For all the league tables, glossy brochures and reports available to parents when choosing a school for their children, one thing teachers, parents and experts all agree on is that you can't beat an old-fashioned stroll around the school itself.
You can smell if a school is going well. League tables are only part of the picture,
but when you visit the school you can talk to teachers, students parents – even the local estate agents and nearby shop owners, if you want.
Results you can see from a distance – but parents are very sophisticated and astute. They want to dig beneath the surface.
So what should parents be looking for in the course of these visits? Spring is traditionally the busiest time for Introductory Days – Open House events , when parents have the chance to scrutinise everything from the standards of the bathroom facilities to the number of extra-curricular events pinned up on the school notice boards.
Open days used to be more a case of parents wanting to check there was no graffiti on the walls and that the buildings were tidy, however now parents want to know about what benefits Istanbul International School can provide for their daughters and sons. Do we use organic materials in our catering ? Do we have business links? Ties to university? How many psychologists are available? Bullying ? Extra – curricular activities? They want to know percentages and numbers.
Some parents see beyond all this exterior stuff and look more at the importance of relationships between teachers and children. In the end the school is chosen not because of the slickest performance or PowerPoint presentation. It is because they see us paying attention to the young people.
We also encourage parents to visit us during the course of an actual school day instead of the specially tailored event. Although we don't want to interrupt learning, we can't refuse – parents would rightly question why they can't visit. An advantage of the Open Day is that teachers have time to talk to you – when classes have to be taught, you're not going to get the same attention from the teachers.
For information about our next Introduction Day please ask to be put on the mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org