Your son or daughter is just out of the diapers and meanwhile already on the way to the next milestone: school. An exciting time for the standing four-year-old and also for you. Because you want to choose the best school for your child.
“Is it a cheerful bunch or is it tidy?”
The best time to enroll your child at a school is when your child turns three years. Some schools have waiting list so it is better to be aware of it and be on time. There are approximately thousands of primary schools, of which one third is public and two thirds are special.
Choose a public or special primary school?
Public schools are open to children of every religion or ideology. At special school, your child receives lessons from a religious or philosophical belief. This is also called special education. Special schools are often open to all children, regardless of the background they have. Examples include Roman Catholic, Protestant-Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu or free schools. The special schools generally base their teaching on a particular pedagogical view, such as Montessori, Dalton, Jenaplan and Freinet schools. For children who have difficulty in learning, have a disability or for the students who are struggling with behavioral problems, there are special education. They will receive extra attention and care.
What does a child learn at primary school?
Legally required subjects such English, mathematics, orientation on yourself and the world, artistic orientation and physical education occur at all types of primary schools. But it’s not about learning facts alone. The development of social, cultural and physical skills are also important for a child. Schools should also pay attention to a good working posture through which the children can stand up for his or her own opinion. It develops self-confidence and the way of learning to deal with each other in a respectful way is encouraged by schools.
The school guide helps with a school choice
So there are all kinds of schools that, within the set guidelines, each give their own interpretation to the curriculum. With the help of the internet you can gather specific information about the schools in your area. Most schools have a website with the school guide. Here you will find not only the views and working methods of the school, but it also helps to find the objectives and it’s results. It is nice when you come across questions and answers about the school, some schools post this on their website. Not sure which school to choose for your child? A school guide is a valuable tool for the comparison of different schools.
Choosing important considerations at a primary school
Before you contact a school for an introductory meeting, you should inquire with ‘experienced expert’ parents to know more about the school. In practice, choosing a location is usually the deciding factor of a primary school. Is the school near your house, or is it on the route to work? Can your child safely cover this route in the future? Is it logical that parents take this into account. Another consideration is to which school friends and girlfriends go. Parents and children are also sensitive for this.
Choice Primary school? Use your senses!
Where do you choose as a parent at a primary school? The following questions can help:
- What does the school building look like?
- Is it dark inside or very light?
- Is it a cheerful bunch with drawings or is it tidy?
- Does it smell fresh, are windows open or is it hot and stuffy?
- Does the schoolyard have climbing frames, can children play safely?
- Are the toilets clean?
Before the introductory meeting with the director or teacher let yourself be shown around the school and focus your senses. This is very important.
Feel free to ask for help at a primary school
If the introductory meeting starts then you have a reasonable picture of the school after doing homework and the guided tour. Now it’s time for questions. Only by asking specific questions you will find out which school suits your child. For example, you can ask questions about school costs and school activities, what is expected from the parents? What does a school day look like, what are the school times and how is it left over? Is there a day nursery or out-of-school care connected to the school? Does your child learn to work with computers? Is it evaluated in letters, numbers or in words and how big are the groups? Feel free to ask these and many more questions. It helps you to take stock at the bottom of the line and thus make a good choice of school.
Choose primary school checklist
Below is the ‘Select primary school checklist’ in which a few points of attention are listed:
- Is it a small or big school?
- Is it neat?
- Does the school look cozy or inspiring?
- Is there a playground and is it shielded from the street?
- Is there a separate protected place for the little ones?
- How are the groups classified?
- Which teaching methods are used?
- Can children get used to the classroom before they become four?
- Do the toddlers go to school for a full week from the first day?
- Can you keep them for a day in the first period when they are very tired?
- How does the school deal with play and learning?
- What is being done about bullying?
- How often and when do children receive a report?
- When will the results be discussed with parents?
- How does the school deal with weak and good students?
- How are the performances of the school? What does the flow to secondary education look like, of what level is this?