If your child is moving on to secondary school in September, you will need to apply for a place. This can be bewildering, particularly if it’s your first experience of the transition, and you may be wondering what you should be considering and how to navigate the process. Here are some tips you may find helpful.
wHAT DO YOU want for your child?
All children are different and it is a good idea to thinking about what kind of school you want for your child. Consider things like educational ethos, gender mix, religious denomination, and any particular facilities or expertise your child will need. At City Academy we welcome children of all abilities, including those with Special Educational Needs, and are committed to helping each one reach their potential.
It is important to involve your child in the decision – but don’t be surprised if they just want to go to the same school as their friends! It’s also wise to choose a school your child can travel to confidently on their own.
Research and planning
There are plenty of sources of information you can tap into to find out about schools in your area. Look at websites to explore what the different schools offer. Look at Ofsted reports https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50215483 – it’s worth checking these are recent, and also reading them in full (as single word judgements won’t give you the full picture).
Speak to friends and family, and also your child’s current school, which will have a good impression of their strengths and needs, as well as useful insights into local secondary schools.
Attend the open event
Open events are a great opportunity to visit a school, see the facilities, and meet staff and students. The headteacher will usually give a presentation – and whether they focus on exam results, pastoral care or learning environment, you will be able to gain an impression of the school’s overall values and priorities. It is also helpful to look at how students and staff interact. Ask about clubs, activities and opportunities. At City Academy we offer [x and y], and we work with music specialists such as the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on our COREus choir programme.
book a personal visit
Once you have had an initial visit, it’s a good idea to arrange a personal meeting, when you can explore in more depth the style of teaching and learning, academic approach, sense of community and ask about any particular requirements your child may have. You can also follow the school on social media, and register for newsletters, to get a better picture of what everyday life could be like for your child. And please do ask questions – this is a key decision, and we want to help ensure you feel confident in your choice.
remember the application deadline!
The deadline to apply for secondary schools is Tuesday 31 October. You can apply online via Birmingham City Council. Give yourself enough time to create an account and explore the application form. You can access free wifi in your local library and translate the Council website into 60 different languages. The really important thing is to get your application in on time – if your application is late, you may not get your preferred choice.
Please do get in touch if we can help!