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Questions to ask when looking at schools
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Author:  Thea [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:34 am ]
Post subject: 

Levels question is very unfair and intrusive.
DS1 is 11 and will be doing the tours for his open day, and I woukld be incensed if he was expected to answer trick questions.

Have emailed the school to see what guidance puils are given in politely refusing to answer rude questions!

Author:  Rob Clark [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

Gosh yes, I agree. Children have given up their own time to show prospective parents around on open days and this duty should not include answering such personal questions. I would tell DCs to politely reply that they didn’t feel that was any of their business!

Quote:
Do ask whether they are happy and whether they have lots of fun, and if they would like their little brother or sister to follow them to the school..


katel’s suggestion is a much better way of broaching the subject…

Author:  Ally [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:36 pm ]
Post subject: 

Some great questions, But I think you have to go with your gut feeling about a school. It's a bit like viewing a house, job interview. It's the first 30 sec that count.

Author:  Thea [ Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:30 am ]
Post subject: 

DS1 showed around a few weeks ago at openm day. He luckily was not asked any unreasonable questions, but several of teh other boys were grilled about the exam, whether they had additional tuition outside school, one was even asked for a tutor's name :shock: And unbeleivably two were asked (by separate sets of parents) about the fees (which are clearly laid out in the prospectus! as if the boys would know! Mine isn't even aware there ARE any fees... he knows now!), if they were on a bursary and if they knew anyone who as on a bursary.

Author:  emmsie [ Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

Having had the highly regarded headteacher leave my DS's school at the end of his 1st year I would definitely check the head's long term plans.

Author:  drummer [ Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

I would read the latest OFSTED and find out about any relative weaknesses the school has, or weaknesses that the school is said to have and then ask a question about it, the point being to see how they deal with 'difficult questions'. Do they get defensive or deny all? Are they arrogant? Or do they take the question on the chin and give a measured and considered response?

In my experience of many schools and senior management teams (good and bad) my main criteria are 1) a school that I think I can communicate with especially when there is a problem to be dealt with, 2) that treats parents as adults, 3) has a realistic accurate idea of what their relative strenghts and weaknesses

And as for the question (looking back to the first post) "Do Yr 7s get a separate play area or staggered lunch times?" What answer would you be seeking? If yes, why do they need it? I would be worried about a GS that had such behaviour problems that Y7s need to be segregated.

Author:  mystery [ Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

I've just been guided round an independent school that I was considering for 7+ entry. It really is the staff that I want to talk to, not the children, and I find being herded round by two children who don't really know that much about the kind of things I want to know about the school very awkward. And if there are things they know that I would want to know about, I'm sure they've been well primed enough not to tell me!!

I found it illuminating asking the teachers about levels. They showed me Year 2 work which they considered to be level 3, it wouldn't have been judged level 3 at my children's school. So if you are looking round an independent school, beware, unless of course it is that my children's school is harsh on its levelling.

I came away from a whole open morning not really having a feel for the school at all. I would need to go on a normal day.

Author:  Y [ Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

Detailed GCSE results data by school and GCSE subject can be found at:

http://www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/D ... ndex.shtml

Then scroll down to:

'Publication’s Underlying Data
Additional information Archive (zip)'

and download the archive, which contains an Excel spreadsheet.

Author:  P's mum [ Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

Thanks for this. However, I read that it was possible to get school results by individual subject. This could be very useful for instance when deciding between GCSE options, however, I can't find information by individual subject. Is it there or not?

Author:  hermanmunster [ Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

Hi P's mum - yes they are there - follow Y's instructions above.. ie : scroll down to

'Publication’s Underlying Data
Additional information Archive (zip)'

and download the archive, which contains an Excel spreadsheet

then on the spreadsheet there are multiple pages for a range of grades, a-a* grades, a-c grades etc etc -on each page is a vast list of schools - best to look up your LEA code first (one of the pages has this) as otherwise it is mind boggling .... finding North Yorks =815 made it much easier

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