the office, others have access to teacher after school every day)
Ask about behaviour policy.
Ask about trips out.
Ask about extra curricular clubs.
Ask about breakfast/after school club if relevant to you.
If 1.5 or 2+ form entry, ask how they decide on classes and when they mix them up.
Remember the small school may seem best for your pfb when they are 3 or 4, but this school is also for when they are 9&10, so will it be stifling for them later?
For a big school, how do they stop the little ones being overwhelmed by the big kids?
With thanks to TeenTimesTwo
I would add transport concerns such as parking and rush hour traffic.
Look on the school website. The school we moved our kids from had loads of lovely photos of the juniors on shiny bits of technology and more iPads than a queue of Apple junkies outside a new iWhatever tech launch... school we moved them to - has a photo of a child in a puddle suit with the hugest grin on their face and muddy hands - and they do so much with the kids it's amazing! Also I think you can get a lot from the tone of the parent letters home if they've got them on the website too (plus a general idea of what kind of extra stuff like trips and the like goes on within the school).
If the Head's visible or not I think tells a lot as well - like I say, we moved after Reception because it was not the right school for us (to put it politely) - but the Head is a major major source of discontent locally and I've never come across one so universally disliked. You didn't get to see or meet her until after you'd accepted your school place - and I can understand why really. Head at our current school made time to show me around when I was looking for schools with spaces, then when I popped in with paperwork she showed the kids around and is really really visible within the school. Makes a huge difference.
Now have to do it all again next year for Y3 admissions (was the trade off we made with the school choice we did of infants only)!
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