Choosing a secondary school is an important step in lifestyle. Getting it right or wrong can produce a big difference. Part of the equation is you choosing a school to apply to and the other part is the school deciding whether to accept or reject the application.
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You will likely be choosing schools on the basis of their own location, reputation and specialisms. Obviously if there are any special requirements or religious requirements, this will be associated with huge importance too. Whether the college is a boarding school, single-sex or even mixed is likely to also be of importance to many.
Hopefully you have started you analysis early because the best schools are hard to get in to and areas fill up fast.
When you settle on the short-list of schools, it’s time for you to check them out in detail. Discuss with to see what their reputation is usually, look at the exam results, read the Ofsted reports and look at the website.
You should also go and see the schools. Observe what they are like at going-home time and how the pupils are acting. Also visit the school by appointment or on an open day. Plan a few questions before you go. When you go to the school, there are some things to pay attention to that will help you. See how the teachers interact with pupils, look at the work on display on the walls and the trophies won by the school and see the actual toilets and food facilities are like. See what condition the buildings are in and whether everyone usually looks happy. Make sure that teachers interact with both parents and pupils in the tour and make sure that you ask several current pupils how they feel about the school. The school will put up the best socialized and most gifted pupils to show you around, but make sure you talk to some other pupils too.
Find out what sports, technology, language, music and drama amenities the school has and what extra curricular clubs are available. This helps get a really feel for overall school life and is useful if you are after a school with a particular specialism in this field. Remember that very academic environments don’t suit everyone. You will also want to find out how a lot of pupils leave the school to go to more education.