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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:03 am
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Hello all, my daughter is reluctant to go to any open days for the Slough grammars. She has cousins at one and (if she passes) wants to go there. However I think it is worth having a look around to see the schools.

So just wondering what other parents did/think... did you go? did your children? are they useful? or just orchestrated publicity events?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
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The latter. Think of it like visiting a house you're interested in buying. It's an important and long-term decision. What you see on that visit is a polished, staged version of living there. The occupants will probably cook bread, make coffee and position furniture to maximise the impression of space and to hide tears in the carpet and scuffs on the wall. If you could, you'd spend some time observing the current occupants living there so you can see what the house is really like, which toilet has a sticking flush, which window is jammed, which neighbour plays the trombone and the who keeps blocking the driveway.

Far better to try and visit during a school day.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:35 pm 
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If she doesn’t want to go she doesn’t have to... we did all the Slough grammars other than Hershel two years in a row, if you want any impressions from another parent please do PM me.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:33 pm 
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I visited 4 schools with my daughter (St Bernards, St Joseph's, Upron and Lynch Hill, though the latter was before they were in their new building) and 2 with my son (St Bernards and St Josephs).

My daughter wasn't interested in Herschel or Langley so we gave them a miss (she ended up visiting Langley during the summer term in year 6 as she was doing the G&T day-a-week school there. She was still glad with her final choice).

Although there is a certain amount of staging it also lets your daughter try subjects that she hasn't had an opportunity to do before, even if it is just burning different metals in a flame and looking at how the colour changes. Plus most schools will have leaflets about the subjects which gives you, the parent, extra information. You also get a chance to chat with some of the pupils / see what they think of the school as well as letting your daughter think 'do I want to come here for 7 years.'
Plus whilst she is doing the activities you have a chance to talk to the member of staff. This lets you get another sense of what the school/ community is like.

Personally I suggest doing the open evenings as well as the open mornings to really give you an idea/ feel for the place.

And my son really wanted to go to the Latin dept last year so he could see his sister.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:03 am
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Thanks all...some good advice. I like the house buying analogy-it's probably spot on.

I'll try and persuade her to go to at least 2. Another issue is she hates having days off so have to make sure we get authorised absence!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:04 pm
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I know that open days are staged but I still think they are useful. I just think you need to go to the same "type" of event at the different schools you are considering. You can't really compare an open day with a normal school day.
Around here, all the schools have open days/evenings and then you can book on to day time tours as well. We took our dd to all the open evenings and then went on tours ourselves, only taking her to the tours of the schools we all really liked.
Even on the open events you can get an idea about relationships between staff and students, staff and staff, students and students - that's what I was looking at rather than the six times DD got to use a van de graaf generator!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:33 pm
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loobylou wrote:
that's what I was looking at rather than the six times DD got to use a van de graaf generator!

Shocking!


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:04 pm
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anotherdad wrote:
loobylou wrote:
that's what I was looking at rather than the six times DD got to use a van de graaf generator!

Shocking!

:lol: :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:59 am
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More useful for parents than children. I don't really agree with the idea that one should parade a 9-10 year old round schools in order to motivate them to work for the 11+. I don't think that is sound logic (their priorities are unlikely to accord with a mature adult view); nor do I think it is fair (they might feel to blame if they don't pass for the school 'they' - or their parents - had 'set their heart on', on top of all the other difficult emotions attached to 'failure'). As a parent though, if you don't know the schools, by all means get yourself over there - just leave the little ones behind unless they are keen. And try to avoid messages of the 'if you don't work hard you will end up here' kind - because they might just 'end up there'.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:53 pm 
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Go round on a normal school day so you can see the school 'at work'. Show events e.g. Open Evenings are a waste of time in my opinion as there will be 'special' experiments etc - just ask the students how often they use the fancy kit you see!


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