Visiting a potential school for your child is always nerve wracking. It’s a big decision to make and you want to be sure that you have all the information you need. We’re off to visit our first choice of school for Lily tomorrow and my mind has been spinning with questions to ask!
When you visit, school staff will be on hand to talk to you, so take advantage of that. Here are five questions that you should be asking at every school you visit:
1. How do you support children who find it hard to settle in?
Whether you’re confident about your child starting school or not, you need to be prepared for them to be nervous and struggle at first. One way to do this is to know how the school will proceed. Will they call you? Will they let you know at pickup? Will they just tell them to get on with it? You need to know to help prepare your child. If they walk in knowing that if they get upset, the teacher will proceed to do X,Y,Z it can help calm their nerves.
2. Do you offer any before and after school facilities?
I know as two working parents, this is an extremely vital question for us to ask. Whichever school Lily ends up at, she will need to attended some form of breakfast club an after school club. Our hours just aren’t flexible enough to work within school time only. If the school do offer these facilities, ask them about the costs associate and any protocols such as early drop off, late pickup or what sort of notice you can expect if these activities are postponed or cancelled.
3. How do you support the children academically?
I know I want Lily to go to a school with a structured approach to teaching. Knowing how a school aims to support their children academically gives you an insight into their approach to teaching and the students progression. If you prefer a more child-led system, ask how they encourage the children to interact with each other and try new things. That way, you can integrate some of the same things into your home structure.
4. How do you approach bullying?
We’ve all seen some of the shocking and saddening stories in the news in recent years in relation to bullying. You need to know how the school will proceed with bullying just in case your child does have issues with other children. Will they be straight on it to minimise it, or do they like to let the children try and sort their issues out themselves? Make sure you’re happy with their protocol. It’s vital that you feel confident sending your child everyday knowing that whatever the issue, it will be sorted in a way you’re happy with.
5. What is it you like about teaching?
I hate the thought of Lily being stuck in a classroom with a teacher who has no interest in her progressing and doing well, just aims for the money and holiday time. Passionate teachers who want to teach have a positive effect on their students and as a parent, that’s what I want for Lily.
It would be great to hear from those who also have children starting school in September 2018. What are your tips and what are your struggling with.