The Granville School give us three key tips to help navigate the process of finding the right school

Know your child
Nobody knows your son or daughter better than you do. Of course, they may only be 3 or 4 years old when you start to look at schools and they may not still be interested in dinosaurs, Disney movies or Duplo by the time they leave aged 11, but consider what kind of child they are. Do they enjoy being outdoors? Perhaps you need a setting with a Forest School. Are they interested in how things work? Try and find a school with a well-equipped science lab and specialist teachers. Are they interested in the world around them? They might benefit from smaller class sizes so that the teachers have time to talk to them and explore more about their interests.

Visit the school
No matter how extensive the virtual tour on the website or how much information you can find about curriculum, staff or extra-curricular activities, the only way to get a true sense of a school is to visit it. Book a tour, sign up for an open day and go along with an open mind and a list of questions. Ideally, visit the school when it is in full session. See how the teachers interact with the pupils, get a sense of the atmosphere of the school and try to imagine your child sitting at one of the desks in the lessons. After an open event, you can also ask for a personal tour to ask more specific questions. Here at The Granville, our Headmistress offers tours to prospective families throughout the year which enables our families to get a truer sense of what our school would be like for their child in particular.

Think ahead
This doesn’t mean you need to have a roadmap to senior school and university when your child is barely out of nappies but look ahead in a more general sense. If there are lots of senior school options in the area, you will want to choose a school that can provide outstanding advice and support for those exams and that transition. Your child may change significantly over the next 7 years. Are you willing to lock into a school that feeds straight into a senior school at such an early stage, or do you want to keep your options open with a traditional prep school?
There is much to consider, so take your time, keep an open mind and do your research. Don’t be swayed by the headlines. You don’t just want the ‘best’ school. You need the best school for your child.

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