Have you got a child in Y5?

(34 Posts)
MimiSam Tue 09-Oct-12 11:56:39

I have - would you consider going to secondary school open days this year, rather just wait until Y6? I feel like I would like to (but not with DS as I don't want him thinking too much about it all yet...)- some people say it's a good idea, others say it isn't....For what it's worth, we are in a county with the 11+ and grammar schools, so I'd like to see different kinds of schools.

Obiwan Tue 09-Oct-12 12:01:26

I've been thinking about this too.

I have a child in year 4, and and I think that with the new policy of getting 11+ results before applying, people will be going to open days earlier.

I don't think there's any harm in it really. People applying for bursary/scholarship places at private schools start looking earlier too, I think.

Yes, we are, as is most of dd2's class. I find it less stressful and you can go back again in year 6 if you want to.

We are in grammar county and are going to see all the schools.

Beanbagz Tue 09-Oct-12 12:20:04

I have a Y6 child but went to one school open day last year.

I wish i'd gone to more as having looked at what i thought would be our second choice a few weeks ago, i'm now having to rethink our options completely.

Number one choice is still number one (thankfully) so eveything crossed for getting in!

jeee Tue 09-Oct-12 12:22:15

I wouldn't bother (I have a year 6, and a year 7). You'll only have to go again next year anyway.

newpup Tue 09-Oct-12 12:26:06

DD1 is in Year 9 now and we started looking when she was in Year 5. I went to open mornings and then in the Autumn term of Year 6 I went to them again and made appointments to see the heads at the ones I liked best. DD1 then had a taster morning at the two we liked best before making a decision.

The exams and interviews were in January and we had to wait a couple of weeks to know if she had a place. Much easier with DD2 as she is in the attached Junior school and will definately be going to the Senior school with DD1. She has had two taster sessions, one last term and one this term but the Junior school arranged these. She still has to take the entrance exam and interview but we have been told that she already has a place, so much easier this time around!

utahforever Tue 09-Oct-12 12:26:47

Yes, we have been to two already. Helps to narrow the field of options down, and we can then concentrate on those we like best for daytime visits.

ImStickingWithYou Tue 09-Oct-12 12:36:35

My ds1 is in yr 6. We went to look at our 2 local secondary schools, without ds1, last year. We didn't meet the head or stay for the speeches, just wandered round trying to get a feel for the schools. This has really helped as we have just been back again, with ds1 this time, to visit these schools and I felt that this year I had more of an idea what to look at, see, etc.
Yr 5 visiting meant we had more of an idea for this year. I will not do this for my other children as by then we will understand secondary much better.

willyoulistentome Tue 09-Oct-12 12:41:51

Yup - DS1 is in y5 and we have seen three schools already. I stupidly went to one I knew to be amazing first - well it was the first open day in the diary. It's very selective and very expensive. I really only went so I was armed with knowledge of all the options, trouble isnow everything else is looking SHITE in comparison, even though our local state is Ofsted 'Outstanding' and has only 560 pupils....but DS1 will probably not end up at the Amazing one. I shouldn't have gone to it...Grrrr.

Quality problem, as they asy!

BadRoly Tue 09-Oct-12 12:44:11

My ds1 is in yr5 and was invited to the open evening at our local secondary school last week. He didn't want to go but wants to wait until next year - but then dd1 started there in September, I don't know if that is why?

But it is normal round here to visit (if you want) in yr5 smile

Startailoforangeandgold Tue 09-Oct-12 13:29:59

Round here you have to. They have been known to be in the same day.

Going without DCs in Y5 I found very useful.

MimiSam Tue 09-Oct-12 13:47:01

I was thinking of going on my own...I am just worried it might seem odd to be there without a child, especially if I see any Y6 parents there who I know...I get the impression that in our area it is not common for Y5 parents to do this (not talking about private schools, only state schools). I don't even know if the schools welcome/would tolerate it - they all seem to emphasise that the open day sessions are very busy, you need to book, etc. Maybe I will phone a few and ask them...

Jenny70 Tue 09-Oct-12 14:16:54

I have been surprised how many have been going to the open days etc here (also Yr5 parent). During a mums chat thing the other day, it seemed like they were all comparing notes etc... felt bad that I haven't been on the ball with it - but we aren't actually planning on being here for secondary (in the UK), but then plans change and I feel like I should be prepared.

So yes, definitely follow up on it and consider going, if possible.

SandStorm Tue 09-Oct-12 14:33:11

You won't be the only one going in year 5. We did it. Round here you get very little time between going to an open day and having to put your choices in. Plus, it gives you the chance to go back in year 6 and see what, if anything, has changed (for better or worse).

mummytime Tue 09-Oct-12 14:38:35

It is perfectly normal around here. But even better in year 5, after the end of October you can phone and request a tour while the school is "working normally" which is very enlightening.
Just doing it in year 6 is too rushed IMHO.

CovMum Tue 09-Oct-12 14:46:34

Yes we just have but they are all finished here now. I wanted to take my time and make the right decision.

mimbleandlittlemy Tue 09-Oct-12 15:53:22

We did and it meant that we only went back to the schools we really liked this year now ds is in Y6, thus cutting down the trudge/saturation. It also meant that we really noticed the enormous improvment one school had made in the last year which was a great help when it came to listing the top choices.

pointythings Tue 09-Oct-12 18:38:22

We didn't but realistically there is only one secondary option where we live, which is the local secondary. Anything else would have been a logistical nightmare travel-wise, no grammars in our area and private not an option either financially or ideologically.

