This week I am working with School Reviewer, a recently revamped website that helps you to make the best choices when it comes to picking schools. That is most definitely not all the site can do for you though, read on to see why you might need School Reviewer in your life. It is free to use and register on.
Some parts of the site do look a little sparse in places, this is due to it being so new. They will grow in time though, especially the forum parts. There are forums for individual schools and a national one, meaning you can either catch up with parents from your own school or chat to parents from all over the place.
School Reviewer really can be so helpful when it comes to selecting where to send your child , whether it be a primary or secondary school, a nursery or even a college or university. Perfect if you’re pondering over which school to send your child to and want to get some insider knowledge.
Personally I won’t need to use this bit, as I have already applied for my youngest’s 2017 secondary school place. The decision was easy, as his older brother already goes to the secondary school. The reality, that my ‘baby’ is getting ridiculously grown up, is a little harder…
You can easily see which schools are in your local area, by popping the local post code or town name in to the search box. The results are shown in a list and also on a map, to make it easy to see where they all are. Instead of having to search online and then visit each individual school /nursery/college website, you can easily view and compare them on the basics on the one page.
You can also adjust the search results to cover a smaller or wider area, the type of school and schools that provide Special Needs support.
You can then look at each individual school if you wish. You can see where the catchment area is, which will be colour coded on the map when you click to view the catchment area. This is shown as a ‘heat map’, where you can see where most of the children that went to the school the year before lived.
Very helpful, especially if you are considering a house move and want to make sure you can get your children in to a good school there.
You can also see the Ofsted ratings of the schools and download the official Ofsted reports. The SATs results are there for you as well, along with the school’s address, telephone number and website for further investigation. There is also a part on each school, where you can see any reviews that people have written about them.
You could be super helpful and review your own child’s nursery or school. At the moment, not all of the schools have reviews, but as time goes on I can really see this bit being helpful. For a truthful account of what a school is really like, other parents who have experienced it are a great source of information.
The School Reviewer site also has a very handy buy & sell section. You can either choose to buy or sell things nationally or just in your local area. It is free to add listings, and could really help with the costs of expensive logo bearing school jumpers and more.
The resources on the site don’t end there either! You can read posts in their blog all centred around education and growing up, view walk through question by question downloadable videos for GCSE math’s, SATs and 11+ papers. Some of these are free and some do have a fee to pay to view.
I’ve watched some of the SAT’s ones and they are brilliant. The ones I have watched have a woman clearly explaining each question from this year’s SATs paper. She not only explains how you answer the questions, but also what you would need to do to get full marks. I think I’m going to find this part very helpful, as my youngest will be sitting his SATs next year.
His homework over the next year is likely to be centred around old SATs papers, and hopefully these videos will mean that I can actually help him. The maths’ questions especially will be helpful, as maths is definitely not my strength. In fact, when I help with maths homework usually, Simon then needs to correct it afterwards with whichever unfortunate boy asked me for help.
The way that they calculate things in schools now is so different to when I was in school, even a lot of the technical language is different. I am definitely glad that School Reviewer has done the old papers as video clips, it definitely makes in sink in more easily for me and hopefully for my son.
Also considering what YouTube addicts most children seem to be today, I am sure being in video format will make it more likely that they’ll be keen or at least willing to get some revision in.
There is a feature that isn’t fully active on the site at the moment. That is the section where you can search for a tutor locally. Being new, it will take a little while to build up a database of tutors. If you know someone who does tutoring, you should definitely tell them to register as I can see this site being so popular with parents.
Tutors can register for free as well, whereas a lot of sites charge them, so I can’t imagine it will be long before this section is full of tutor options near to you.
Having tried the site out myself, I definitely recommend it. It really does make it so easy to research and decide where your child should receive their education. Not only that, but the site has all sorts of other bonuses and it definitely looks as though those will be getting even better as time goes on.
I love that the site is free to use, easy to use and I think it will really set parents’ minds at rest that they are making the right informed decisions. Some parts of the site do need to grow before they can be a real practical help, but honestly I think this site is on its way to being something truly fantastic.