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Open Day at potential school for DS - what questions to ask?

15 replies

mishymoo · 25/06/2008 10:27

My DS starts school next year and alot of the local schools are starting to have open days but as a first-time parent with a school-age child, does anyone have any advice onwhat should I be looking out for and what questions should I be asking?

I have looked at OFSTED reports so know a bit about the schools.


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mishymoo · 25/06/2008 10:33


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mishymoo · 25/06/2008 10:40

I guess not?

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mistlethrush · 25/06/2008 10:43

Class sizes; sports - how often, what, where; food; pre/after school club - if applicable; other activities; music; art; can they cope with special requirements; allergies; staff ratios (eg how many tas/class) Really need to consider what you feel your child's needs might be and find out if they will be able to cope

mishymoo · 25/06/2008 10:44

Thanks for responding. I honestly don't have a clue what to ask so your questions are really helpful.

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mistlethrush · 25/06/2008 10:48

Ds starts school in Sept, so did lots of that last year! Good luck

AMumInScotland · 25/06/2008 10:52

I think it tends to be more about getting a feel for the place and the people, and deciding whether it feels like somewhere you'd be happy to leave your child day after day. Does it seem like a friendly place? Do the displays seem like they encourage individuality, or is all the work repetitive? If you do ask questions, or hear other parents questions, do the staff act like it's agood thing that you're interested, or like it's all a pain? If there are children there as well as parents, do they talk to the children and seem to engage well with them?

Hulababy · 25/06/2008 10:58

To be honest i think what is more important than questions is your gut instinct. How does the school make you feel when you wall around and see it and when you talk to the staff and children. And How does your child feel about it too.

mishymoo · 25/06/2008 11:38

Thanks for the replies. I have only heard good things about the school we are going to see tomorrow so I think you're right about gut instinct but also don't want to look daft if I don't ask any questions

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savoycabbage · 25/06/2008 11:44

I would ask how long the head has worked there and the teachers your child will come into contact with.

I looked round a lovely school with a great OFSTED last summer for my dd to start nursery in the September. Then when she started there was a new head and she had appointed a new teacher and they were both rubbish. So all my careful picking and choosing was a total waste of time and the whole school went right down the drain in the first half term!

mistlethrush · 25/06/2008 11:44

I also think its interesting seeing the interaction between the member of staff showing you round (hopefully head at some time during process) and the children - how many do they know the name of, what do the children think of the member of staff etc.

savoycabbage · 25/06/2008 11:45

Also, find out if they are having only one year group per class or if the classes are mixed.

mishymoo · 25/06/2008 11:45

What do you mean Savoy? [thick emoticon]

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savoycabbage · 25/06/2008 11:50

Well, are all of the children in reception together or are some of them in with the year one children and if do then how do they choose who goes where.

mishymoo · 25/06/2008 11:51

oh ok I get it! Thanks!

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savoycabbage · 25/06/2008 11:51

It used to be called 'vertical grouping' but it might be called something else now.

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