Finding and enrolling your children into a new school is possibly one of the hardest decisions parents will ever make. The future of your little angels lies in the hands of you as you make the decision of which school they will attend for the next 6 years.
All schools boast the same amazing features when you look on their websites, brochures or school prospectus’ but what kinds of things should parents be looking out for before signing on the dotted line.
Here are my top ten questions all parents should ask:
1. What is your policy on child protection? How often are you staff trained on child protection and are all staff (including admin and maintenance) asked to produce working with children’s check documents?
2. What is the schools policy on bullying? Does bullying always find its way to the principal or is it dealt with simply by the class teachers? What does the school class as bullying?
3. How does the school allow children to develop leadership roles inside and outside of the classroom? How does the school make sure that children are engaged with the real world?
4. Does the school give time for their teachers to simply observe the children as they work? How are these observations recorded and what are the teachers looking for?
5. What emphasis does the school place on soft skills such as compassion, empathy, resilience, time management, self reflection etc and are these embedded into the curriculum?
6. How many hours of professional development are the staff engaged in during the average calendar year? Is there room for the staff to access current pedagogical changes and developments to ensure that the children are being taught in the most up to date manner?
7. Are ‘the arts’ integrated into the curriculum or simply a separate subject that is taught externally? How do the teachers integrate sone of the other subjects such as art, drama, dance and how important are these subjects?
8. What are the schools policies around assessment? What criteria are the teachers looking for and through what means are these assessments conducted? Are all childrens’ talents and skills celebrated or is the emphasis placed on competition and the ability to be top of the class?
9. What are the schools views on rewards and punishment? Why and how are children rewarded? And what happens when a child is not following the rules of the classroom?
10. How does the school promote independence and confidence through the curriculum and routines of the school?
I hope these help you as you make the biggest decision of your lives?