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Questions to ask when looking at schools
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Author:  Sally-Anne [ Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

Hi P's mum

Generally schools publish results by subject on their own website as well - that might be more manageable than the giant spreadsheet! It's very useful if you want to compare across a wide area, but for comparing one or two schools a smaller dataset might be easier to handle.

S-A

Author:  hermanmunster [ Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

... particularly as they have put the number taking the subject on one page, the number gettin A-A* on another page, the number getting A-C on another page...... not the most user friendly :roll:

Author:  no_ball [ Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

At some schools I asked about the schools policy towards kids caught taking/selling drugs. All schools have a drug issue, it's the management of it that is important.

Author:  P's mum [ Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

Thanks Hermanmunster found it now.

School doesn't publish the results themselves and a recent query about two different MFLs did not elicit an answer - though could have tried pursuing. This was quicker and easier (in the end). From the results it looks as though we made the right subject choice!

Interesting that success by subject seems to vary quite a lot school by school even schools with similar 'average' results are compared.

Also I think that there are some mistakes -schools obtaining more results than children entered for that subject so I suspect that the results have to be treated with caution.

Author:  um [ Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

I agree that it is rather unfair to ask a child their levels. But it would certainly be a good idea to gently probe whether they felt supported to improve and had been given a good understanding, by teachers, of how to progress to the 'next level'.

When ds1 took part in his school open day in Autumn, most parents were asking him which tutor he'd had :lol:
One really kept on at him, asking for exam tips, until the poor boy was quite exasperated.

Author:  menagerie [ Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

I always ask the child showing us around what they'd change about the school. That can be very revealing.

Author:  able [ Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

As an retired school teacher. I can fairly confidently say That most of the questions you will ask about a 'good' school will be the wrong ones.

You first question should be 'will my child be safe ?'
Next you should find out 'will my child be happy?'
'Will my child be encouraged to develop as a well rounded person?'
When you have asked yourself these questions make sure you visit the school, more than once.
Go and stand on the gate at the end of the day and talk to parents to canvas their views.
Talk to the students attending the school ( with parents permission).
When you have done all this and are happy with the responses, then look at the academic and the admin.
It is important that you realise that any secondary education is a long term commitment for you and your child and the school
good luck

Author:  Mum.my [ Thu May 07, 2015 10:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

These tips are very helpful thanks!
Few additions:
1. I always compared their calendars online to see how many activities/events the school is organising over the year.
2. I would also recommend checking how strong a school's alumni is.
3. Whatever said and done results are very important, happy to share a table we used to make the decision. It has GCSE and A level results. We focussed more on the A level results of schools as a comparison point as that will ultimately decide their university.

Author:  Guest55 [ Fri May 08, 2015 10:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

Just a point about 3).

A levels are changing from September (see the thread in GCSE 'timeline of reform') so current tables tell you very little. In seven years a school can go from outstanding to special measures ..

Author:  ToadMum [ Sat May 09, 2015 9:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask when looking at schools

'How strong a school's alumni is'.

:?

'How strong the alumni are'?(alumni is plural). An interesting question but not sure it's one many schools would be able to answer. Certainly my old school has never to my knowledge surveyed alumnae (it was all girls in my day) as to their physical development or exercise habits.

Do you mean 'is there a thriving "old pupils' organisation?'. Or 'how many people I might have heard of went to this school?'.

I suppose the former might be a sort of gauge as to how happy the school makes its pupils feel and how much loyalty it engenders. The latter might be mildly interesting but not really a deal-breaker, I would have thought.

Or do you mean, how much financial aid do old pupils give to the school?

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