The Brabyns Guide to Navigating School Open Days

Posted: 15th February 2024

Navigating School Open Days: A Guide to Making Informed Choices for Your Child’s Education

Choosing the right school for your child is a significant decision that requires extensive research. School open days offer an invaluable opportunity to explore the environment, meet educators, and gain insights into the school’s culture. In this guide, we provide you with an overview of what to look for at a school open day and suggest some useful questions to ensure informed decision-making.

  1. How warm and welcoming is the atmosphere? 

When you arrive at the open day, pay attention to the atmosphere. A warm and welcoming environment is often indicative of a positive school culture. Take note of how staff and current students interact with visitors. Equally significant is observing how staff and pupils interact with each other when not directly engaging with visitors. This will provide a more precise insight into the overall warmth of the school atmosphere and community.

  1. Explore the facilities

Assess the learning environment and envision your child in that space. Look for tidy classrooms, displays that showcase and celebrate the work of pupils and quality educational materials such as charts, maps, and learning aids to support learning. 

Examine how schools embrace the space available to them and enjoy off site facilities in the community and local area. Make sure to enquire about how frequently these are used and how pupils travel to these facilities. 

  1. Discover the curriculum

Learn about the school’s curriculum and educational philosophy. Consider whether the school offers a well-rounded education that includes not only academics but also extracurricular activities, arts, and sports. This will give you a sense of how the school supports the holistic development of students.

  1. Speak to as many people as possible 

Take any opportunity to strike a conversation with the headteacher, teachers of all year groups, office staff, pupils and existing parents. This will allow you to build an authentic picture of the school from a number of perspectives. Does what they say match up with the school’s ethos, values and priorities? Do the teachers speak genuinely and passionately? Are the pupils polite and confident?


Useful Questions to Ask


  • How do the school’s values and ethos permeate everyday school life?
  • How does the school support students with different learning styles or needs?
  • What extracurricular activities are offered to enhance the overall development of students?
  • How does the school incorporate technology into the learning experience?
  • How is student progress assessed?
  • How do pupils perform compared to the national average?
  • How are teachers and staff trained to handle diversity and promote an inclusive environment?
  • What measures does the school have in place to ensure the safety and well-being of students?
  • How does the school communicate with parents regarding student progress and school events?
  • Can you provide examples of how the school fosters a sense of community among students and parents?
  • What resources and support systems are in place to help students navigate their academic and personal challenges?


Questions to ask pupils


  • What do you do during break times?
  • What is the headteacher like?
  • What subjects do you enjoy the most? What subjects do you enjoy the least?
  • What extracurricular activities would you recommend?
  • Are there any school traditions or events that you particularly look forward to?


Visit Brabyns Preparatory School

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Peak District in the small town of Marple, Brabyns Preparatory School is a co-educational independent day school and nursery for children aged two to eleven years.

Our unique surroundings and warm family ethos provide a peaceful and nurturing environment for the positive development and growth of all children at the school. Children are engaged with learning and given the support, encouragement and freedom they need to develop through exploring new opportunities.

We acknowledge and appreciate each child’s individual strengths and characteristics. They are instilled with confidence in our happy, caring environment whilst developing excellent life values and skills. This sits alongside their educational development to ensure every child is inspired to reach their potential.

Find out more about our forthcoming 2024 Open Events 

Brabyns Whole School and Nursery Discovery Morning – Saturday 2 March 2024

On Saturday 2 March we are opening our doors from 10am-12pm to welcome prospective parents for tours of our beautiful school and nursery. Meet Mrs Carrasco along with our incredible team and find out why Brabyns is so special.

Brabyns Reception Open Morning – Friday 19 April 2024

Are you looking for a Reception place for September 2024?

Parents and children are invited to join us for a morning of specialist teaching and creative play.  Meet Mrs Carrasco, Miss Hobson and our Early Years team and discover how Brabyns’ indoor and outdoor environments and incredible opportunities inspire, stimulate, motivate and challenge our children.

We believe that our Reception class provides the perfect foundation for your child’s Independent School journey, promoting a love of learning and intellectual curiosity – a winning formula!

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