This Easter break may be an unsettled time for parents of Reception-aged children across Cardiff and The Vale of Glamorgan as Primary school placements are announced.
Mrs Joanne Chinnock, Head of Westbourne Prep gives her advice on what to consider when looking at a top performing primary school and making that all important decision of where to send your child to school.
Study after study shows that the key driver of success at school is the degree to which parents are included and involved in the educational process. This is so much more than showing up at parent-teacher meetings a few times a year or occasionally helping with homework.
Top schools, including Westbourne, welcome the engagement and involvement of parents, with open-door policies, parent forums and pro-active programmes to ensure that the school and parents work together in unison.
It is next to impossible to feel special in a class of 30 or more. With many schools under ever-increasing budget pressure, more and more children are being packed into classes every year.
Class sizes have a direct impact on performance.
Both, on the quantity and quality of education that can be provided to an individual child by one teacher. Research and experience have shown the optimal class size for Primary school children to be 12-16 children per class, rising to 14- 20 for secondary school. This ensures the right balance of individual attention and ‘team spirit’.
Whenever I show people around our Prep school, it is important to me that both parents and children relax and sense the community spirit and genuine warmth of the environment.
If a school is right – it will feel right. Do you get a positive feeling about the school? Do you feel the teachers truly care about your child? Will your child’s individual needs and talents be met and celebrated?
Our school motto is ‘Excellence is not an act, but a habit”. If you are in a truly great school – you will see and feel it. It is what they practise every day; not just a façade for inspectors and visitors.