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Anyone going to attend a secondary's 'open morning' without their DC in tow?

(17 Posts)
teslagirl Fri 12-Sep-08 14:51:42

DS1 has just entered Y5. We rent thus have a certain amount of freedom re secondary catchments, but we need to BE in the relevant catchment by- when is it? mid Oct 09? for registration purposes. So thus I am researching our options now. There are five schools; the 2 local ones neither of which I'm THAT enthused about BUT am not going to dismiss; 1 that is probably our best bet (in that a DC from this village got in this year) and 2 I think I'd like BUT which we certainly won't get into without moving (and paying out a lot more rent!). Anyway, 2 of the schools that hold open mornings OBVIOUSLY expect that I will have DS in tow! I don't intend doing that seeing as I have to make the basic decisions first, narrowing down the options and it could potentially mean 5 mornings out of Y5!

WILL I be Billy No Mates at an open morning? Obviously the evening things are intended for parents only but I'd like to see the schools in action as well, during the day.

bellabelly Fri 12-Sep-08 14:56:55

Actually, I would have expected the children to be less likely to go along to the daytime open days and MORE likely to go along in the evening so they are not missing school.

chopchopbusybusy Fri 12-Sep-08 14:57:19

The opposite is true here. Very few children attend the open mornings, but usually attend the open evenings.

bellabelly Fri 12-Sep-08 14:57:46

And it is definitely worth going during teh daytime - you will get a much more accurate impression of how lessons are.

OrmIrian Fri 12-Sep-08 15:00:16

Can't you do your child-free research in t'internet? Ofsted. School website? Ask around. Can you do the evenings first? Or if not take DS with you to those. I don't think schools are that strict about whether you take children with you or not.

Basically whilst I do appreciate you need to have a firm idea first, your DS needs to have some input and feel as if his input matters too.

We took DS to both - evenings and mornings. But I guess I had a fairly firm idea of which I wanted so could narrow it down and it was the beginning of Yr 5 when we did all this.

OrmIrian Fri 12-Sep-08 15:00:38

Sorry...beginning of Yr6.

daisywoo Fri 12-Sep-08 15:05:05

Could you ask the class teacher for a few notes on what they've been studying that day? I think schools aren't that happy about children being out of school in year 6 because it's all SATS SATS SATS but year 5 should be different! It's important you and your family are happy with the school, so I don't think a few mornings missed would hurt too much!! Good luck in your hunt!

PrimulaVeris Fri 12-Sep-08 15:22:11

Having only weekday Open Mornings sounds strange

Ours all have public open evenings - bring the kids, the siblings, granny ... whatever. The Open mornings (usually the following week) tend to be adult-only and limited in numbers they can accommodate. May be worth checking with the schools first?

teslagirl Fri 12-Sep-08 16:27:05

It's a mixed bag. Some are quite definite that Mornings are for the family but the Evenings are just for parents. Some don't stipulate.

I really don't want to drag DS1 out of a Y5 class to look around a school that I might dismiss within 5 minutes, as it were! And I feel FIVE is far too great a number for a 9 year old to get his head around. I will perhaps be looking at 2, 3 max before HE gets any input. Bear in mind I also don't want to raise hopes too high. I mean, whilst here in Hampshire the options are by no means dire, there is no doubt that we will see a significant difference between the 'weaker' of the 2 local schools- which DS1 would definitely get into, and the best of the Winchester ones which we would 100% definitely have to uproot to move into the expensive catchment of! I don't want him to feel we've 'second bested' him if the local school does transpire to be his only option, given that any decision needs to works for DH and DS2 as well as DS1.

As for research on the web, I think I've taken that as far as I can. MN has been a big help, OFSTED only tells you how many clever kids managed to stay clever as far as GCSEs, the websites only reveal how skilled in PR the author is! You really have to visit to get a feel for a place- and, of course, talk to any current parents you can.

But, as in the OP, will I be the only parent sans DC at the open mornings where you're supposed to bring the DC or do other parents do an initial recce alone?

SoupDragon Fri 12-Sep-08 16:28:44

DS is in Y5. I'm going to all the open evenings this year without him. Next year, I'll take him along when I've ruled out any definite "nos"

teslagirl Fri 12-Sep-08 16:30:46

Also, I get the impression that several schools' Open Mornings are just that, a chance to have a poke around whilst school is in session, whereas the Evening thing is sitting in formal rows in the assembly hall being lectured about the ethos, leadership and direction etc of the school, ie both highly relevant but quite different events.

teslagirl Fri 12-Sep-08 16:31:09

quite, soupy!

SoupDragon Fri 12-Sep-08 16:32:33

I am happy for him to have an input but I'm only happy if he's choosing from schools I approve of I don't think it's important for him to come when he's in Y5.

SoupDragon Fri 12-Sep-08 16:33:37

I remember doing open evening when I was at secondary. It was demonstration classes, lots of poster stuff up on the walls and, when in the 6th form, we had to show prospective parents round the school.

isgrassgreener Fri 12-Sep-08 17:30:08

Went to look around in the daytime on my own, when DS was in year 5, no problem lots of people without kids in tow, our open evenings seem to be for adults only.
Will be taking DS with me now that he is in Yr 6, but only to the 2 options I think will work for him.

roisin Fri 12-Sep-08 22:45:18

Over three years dh and I attended open evenings, open days, and visited two schools during their regular day. As SoupDragon says, when we were clear what our approved options were, then in yr6 we took ds1 to the open evening of two schools for him to see for himself.

SqueakyPop Fri 12-Sep-08 22:48:34

I think it is fine for children to go to daytime tours, but more likely for adults to go alone.

Children go to the evening sessions where there are special shows put on for them. These are usually followed up by the more sober parent only tours.

But it is really fine to take children to these too.

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