It's that time. Y6. Yikes. Anyone with any ideas on anything partic to look out for in choosing school for dd. current top runners are local school she can walk to but where none of her close friends are likely to go or one further away - hour's journey - and some of her friends may go there. We're on London so children disperse v widely.
Know any change is hard for our dcs. I'm leaning towards the closer one as great to have your friends living close when a teenager. Both have strong pastoral care and are roughly the same size. Dd is likely to want to go where she thinks some of her friends will go but her closest are likely to go private.
She can be shy but usually rubs along and makes friends in new groups.
No way would we have let our DD1 decide. She is young in year so would have been making decision when only recently turned 10. We said we would listen to her but we would make decision.
We didn't think choosing a school based on current friends was worth it as friends change as they go to secondary. Also if you make the effort, having a second set of friends out of school can be good.
We too looked for strong pastoral care. Also good at getting the most out of children with similar academic ability to ours.
If you are worried about the transition, flag it up now to your primary. Our LA has a 'transition team' who work with children who may find moving up difficult. This involves extra visits to the chosen school, and discussions on potential issues and how to resolve them etc.
Have you spoken to any of the schools? To my mind, there's a world of difference between 'good pastoral care' and having any knowledge/experience/interest in learning about the type of issues adopted children may have.
My DS is 8 so I have this to look forward to relatively soon(both my DD's went to schools which did both older primary and secondary ages so I never had to go through the secondary application process)
I would be looking for knowledge/experience/willingness to learn about the issues LAC and adopted children can have Strong pastoral care Good communication between home and school (you'd have to talk to other parents to get an accurate picture) Atmosphere in the school (how crowded is it, how noisy, does it feel friendly?). You need to go on one of the day time tours for this, open evenings can be pretty artificial Depending on the child, I would consider friends, because not all children can manage to lose all their old friends and suddenly make new ones. I think it's very dependent on their personality, resilience and social skills level. I've seen some children seperated from all their friends to go to a different secondary school but then not make any new friends and just wind up extremely miserable. IME friends who move up to secondary school together tend to stay good friends for months at least which covers all the initial period of settling down and gives time to develop new friendships while not being alone I would let my child put their opinion in, especially based on the open evenings, but wouldn't let them choose, because they might like the look of a school who have no interest or understanding in LAC/children and crappy care of pupils needs. Academic also a consideration, I wouldn't personally look for a school with great results only, but not terrible results and good with helping the kids. OFSTED report might help you
IME of London comps good pastoral is likely to go hand in hand with decent results. Unlikely that a school working with an inner city intake would get good results without paying attention to the whole child iyswim?
Could you arrange to meet with the SENCOs? They can be very very good and very very bad...