If you still have doubts about whether the school you like best will meet all your expectations, it may be a good idea to make a list of questions to ask the school's management. There is no such thing as a perfect school, because every family has its own needs and interests, so you should make sure that the school can meet your demands.
As every year, thousands of families begin their search to find the best educational option for their children for the next academic year and, many times, this process becomes a dilemma. In case you, dear reader, find yourself in this situation and don't know where to start, here is a list of nine questions that we have compiled with some of the doubts that most concern you, the parents. We hope they will help you in your first selection to know which options to discard and which others are closer to the school you are looking for.
1. What methodology do they follow?
Nowadays we have access to the most innovative and alternative teaching methods, as well as traditionalist schools. You can find from institutions that send a lot of homework home to others that give more freedom and are committed to project work between students of different ages. In addition, there are schools that are increasingly opening up their academic offerings in search of subjects that break with the methodology we all know, offering subjects that are more focused on the workplace or on resolving the conflicts we face in our daily lives. All these aspects are interesting and questionable, as well as how much free time students have between classes, if they are supervised during this break, if they are allowed to use the phone in the playground...
2. What is family-school communication like?
Families are becoming more and more involved in schools, whether by joining AMPAs, collaborating in solidarity initiatives, organising excursions... Depending on your desired level of involvement, you will want to know what communication platforms are used for this or if, on the contrary, there is a more informal follow-up.
3.What are the timetables for pupils?
Many families think that school always runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the truth is that, depending on whether it is a private or public school, classes may finish earlier. We also find schools in which the optional subjects of college in a certain branch are only taught in the afternoon, so that there may be some hours in the mornings free. Is this aspect important to you? Ask the teachers during your visit to the school what the school timetable is like. You may also be interested in what the pupils' day-to-day life is like: how do they combine the recreational aspect with the student aspect from an early age?
It is important that pupils perceive the school as a centre that is, as far as possible, pleasant and not as an institution that does not motivate them.
Finally, in terms of timetables, what options does the school offer (extracurricular activities, reception, etc.) to help families reconcile their working lives with their responsibilities as parents?
4. How important is emotional education?
In childhood and especially in adolescence, it is essential to have some kind of psychological service or that the school has designed anti-bullying plans.
You may also consider it a priority to know what facilities are offered for pupils with special needs, such as dyslexia or ADHD. In addition, good emotional education in the classroom can help your pupils to know how to resolve conflicts. In fact, there are schools that provide official mediation courses free of charge, contacting experts or specialised coaches. Any protocol already in place denotes a certain knowledge of the subject, which will bring peace of mind to many parents.
5. Let's talk figures
Depending on whether it is a private, charter or public school, you can probably figure out the approximate cost of your child's schooling at the school you are visiting. However, you can always ask what the average amount will be for those less predictable extras such as excursions, infirmary, canteen, donations, events, etc.
6. Do they have their own kitchen?
Knowing what kind of food is offered in the canteen is a priority for many parents who are increasingly concerned about their children having healthy habits and enjoying a varied and balanced diet. It is therefore advisable to make sure that the school has its own kitchen or, in the case of catering, to find out what menus are offered, whether they are supervised by an expert in nutrition, etc.
7. Which areas are reserved?
Particularly in the context of Covid-19, where living bubbles must be visibly separated, you may be interested to know where your child will play. Some schools overshadow visitors with their modern facilities, but are they really necessary and effective?
Remember that good facilities are not only valued for sport or play, sometimes it is more pragmatic for a school to have computer rooms, digital whiteboards, a library service or school materials available to its pupils.
8. English is a must!
Does the school allow teaching in several languages, and are the teachers who teach languages native speakers? As you know, nowadays English is essential both for students' working lives and for socialising with other people in the case of travelling (as English is usually the most common and standard language) or in the case of wanting to do an exchange or Erasmus stay. For this reason, parents increasingly attach more and more importance to the level of English that their children can obtain during their education.
9. Is the school ready to teach online?
Fortunately, many schools have taken the initiative in this area so that their pupils can make the most of a school year as complicated as the current one and can study the syllabus for each term from home. In this way, they have ensured that children have been as little disadvantaged as possible in this respect. Ask how they have handled the situation and whether they have implemented new protocols, and the answer will speak volumes about the flexibility and adaptability of the institution. In fact, many schools have been so far ahead of the curve that they have offered entertaining virtual open days.
We hope that asking these nine questions will help you to determine whether the school you have in front of you is the right one for you. From buscarcole.com we recommend that you search our website if you are still not sure and if you are interested in following up on which are the best options for you.