What to consider when choosing a school for your child?
All schools should be child focused, offer a high-quality education and have the best interests and outcomes of the child at their heart.
So, what makes each school different and how do you know if it’s the right school for your child?
Here are some things you could consider.
What is the vision for the school and pupils? How is this achieved?
What are the schools key values? What behaviours does the school value and uphold? How is this lived?
- Transition arrangements
How will your child be settled into school?
What are the school’s policies? Visible on the school website
- Class sizes
Reception classes have a maximum class size of 30. All schools will try to fill these places.
- School size
Form entry tells you how many classes there are in each year group. A small one-form entry school will have one reception class, one year 1 class etc. A bigger four-form entry school will have four reception classes, four year 1 classes etc.
- Pride in the school
Does the school take pride in its appearance? Are the staff proud to work there? Are the pupils happy there?
How inspiring is the curriculum? How does it link to the vision of the school?
- Pupil performance
Pupil performance takes into account the attainment and progress of pupils. It is worth considering that a higher ability pupil may have high attainment but may not necessarily make good progress. A lower ability pupil may have low attainment but might make good progress. Therefore, it is worth considering the nature of each school rather than comparing school achievement reports
It can often be a struggle to find a parking space near the school. Can you walk there?
- Parent engagement and involvement
How and when do parents receive communication? How approachable and welcoming are the staff? Are parents encouraged and invited to give feedback. How active is the Friends group (PTA)? Are there opportunities for parents to get together? Are there family events organised?
- Enrichment activities
Are there a wide variety of activities and opportunities on offer to children, in addition to the curriculum? What trips and visits will the children benefit from? Are there after school clubs and are they open to all year groups? What is the cost?
- Wraparound care & holiday clubs
Is it onsite? What’s the price? What hours to they cover? Is food provided? What entertainment/activities do the children do? What is the cost?
- Additional needs
How well does the school support children with additional needs?
The most important consideration is...
Will your child be happy at the school? This is most important because Happy Children Learn.
You cannot gain information about all of these considerations from the website or recommendations alone, therefore we highly encourage visiting each school to see for yourself what the school is like, ask any questions and get a feel for whether the school is right for your child.