Making the Best Choice for your Child with School Reviewer

school reviewer website

Finding a school is a daunting prospect, especially if where they’ll go is not a cut and dry decision. Maybe, like I do, you live in a city where there are a number of schools in close proximity. Maybe it’s more a case of considering all your options incase they don’t get in to your first choice. Perhaps you’re relocating and are keen to get an idea of the local schools before you commit to an area. Whatever the circumstances, choosing a school is one of the most important decisions we make as parents, and one that comes around faster than we ever imagine.

School Reviewer aims to take the stress out of picking the right school for your child. Simply by entering a location, you’re quickly able to glean information about schools you’re considering. Basic details, such as the number of children attending, Ofsted ratings, and whether the school is an academy, independent or community, are readily available. As is catchment information and academic results. Everything you could possibly want to know about your choice of school is there at your fingertips, easy to navigate, and with over twenty-five thousands schools listed, that makes School Reviewer a fantastic resource. 

school reviewer website
image taken from http://www.schoolreviewer.co.uk/

Extra Features of School Reviewer

What makes School Reviewer stand out further are its extra features. School uniform, for instance, can be expensive – especially if your school includes mandatory branding as part of their uniform. School Reviewer has introduced a buy and sell area for parents to list preloved uniform and other relevant items. There’s a forum for parents, which can help to ease another stress out of the beginning of school – the school playground! We’ve all been there. We all know the school playground is one of the cliquiest places there is. Having a place online to get to know other parents and find your tribe can only be a good thing. Additionally, School Reviewer offers video walk throughs on how to score that coveted 100% on exams such as Maths GCSE and SATs. 

school reviewer website
image taken from http://www.schoolreviewer.co.uk/

School Reviewer is not just an online resource for schools. These days more and more parents are employing private tutors to enhance their child’s education. Tapping into this market, the website is aiming to be the most trusted and comprehensive listings site for tutors and parents across the country, so parents can be sure they’ll be able to find the right tutor for their child’s needs.

For now, both my children are happy and settled in their primary school, and I’ve no reason to move them. But circumstances can change, people can move on, and who knows what schools will be like when it’s time to look at secondary education. I’m sure School Reviewer will prove to be a valuable resource for parents across the country. 

 

 

 

 

Back to School with Education Quizzes

Education Quizzes

With my two bright, sparky children gearing up to head back to school in a couple of weeks, I’m beginning to wonder what the next year will hold for them. Ruby’s heading into year four, and so is used to the general hustle and bustle of junior school. Elliot, however, has had a full year of free-flow play-based learning in reception, and year one is going to prove pretty different. I foresee a distinct lack of mud kitchen and busy bee time in his future, and a fair bit more sitting down and good listening. Not that he’ll have an issue with that; his new teacher legit looks like Princess Jasmine! 

But that’s not to say that his education is going to become boring and uninspiring. One of the things I love best about the primary school my two go to is how engaging the teachers make it. How much effort they put into making learning a very positive experience for all the children. Because one thing learning should never ever be is boring. How can you foster a love of learning new things if the teaching methods are dull? Is it not human nature to feed off each other’s enthusiasms? Is that not exactly one of the ways we get drawn to people?

In any case, I digress. 

I am a firm believer that learning absolutely does not begin and end in the classroom, and one of the ways I’ve been preparing Elliot for the dizzy heights of year one is by engaging him in a few education quizzes. He’s got smarts, that one, and sped through a lot of the KS1 material, but that said, he also found some of it trickier to manage, so I feel there’s a nice balance there. It’s good to be able to gauge how he’s doing. And anything that’s managed to successfully lure him away from Minecraft and PopularMMOs videos on YouTube for a few minutes gets a thumbs up from me. For a few brief moments I was concerned his brain may have rotted to mush in the month he’s been off school, but not so. Colour me assured. 

education quizzes

A subscription to Education Quizzes costs £7.50/month, and can be cancelled at any time. Additionally, they are keen to sell to schools as an extra learning resource for students, which can only be a good thing. 

Having proved he is well aware of the difference between capital and lower case letters, and knows all the short versions of the months, Elliot skipped off as I was writing this. It’s remarkably quiet upstairs, save for shrieks of his sister imploring him to enchant the pig… enchant the pig!

I guess we’re back on Minecraft, then. 

 

*Disclaimer. This post is in association with Education Quizzes. All opinions and experiences are my own, but I have been compensated for this post. 

Every Day’s a School Day

P&O Cruises Barcelona Sagrada Familia 1

Last week I took my five year old out of school for a week to go on a cruise

The first thing a lot of people asked me when I said I was doing it was “what about school? Won’t they mind? Won’t her education suffer?”

