small school under 50 pupils vs 'big' 170 pupils both village locations.

(93 Posts)
fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 14:22:43

The small one has 3classrooms mixed year classes, intakes tarry between 5-10 (no busy years)plenty of outdoor space but not much extra curricular activity.
In terms of computers etc there is around 5 per room.
Smart boards etc

170 one has one form classes average class size 22-26 but 30 is year 6. Again lots of outdoor space but utilized with lots of extra curricular. Lots of computers equipment etc.

My original view was small class sizes overall anything else...like facilities, technology etc. Now I'm not so sure.

Teachers opinions would be greatly appreciated.

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 14:23:34

vary between 5-10 *on busy years.

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 14:24:33

And *over rule...apologies-predictive text

Kamer Sat 24-Nov-12 14:38:36

I would go for the larger school. 170 pupils divided into one form entry is still not a large school. Less than 50 pupils is a very very limited friendship pool and your DC would be in mixed year age groups throughout school. I doubt there would be much in the way of after school activities also.

Kamer Sat 24-Nov-12 14:40:07

Sorry, just read your last line. I am not a teacher but my DC go to one form entry village school of around 200 pupils.

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 14:53:14

Oh no I appreciate any opinions/advicesmile

Trying to figure what is most important small and nurturing or bigger and more friends, equipment extra curricular opportunities etc.

One is a walk away one is a drive...I'm going round and round very hard choice.

i woudl go for the walk away.
how far is the drive.

cheesesarnie Sat 24-Nov-12 14:56:22

dd went to a 'big' school and loved it.
ds1 went to the same school and really didn't get on so we sent him to a school. he loved it and so did we.
ds2 goes to the small school and loves it.

different strokes and all that.

we have to drive to the smaller school instead of walking to the bigger school which imo is worth it.
ds1 just went up to secondary, no problems going from small school to big school .

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 15:03:09

Small school 5min slow walk!
Bigger ten min drive.

I do have concerns about the future of the small school, as in ability to stay open, funding etc but my concerns maybe unfounded.

The bigger school is a feeder to the secondary I would choose (if it hasn't drastically changed come that time)

cece Sat 24-Nov-12 15:09:05

As a teacher, I would go for the bigger school. More resources and opportunities for friends etc.

As a parent I would prefer a school I could walk to.

IslaValargeone Sat 24-Nov-12 15:15:55

Definitely the bigger school, I'm not a fan of mixed year teaching and I think 50 kids limits friendship opportunities.

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 15:16:34

Thank you cece
How important would you rate the extra facilities and equipment etc. Important enough to warrant moving the children?

It's so hard as in the past I've read a nurturing environment would count for more than all the other stuff.

I'm very torn.

The bigger school is federated hence the reason they prob do more and have more equipment.

The small is still running alone...atm.

Welovecouscous Sat 24-Nov-12 15:19:46

I think mixed teaching can have benefits - I was taught in mixed groups and it suited me well. My school was smallish - say 100 pupils and that was perfect for me.

I would want to check the gender balance as well - friend of the family was the only boy in a class with 9 girls and he was very excluded.

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 15:20:10

Thank you Isla do you also teach, I really appreciate the thought even if you don't...just curious.
As I have wondered the same about friendships...although the small school is within our village so the friends they make are close by but like you say it is limited.
The school play together and look after each other across the year groups, but in terms of numbers in my daughters actual year group there is 5!

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 15:22:13

The school says the mixed group are a plus as more able can move forward less able can recap.

ninah Sat 24-Nov-12 15:23:02

I'm not a massive fan of the mixed stage teaching I've seen in my dc's school but it can work. I tend to prefer slightly larger schools although I work in a small one atm.
How about starting an after school sports club with other parent volunteers?

Welovecouscous Sat 24-Nov-12 15:23:54

That's exactly what I liked four - meant I could read ahead of my age

ninah Sat 24-Nov-12 15:24:11

four, differentiation like this should happen in any class!

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 15:25:18

My eldest has formed some friendship one very strong. But I don't know for sure but I'm fairly sure there will be a few children moving onto private at 7.

IslaValargeone Sat 24-Nov-12 15:26:46

No sorry angels, I'm not a teacher.
We moved house and moved my dc to a village school with 50 pupils, a 5 minute walk away with mixed age classes.
We thought it would be great, nurturing environment, family feel, outstanding Ofsted blah blah, but it didn't work out for us.
Opportunities for friendship were limited, 5 including my dc in the year group,my dc ended up being bullied and we had no support from the school. From an educational point of view my dc was stifled by the limitations of what the school could offer.
I know someone else will rave about smaller schools but it wasn't for us.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Sat 24-Nov-12 15:26:52

Wow the big one isn't a big school. You are choosing between 2 small schools if that helps your thinking. Your bigger one still has all the benefits of a small school as it is one (around here its 2,3 or even 4 form entry.) I'd go for the one form entry as a teacher but as a parent being able to walk is tempting. Do you know the other 4 you'd be in kid year with?

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 15:30:36

They do ok I suppose for a small school they have a sports club come in one day after school...but with numbers and bids groups it's prob difficult to get full benefit.
They do offer a drama club too.

I couldnt organise one due to having younger children too.

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Sat 24-Nov-12 15:30:55

I would go for the larger school as it would prepare your DC slightly better for moving up to secondary school. Yes, a little school would be lovely & cosy & nurturing but it would be an even bigger jump up to the hugeness that is a secondary school.

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 15:40:54

Isla sounds identical to where my girls are now.

My dc1 is in yr2 and so yes knows the other children.

My dc1 is in reception and knows the children they all tend to move on together from pre school but she is struggling a bit 1 or 10 going up only two other girls. Dc2 is a very girly girl and lovely caring but also a little sensitive so easily upset.

Tryin to figure out if long term they will be better all round at the bigger school and what it offers over the small doorstep nurture.

I love to walk them esp as they are the first two of four dcs but I suppose that isn't the most important factor of school choice.

fourlittleangels Sat 24-Nov-12 15:44:47

That is true re moving to secondary although being a close knit village the children that have moved to secondary seem to do so with ease...maybe the nurture and small setting has given them added confidence!?

But, as we are cross county the larger school is a feeder the secondary I would choose (if it's as good in years to come as it is now)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now