Choosing a Schoolby Charlotte Zealey
Sending your child off to school for this first time can be nerve-wracking. It may be the first time they have been away from you for that amount of time. Depending on if they had been in nursery or preschool prior to starting school. You want to make sure that you get the right school for your child as they are going to be starting their formal education there. No doubt they will make friends who they are going to be friends with for many years to come. You may even make some new friends with some of the other parent's in your child's class.
Book a visit to see the school
This way you will get a feel for the school. I would recommend trying to go when the children are actually at school instead of one of the open nights. This way you get a feel for what it is going to be like day to day. This is something which we did. I am unsure with all of the covid rules if this is something which you are able to do. Maybe they will be able to give you a virtual tour while the school is been used.
How big are the class sizes?
Are there split years where you have a year 1/2 class because there is too many to have in just one class, however, there is not enough to have two classes of each year. Would this be something which you would be happy if this becomes the case? Or is there two classes for each year group which means that even if your child's friend gets into the same school there is no guarantee that they are going to be in the same class? We have been lucky our school only takes in 30 children each year and this means that there is only one class per year and this will not change. Due to them not having the space for anymore however, some of the other schools take in 2 classes per year.
How do the staff interact with the children?
Do the staff know the names of the children that you see when they walk about the school. How do the children interact with them do they say Hello or do they just ignore them? Does the person showing you around speak to the children who are within the school? Our head stands on the gate every morning and afternoon and says morning or afternoon and then addresses the child by their name. Small things like this can make your child feel a more valid part of the school.
Are the children engaged in the lesson as you walk around? Or do they seem like they are dreaming about something or more interested in you? It is a lot better if the children are engaged and not bothered about the fact that you are around. This means that they are listening and of course, learning expanding their knowledge. This is something which we noticed when
Do they have what your child enjoys?
Making sure that the school is right for your child can include things which are. Is it just classroom-based? For example, does your child enjoy sport and playing outside? Is the playground going to be big enough for them? Are there clubs they can join when they’re are older at the school? Is reading stories their person or been read to. Does the school have a suitable library where they can get lost in a book? These are things which you might want to think about. If the school has more things your child like the more, they may enjoy school
Are the children allowed to go to the toilet during the day or do they have to wait for breaks? How far are the toilets being way from where they are. As we know children sometimes have accidents when they are so really busy. Your child is not going to want to have an accident because that could make them more embarrassed. Some of the reception classes may even have a small toilet very close to avoid accidents.
Do the reception class have their own area which they can play when it is break time. After all, there may still be very small and be scared of some of the bigger children who may look like giants to them. This then may make them feel a bit safer and then they are going to be able to build friendships with others. This is always a good question to ask should your child be one of those who are a little bit nervous or shy.
Is the work which the children are doing being displayed on the wall, are they always the same children's work or is there a huge range? This then shows there is no favouritism which is something which you want. You child is going to know that their work is going to be able to showcased in the future. This is something which they may be used to if they have been to nursery in the past as well.
How did you choose the school for your child?