Eek its that time when I need to start thinking about a secondary school! Big decision as it will effect all 3 kids! Can I look round some schools to see what they are like? How will I know what school is best? Other then just studying the otsted reports?
Don't be shy of quizzing any parents you know who already have children at the school about their experiences! I would ask the schools about what age they set the pupils in what subjects. Personally I think early setting is best for all (provided there is flexibility for pupils to change sets if necessary). It means that quicker learners are less likely to be held back by slower ones and slower learners aren't forced to try and learn at a pace they just can't cope with.
Check out the schools websites. You can find out about subjects taught, after school clubs, school trips, newsletters and sometimes staff vacancies on them. It will give you a preview for open day when you can look around the schools and ask questions.