Rising to the challenge: how a virtual open day and private tours show the full experience of what an independent school is really like

PUBLISHED: 09:30 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:51 17 September 2020

Derby High School will deliver the best of both worlds with a virtual open morning and two weeks of private tours. Picture: Alethea Simpson

Derby High School will deliver the best of both worlds with a virtual open morning and two weeks of private tours. Picture: Alethea Simpson

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How can a school give an authentic flavour to prospective parents and students about what the school experience is like while maintaining social distancing and embracing digital technologies?

Picture: Alethea SimpsonPicture: Alethea Simpson

Derby High School, an independent day school conveniently situated on the outskirts of Derby, will deliver the best of both worlds with a virtual open morning followed by two weeks of private tours.

Head, Amy Chapman, explains how both formats will complement each other and what questions to ask if you’re attending open days.

Q: What questions should I ask at a school open day?

The school is holding their open morning on 3 October and two weeks of private tours will follow after the event. Picture: Alethea SimpsonThe school is holding their open morning on 3 October and two weeks of private tours will follow after the event. Picture: Alethea Simpson

I’d recommend thinking about some key things before you attend an open day or tour which you should be able to ask on the day. To have some questions ready is a good idea, such as:

- How would this school benefit my child?

'It is a good idea to meet the Headteacher and some of the staff and see as many of the facilities on offer as possible during a school visit.' Picture: Alethea Simpson'It is a good idea to meet the Headteacher and some of the staff and see as many of the facilities on offer as possible during a school visit.' Picture: Alethea Simpson

- How does the school support students, both emotionally and academically?

- What are the extra-curricular opportunities?

- What is the admissions process?

Q: What can families expect from your open morning and tours?

Our virtual open morning on 3 October will provide an opportunity for parents and students to experience Derby High from the comfort of their homes. Following a live introduction from me, viewers can hear from key members of staff and enjoy a virtual 360 tour of the campus.

People are often surprised at how big our school grounds are and the drone footage really helps to show the scale of what’s on offer here. We’ll also be showing some of our students’ exceptional work.

After the event, we’ll then have two weeks of private tours which parents can book at a convenient time. Our Head of Primary and I will welcome our visitors before taking them on a tour of our wonderful co-educational, independent day school, catering for pupils aged three to 18, from pre-school to sixth form.

Q: What should I look for during a school visit?

It’s a good idea to meet the Headteacher and some of the staff and see as many of the facilities on offer as possible - whether that’s sport, music, art and design or drama. Also try to gauge if there’s a friendly, happy atmosphere and how the school is achieving academically.

We have been proud of how our students have displayed such an independent and creative spirit over the summer, often going above and beyond the curriculum to produce some exceptional work. We’ll be displaying some of this talent in an exhibition for the open morning and private tours.

To register or find out more visit www.derbyhigh.derby.sch.uk/open-days call 01332 514267 or email admissions@derbyhigh.derby.sch.uk.

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