Questions to ask at a private school open day
Everybody has their own priorities when it comes to choosing a school, for some parents, the most important thing might be the schools track record when it comes to results, whereas other parents might place more focus on the sporting facilities that are on site at the school. The best way to find out the information that you feel is important, is to see the school itself either at an open day, or to arrange a private tour. Although you might have your own key things to look for in a school, we’ve taken the time to round up some questions to ask at an open day, that you might not have thought of yet.
Ask the Tour Guide – Do you like going to school here?
Quite often at a school open day, your tour guide will be a student, so it is a good opportunity to speak to a pupil that attends the school everyday. Ask them if they like school and what they enjoy about school and even what they dislike! You’ll get an understanding of the viewpoint from somebody who is closest to the experience that your child would have, should they enrol. Even if you don’t have a student as a school tour guide (which is unlikely at a preschool) try and have a chat with students as you move around the school, after all, the students are the school’s best assets. It might be one of the top private schools in the country, but you also want an environment where your child with thrive.
Ask the teacher – What’s your favourite thing about the school?
You could ask this question to a student, however this question is also great for a teacher. As well as a student’s perspective, it’s good to get an idea of what the teachers feel is special about their environment. A teacher is likely to have worked at more than one school, so it’s great to get a more experienced point of view about why this particular school is special.
Do you offer pastoral care?
Of course your child’s wellbeing is going to be at the top of your list of things to consider, however if you are new to the world of private education you might not be aware of the focus that certain schools place of pastoral care and how vital it can become in your child’s school career.
At Kingscourt school we are particularly passionate about our pastoral care, we pay equal attention to our children’s happiness, sociability and feeling of belonging as we do academic success. Everyone at Kingscourt learns the value of respect and consideration for others – using good manners and helping one another from a very early age.
Do you offer learning support?
If you know that your child needs extra support in the classroom then this is likely to be an obvious point of interest. However, understanding a school’s policy on extra support could be important to you and your child later down the line, knowing that there is support if you need it. Also knowing what their policy is with more able and gifted children, to ensure if your child exceeds in a particular subject, they will receive the guidance, support and encouragement they need in order to continue to excel.
The School Inspection Service (SIS) report identified that this is an area of strength for us at Kingscourt:
‘Of particular importance is the support they give to pupils with different levels of learning need. They successfully provide pupils of varying abilities with different work and successfully focus on the targets of those pupils with individual educational plans and statements.’
These are just some of the questions that you could consider asking at a school open day, other things to think about, are the availability and variety of extracurricular activities, other parents reviews and of course the admissions process.The most important question though that only you can answer is ‘will my child be happy here?’.
We would love for you to visit us at Kingscourt School where we would be happy to answer all your questions. You can either book to visit us an open day or arrange for a private tour.