#This is a collaborative post
So the day has finally arrived – your little one is growing up and you need to start considering senior school options for your child. It probably feels like just yesterday you were taking them to their first day at primary school or nursery, but unfortunately, we can’t stop the clock. Choosing a senior school is a huge responsibility for parents and planning is essential. After all school is where children and young adults spend the majority of their time, so it’s vital you choose the right one.
There’s a lot to think about when making such a huge decision about your child’s future, but I have teamed up with a Senior School in Hertfordshire called St Christopher School to offer some advice.
What is important to you?
Every family is different and will come to different decisions based on their search criteria. Before you begin you need to decide what exactly is it that you and your child want from a school. For example, will any of your child’s friends be attending the school or do they have any brothers or sisters that are already at a senior school? Does the school have to be in walking distance, or is there a bus route? Is your child keen to join some extracurricular clubs and does the school offer plenty of choice?
Once you have decided what it is you are looking for you can begin researching. A good place to start is the school’s websites; these will tell you more about the curriculum, the aims and USPs of the schools. You can also usually see some photography of the pupils and the facilities to give you more of a feel of the school. You can look up Ofsted reports online to make sure that the school’s ‘overall effectiveness’ is good or better. Reports can be found on the Ofsted website and are available for everyone to see. Another way to learn about the individual school’s reputations first hand by searching for online reviews or speaking to current parents about their experiences and views.
Pay a visit
Of course open mornings and afternoons are a great way to take a look round the school’s facilities and meet the teachers but sometimes it is best to see the school on a normal working day. Ask your chosen school if you can visit with your child outside of an organised open event. How the school manages your request and how they interact with your child during this visit will tell you a lot. When visiting prospective schools, it is important to consider how safe and clean they appear, how well the teachers interact with your child and your overall gut instincts. Can you see your child there?