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 Post subject: Visiting schools
PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 9:37 pm 
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Last edited by Glos_Mum on Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 9:47 pm 
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Definitely make appointments. Some of the schools we looked at were happy to show parents round at times other than the official open days but this was generally only once a month or so and we had to book. Suggest you phone the schools and enquire.

I think you are definitely right to try and do this now - the open evenings are hopeless - very crowded, it's dark so you can't see the outside and you really get no idea at all of what the school is really like.


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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 10:15 am 
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You do need to make an appointment - any school that quibbles should be off your list! They should arrange a weekly tour at this time of year.

Look at: litter, graffit, toilets, classroom displays [not the ones in the corridor!] - all theses things tell you if it is a happy school.

How do staff speak to the pupils? Are they [both staff and pupils] happy to talk to you?

Ask about class sizes - useful if you ever need to appeal!! Look at how many desks etc in rooms -


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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 12:41 pm 
If you just drop in the school may not be very impressed, but that aside, when you make an appointment it usually includes a meeting with the Head, and he may be teaching or not at the school on that day. It's best to start off on the right foot so I would make an appointment. :)


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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 2:20 pm 
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Always look at displays - how old are they? Try to be there when it's a change of lesson - you can tell a lot from how the children move about the place. Have a look at the loos and the canteen and any "common" areas. Watch an actual lesson - and not the 6th form tutorial groups they like you to see, but if possible a year 9 bottom set maths group and a year 7 class in your child's favourite subject.


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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 3:31 pm 
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In an independent school you will certainly get to meet the head teacher, but at a state school, not necessarily - we were shown round by another senior member of staff.

Agree with Guest 55 that if they won't show you round, steer clear.

Some schools may not be too happy about doing visits during the next month as they're right in the middle of GCSE's and as loads of kids are on study leave you won't get a very accurate picture of the school anyway.

One advantage of open evenings is that you should get the chance to speak to members of staff. Also at these organised events you are often shown round by the students - this is great if you have someone from yr 9 and upwards as they can give you some insights into what REALLY goes on! If they are too young (we have had guides from Yr 7 who have only been at the school a matter of weeks) they won't have a clue and won't be able to answer many of your questions.

My advice would be, try to make appointments for the end of this term if possible but also go to the open evenings and if they have open mornings on normal school days (which the schools round here certainly do) go to those as well if you can. Don't just go once, it's amazing the different things you notice when you go back for a 2nd or 3rd time.


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:13 am 
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..............


Last edited by Glos_Mum on Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:14 pm
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Location: Gloucester
Glos mum-just a small comment on our own experiences.
DS got a completely different feel to schools when we went during the day and so did I-I think the open days are a more realistic view of a school and not the open evenings.Just our impressions...

GM


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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 6:43 pm 
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Last edited by Glos_Mum on Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:30 pm 
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The open evenings are not ideal from a teacher's point of view either! Too many people and so many children who will never get a place ... seems almost cruel.


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