The deadline is very nearly upon you, and you might still be on the fence when selecting your child’s primary school. You’ll already have taken a tour, asked questions of the Headteacher, read the curriculum, assessed the outside space, watched the existing pupils, bought the t-shirt, eaten the popcorn etc… but are you still stuck?

Here are FIVE TIPS, from my discussions with real reception teachers, that you might not yet have considered when selecting a primary school for your child.

1. The power of community

Choosing a school that is close to home really helps you become part of the community. Friends, playdates, support from other parents – it’s all a lot easier and a lot more forthcoming if you are local.

2. Well-being isn't just a catchphrase

In an age where we all know our mental health is an important as our physical health, how your child’s primary school considers well-being is just as important as how they teach reading and writing. This can include structured lessons about well-being but also extends to how emotional and practical support is given in day-to-today school life.

Think back to your school tour – you probably saw some happy children. Maybe you also saw some unhappy children? Hopefully you also saw them receiving appropriate support in that moment.

reception-school-photos

3. Take others' opinions with a pinch of salt

When was the last time you reviewed a restaurant online? Probably when you had really bad experience, or maybe an exceptionally good one. The same might apply to parents sharing views about schools on the internet – what you read about a school might not be a representative view of the parent body as a whole.

Views expressed online might also relate to very specific circumstances – all children are different and selecting your child’s primary school is a decision unique to your family.

4. Ofsted isn't the be all and end all

An Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ school does not and should not be your goal, especially if the most recent inspection was some years ago. A school rated as ‘Good’ by Osted can still do fantastic things for your child, and may have less focus on pleasing the regulator and more focus on educating the children. This doesn’t mean you should be put off an ‘Outstanding’ school, but don’t be discouraged because a school has a ‘Good’ rating.

5. Trust your gut

That gut instinct you get when you walk through the door MATTERS. First impressions are often right and when it comes to selecting your child’s primary school, your gut feel can and should be a deciding factor. If it feels right to you, their parent, then hopefully it will feel right to your child too.

School photographs with a difference

Come September, when anguishing over your school choice is hopefully a distant memory, you might just want some really special photographs of your child in their school uniform. If you like the photographs you’ve seen on this blog, then please register your interest for my school photography mini sessions in Septmber 2023: