Helping you find the right school for your child

Choosing a School

Finding the right school for your child can be a long and difficult task. There are so many considerations to take into account including the individual needs of your child, your own personal and/or family circumstances, and your intentions for your child's future. This list of questions and actions will help you refine your search for the school best-suited to your child.

General

Does your child have a particular interest that you want the school to nurture such as:

  • music
  • sport
  • languages
  • vocational studies
  • academic studies

Does your child have specific learning needs?

Does your family have particular religious beliefs or educational philosophies?

Are out of hours school care and vacation care important?

Location

Is it important that the school is close to where you live or work?

What transport is available?

School characteristics

Is it important that the school is single sex or co-educational?

Is the size of the school important?

Do you want a pre-school, a primary school, a secondary school, or a combined primary and secondary school?

Are boarding facilities important?

What is the school’s educational philosophy?

What are the school’s values?

What are the facilities?

What does the school offer that makes it unique?

What is the average class size?

What is the school’s disciplinary code?

Curriculum

Does the school have a comprehensive curriculum?

How does the curriculum meet the needs of your child?

How does the school challenge and extend students of all abilities?

Does the school have a homework policy?

What co-curricular activities are offered such as, sport, music and camps?

Are any of these activities compulsory?

Is there an additional charge for such activities?

Assessment

How will your child be assessed and how is assessment reported to parents?

How does the school measure its performance?

Pastoral care

What structures are in place to ensure a caring and nurturing environment in the school?

How does the school provide support for students with specific learning, language and/or cultural needs?

What policies and procedures are in place to ensure the safety of students such as child protection and bullying?

How is career advice given?

Parental involvement

How does the school communicate with parents?

What opportunities are there for parents to be involved with the school through a parents' association or volunteering?

Cost

What fee levels are you prepared to pay?

What are the arrangements for paying fees?

Are there additional costs for textbooks, uniforms, excursions and extra-curricular activities?

Are scholarships or bursaries available?

Visit the school

  • Ask for a copy of the school’s prospectus.
  • Check the school's website, some schools offer a ‘virtual tour’.
  • Make an appointment to take a tour during school hours to see how teachers and students interact.
  • Ask if the school is considering making any changes that may affect your decision, such as altering teaching methods or school philosophy, or going co-educational.
  • Involve your child. Attend together school activities such as drama performances or concerts, carols nights, art exhibitions, etc...

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