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News > School News > How to Choose Your Primary School

How to Choose Your Primary School

13 Apr 2023
School News

Starting school is one of our most important firsts and is likely to be one of your own personal first memories. Choosing a school is one of the most important decisions a parent will make for their child.

Bury Grammar School (BGS) is an all-through school, so once you begin school with us the next key educational decision comes at age 18 when your child is choosing a university – but don’t worry, here at Bury Grammar School we will support you every step of the way!

Choosing a school usually involves your head and your heart and can feel a little overwhelming at times. We understand the importance of getting these first steps into education just right, and the impact this has on forging the way to future personal happiness and success. You know your child better than anyone else and if you think and feel that a school is the right fit, it usually is!

So how do you choose the right school?

The first thing you should do is a little research.

Take a look at the information available online as this should provide you with a peripheral view of the school and its community. Here you should find information on the team, the curriculum, the pastoral care, the enrichment opportunities and wrap around care, the facilities, and more.

Next, you should arrange a visit to the school; here your intuition will serve you well.

If you feel welcomed during your visit and the staff are knowledgeable, then this is a great initial indicator. You should consider the facilities and whether they will enhance learning and if there is lots of space to play and learn, both indoors and outdoors. Importantly, speak to the pupils, ask them questions about their school – they will most certainly give you a direct answer! Key questions might include ‘do pupils enjoy lessons’ and ‘do they feel listened to at school’.

The most important factor in a child’s schooling is the teacher in front of them. We all remember the most inspiring teachers, those who make a difference to our lives. Meeting the teachers at the school is important when forming an opinion; you are looking for articulate, knowledgeable and friendly members of staff, including the support staff, who interact well with your child – it may sound obvious, but it is crucial, as they will be the role models who are interacting with your child on a daily basis in their foundation years. We believe children learn best when they are having fun and our experienced staff are experts in inspiring young, enquiring minds - we all need a fabulous mentor in life! Our teachers are superb here, and the best possible guides for your children through their education.

Speak with the leaders of the school and with the school community too. The Principal will be able to provide you with the strategic vision for the school, its aims and ethos. This directly impacts your child’s outcomes and will help you to understand how the school will meet your child’s needs and help them to be the very best they can be.

Primary school is the foundation for learning, and we are proud that our pupils display confidence and ambition, which enables them to gain knowledge, develop an enquiring mind and grow into independent learners who are prepared for the next stage of their education.

A great school has open and friendly dialogue. Be sure to make your own informed choice; what is right for your friend or neighbour, may not be right for you and your child.

The alumni of the school may also interest you and links to pupils of the past may inspire you. You can read a little about some of our past pupils on our website: Distinguished Alumni - Bury Grammar School

Enquire about the curriculum. Check the school has a robust, energetic programme of study and ask to see where children learn across the school campus.

Mastery in English and Maths is a given at our School. Why restrict your child’s worldview to these areas? We like to open our children’s experiences beyond the core curriculum to learning Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, RS, French, Spanish, Art, Drama, Design Technology, Music, IT, PE, and Sport.

Make sure you are clear about how your child will be supported to make individual progress and enquire about the school’s assessment process.

Ensure the curriculum is wide-ranging and balanced, covering academic expectations whilst including a broad academic, creative, and cultural education that fosters a love of learning and ambition in achievement.

For example, a school with an Orchestra or Strings group usually tells you there are specialist teachers using quality resources for this subject, likewise for Sport if there are plenty of sports teams to join.

BGS is both a traditional and a modern, forward-looking school. As a Microsoft flagship school, all our pupils have a Surface device to enhance their learning.

At BGS, we encourage our children to get involved, as we know that exploring interests and developing skills at an early age provides the beginnings of a lifetime of interests and enjoyment. If you agree that a happy and fulfilled child is a busy child, you’ll be delighted to know we have over 60 extra-curricular activities on offer every week for Primary pupils!

Enrichment should be plentiful and fulfilling for the pupils. An excellent enrichment programme not only immerses a child in new experiences to challenge themselves and explore, but also provides opportunities to experience new activities which may become lifelong passions, whilst often making friends along the way. Additionally, this will provide a broader ‘Wrap Around Care’ to enable you as a parent to work around busy work commitments whilst carefree fun is being had. Check timings of Before and After School Clubs to make sure your school run can be stress free. At BGS we are open from 7.30am to 6pm as we know parents lead busy lives and we are keen to support family life.

Alongside the opportunities for personal experience and growth, consider the variety and location of trips, the number and range of visits and the diversity and influence of visitors to school.

Here at BGS, we believe that communication is the essential collaboration and partnership between pupil, families, and school. Find out how often school communicates with families, what information you can expect to receive and how often. Here at BGS our pupils thrive thanks to our excellent partnership between pupil, home, and school. For us, good communication is vital, and we will always seek to communicate positively, honestly, and openly with pupils and parents. At BGS we have a ParentPortal for assessments and reports, an online Homework Diary for pupils and parents to access, and we write to parents every week via our weekly newsletter to name but a few!

It is important to remember that each school is unique.

So, what is the result of a BGS Primary Division education? The best possible start, and potential to succeed, with an all through school that will help your child throughout their educational journey until they are ready for university!

Be confident in your search, ask questions and take your child along with you. How the school receives you and your family will provide you with an invaluable insight into the relationships your child can develop in a caring environment.

Best wishes for a successful educational journey! Please do not hesitate to contact us for any help or advice.

Mrs Chrissy Howard,

Bury Grammar School Primary Principal

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