What to look for in a new school

Deciding what school to send your child to can be such a stressful process. All 4 of my kids have moved schools more often than I would have liked and each time has caused both David and I huge amounts of anxiety. Education is so important and while it is possible to learn to read at any age, not having a solid foundation can really make life harder. 

Looking for a new school is made a little easier if you have a guideline of what you need in a school.Future Nation Schools|HarassedMom

These are my tips when looking for a new school:

  1. Is it clean? I don’t mean can you eat your breakfast off the classroom floors but are the playgrounds litter free? And the corridors clean?
  2. Visit the school without an appointment, even if you just pop in to the reception. You will be able to get an idea of the atmosphere of the school without it being “prepped for”.
  3. How organised are they? This makes a difference. Do the people you are speaking to know what the registration process is? Do they know what time break is or how many kids are in a class?
  4. Be aware of all the classrooms, not just your child’s grade. Are they decorated? How are the children reacting to the teachers? Are the classrooms neat?
  5. Chat to the teachers in your child’s grade. You don’t need to interrogate them but rather just get a feel for how they teach and will respond to your child.
  6. If your child is starting grade 1, find out what their process is should your child struggle with certain areas. 

In many ways we are lucky now that we have so much choice available to us in the form of schooling for our children. The newest kids on the block are Future Nation Schools, a new private pre-primary and high school in Fleurhof and Lyndhurst.

Their vision is to build a network of affordable private schools across South Africa, and the rest of Africa, that offers excellent education which is characterised by: student-centered learning, high academic standards, problem-solving skills, a focus on applied research and development (including project-based teaching and learning), innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies.

One of the lessons I have learnt with my children is that getting them into a school that goes from Grade R right up to matric is first prize. The search for a high school for Cameron was as stressful as the search for a pre-primary school. The Future Nation schools offer this, which makes them appeal to me.

I love that one of their values is fun. Education shouldn’t be seen as a punishment for children, it should be fun and encourage them to want to learn.

I did check their fees out and in terms of other private schools they are one of the more affordable ones when it comes to private schooling.

Future Nation Schools|HarassedMom

You can find out more about Future Nation Schools on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and their website.

What is important to you when looking for a new school?

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9 Comments

  1. 14 April, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    Great tips. I also did the random “pop-in” at schools in my area and one school was very unwelcoming about this visit of enquiry without an appointment. The foyer was dark and I did not like the atmosphere in the entrance hall even though the school may be great. This first introduction completely put me off.

  2. 14 April, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    this will be so helpful when I look for schools for my daughter.. ugh it sounds so scary just thinking about it! lol

  3. 14 April, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    Great tips, I’m sooo happy with the school we chose when we moved abroad. So warm, inviting and my kids are progressing daily. Will be hard for us to move in the future!

  4. 15 April, 2018 / 12:13 pm

    These sound like great tips! Here we don’t get to pick our school and it is determined by where you live, but if I were able to pick a school, I’d look for curriculum and engagement.

  5. 15 April, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    Woah! This is very timely since my nephew will start going to school this year. We totally agree that it’s a stressful process as we believe a good school choice is very crucial.
    For us, the most important is the quality of teaching and the availability of facilities.

  6. 15 April, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    This is such a great tips. Picking the right school for our kids is not easy. Here in our area we have different school near us and we are able to pick which school we can send our kids. So I think that’s a good thing.

  7. 18 April, 2018 / 5:37 am

    Great inputs on what to look for choosing a new school. I think besides the things listed here, It would also be a good idea to talk to some parents of the students who are studying there and ask for some reviews. It would also be a good idea to observe the behavior of students in and out of classrooms when you do the “pop-ins”.

  8. 19 April, 2018 / 9:37 pm

    My kids moved schools a few times. Also, they will be moving again soon. What I find is not to depend on institutional reports of the school. Visiting the school is essential. One of the most important things we look for is the pastoral care. We look at the class sizes, the smaller, the better for younger children as the teacher can give them more attention.
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  9. 3 July, 2018 / 1:13 pm

    Great Article.
    A visit is the best way to determine whether a school is right for your child. Even a short visit will help you identify a school’s strengths and challenges. It’s also the only way to get a feel for a school’s climate — intangible but important factors like the dynamism of the teaching, engagement of the students, quality of communication and respect between students, teachers, administrators, and parents, and the overall sense that the school offers a safe and inspiring learning environment.

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