Who knows the most about life at a grammar school? (Clue: It’s the students)
When you go to a grammar school open evening, you’ll watch a talk by the head and you’ll probably talk to teachers who can tell you how great the school is. However, in reality, the best people to ask about what life is like at school are the current pupils. Their experience of school life will be comprehensive and although they may have been primed by teachers, they will be honest. So what open day questions are worth asking?
What’s your favourite subject?
If you ask a few children this question, you’ll hopefully get a picture of which subjects the school is best at. You’ll probably know the subject that your child is best at, and if this matches what the school is best at, then that’s great. If not, you can consider other options in this area or match your children’s enthusiasm with extracurricular activities either through a tutor or by organising activities for them on weekends.
What’s for lunch?
As I’ve talked about in other blogs, what children eat is so important to how they learn. Obviously, nutrition is important but it’s also important that there is a choice, so that your child eats plenty. A hungry child doesn’t work as well as a well-fed child. Ask the children what sort of things are on the menu and also when they eat. That way you’ll know how to prep your child to get a snack if lunch is later.
Can you use the library or computers during break time?
This will show how committed the school is to allowing children to develop outside of lessons. Some children like to work outside of lessons and this will give them more opportunity to pick up additional information about their last lesson.
How often do you use technology in lessons?
Asking this question will give you a good idea of how well the school utilises the technology it has at its disposal. Grammar schools often have an array of technology at their disposal but it’s important that they’re used to enhance pupils learning and that the teachers know how to use them. You could also ask them if they use the technology currently on display in the room.
What’s the best thing about this school?
Ask a child a question and expect an honest answer. Find out what they love, and what they don’t. Are they happy at the school? Also, if they’re happy, your child will see how happy the current pupils are and this will hopefully keep them enthusiastic about their quest to get into grammar school.
Anything else that comes to mind!
This isn’t a conclusive list. Let me know if you think of any other great questions that you’ve asked at open days.