To change DD's secondary school application preference at last minute?

(30 Posts)
UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Mon 31-Oct-16 12:58:37

DD is yr6 and we submitted the application a couple of weeks ago.

However since then I am having a wobble.

School one is a lovely school, all girls and they have a great feel and like they enable middle ability students to push themselves and achieve better results etc, plus they have the important to my dd netball and hockey teams that are very active. However is a good 90 minute walk along a straight but very busy road. or two stops on the train and a 15 minute walk either end.

school two, is much closer to home, as in a ten minute walk from home, mixed comp, had a few changes over the years. the old head has left due to illness and the new head genuinely seems to care for the children and want to turn the school around and get it back up to the desirable school it once was.

they both are Ofsted good.

I was happy to support dd's choice of the all girls as the first choice however I've now considered the logistics and cant see how we can go from a rather young for age child to one who in September will be capable of getting on a train by herself and not ending up in waterloo where the train terminates.

also her primary school friends will all be going to the second choice school and she is quite a meak character who doesn't make friends easily but usually makes strong friendships. So im concerned that going to a school where maybe one friend might go as well, that she will struggle to establish new friends.

I have until 23.59 tonight to change the preference. I cant help feeling that she has chosen the first choice because her father has made a big deal of what a great school it is and how he really wants her to go there.

We have two older boys, one went to the second choice school and did have issues with bullying, but the school has changed a lot since then and he went there after moving area and not knowing anyone because his friends were all still in the old area that we lived in.

Sorry this is an incoherent ramble, but I am really doubting our choices. The area we live in it is more than likely that first choice will be given even if it isn't immediately last year everyone on the wait list got in. So its not a case like a lot of other areas whereby you put your first choice but you are unlikely to get it and get catchment anyway.

Trifleorbust Mon 31-Oct-16 13:04:51

I think if your only concerns about her first choice school are whether or not she will be able to make friends and take herself two stops on the train, let her apply there as first choice. You can always do a few dummy runs with her - she will get used to it - and most people make friends at school even when they are a bit shy. Girls do tend to do better in single sex and it has the clubs she is interested in.

Seeline Mon 31-Oct-16 13:14:15

Kids grow up a lot between now and secondary - the train journey should be fine if you practice it with her over the summer. There will probably be other girls from the school that she can follow too.
I wouldn't worry too much about friends either. Lots of the girls won't know others, and they make new friends very quickly. If she is keen on sport, she will have a great opportunity to make friends with the other girls there rather than having to rely on lessons time.
I am a great believer in single sex education for girls, and if that is where your DD wants to go, then I would stick with it.

TheScaryFairy Mon 31-Oct-16 13:16:04

If her brother has experience of being bullied at the second one I would definitely stick with the first one.

And she will be fine with the journey, it's really not that long.

NavyandWhite Mon 31-Oct-16 13:24:51

I think I'd stick with one. You can practise the train run as many times you think she needs it. Also they don't stay meek 11 year olds for very long. She will make new friends I'm sure.

WhirlwindHugs Mon 31-Oct-16 13:34:10

I'd stick with one as well.

The train journey is very manageable - she might only know one child from her primary doing the same but there will be lots of other kids, year 8s that she might remember from the year before etc getting trains and walking the same way too.

I bet it will build her confidence too. I did a similar journey as a child and really enjoyed it despite being shy!

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 31-Oct-16 13:37:48

I'd go with school two. A 90 minute walk each way alone along a very busy road is too much.

Likewise two trains & a 15 minute walk. Not for an 11 year old.

NavyandWhite Mon 31-Oct-16 13:39:31

Is it two trains or two stops?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 31-Oct-16 13:43:26

Sorry I misread blush. Two stops seems more manageable!

JaniceBattersby Mon 31-Oct-16 13:46:35

I'd go with the local school. The logistics of school one sound hellish. What about school clubs in winter etc? She'll be home so late and be shattered, with little time left to do homework. Plus, all her friends will love miles away.

I went to a very good school that was an hour away. It was a nightmare trying to see friends in the holidays and I never really felt at home there and was consequently mildly unhappy for the whole five years. I'm no longer friends with anyone I went to secondary school with, which makes me pretty sad.

HanYOLO Mon 31-Oct-16 13:48:56

DS takes a train and a bus to get to his secondary, where he knew no-one at all BUT he is absolutely unshakeably determined to go to it (it's a brilliant school and good fit for him in every other way). Others travel further.

Nonetheless, a half term in, I would say that there is a LOT to be said for going to school in your own community. Not least of which is time after school, more relaxed mornings, closer for socialising, knowing more folk.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Mon 31-Oct-16 14:03:46

What I should also have said is ds2 goes to the grammar school which is a long journey in the other direction. However he was determined to go there and has a completely different personality to his sister.

