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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 10:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:41 am
Posts: 41
Hi,

What are the top things to look at when choosing a school? Distance, grades, extra curricular activities?

For me it is:

Quality of work displayed on the walls
Distance from house
How the teachers talk to the children during the tours
Behaviour of kids outside school

K76


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11953
How can you tell from the work displayed? It's hand picked and often prepared especially.

Surely work in books is more telling ...

Raw results should be viewed in context - progress measures are more important. The % of level 5s in the cohort will affect GCSE results and A level course entry grades required vary enormously - in my son's GS it was grade Bs whereas in some it is grade As ... you can't compare the end results if the starting points vary so much.

I agree about travel - pick somewhere where you can rely on buses not 'parent taxi'.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2015 7:41 am
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Yes that's true. I did have a sneaky peek into the workbooks when I could :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 329
In no particular order:

Accessibility, proximity, travel options - I wouldn't send my child to a school where s/he would have to undertake a lengthy commute and where attendance and punctuality would be disrupted in the event of a tough winter.

Gut feel of the environment and atmosphere. Can I see my child being here?

Cleanliness and state of repair of the "backstage" areas of the school. Toilets, bike sheds, corridors, locker areas and so on. If they are littered, dirty or a state of disrepair, I take it as an indicator of a lack of low-level discipline and pride in the school (staff and pupils). If those basics aren't in place, do I have the confidence that other things are receiving the attention they should? When I attended open evenings, I spurned organised tours to have a nose around on my own. With respect to the (always lovely) young people providing the tours, being told how much they love biology and how the new sports area is great doesn't really tell me a great deal about the school...

Willingness of the school to let me see it in action, not just during the "performance" of an open evening.

The content of school books. The comprehensiveness of the marking and if possible to judge, the timeliness of it as well.

If you can get hold of it or infer it from vacancies, the staffing history. You sometimes spot when a school is having difficulty recruiting/retaining teachers in a subject area. Could there be an underlying problem in a subject that you believe is important for your child?


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