Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions that you will make as they grow up. An Open Day provides a great insight into life at a potential school, so be sure to make the most of them.
Speak to pupils
The pupils that already attend the school are likely to be one of the most valuable sources information. They have already been through the phase of being the new pupil, and know what the process is like. You’ll be able to get an honest opinion from a pupil about how they feel about the school, and seeing as your child may become a pupil at the school, hearing their insight is important. You could speak to some of the younger pupils about how they felt settling in, and then the older pupils will be able to talk to you about their time moving up through the school.
Chat with the teachers
Don’t go away without having a chat with some of the teachers. They will be more than happy to answer any questions you might have and the different subjects they teach, especially if your child is enthusiastic about certain topics or subjects.
Do not go away with unanswered questions
Speaking to staff will give you a better understanding of what your child is going to be learning about in school. Some departments will have special displays of past work for families to view and interact with, and there should always be people around after your tour to ask any lingering questions. It may be a good idea to think of a few questions before you even visit the school.
Don’t miss the Head’s speech
At most Open Events, the Head Teacher of the school will open the event with a speech. The speech will help to give you an idea of day to day life at the school, introduce the community and talk you through the admissions process. Some of your questions may be answered just by listening to the speech, and will give you a good overview before you head out on a tour.
Take your child with you
If possible, bring your child along with you to the Open Day. How your child feels and thinks about a potential school is very important. While at the school, encourage them to ask any questions they may have, and get involved with the activities on offer. This will help to give them a feel about if the school is right for them or not.
See all the school’s facilities
If your child is into sports, ask to see all the sporting facilities, if your child likes art, then don’t miss the art room when going on a tour.
Look at the extra-curricular activities that are on offer
Do the extra-curricular activities match the talents and interests of your child? If your child is into the drama, see if the school have an annual production, or if they are good at sport or music, are there dedicated teams and places to practice?
Ask about parent/school communication
School is such a big part of your child’s life, it is important that you are a part of it. Be sure to find out how much parental involvement is welcomed by the school, such as if there is a newsletter, how regular parents’ evening and drop in sessions are, and if there is an active PTA.
Braeside School, Buckhurst Hill
Thursday 5 March 2020 at 9.15am (Main Site- High Road, Buckhurst Hill)
Coopersale Hall School, Epping
Tuesday 3 March 2020 at 9.15am
Normanhurst School, North Chingford
Friday 6 March 2020 at 9.15am
Oaklands School, Loughton
Thursday 5 March 2020 at 9.15am