Tuesday, 4 June 2013


As I have promised here while telling you about our school search story, I have put together a basic list of questions that you may want to ask or try to have an understanding of when you visit a school. The questions are mostly aimed for primary schools but you can easily adjust them to other schools as well. There are surely many other important factors, such as accessibility and proximity of the school to you, whether the school is co-educational or single-sex school etc, that you will need to take into consideration while looking at school options, but these are only some basic questions (in no particular order) many of which you may want to know the answers of while touring a school. Also, please keep in mind that choosing a school is a personal choice and not every school will work for every child, and one family's key priorities in choosing a school may vary from the others'.

A checklist for choosing a school
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-Extra Curricular activities?
-LOTE (Languages Other Than English)?
-Religious studies?

-Teacher/student ratio?
-Open learning areas/class based (old-fashion these days)/combined classes?
-Use of technology in class?

Special Needs:
-How do they cater for below average kids?
-How do the cater for above average kids?
-Do they/How do they cater for kids with other special needs (eg. language) or disabilities?

Parent Involvement:
-Is parent involvement welcome?
-How can you be involved?
-Who can be involved? (police check done on parents/volunteers that come in contact with students?)

-Copies of school policies?
-Homework policy?
-Discipline policy?
-Unacceptable behaviour (eg. bullying) policy?

-Well maintained?
-Qualified teacher-librarian(s)?
-Books/computers etc?
-Principal's attitude (above questions' answers should give you some ideas on the principal's attitude on the school library and the use of it)?

Student Profile:
-(Cultural, lingual, socio-economical background information may give you an indication of the school culture in general)

-Are you in the school's current neighbouring zone (if applicable)?
-(If an independent school), scholarship programs, additional costs to the term fees?
-How clean are the buildings/toilets etc? (gives you a feeling of the amount of respect that the school has for their students)
-Does the school accept children with no immunisation (if that is applicable to your child)?
-Does the school accept children with no kindergarten experience (if applicable to your child)?

Please feel free to share your thoughts/experiences and tips on this topic in the comments section below.

Wishing you all the best of luck in your choice!

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