And that got me thinking.  Would her education suffer?  Was taking her out of formal education for a week going to hold her back?  Would she come back and stress over catching up with her peers?  When you’re five, is a classroom environment more important than immersive learning?  So I approached her teacher and asked for her thoughts.  I explained the situation; how I was reviewing the cruise and that the opportunity was for a family, so it was expected that my daughter would come along and experience the children’s facilities on board.  I asked if there was anything we could take with us to keep her on track.  Perhaps some work sheets or some extra reading books.

“Just get her reading to you” the teacher had said, “maybe a bit of number work if you can, and some writing practice.  But mainly, just enjoy the experience.”

With those words in mind, off we went. 

P&O Cruises Barcelona Sagrada Familia 1Like a lot of five year olds, Ruby has a thirst for learning, and an active imagination.  And there is no denying she’s an incredibly bright spark.  She loves going to school each day, and thrives on doing well; her bedroom walls plastered with certificates for her reading, creativity and all round enthusiasm.  She often amazes me with her ability to recall little details and easily remembers things I had long forgotten.  Learning comes easily to Ruby and I am grateful she goes to a school where her teachers have nurtured that love of learning and have provided her with creative topics and projects that have piqued her interest.  When she came home one day, this little four year old, in the middle of her reception year, and informed me they were learning about the works of Antonio Gaudí, and asked me what I could tell her about his lizard statue.  Well, let’s just say my mind was blown.  

And so, almost a year later,  when I told her the cruise ship would be stopping off at Barcelona, and she would be able to see a lot of Gaudí architecture for herself, it was her turn to be astonished.  Her excitement was palpable.

BCN Metro

The day we docked at Barcelona, we ate breakfast in Plaça de Catalunya, where she heard me speaking Spanish, and learnt how to say “hello” and “goodbye” and “coffee with milk”.  We took a couple of trips on the Barcelona Metro, where she saw for herself how children are regarded on the Continent (much better than on the London Underground where they are generally considered a nuisance at best.  Both my children were offered seats and cooed over by other passengers)  We took her to look at what is probably Gaudí’s most famous work, Sagrada Família, which she stared at, wide eyed and open mouthed for minutes on end, before snapping a few photos on her camera and declaring it to be amazing.  She ate Tapas for lunch, and counted out Euros to buy herself a little souvenir before we headed back to the ship.  

Geography, art, culture, numeracy and language all in one morning.  I make that a pretty good day’s learning.  Later on, when I asked her what she thought of Barcelona, she said it was wonderful, and fantastic, and that she’d like to go back for a longer visit another day.  

BCN EurosBack on board the ship, she learnt about what its like living on a boat; what a muster station is, for instance, and how to put on a lifejacket.  She learnt how to behave in restaurants she wouldn’t usually get the chance to eat in, and how it’s really not polite to rip off a napkin a kindly, well meaning waiter had loosely tied around her neck to stop her dress getting dirty.  She’s a shy being, and tends to hide away when unfamiliar people speak to her, but by the end of the week her confidence had grown, and chatting to grown ups wasn’t such an obstacle for her. 

Ruby was back in school this week, bright eyed, bushy tailed and armed with a project she’d completed throughout our trip.  It was a scrapbook of all the places we’d visited and included postcards, attraction tickets, leaflets, maps, photos she’d taken and a daily diary she’d written.  It wasn’t something we were asked to do, but part of me wanted her to have something tangible to take back, some kind of proof that my removing her for a week had been worth it, and beneficial, and she hadn’t just had a week of lazing around on a boat at someone else’s expense with a couple of half-day jaunts on land thrown in for good measure.  I’m glad we made that effort: so keen, she was, to show it to her teacher that I barely got a glance back when I dropped her off, let alone a kiss goodbye.

I understand the need for children to be in school.  Really, I do, and I don’t condone truancy.  I don’t home school – I am the first to admit I simply don’t have the patience.  And I know she gets a far more stable, structured education at school than I could ever hope to give her at home.  But just because she spent the week out of the classroom doesn’t mean our cruise wasn’t a week of full on learning for her.  

Would she have been quite so interested in Barcelona had she not learnt about Gaudí’s salamander last year? Hard to say.  It might have just been another bustling city to her, with an underground system to get around on, an enormous, unfinished cathedral she didn’t understand the significance of, and a port to leave from in the afternoon.  

Either way, I don’t believe for a second her education has suffered from that week off.  If anything, it has enhanced it.  Every day is, indeed, a school day.  And as for whether the school minded or not, I have no idea: despite chasing, I never got her holiday form back.  

Disclosure: We got to visit Barcelona and see Gaudí’s beautiful architecture thanks to P&O Cruises, who sponsored our cruise.  All opinions are our own.