Open Day and School Visit Questions

This section was compiled from suggestions made on our 11 Plus Forum, the great majority of which were made by Forum member “Laid Back Son Worried Mum”. Our thanks go to her for her input.

Questions for teachers or Heads of Year

  • Do Year 7s get a separate play area or staggered lunch times?
  • Do new pupils have a buddy or mentor allocated to them?
  • Would you send your child to this school?
  • How does the school cater for gifted and talented children?
  • How does the school cater for children with learning difficulties?
  • What evidence can you show me that my child will be stretched?
  • How many external speakers visit the school for the lower years? (police, speakers from organisations of interest to the pupils)
  • Are there any overseas trips in the first year?
  • How many local trips do the children take in their first year? And in subsequent years?
  • What would you do if I complained that my child was being bullied?
  • What would you do if I complained about the quality of teaching?
  • What happens if GCSE options ‘clash’? How accommodating is the school when this happens?
  • How many trainee teachers do they have at present?
  • How many new staff have they had in the last two years?
  • Are the extra-curricular clubs/ activities free or do we have to pay for them?
  • How many staff are trained to administer first aid?
  • What is the most serious injury (to a pupil) that the school has had to deal with?

Questions to ask Pupils

  • How much homework do you get each day?
  • Is your weekend occupied with homework as well or do you have time for your out-of-school activities?
  • Is all your classwork/homework marked?
  • How easy is it to get into extra-curricular groups?
  • Which extra-curricular groups are always oversubscribed?
  • Is there a good choice on lunch menu and are the queues reasonable?
  • What happens on wet days – where do the pupils go?
  • Are the library and computer rooms open during break time, lunch and after school?
  • How easy is it to find a member of staff if you have a query/problem?
  • Do you find being in a selective school challenging or intimidating?
  • Are pupils allowed to wait inside the school after dismissal for transport or must they be out at the school gates?
  • Are bullying problems sorted out by detention or exclusions for the perpetrator?
  • Are anti-bullying measures effective?
  • Is there a separate discipline master or is the form tutor or Head of Year in charge of any transgressions?
  • Who was the most helpful teacher you had last year? Why? How?
  • What do you think of your Head teacher?
  • Are you happy at the school, and do you have fun here?
  • Would you be happy for your little brother or sister to follow them to the school?
  • How much did the school influence you in your GCSE options?
  • What does the school do to help you decide on your career path?
  • How often do you use the interactive whiteboard (or other technology) in your normal lessons?
  • What are the best things about lessons?
  • What are the worst?
  • How well behaved are the pupils?
  • Are the toilets kept clean?
  • What is your favourite subject? Why?
  • What is your most difficult subject? Why?
  • Do you often have to share resources?
  • In the science lab: When do you get to dissect a rat?

Do ask whether they are happy and whether they have lots of fun, and if they would like their little brother or sister to follow them to the school.