What should we look for and ask about when visiting a school?

(4 Posts)

DS will be starting school in September

We live in a small, rural town and I'd just assumed he would go to the one school that the town has. We've visited on an open day, it seems fine. I have a slight he's hesitation that there are two reception classes and they share one big room. They explained how it worked and it's ok, not a major worry

But, there is a lovely village school, just a mile down the road. We're going for a look around, just to have done comparison really

Is there anything particular we should be looking for or asking about?

It's all a bit new and I'm starting to feel a bit confused

Tia

Meglet Thu 22-Nov-12 20:41:07

What swung it for me with DS's school was the fact the head was so welcoming during our look-around. She spoke to DS a lot too. I felt that if we had any problems she would be a good listener and help with any concerns. He's in Y1 one and she is in the playground nearly every morning and afternoon to see the parents, greet the children and catch up with everyone. I do like she is visibly in charge and not just hidden away from us all.

The 2 schools I did not choose; at one the head ignored DS during our visit and at the other we did not meet a single teacher, let alone the head, and were shown around by year 6 children. It didn't bode well for any problems we might have with the school if the teachers weren't even going to pop their head out of the office for a quick 'welcome to our school, we're very busy but please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions' type chat.

candr Thu 22-Nov-12 20:46:42

Same as Meglet. Also look for how happy the children are and if they say hello to you as you wander round. Look at how fresh the wall displays are and do they reflect children's work or are they a staff show off board. What clubs do they run as happy teachers are happy to give up time to run after school clubs. What is their policy on giving cuddles or hand holding where necessary. Have been in one school where they 'reassure a child from a safe distance', at my school we give a hug if needed (but not shut away on your own in a room with child before anyone criticizes me!)

Thanks that's really helpful. Oh I hope they hug him if he needs it. He's an August boy so will still be quite young

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