As a parent, there are some crucial steps you have to take before you can make a final decision in choosing a particular primary school:
You have to ask yourself the fundamental question; why do I want my child to receive primary education in the first place?
Goals frequently mentioned by parents can be described as follows:
“It is most important that my child feels happy at school and learns to become a self-conscious person. Primary schools should stimulate their pupils to discover their own unique talents and help them achieve their full potential.”
“Primary school is the place best suited for your child to develop socially.”
“Above all, school is the place where my child should learn the knowledge and abilities that he (or she) needs in our current and future society. Primary schools should also prepare their pupils in the best possible way for continuation schooling.”
Of course, it is also possible that you attach importance to all of the above mentioned goals.
So far, do your own goals match the various goals a primary school itself pursues?
(See the Onion-model that is depicted in the Keuzegids Basisonderwijs, available on www.basisonderwijs.nu)
The answers to the questions mentioned above will help you to develop your own personal criteria that you can use to assess primary schools. If you end up with abstract criteria like “good educational quality” or “the school needs to have a good atmosphere,” you might have to narrow your definitions. As a parent, what precisely do you mean by good quality in education? A definition could be, “a primary school obtains high scores in standardized tests such as CITO-tests” or “my child is optimally trained in using his or her social skills.” How do you define a good atmosphere at school? It could mean “a quiet environment” or “a lively setting.”
How many options do you have? Do you have freedom of choice? To determine this, you have to check out how many primary schools are present in your direct environment. What are the schools you can choose from and which educational concept do they use?
You might want to visit several (types of) primary schools to see if they meet your personal criteria. During these visits, you should pay attention to a number of key features that can clearly differentiate between schools. These are described in more detail in the more extended version of this step-by-step plan that you can download for free after subscription. (only in Dutch)
You could check out the educational results of primary schools that are potentially suited. In the extended version of the Step-by-Step Plan you find useful tips that can be of help in finding and analyzing school results. There is also a series of questions included that you (or the school principle or teacher that provides you with information) will need to answer in order to get a complete picture of a school’s results.
Be sure to get information about a primary school from the correct sources. Who are the people that can give you the most reliable information about a school? Perhaps it is the principal, the teachers or other parents. This is further discussed in the extended version of the step-by-step plan.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE STEP-BY-STEP PLAN?
Selecting the right primary school for your child can be a hard task. We are happy to provide you with some extra guidance in this process by offering you an extended step-by-step plan. You can even download this plan for free. The only thing you have to do is to fill in the form on Stappenplan bij schoolkeuze, leaving us with your name and email address. After you have subscribed, you will receive an email with a link that enables you to download a PDF version of the step-by-step plan.