The school is literally a stone's throw from our house and since we had DD1, it has gone from being borderline special measures to good verging on outstanding. DD1 is there now and as things stand, DD2 will be going there after Yr6 - we will be attending open days next year.

we did look around for DS who is now in yr8, DD in year 5 and we will go next year. I know the schools, grammar and non so its not such a big deal now.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 09-Oct-12 18:42:14

no, the local one was last Thu - just been talking to a friend (mum of ds1's friend who also has a yr6 child) about it as she went.

But tbh that's where I'm applying for ds1, it is the catchment school, I have only heard good reports of it, it's last OFSTED was outstanding.

If my catchment school had issues I would be looking around, but will probably only attend the open day next year for ds to start getting a feel for the place (although he has been there for various things and they do quite a lot in yr6 to start integrating them anyway).

PastSellByDate Tue 09-Oct-12 18:42:31

Hi MimiSam:

We've opted against seeing schools this September's Open Days - but have decided that in July (when there is a new batch of Open Days (well evenings really) we will.

In part, this is because the 11+ is sat in October - and really it's about inspiring hard work over the summer. Two friends took their children around last July and both said that it helped get them to realise what all the hard work is for.

HTH

LynetteScavo Tue 09-Oct-12 18:57:02

Well, I went to see one school when DS1 was at the end of Y4...just to rule it out. (Was bowled over by heads speech, and after looking many more times, DS1 now goes there)

We have just been to see the same school, with DS2, but won't go to see other schools until end of Y5.

We are also in a grammar area, and only went to look at the grammar school at the end of Y5, like most other parents. DH decided he hated the school and no child of his would ever go there (I sat there thinking "I would pay for this") but I wish we had gone earlier, so we could have ruled it, and ttherefore ruleed out taking the 11+. Much as I liked it, it wouldn't have been the best school for DS1. We could have ruled out a lot of wondering whether DS was in the top 2 or 3%, and whether he would get in.

voddiekeepsmesane Tue 09-Oct-12 19:05:56

Most year 5 parents go in our area (also a grammar area) Though it would be a bit late by now most schools have already had their open evening/day 11+ exam was 3 weeks ago here.

Ds is in year 4 and I will definitely be going next year.

insanityscratching Tue 09-Oct-12 19:15:49

I will be, dd has a statement so will get the school I choose anyway but I need to see what is available and we will be discussing my choice at her review in March.

insanity, sorry to hijack but can you put any secondary school down and they have to honour it? I am trying to get a statement for dd in year 5.

RaisinBoys Tue 09-Oct-12 19:18:47

Yes. School advised us to go open days this year and seeing some of the stressed out Y6 parents there, I would certainly advise it. Many schools have already had them by now though.

Good luck with it.

insanityscratching Tue 09-Oct-12 19:28:02

Yes any maintained school so long as it isn't an inefficient use of resources, her admission isn't to the detriment of other pupils there and the school can meet her needs. Statemented children get priority, dd has ASD no learning or behaviour difficulties, no need for adaptations so it will be the school I choose.

AngelEyes46 Tue 09-Oct-12 19:44:51

From what I know re: statement, I thought that the 'professional' had to state that 'x is the only school for child due to yyyy'

I could be wrong though - bridge or tiggy would be able to clarify.

Re: going to visit schools - I went in year 5 as it comes round very quickly in year 6

Yes, same insanity, thanks all for advice.

maillotjaune Tue 09-Oct-12 19:53:41

I've been to 3 although had to take the DCs to one as childcare failed! I wanted to get a feel for the schools so I could think about what I want to find out next year.

I've also been reassured - we are on the edge of London and quite a few kids do 11+ for Herts, but my instinct was to avoid this. I'm now happy that the 3 possible schools within easy reach are all good in their own way.

People who are interested in the Grammars are generally going this year as the earlier tests have got them worried smile

Frikadellen Tue 09-Oct-12 20:06:58

we went to the first open day when ds was in Y4 went to 1 in Y 5 and have done 7 so far in Y6... Sighs roll on 17th when we get 11+ results so we can decide what actually will work for him

insanityscratching Tue 09-Oct-12 20:17:19

Parental preference is priority for naming the school on the statement. In our LA schools welcome statemented children as statements bring funding. Dd is a high achiever with no real difficulties bringing a 20 hour funded statement. Any school will be more than happy to have her tbh. Even if she was a difficult to support pupil, in our LA schools are pretty much coerced into accepting a pupil when that is what a parent wants.

BackforGood Tue 09-Oct-12 20:28:16

I went round on my own when my eldest was in Yr5.
Depends on how many you are looking at, and if you are making decisions about if you want to 'prepare' your child for grammar school tests.
You can get round a lot quicker if you don't take the dc !
What I'd hoped to do, was narrow it down from the 5 I looked at to perhaps 2 for him to look at.

Takver Wed 10-Oct-12 09:41:40

Here it is definitely the norm to go in yr 5, and the children start having 'taster days' at the two local secondaries from the spring term of yr 5 too.

TBH we're now at the start of yr 6, and I would say most families have pretty much made up their mind about which school to opt for.

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