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 Post subject: School open days
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:41 am
Posts: 41
Hi,

We have some open days of schools coming up over the next couple of weeks. I am going to look at our two local Grammar schools, our catchment upper school and another upper school.

What should we look out for? What questions should I ask?

Has any one got any tips on how to make this a good experience for my child?

I should mention that my child is in Year 5 so we are only going to evening visits so that next year we can do day time visits of the schools she likes the best.

Thanks in advance

K76


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 Post subject: Re: School open days
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:24 pm
Posts: 186
There's a long thread entitled "questions to ask when looking at schools": browse the forum and you should find it quite quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: School open days
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4608
I'm not sure that there's anything that can make these evenings a good experience. But that's not very helpful. Just have a look round, listen to the head teacher's sales talk & go back during a normal school day.


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 Post subject: Re: School open days
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11954
Just be aware that these are 'show' events - as a teacher I hate them as I don't think we don't need to 'sell' like this. I prefer to see parents coming round in smaller groups on Open Days. The 'activities' are chosen to impress - it is worth asking the students how often they get to do experiments, use IT, work in groups etc.

Look in toilets for graffiti, under desks for chewing gum and at noticeboards.


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 Post subject: Re: School open days
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 329
I'd agree with the advice given already. We were subjected to varying degrees of polished performances by headteachers and pupils. All very slick and impressive but so are brochures and presentations for new housing developments. Until you "live" the experience for a bit, you have no idea how representative it is.

We learned to go "off message" and wander about on our own to speak to students away from the set tours and talks, but more importantly, we took the opportunities to see the schools during their normal working days. Have a nose into classrooms, see what the level of attention is like at the back of the class. How are students moving between classes at the bell, etc. Punctually? Reasonably orderly? It tells you a lot about the atmosphere and the control of the "hygiene factors". If the school has some of these smaller basics in place, it gives you confidence. As Guest55 suggests, check for general tidiness/cleanliness (the school and the pupils...!). If the indicators of these hygiene factors aren't great, can you be confident that the school is on top of progress, attendance, discipline, timekeeping, etc.?


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 Post subject: Re: School open days
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:04 pm
Posts: 726
I deliberately chose not to go to any headteacher's speech at any of the schools we visited. I did not feel that it would tell me anything other than what they wanted me to hear - and I wanted to get a feel for myself. If a head was not a brilliant speaker I didn't want that to put me off....


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