Choosing a school

(7 Posts)
MrsBW Thu 01-May-14 14:57:47

So, we are looking at choosing a school for (hopefully soon to be DS and DD).

We have identified one which seems to be a winner on paper at least. The head is renowned to be very good, focused on individual pupil outcomes. It happens to be the closest geographically and therefore there are children on our street who go.

I know one of the senior teachers who I have spoken to and who seems to confirm that it is a 'good school' (not in terms of ofsted, more pastorally I mean).

I am in the process of arranging a visit to talk to the Head and Senco - but at the moment everything seems to add up to it being a sensible choice.

How many schools did you visit? How did you look past the 'corporate spin' that I will no doubt get to really understand whether the school was right? Is a big amount of it guess work?

DD and DS are 'behind academically, but have made enormous progress since being with their current FC' according to DC's LA...

I don't know whether just to visit other schools to 'get a feel' because 'going simply on feel' just doesn't seem the right thing to do... it feels like it needs to be more strategic??

Does that make sense?

So, I guess I'm asking - how did you choose and, for those with DC who have been in school for a while, is there anything you wish you'd done differently/wish you'd asked/pearls of wisdom?

Thanks - as always!

morethanpotatoprints Thu 01-May-14 17:20:39

Hello OP

I am adopted, but had no issues as a child.
I was always glad that mum could pick me up or could walk home with mates and be home and playing really quickly.
There is also the benefit of being able to collect in a hurry if need be.
Great that children in the street go too, lots of familiar faces.
Good pastoral care was always important to me as a parent, if a school lacks academically (not saying this one does) you can do something about this at home. Far more difficult to change the environment of a school.
Good luck OP and to me it sounds like this school has several qualities.

Ladyofthehouse Thu 01-May-14 17:28:18

Hi, I think if it's the closest to you that will be really valuable. My dd has only started preschool but struggles massively with any change and it has really helped her to be able to walk home and see people from the area in parks and things. Over school holidays she wants to walk past the nursery too....it seems to help her knowing things are still the same. Being able to walk and take our time has also been really good for bonding.

Obviously it does help that it is a good school too!

Bananaketchup Thu 01-May-14 20:08:49

I had some good advice about this - looking back for the thread I cannot believe it was a year ago! If I've linked right it's here and here although this was for DD who was starting in reception so hadn't been to school before. FWIW I've been extremely happy with my choice.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 02-May-14 07:11:13

Go and see another, if only to confirm your hunch that the closest school is the right one

TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 02-May-14 13:23:34

The advice we had was not to be too swayed by ofsted, but go for the feel of the school.

We went for as small a school as possible, as close to us as possible to make socialising out of school easier (he's on only child.....at the moment!!)

The school we chose had experience of looked after children previously and seemed both aware of the challenges that might arise, but also nicely pragmatic too.

So far, the choice has proven to be the right one. Our son's teacher is great - very understanding and incredibly supportive of him. She's attending two of his LAC reviews since he moved in, so has more insight into his background than our friends or family, but this has helped her understand his behaviour and respond appropriately.

MrsBW Fri 02-May-14 13:27:47

Thanks all - and thanks for those links banana - I knew I'd seen previous threads about this topic, but couldn't find them for the life of me!!

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