Attending a school tour? Here are 10 important questions to ask at school open days, to support you in making the best decision for your child’s education.

Choosing the right school for your child is an important decision that every family faces. There are many aspects to a child's education, so where do you start?

To find a school that is the best fit for your child, attending a school open day is a good way to start the research process. Open days provide you with the opportunity to start collecting relevant information needed to make an informed decision about your child’s schooling. We know that open days can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve been to a few, and they are renowned for having lots of information coming from all angles. So how do you ensure you get an authentic overview of the school, representative of what it is that your individual child needs, and not just a highlight reel of their high achievers? We’ve compiled a list of 10 important questions to ask when touring a school for the first time to help you make an informed decision about whether this may be the right school for your child.

Starting Primary School

The transition from Kindergarten to Primary School is a big one for families. Being away from home and parents/guardians is a big adjustment, but a wonderful opportunity to build independence and build on their education started in their early years. Open days are a great opportunity for parents to see the school in action, meet teachers and students, see the classrooms and facilities, and gain an insight into the curriculum their child will be taught. Here are some specific questions to ask when touring Primary Schools.

  1. What is the child-to-teacher ratio?
  2. How do you support high/low achievers?
  3. How do you tackle developmental milestones that occur during these years?
  4. What specialist classes are available?
  5. Is there a homework policy? How much and what is it?
  6. How are issues resolved between children?
  7. Do you offer before and after school care?
  8. Do you have composite classes?
  9. Do preps start off with a full 5-day program at school?
  10. How is wellbeing incorporated into the curriculum?

Transitioning to Secondary School

Commencing Senior School presents a completely new set of challenges for students and their families. Senior School provides students with more choice, more opportunities across co-curricular and extracurricular activities, more independence, new relationships, and guidance to build their future pathways.

We know that confidence and uncertainty can be at their lowest point when entering this stage of a student’s educational journey, so a good start in the right environment is integral to the development of their self-worth and self-identity.

Again, we believe attending school open days gives parents and students the opportunity to visit the school as a family and make informed decisions about what is the best fit for the continuation of their child’s learning journey. Involving your child in the decision-making process allows them to communicate what a good school environment looks like for them, rather than making assumptions based on your own biases.

Secondary School open days draw big crowds so be sure to reserve your place in advance. On the day, students will have the opportunity to see firsthand the facilities and opportunities on offer, and parents can tour the grounds, chat with teachers and ask questions about their child's education. To help guide these conversations, here are 10 specific questions to ask at your next Senior School Open Day.

  1. What extracurricular opportunities (sports, clubs, community service, competitions) are available for students?
  2. What are your average class sizes?
  3. How are students supported to make important decisions about their education?
  4. Does the school offer career planning for students?
  5. How do your students get extra help if they need it?
  6. How is conflict between students handled?
  7. How does the school perform in VCE? Do they have University pathways?
  8. How do you communicate students’ academic growth to parents? How is this tracked?
  9. How is mental health and wellbeing incorporated into the curriculum?
  10. What is the school’s vision for the next 5 years?

Questions about your child’s education needs?

At Toorak, we have the resources and experience to meet a wide range of education needs. Whether you’re looking for an Early Learning program, opportunities for on-campus boarding, or international enrolments, we would be delighted to discuss your child’s learning journey with you.

Ready for Open Day?

Now that you have your questions ready we hope to provide every opportunity for you to learn more about our school, and feel part of our community from the very beginning, at our upcoming Open Day on Saturday 24 February

For more information about Toorak College visit our website, or register to reserve your place on a small group tour of our beautiful Mornington Peninsula campus.

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