My DD1 is due to start reception in September next year. We're meeting the headmaster of one of the local schools this week and another couple next week. What sort of things should I be asking? And more importantly - what should I wear?!
as for what to ask - how about something along the lines of 'how do you try to make the children here happy?', you could ask about how they deal with bullying, homework policy (shouldn't be any for reception), how they manage the transition from early years into ks1, what extra-curricular activities do they have (prob not many for reception as just being at school is tiring enough, but it's good to know what's on offer as your dd goes up the school)
but tbh, meeting the head isn't the most important thing - do the children seem enthusiastic, is there an air of quiet but happy industry, look at the artwork on the walls - is it ancient/cloned/non-existent, do the teachers look down-trodden and over-worked or are they full of zest, do you get a gut feeling that your dd would be happy there?
I'm with mims. The Head's important, but the school atmosphere/ environment should tell you most. So as she says how do the children seem? Do they seem relaxed, happy, but working confidently too? How do the teachers seem? Hassled or calm? How do they relate to the children? Does the Head know the children as you go round - presumably you'll have a tour. Also, look at the walls to see how creative the school is. tbh, in the end we reckoned it's a bit like looking round a house - as soon as you walk in the door you kind of know if it's the school for you or not.