Now I’m well aware that the entire UK now knows where their little ones are going for primary one / reception and so this blog post probably isn’t going to be massively popular. That said, I’ve learnt a thing or two in the past couple of months and if I can help a few parents out come January I’ll be happy.
Anyone who knows me will be familiar with my overthinking, catastrophising and second guessing so you can imagine how neurotic I was when applying for Lu’s primary school place. Luckily I had lots of people willing to
tolerate listen to me and give great advice. Here are eleven tips that helped us choose the right primary school for Luisa.
- Make a pen and paper list of all the schools within a reasonable distance from your home.
- Get familiar with the criteria for admissions in your area.
- Think about the kind of environment you want, what’s important to you? Outdoor space? Small classes? Modern facilities?
- Visit the school at least once. Go to their open day and don’t be afraid to ask if there’s another opportunity to look again.
- When you’re at the open day make sure to look at all the areas that are important to you. Be it the IT provisions, playground, library or classrooms.
- Ask questions. If you’ve got follow up questions send an email or call the school.
- Try to connect with local people who have children at the schools you’re considering and find out what they love about it.
- Research the policies at your prospective schools including their bullying and SEN policies. Your child might not ever use SEN services but I feel like it’s a good marker for how progressive and inclusive a school is.
- Read the inspection reports but always take them with a pinch of salt. They don’t tell the whole story.
- If the schools you’re considering have a website read their bulletins or newsletters. IT gives you a good idea of the day to day goings on and how the school interact with parents.
- Trust your gut. I was never 100% certain we’d made the right choice but I did ‘know’ after much thinking, talking and visiting.