A New School

Over the summer, you may need to start thinking about the move to a new school. Secondary schools hold open evenings very early on, usually in September, because you need to apply, online, by the end of October for your child’s place.
For some of you it will mean a huge step into the unknown, it could be frightening for you and your child. Do make an effort and go to meetings, they have a huge load of positive and helpful information. And most definitely attend the open evenings. Some schools also offer daytime tours. You may also be able to get a group of you together and ask for a tour at a separate date. If there are several schools from which to choose, check out the catchment areas and seriously look at the points system as to how your application will be considered. For instance; 1. Are you in catchment? Do you have a sibling already at the school? Do you have special religious reasons to attend the school? Does your child have special needs?
Also listen to what others are saying about the schools. Is this the school they are all raving about? BUT remember results only reflect the school year children who were tested, i.e. SATs and GCSE results. Also gossip about a school can often be out of date! When I chose a secondary school place, my catchment school was supposed to be second best in the area. For me personally, I found that they were prepared to work harder to raise their results and their reputation than the other school which assumed I would want my child to attend because they were already the best! My catchment school is NOT perfect, but I don’t know a school which can be! However my child is happy, thriving and achieving good results. She is an engaged learner who is now very independent and has only 1 year left to go.
So listen to your gut feelings as well and getting a feel for the school. Don’t rush decisions and try to get as much information as you can