School Visits / Tours
School Tours / Open Mornings for Academic Year 2020-2021
In readiness for your child starting school in September 2020, Gorse Ride Schools held a number of Parent Tours during October and November 2019. If you were unable to attend any of the Open Mornings but would like to visit the school, please complete the form below.
GOVERNORS' GUIDE FOR PARENTS :
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD
The organisation and management of every school is underpinned by a particular philosophy of education. In most schools this includes promoting a combination of academic excellence, social development and emotional well-being although each school will have a slight bias towards one or the other. If you are a highly ambitious parent with an exceedingly bright child an emphasis on academic excellence might be your preference. On the other hand if you just want your child to be happy and do well at school you might want a school that achieves a good balance of all three.
The most recent Ofsted report will give you a snapshot of the school and some of its strengths and weaknesses, but it may be several years out of date. It is also important to note that new schools and schools that have become an Academy are usually exempt from Ofsted inspections during the first 2 years and usually get inspected in the 3rd year. Schools that have been rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted, historically do not get re-inspected for approx 7-10 years and therefore it may not necessarily be an accurate reflection of the school today. Have a look at the previous report to see if the school has progressed between inspections. One of the most important parts of the Ofsted report is the targets it sets for a school; these tell you about its weaknesses and the things it needs to improve upon most. Ask about these targets.
LEAGUE TABLES / SATS RESULTS
Avoid selecting the school just because it is top of the tables – there are many more nuanced factors at work. Although results are an important factor, after all we ultimately want the best for our children, it is important to be mindful that a school that is top of the league tables does not necessarily mean it has the right climate for your child. Look for a school that has the right balance between attainment and core values that will suit your family values and will offer the best environment for your child to grow and succeed.
Look at the long-term academic profile of the school and not just one year's results. Does the school have a history of academic success? Is it moving upwards, or downwards? If the school is achieving above the National Average at KS2 you can be assured that the teaching is strong and effective. You will often notice a school may have a particular strength, for example, a school may achieve at expected level for Maths and Reading but may achieve above average at Writing and this may be an area that is suited to your child's strengths. Look for areas where KS2 results fall below average as this may be a concern.
SCHOOL VALUES & ETHOS
Children's mental health and wellbeing is becoming increasingly more important and children are exposed to mental health issues from a much younger age. Children face many tough challenges through their primary years and building resilience, confidence and are all important factors to success and ensuring that your child is equipped with the tools and personal skills to help their cope with their journey through KS3 and beyond. You can obtain Ofsted reports and SATS results from the internet but these don't give you the whole picture and the only way you will truly know if a school is right for your child is to go and see the school and talk with the pupils and staff.
QUESTIONS TO ASK
Find out what the head teacher stands for by working out what his or her core values are: what are the priorities for the pupils – how does the head teacher interact with the pupils? Look for evidence of this around the school.
Ask pupils what they are learning about in class and if they get feedback from teachers – do they know how to improve their work?
Ask the children and staff about how successful work and attitudes are celebrated within the school? Ask about assembles, look at displays and the general ethos or ‘feel’ within the classrooms.
Ask children what subjects they like/dislike and why?
Ask the head teacher what is the staff turnover every year? How many supply teachers are currently being used within the school?
Talk to the office staff - it says something about the school, and they are the people you'll talk to on a regular basis.
How does the school manage children’s well-being and behaviour? What are the policies and procedures and what does this look like in reality?
What does the school leadership structure look like? How long has the head teacher been in post? Does the head teacher have secure and stable Senior Leadership Team supporting them?