Choosing the right school for your child is a significant decision that requires substantial research. School open events offer an invaluable opportunity to explore the environment, meet educators, and gain insights into the school’s culture. In this guide, we provide you with an overview of things to look out for at a school open day and suggest some useful questions to ensure informed decision-making.
How warm and welcoming is the atmosphere?
When you arrive at the open day, pay attention to the atmosphere. A warm and welcoming environment is often indicative of a positive school culture. Take note of how staff and pupils interact with visitors. Importantly, try and observe how staff and pupils interact with each other when not directly engaging with visitors. This will provide a more precise insight into the overall warmth of the school atmosphere and community.
Explore the facilities
Assess the learning environment and envision your child in that space. Look for tidy classrooms, displays that showcase and celebrate the work of pupils and quality educational materials such as charts, maps, and learning aids to support learning.
Explore facilities such as swimming pools, science laboratories, and sports fields. Make sure to find out how frequently pupils utilise these spaces and how it aligns with the curriculum.
Discover the curriculum
What do the children learn and how do they learn it? What is the school’s educational philosophy? Consider whether the school offers a well-rounded education that includes not only academics but also extracurricular activities, arts, and sports. This will give you a sense of how the school supports the holistic development of students.
Speak to as many people as possible
Take any opportunity to strike a conversation with the headteacher, teachers of all year groups, office staff, pupils and existing parents. This will allow you to build an authentic picture of the school from a number of perspectives. Does what they say match up with the school’s ethos, values and priorities? Do the teachers speak genuinely and passionately? Are the pupils polite and confident?
Useful Questions to Ask
- How do the school’s values and ethos permeate everyday school life?
- How does the school support students with different learning styles or needs?
- What extracurricular activities are offered to enhance the overall development of students?
- How does the school incorporate technology into the learning experience?
- How is student progress assessed?
- How do pupils perform compared to the national average?
- How are teachers and staff trained to handle diversity and promote an inclusive environment?
- What measures does the school have in place to ensure the safety and well-being of students?
- How does the school communicate with parents regarding student progress and school events?
- Can you provide examples of how the school fosters a sense of community among students and parents?
- What resources and support systems are in place to help students navigate their academic and personal challenges?
Questions to ask pupils
- What do you do during break times?
- What is the headteacher like?
- What subjects do you enjoy the most? What subjects do you enjoy the least?
- What extracurricular activities would you recommend?
- Are there any school traditions or events that you particularly look forward to?
Visit The Oratory Prep School
We are an Independent day & boarding Catholic school for boys and girls aged 2-13. Set within 65 acres of Oxfordshire countryside, we encourage children to seek adventure and develop resilience, while ensuring that they are extended academically, feel challenged and ultimately fulfilled.
You can discover more about us at one of our open events. Click here to find out about upcoming dates.Categories: Our Blog