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Do you take your year 5/6 DC to secondary school open evenings?

(28 Posts)
BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Thu 22-Sep-11 21:43:20

Stupid question, I know I should know the answer to this one. Obviously you can't take them to morning sessions when they'll be at school, but what about late afternoon/early evening sessions?

I'm guessing the answer is no, not normally, but you could if you had no other childcare. Is that right? or is it actually a good thing to get them involved? (especially if they may need motivation for aptitude tests etc).

I remember being taken round my prospective schools when I was seven, but those were slightly different circumstances.

southeastastra Thu 22-Sep-11 21:44:23

surely the whole point is to take them confused why wouldn't you

FootballFriendSays Thu 22-Sep-11 21:44:36

I took DS. He's the one who has to like the school and get the determination to get into it.

OddBoots Thu 22-Sep-11 21:46:05

We did but then we only went to the school we wanted (catchment, not over subscribed) so I think that makes a difference.

Ponders Thu 22-Sep-11 21:46:12

yes, I did - Y6, not Y5 (why would Y5 go?)

agree with sea, why wouldn't you? open evenings are really aimed at parents after all!

HauntedLittleLunatic Thu 22-Sep-11 21:47:17

I have been to one tonight.

It was geared up for the prospective students as much as it was the parents...

Ponders Thu 22-Sep-11 21:48:33

oops, FAIL, missed point there!

yes, took Y6s with me (but still think open evenings are more for parents to choose than for 10-yr-olds, who are easily swayed grin)

Summersoon Thu 22-Sep-11 21:55:41

The advice given to us (which I agree with) was to go twice: once by yourself when DC is in Year 5, then again with DC in Year 6 . Our school gave time off for morning visits in year 6 but not in Year 5. I think that it is vital that the DC concerned have seen the prospective school at least once.
If possible, I would also recommend going to other school events, which are open to the public, e.g. founder's days, school fetes etc. These events can be a very good way of observing what the staff and pupils (and other parents!) are like.

Talker2010 Thu 22-Sep-11 22:08:39

Yes you should take your child to the evening

And take them if you go to visit during the day too

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Thu 22-Sep-11 22:25:43

That makes a lot of sense Summersoon - DD is in year 5 and there are a lot of possible local schools, some of which have entrance tests, and some of which might be so awful that we should be moving in order to avoid them (if you believe the word on the street) - hence we're hitting all the open days in order to plan ahead, and wouldn't feel the need to take DD, but there are some afternoon sessions where it would be easier to take her with me.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Thu 22-Sep-11 22:26:37

I took my year 5 child to one tonight. We didn't get home until about 9.30 (my child doesn't need sleep, so it's ok) so we're exhausted, but it was well worth it. He is DETERMINED to go to that school now, he loved it so much. He's gone to sleep clutching the plan they gave us with the layout of the school.

Of course we don't apply until next year, but I thought it important to have a look this year because once you start Year six you only have about 7 weeks to decide, and I'm torn between two. I may go to a few events at this school and my second choice during the year to get a feel for the school while they're not performing for prospective students/parents.

All the kids were so lovely and happy and smiley. The volunteers obviously loved their school and were so enthusiastic and positive. Differs greatly from the school that my friend drove past one afternoon and called out to a couple of students: "What do you think of your school then?" They replied:" It's shit and the teachers are crap!" confused

pchick Thu 22-Sep-11 22:33:42

Definitely take them to a couple of schools in year 5. Senior schools are so different and huge compared to most junior schools so taking them in year 5 will prepare them for this. We used year 5 to generally get the feel of senior schools, and year 6 to focus more on specifics.

Warning - visits can akeva long time.

pchick Thu 22-Sep-11 22:35:03

Sorry, that was meant to read, " can take a long time".

TheRover Thu 22-Sep-11 23:04:39

Where? I went to one tonight also. Just thought we could swap notes if it is the same place.

LittleMissWoodscommaElle Thu 22-Sep-11 23:10:43

They have open days at the schoool mine will hopefully go to and they lay on hands on activities for the children.

Being shown around in the day is usually just for parents who miss the open day or who want to see the school on a normal working day.

remum Fri 23-Sep-11 08:13:26

I am going this autumn to schools during day and evening and taking my year 5 DD to all of them. Having just gone through the process with my now older year 7 DD I want my year 5 to get a feel for the schools now. (hopefully will motivate her!) The schools we are looking have entrance exams and I found taking my DD out quite a bit in year 6 autumn term was pretty disruptive as only so many weeks to prepare for the exams!

crazymum53 Fri 23-Sep-11 08:22:03

Yes do take Y5/6 children to the Open Evenings - most of the schools we looked at did expect this and had hands-on activities for the children to do, which really got them excited about going to secondary school.
But also take a reading book for the Head's talk bit as that it usually aimed at the parents and is a bit boring for dcs.

LAlady Fri 23-Sep-11 08:41:20

Yes, we took our DS in Y5 and Y6. It's very important that we saw the school in action, but more important for him to see it.

We have the 11+ where we are, so it's important to determine in Y5 which school will be on your forms first.... Y6 the 11+ is being sat just a couple of weeks' after the school open evenings.

Everyone here goes in Y5.

mumslife Fri 23-Sep-11 12:25:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Malcontentinthemiddle Fri 23-Sep-11 12:29:27

Yes, take them - that's the point!

Summersoon Fri 23-Sep-11 12:49:25

@ Remum and others: the problem with taking them in Yr5 in my view is that by the time decision time comes around in the Spring term of Y6, they are very likely to have forgotten what a particular school was like, especially if they saw more than one school, which they really should. Also, many children develop quite significantly between Yr5 and Yr6 so that their views and priorities might change. I think that this might be especially true of girls, perhaps less so of some boys. So, if you can and your school will give you the time off, go in both years, rather than just in Yr5. Perhaps the Yr6 visits can be a shortlist of the schools you really liked in Yr5. By then, the current primary should also be giving you some guidance as to which school might suit, which may also narrow it down some.

remum Fri 23-Sep-11 13:04:52

Summersoon - I agree with what you say and think that to have a shortlist for year 6 is a great idea. For my youngest DD she has mild Aspergers and I think will need to take her time to see the schools to get used to the move so seeing in year 5 is part of the preparation.
I do remember my eldest DD choosing one partic school (in year 5) as her fave as it had 'Hot Dog Friday'!!!

cat64 Fri 23-Sep-11 15:14:39

Message withdrawn

bigTillyMint Fri 23-Sep-11 15:19:42

I agree with Summersoon - if you have a lot of possibles it's easier to whittle down the choices and just take them to 4 at the most in Y6 - more than that would be rather overwhelming for an adult, never mind a 10/11 year old!

Ormirian Fri 23-Sep-11 15:22:55

In yr 6, yes you do.

And then you choose the school that you wanted all along grin

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