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9 Question to Ask on the School Visit
December 4, 2015
What things are put in place to help children settle in and how do they support children who struggle?
For working parents – are there morning and after school clubs? This is important if your working times conflict with the school day.
Do they have access to outside play areas? (nursery/reception) Is it all free-flow or learning through play or do they have structured slots of focused learning?
If you do manage to visit the school – look at the displays. How does the school celebrate the children’s work – is it bright and colourful? This can speak volumes about a school – displays that are bright and show off children’s work shows that they value the children’s efforts.
What is the school’s take on bullying? This is very important since schools deal with bullying in various ways. Discipline and behaviour form a large part of your child’s school journey and some methods may resonate with you more than others. Knowing the schools views on bullying are similar to yours can only be a positive thing. You need to feel confident that your child is in a happy, secure and supportive environment. It is also imperative to bear in mind that at any time your child could be bullied or even the bully and understanding the systems is always a good thing.
What is the child to teacher ratio? The legal maximum child to teacher ratio is 30:1 in primary schools with most having an LSA as well (learning support assistant). However, some schools may have smaller classes and others may have larger ratios with more than one teacher working in the class. As a question this tends to be overlooked but plays an important role in your choice of school for your child.
Ask if the school has a PTA (Parent teacher association) or something similar. Do they encourage events or run workshops for parents? School involvement with the parents is very important and this fosters a positive relationship with the parents and the wider community.
How do they keep in contact with you? Is there a website that is updated regularly can you see events etc? Some schools send text messages to parents a couple of days in advance to remind them about their children’s upcoming events, trips, assemblies and this helps when children have a tendency of losing letters.
Lastly, always ask to visit the school. Some things we feel as parents stem from pure intuition. You are able to get a general feel for the place as well as seeing whether the children that are there are happy and engaged with their learning.