Choosing a school for your child is an absolute minefield for any parent. Mainly because everyone has their own, often very strong, opinion about which school is best. All you can do as a parent is look through the various options available to you and base your decision on what is right for your child.
To make your job a little easier we’ve answered a few questions you might like to think about when choosing a school for your child.
What Type Of School Will You Choose?
Before you start thinking about visiting the schools in your local area you need to have a good think about the type of school you’d like to send your child to. Do you want them to attend a day school or would somewhere like http://boardingschools.ca/ suit them better?
Are you looking for an infant school, which will focus on the younger years or perhaps you like the idea of a primary school to help get your child used to mixing with children of a wider age range?
You need to think of the type of education you want them to have as well as the size of the school and the teacher to student ratio. You should be able to find this type of information on the school’s website, but if not you can give them a call and they will be happy to share this information with you.
Does The School Have A Good Reputation?
As a parent you want your child to be in a learning environment that nurtures them and gets the very best out of them, after all their school days are an important part in their journey to adulthood. However, first and foremost you want to know that when you drop your child off at school they are safe and well looked after. If this is something that worries you, speak to the school in question and enquire about any safeguarding practices they have in place and whether they use the best incident management software. It may seem as though you are being an over protective parent, but these things matter, and it is only natural to want the very best for your child.
You can also check to see what a school’s current and past OFSTED reports are like to see how well the school is performing overall and you could also ask in local Facebook groups about what other parent’s or past pupils experiences of the school have been like.
What Does Your Child Think?
For us the most important factor when it comes to choosing a school for your child is that your child likes and feels comfortable in the school, so it is essential you include them in the decision making process. Find out when the schools have an open day (if you’ve missed them or they don’t fit in with your schedule you can phone the school to arrange a private tour at a mutually convenient time) and go along with your child to see what they think.
A gut feeling can count for a lot and at the end of the day you need your child to feel comfortable there as that will encourage the best learning from them, which is ultimately what this is all about. Seeing what facilities the school has (computers, books, chill out areas, play space), the behaviour of the other children (are they engaged, do they look happy etc.), what the classrooms look like (is there lots of work on display, is it tidy and well organised, is there a balance of structured learning space as well as a focus on wellbeing and growth, for example whiteboards for learning and the best green walls for reflection time).
On the journey home, ask your child what they thought about the school. You should be able to gauge a lot from your child’s response, especially if they continue to talk about how fun it was for days after.
Choosing a school for your child is never easy, but it is an important decision and so it is essential you carry out as much research as you can. We are very fortunate to have so many good schools in this country, which only really serves to make the decision process even harder, but you’ll get there, and hopefully we’ve helped make your job just that little bit easier.