Parents of year 5 kids...

(23 Posts)
Realitybitesyourbum Mon 19-Sep-16 21:28:00

When are you going to look round secondary schools? I'm not sure if I am meant to be visiting schools now or in year 6. Some schools seem to say both can visit, some year 6 and some don't specify, so I'm a bit lost!

Apart from the whole 11+ saga also, tutors and whether or not to take it, I don't know when to visit and if I should visit all schools...I suppose I should, depending if she fails or passes the 11+.

Any advice please?

Ah, we're believers in sending kids to their local school, so although we had a visit to the senior school when eldest was at the end of Year 5, it would have had to be pretty off-putting not to send him there. We'll probably only go to the Year 6 open day for youngest if she wants to go.

Just work out which schools would work for your family logistically and if you end up with options check those out.

Realitybitesyourbum Tue 20-Sep-16 08:05:36

We are lucky in that we have about 8 locally, depending on whether she passes 11 plus or not. But do year 5 parents look round now or in year 6?!

atticusclaw2 Tue 20-Sep-16 08:08:43

At our school (primary connected to a senior school) they do year 5 taster days and so you should maybe find out if the senior schools in your area do something similar.

louisejxxx Tue 20-Sep-16 08:14:12

I was thinking about this the other day. We are in an 11+ area also but have a good choice of high schools too so will probably end up looking around the 2 grammars and then 3 high schools. I will probably do the grammars in year 5 so that we can make a firm decision either way about whether ds wants to do the test or not. Then look at the high schools in year 6 to fill the form out with the back up choices if it all goes wrong.

Seeline Tue 20-Sep-16 08:14:47

Definitely look round now - you can narrow down your choices. Then have a look at the reduced range again next year. If there is a 'choice' then O think you need to become as familiar as you can with the schools that might feature on your list.

Youarenotprepared Tue 20-Sep-16 08:18:57

We were 99% sure so went in yr6. I know others who went in yr 5.

If you are unsure and undecided if you want him to sit the 11+ go now. See if you prefer the schools that don't require it.

didireallysaythat Tue 20-Sep-16 08:27:50

We are in year 6 and just got the letter about visiting opening evenings at the secondary schools. I'd be surprised if the school can offer a tour to individual parents during the school day - this would potentially mean hundreds of tours, so I suspect most offer open days/evenings.

AngelsWithSilverWings Tue 20-Sep-16 08:30:32

We are going through this now and will be completing our admissions application as soon as we get the result of the 11 plus.

We visited all of the local schools at the end of y5. Our local schools all have open evenings throughout July.

If you are going through the 11 plus and want a tutor most get booked up around now.

nocampinghere Tue 20-Sep-16 09:33:32

you go and look this autumn
create a shortlist (2 or 3)
take your dd with you to look in the summer term or autumn term yr6.

i wouldn't take her yet - it's too far away and too overwhelming.

Year 6 I'll do the visits but we know where she's going really as already have 2 there. With eldest we went to them all in year 6 as well

redskytonight Tue 20-Sep-16 10:46:03

I suspect it depends on how many choices you have.

Our choices were:

- catchment school
- failing academy, bad reputation aside, is a total pita to get to independently (involves going into town centre, swapping buses and coming out again for total journey time of >1hour)
- 2nd closest school (Not close enough to have got into for 4 out of the last 5 years, and, as it turned out not close enough in DS's year either)

So we happily left it to Year 6.

If you are genuinely trying to make a shortlist, you might want to start in Y5.

noramum Tue 20-Sep-16 10:48:57

We will go this year. All secondaries in our area only do one day for open days/evenings and we already found out that DH is away for one.

Then next year we concentrate on the ones who we think are the best choices and re-visit.

This is what most of the school mum friends with older children recommend in our school.

We took DD at the end of year 4 to the two girls grammar schools we have locally. We were hoping to take her to a couple of the non-selective high schools this term, but the open evenings have clashed with other stuff so far. I'd definitely recommend looking this year, then looking again in year 6 to finalise any decisions/feelings.

We have a similar number of schools we could choose, and will need to put 6 on the form. We did the grammars early as we wanted DD to know what she was working for this year iyswim.

Starlight234 Tue 20-Sep-16 11:57:34

we have gone to the 2 expect it to be out if this year..I wil go to chosen one again next year ..But plan to make a choice this year...Unless something radical changes in a year it gives you time to decide and look into things like transport..Also after first visit. I had more of an idea of what I liked about the school.

Dixiechickonhols Tue 20-Sep-16 12:03:28

Yes visit in yr 5 with DC. The open evenings go fast and there is a lot to take in. We are redoing them now in yr 6 but could concentrate on parts we didn't see last time. By the time you have sat through the headteachers talk you maybe have only an hour to look around. We have a grammar. DD much preferred it so it has helped in the prep for the exam, they have to want to go.

ParadiseCity Tue 20-Sep-16 12:03:56

Round here most high schools do open evenings in June, so towards the end of Y5.

Then the 11+ is right at the start of Y6 - kids don't really have time to prepare in between open evenings and test.

Which is one of just many incredibly stupid and child unfriendly things you encounter in the whole wierd unfair process tbh. You kind of have to just know that you want your child to prepare and start getting ready for a test to enter a school you they have never even visited... 'but that's how its always been done' of course hmm

Dixiechickonhols Tue 20-Sep-16 12:11:37

Mine found looking yr 5 a lot more fun and less pressured. The open days are all on the council website and in local press so quite normal to go yr 5, there were lots of younger looking ones at the grammar last week.

The grammar test is 2 weeks after the open day so no way could you just leave it to yr 6 around here.

AlexaDeParis Tue 20-Sep-16 12:27:14

Yes I would definitely visit in year 5, dd1 is year 6 now and we didn't do any visits in year 5 because I didn't know when they were and dd's primary school didn't tell us anything about them, I think year 5 parents should be encouraged to go because like others have said once you are in year 6 there is then so little time to decide or prepare for things.

Blue4ever Tue 20-Sep-16 12:31:49

Yep visit them now, and again next year to see if there has been any improvements. We are going to send our kids to local good secondary school, it's less than 5 minutes walk away and it has a great community feel to it. We are going down the route of tutoring for 11+ but we are doing extra work at home, as Dh is a primary school teacher. We can't afford private tutoring.

Realitybitesyourbum Tue 20-Sep-16 21:50:31

Thanks very much, am going to take your advice and visit now and again to shortlist in year 6.

Anything in particular to ask or look out for?

ParadiseCity Wed 21-Sep-16 15:36:32

We did about 6 or 7 tours and I always asked the pupils 'how much homework do you get'. Interestingly they all said the same amount except that the grammar school pupil prefaced their answer with 'well we ARE a grammar and therefore...' which gave me the impression they were all being taught to see their school as harder/superior. I also asked them what is the most stupid rule their school has. I asked the teachers how long they had taught there and were they planning to stay?

Tiggles Thu 22-Sep-16 23:15:51

When I looked around for DS1 it was the staff attitude that sold/lost schools. In one school for example the staff waxed lyrical about it and how they couldn't imagine ever leaving. In another DS said to the teacher "this is my favourite subject can you tell me about it" and she replied "move along to the next subject room".
I also watched the rapport between teachers and existing pupils - you can tell if it is put on for the night or real.
In year 5 we did a quick fly around to see as much as possible of the buildings etc, in year 6 having narrowed down the schools we were interested in we focussed more on seeing the subjects that he really enjoyed, and the SEN department (As he has ASD).

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