We aim here to provide an overview of Independent School Open Days in general. Plus to provide the Open Day dates for the top prep schools; grammar schools and London private secondary schools.
.Prep School Open Days 2022
School Open Days SEPTEMBER 2022
- St Columba’s College, Hertfordshire, 11+ Taster Afternoon.
- Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire, Sixth Form Event.
- Wycliffe College, Gloucestershire, Open Morning.
- Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire (Girls).
- Berkhamsted School, Hertfordshire (Boys).
- Akeley Wood School, Buckinghamshire, Whole School Open Morning.
- Farlington School, 10am to 1pm, advice booking essential, please see www.farlingtonschool.com
- St Columba’s College, Hertfordshire, Whole School Open Morning.
- Skippers Hill Manor Preparatory School, Mayfield, East Sussex, Open Week.
- St Columba’s College, Hertfordshire, 13+ Taster Afternoon.
School Open Days OCTOBER 2022
- Shiplake College, Oxfordshire, Sixth Form Event.
- St Columba’s College, Hertfordshire, Sixth Form Preview Evening.
School Open Days NOVEMBER 2022
19: Shiplake College, Oxfordshire.
Preparing Your Child for a Selective School You Tube video
Open days London Prep Schools
Visiting the Admissions page for the relevant schools will help you understand the procedures each private school in London uses for admission and you will be able to check the admissions process. Plus:
- school fees
- religious affiliation
- assistance such as scholarships and bursaries
- special education
What to look for on School Open Days
Contacting each private school
It is still highly recommended to get in contact with each of the private schools in London that made it onto your shortlist. Then to visit each one on its open day.
You will get a feel for the school and also be able to involve your child.
When are Secondary School Open Days?
Most secondary school open days are held in September and October of the previous year. In other words as year 6 starts. However you should be able to attend these earlier as the parent of a Year 5 pupil..
School Open Days Questions to Ask
Don’t just go on Ofsted reports and exam results
Any school’s Ofsted reports and exam results are only part of the overall picture.
Schools can easily worsen or improve. So check the date of the most recent Ofsted reports available here
Bring your child along
Remember it is not you going to school it is your child. And it’s vitally important they are happy in order to thrive both socially and academically. They may well notice the things you miss during the visit that are important to them, such as whether the school has a good playground or a wide selection of sports facilities. However, rather than quizzing them on their opinion at the time, it is worth waiting until they have got home and letting everything sink in.
Quiz the hand-picked pupils showing you around
All schools will wheel out their star pupils to show you around. It’s only to be expected. However, don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions about their experiences with the school. Their answers can often be very revealing and honest! For example, ask them about the quality of the teaching and what they enjoy or dislike most about the school.
Listen to the head’s speech
As with most businesses, schools are often a reflection of their leader’s vision – in other words, the headteacher. Often the head’s speech is very slick and persuasive but do not be afraid to ask questions if there is an opportunity to at the end. This will help you get a much greater impression of what the school is actually like. For example, what is it doing to raise academic achievement? Does it care about ALL of the pupils or just those who are academic flyers? What percentage of children go to University after they’ve finished secondary school?
What are the teachers like?
While it’s important to listen to what the head has to say, it’s also worth bearing in mind that he or she isn’t the one one who is going to be teaching them a daily basis. What do the teachers look like? Do they look professional and well turned out? Or do they look disinterested and like they don’t want to be there? Again, if possible ask questions particularly around the ratio of permanent teaching staff to supply staff as it can affect a child’s long-term academic achievement if their teachers are constantly leaving.
School Open Days Questions to Ask
Visit all areas of the school
Usually, the guided tour of the school will take you around those areas they want you to see. In other words, the most visually attractive. Some commentators suggest asking to visit the school toilets or classrooms that aren’t highlighted on the tour to get a much more authentic feel for the establishment. Certainly, it’s worth taking a close look at displays on the walls and any artwork to get a much better impression of the school and its values.
Look at several schools – not just one
It’s tempting if you and your child both like a school to ‘call off the search’ and decide that’s the one. However, it’s important to go to several open days so you can compare them with one another, making notes of their pros and cons. This is particularly important if you are visiting several grammar schools as you may have to rank them in order when it comes to filling in your application form and may not be given your first choice.
Go to the school again
When buying a house, it’s always a good idea to have a look at the area at another time, maybe in the evening when it may seem more threatening or noise levels are much higher. The same is true for a school. If possible, go back when the children are leaving the school gates to see what they are really like. Are they still wearing their uniforms, or are they hanging around bus stops or fast food joints misbehaving?
What would the school journey be like?
One important consideration is the journey time to and from school. The school day may be much longer than at primary school and the journey may take much longer on public transport. How frequent are buses or trains to and from school? Will there still be time for extracurricular activities in the evening, such as swimming, football or music lessons? If possible, make the journey in the morning and afternoon when the school starts and finishes to see how long it takes.
What is the school open day dress code?
Finally, dress suitably for the school open day. While not all schools are formal establishments with strict uniform guidelines for the pupils and teachers many still are. Consequently, you will probably feel more comfortable for a grammar school or private school visit if you are dressed in traditional business wear rather than wearing a pair of jeans or shorts.
Peak School Entrance Exam Revision Periods
- 11+ grammar school entrance (September – October)
- Independent school 11 plus entrance (December / January)
- 7 plus and 8 plus (October, November, December, January).
Details of key school exam dates.
Exam preparation for all ages, all in one place.
School Open Days Questions to Ask