He makes friends easily. However because if the distance away from home he dies the have much if a social life. He's yr10 now and other than his sporting activities he rarely goes out. Yes hesin the PS4 talking to school friends but they rarely meet to go to town or the cinema etc. This seems really sad to me as part of secondary school was the social aspect.

Rather selfishly I feel that school one means I will be resigned to playing taxi far more frequently than I would like.

Until I met the new head of second choice and has a day time tour I would not even have considered it for second choice. I really believe in the new head though. His chat was very heartfelt and you just know he will do what he says.

School one used to be a grammar and still has that feel. You know they have expectations and will push the girls to try harder. They appear to have a good interhouse banter. The sports matches and quizzes and debates.

I'm also wondering if dd will find the pressure too much. What I initially thought would be fantastic for an average ability student to be pushed to do the utmost best and be expected to try hard at everything. Does it have the potential to back fire for a student who might crack under such pressure?

Dh is adamant that school one stays first choice. But has said that if dd was offered second choice we would t appeal as it would t be fair on dd to miss out on the settling in days etc.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Mon 31-Oct-16 14:04:35

Apologies for the typos

NavyandWhite Mon 31-Oct-16 14:08:13

Is DD adamant she goes to school one?

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Mon 31-Oct-16 14:18:36

She just says if I get in.

Historically the school has been oversubscribed. Recently two new school opened in the area which meant that previously children from villages on the outskirts would have gone here as it was the closest but now the new schools have opened closer to the villages and outskirts of the town so people choose them to save on the very long journey.

So when we first discussed the school one, it was always very much a long shot and oh wouldn't it be nice if you could get in. We could always try but you know realistically it will be school two (catchment) but because of these schools it's now a real possibility and I think dd doesn't realise that.

I think she genuinely likes school one but would rather go with her friends to school two. She just doesn't want to disappoint her dad by rejecting his choice as he really has made such a big deal about wanting her to go to school one.

By changing the order of choice I would also need to omit the truth from dh and just say oh what a shame dd got school two. Oh well let's get excited and prepare. blush

NavyandWhite Mon 31-Oct-16 14:20:57

Ack I wouldn't lie to DH TBH.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Mon 31-Oct-16 14:23:41

I know. I was trying to think of it as not fully informing him rather than lying. confused

The more I think about it the more I think school two would be a better fit for dd.

babynumber3eek Mon 31-Oct-16 14:25:09

I'd certainly recommend that you leave your current choice as it is. Don't lie to your daughter about something so important. Yes, it's not ideal for logistics but it sounds like she's excited about her future there - very important.

If she doesn't get in then that's one thing but don't lie - how would you feel if she were indeed bullied or just unhappy? If the journey is indeed too much then you can always change schools later down the line (it's not the end of the world!).

flowery Mon 31-Oct-16 14:39:43

Why would you lie to DH rather than discussing it with him and making a decision together? How odd. confused

Just imagining the uproar on here if someone started a thread having discovered their DH had done something similar behind their back...

user1475249801 Mon 31-Oct-16 15:00:57

The more I think about it the more I think school two would be a better fit for dd.

The reasons you gave initially were a bit rubbish and I think you're now trying to justify your dishonest and controlling behaviour. It would 100% be lying to do this and I would lose all respect for my partner if he sneakily decided to do this without discussing it first.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Mon 31-Oct-16 15:50:18

Um it's dh that has the controlling behaviour hence the need to lie. He has not been open to discussion about the order of choices at all.

HereIAm20 Mon 31-Oct-16 15:52:48

Personally I would stick with school one

SerendipityPhenomenon Mon 31-Oct-16 16:05:04

How sure are you that your DD would even get a place in school 1? At first I thought you were in my local borough where the situation is very similar, though your latest post suggests that I'm wrong about that, and the school I thought you meant when you were talking about school 1 is so popular that someone who lives 90 minutes' walk away would stand zero chance of getting in. And if school 1 really is popular and oversubscribed, I suspect that that is the case anyway. So you may well be better off going for school 2 because otherwise you will just be wasting one of your choices and risk getting a school that isn't one of your preferences at all.

Cherryskypie Mon 31-Oct-16 16:08:35

Friendships can totally change when they start secondary. Half an hour walking and two stops on the train doesn't sound like a big deal.

You have mentioned (i) the good feel of school one, (ii) the way the encourage middle ability DC (iii) netball and hockey teams. School two seems to be closer and has some DC going that she knows. Neither of those are positives about the actual school!

Cherryskypie Mon 31-Oct-16 16:13:41

Most DC would rather go where their friends are going. That doesn't mean it's the right choice. It just means that the unknown is always a bit frightening at first and familiarity is comforting.

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