Choosing a school for your child is a time of excitement, but can also be quite overwhelming, especially if it’s the first time you’re going through the process. There’s undeniably a lot to consider and talk through with your family, and even if you have your heart set on a particular school it would be wise to compare your options and ensure you’re making the right decision. Here are some tips to help you choose a school for your child from a prep school in Hertfordshire.
What Are Your Priorities?
Start by chatting about your priorities with the rest of your family. Are you look for an independent school and if so what are the fees? Does the school offer foundation bursaries or scholarships? Do you want to send your child to a single-sex or a co-educational school? Would you like their to be full or flexi-boarding options available? Does your child have any special educational needs that need to be catered to? Are there suitable extra-curricular activities on offer? Once you know what exactly it is you’re looking for, you should be able to rule out some options and narrow down your search.
Browse the Websites
Search online for some of the schools in your local area and browse their websites to find out more. They should display their previous inspection reports and past exam results, which will help you determine the quality of teaching. You may also be able to download some of the policies and procedures to learn more about how the school deals with things like health and safety and bullying. Your research should help you come up with a shortlist of schools you would like to visit.
Visit the Schools
Get yourself booked onto the upcoming Open Events so that you can take a tour of the school and chat to the Headteacher, the senior management team and some of the existing pupils. Consider whether the students seem happy and well-presented. Ask lots of questions so that you can gauge an idea of whether or not the school will be appropriate for your own child. You should also pay attention to things like the general cleanliness and safety of the facilities; it’s worth looking beyond the obvious teaching areas to determine how well the school is being maintained. As a result of the global pandemic, lots of schools nowadays are offering virtual open events, which may be more convenient for you.
Get Your Child Involved
Try and get your child involved in the selection process as much as you can. Let them browse the websites with you and visit the schools. Talk to them about it in a positive way so that they don’t feel as intimidated. For instance, when looking at the websites, point out how happy the children look in the photos. Of course, the final decision is down to you as the parent, but make sure your child knows that their voice is being heard. You’ll probably find that you all agree on one particular school that just has the right vibe.