The headteacher of Royal Wootton Bassett Academy is urging parents of Year 6 children to check out potential destinations for their next stage in education.
This week is the week when most secondary schools hold Open Evenings for parents and carers of primary school pupils to take a look at what’s inside the secondary school gates.
Headteacher Anita Ellis insists that getting the right secondary school for a child's particular needs is important, and that best way for parents and guardians to do that is to meet school staff and see the facilities for themselves.
“The next five or seven years of your child’s education will have a significant impact on their adult life, so it’s really worth taking the time to do a bit of research,” said Mrs Ellis.
Royal Wootton Bassett Academy staff will be conducting one-hour tours of the school between 5pm and 7pm this evening - Tuesday, 14 September - and tomorrow and Thursday.
They can be booked via www.rwba.org.uk/
Mrs Ellis said: “There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to making your first choice of school. All children are different, and nobody quite knows a child’s needs as well as their parents or carers.
“Of course, you can find plenty of information about schools from their websites and their Ofsted reports, and if you can talk to parents of students already at the school – and to students themselves – that’s another good source of information.
“We are still navigating a time where social contact has been very limited and what this time has shown is that nothing can replace face to face contact to gain the right impression for yourself. There’s nothing quite like you and your child seeing a school for yourselves.
“Talk to the staff – Why do they want to work at that school? Do they seem supportive, and encourage every child to develop their talents and abilities?
"Do the walls and classrooms reflect that the subjects are taught in an interesting and engaging way, and that the scope for studying different subjects is wide?
“Does it look as if extra-curricular activities that your child enjoys or would like to try are well-supported? And, very importantly, is there a strong ethos of respect for and kindness towards others?
"Your child is going to spend most of their teenage years at the school you select, so the way they are treated, and how they treat others, is a significant consideration.
“Finally, check whether you need to book a place at your shortlisted schools’ open evenings, as many are requiring families to book."
Each Royal Wootton Bassett Academy tour will consist of no more than three family groups and one staff member. The maximum size for a family group is four people, and the school asks that all guests wear a face mask unless they are exempt.