The Headteacher column with Wilberfoss CofE Primary School’s Kris Henderson

Kris Henderson, headteacher at Wilberfoss CofE Primary School.
Kris Henderson, headteacher at Wilberfoss CofE Primary School.

It is approaching the time of year where parents feel the stress and dilemma of choosing the right school to develop their child in the next stage of their education.

Whether you are looking for a primary school or secondary school the choices can sometimes feel overwhelming and I get asked by parents the same question frequently – ‘What would you do?’

We believe in providing opportunities to shine.

We believe in providing opportunities to shine.

My honest answer is to never pick a school for your child without visiting.

That initial impression is so important – I would never advise anyone to look at outcomes or Ofsted grading as a sole determiner to choosing the environment for your child to best develop.

An Ofsted report is a snapshot in a one or two-day period and can often be based on historical data and of a current circumstance that can change at any given point.

More importantly, does the school feel like somewhere you want your child to be?

What does the school stand for and does their ethos fit yours? These questions are the key ones to ask yourself as you walk around.

I personally love showing people around our school because I am proud of what we have created and would actively encourage anyone to visit us to see for themselves.

At Wilberfoss, we firmly believe it is our job to grown good people who make a difference in the wider community and the world and we believe in providing opportunities for everyone to shine – be it academically; on a stage; through the arts or on the sport field. Likewise, we think that it is important to experience other types of learning out of school, for example dance, swimming, football, musical instruments etc., and our homework policy reflects this as we purely focus on the basics to ensure everyone has the time to do those other things and celebrate family time. Not everyone may agree with this, so it is important to find out.

Ultimately we have a vision for our school that is derived from our staff, parents and children and we honour that as much as we can – we believe in it and we own it.

When you visit schools for your child, do you believe in what they stand for?

If not, cast your net wider and find the school that feels right for your child.

As John Dewey once said: “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”