YOUR CHILD COMES FIRST
Your child is the most important factor in this decision. As such, you should consider their needs throughout your decision process. Asking them which school they want to go to may not work. But, there’s nothing wrong with taking them to see a few and asking which they preferred. Make sure to talk through their decision, though. Children can have strange reasoning. If their choice is based on a display, or a coat they saw someone wearing, you may have to explain things a little more. It’s also important to take into account what you know of your child’s personality. Some children are better suited to homeschool, while others thrive in a school environment.
THE EXTRA MILE
With a bit of luck, you’ll have a good selection of schools in your catchment area. If not, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. You could even get the movers in if you aren’t happy with your choices. But, bear in mind that primary schools don’t vary all that much. Make sure you’re certain before you do anything drastic. A good way to judge is to pay visits to the schools in question. If a local school has a bad reputation, a visit could show you that it’s unfounded. Plus, you don’t want to move closer to another school, only to find out that’s not right either.
TEST SCORES AREN’T EVERYTHING
The task of choosing can be overwhelming. Many parents turn to test results to help with their decision. In truth, though, test scores aren’t a sign of much. They certainly shouldn’t be what you base your decision on. Often, tests results aren’t an accurate reflection of the teaching itself. Tests only cover around a third of the curriculum. Schools that score well are often guilty of focusing on this third. Sometimes, that means neglecting everything else. Look for a friendly environment over a high score.
TEACHERS ARE EVERYTHING!
But, teachers most definitely are everything. The best teacher can help your child flourish. For proof, look back at your school years. Wasn’t it those teachers you had a connection with that got the best results? The same will be true for your child. During your visits to each school, pay particular attention to each teacher. Pay attention, too, to how your child acts around them.