The importance of School Tours and Open Days

So, it’s time to think about enrolling your little one into school. Depending on the schools in your area, you may need to prepare a few years ahead of your child’s first official year of education. Some schools have a an extremely long wait list and open enrolments a few years in advance. So be prepared.

After you have a shortlist of schools that you would contemplate for your child, one of the first things you should consider is attending the school’s open day.

Not only does attending a school’s open day give you a chance to see how the school operates in a normal school day, but it will also help to ensure it is the right place for your child. 

Schools will generally hold a couple of open days each year: you can easily access this information from their website or through a simple online search. Keep in mind that you will likely need to register your attendance with the school to accommodate for numbers and times. So, set an example for your child: do your homework early.

It is equally important that you prepare for your visit. Asking the right questions and being ready to keep your eyes open about how the day is run will help you decide whether the school is the right fit for your family.

Before you arrive at the school, you should compile a list of questions you can ask. When attending the open day, the school may have a school information pack which will outline topics such a the school’s philosophy, enrolment procedures, fees, expectations, and other important information necessary to give you an understanding of their school. The information the school will give you will be extensive; should you have any questions specific towards your concerns or your child do not hesitate to ask. The administration/tour guide is there to assist you with concerns or questions you may have and you can always ask for a further meeting to discuss more indepth matters you may have.

When you arrive, take note of the school’s atmosphere and grounds. Are the students at ease in their environment? Do the students have positive interactions with each other and their teachers? Try to assess whether your child would fit in within this environment and would they be happy and content.

Most importantly, if possible, you should bring your child along for the experience. While you will have a good idea on whether your child will fit in a school based on what you see around you, their own reactions will influence how they will approach their new school. If they seem to enjoy the atmosphere and are comfortable and relaxed during the visit, there is a high probability that they will be excited on their first day, which will only ease the transition of settling in.

Attending many open days may be a daunting prospect, but it will ensure you enrol your child in the school that you and your child feel most comfortable with. In the worst-case scenario, if the school isn’t what you were expecting, or your child just isn’t enjoying themselves, continue the search until the fit seems just right.

It may not be the first school you visit is the one you will enrol your child into, so don’t be disappointed if you find yourself visiting a few schools to find the most suitable. The end result must be that you find the best school for your child: no matter how many open days you attend and questions you may ask.

by K Ashcroft