This is going to be quite long and rambling but I wanted to find out how much of my own experiences are clouding my judgement.
Okay, where we live there are not any great schools unless you are in the correct feeder schools, which we aren't as we moved to the area after Reception.
I know people say that all the time, but it's true - I'm not a snob I promise!
There are a few grammar schools within a commutable distance, and after researching all the local schools, look like the best choice.
I say choice as they are not necessarily an option for us. DD is bright, on the top table (apparently), but as I said already we live in a really deprived area. Half the children don't even wear the uniform let alone turn up for school. If she were at a better performing school she might be more average, I don't know.
So anyway I was going to do a practice verbal and non-verbal reasoning test with her just to see if she had any natural aptitude or not, and then consider whether we should try for a grammar or not.
BUT... She doesn't want to go to a school like that, she wants to go to one with normal people.
Oh the irony! Her words are exactly I said to my very working class parents and my head teacher after turning down a place at a grammar school. My dad was angry but my mum let me make my own mind up.
Subsequently I went on to a 'normal' school and academically I achieved as well as I would have at the grammar, but but but I can't help thinking that if I'd have mixed with girls from the other school, I may have not ended up pregnant at 18 living in a council flat !
I know my DD is very easily led, even more so than me (she gets it from her dad's side) and I think when she goes to secondary school she'll be more interested in boys and makeup than getting As.
Yes, that happens - DDs school lost one girl in yr7. But they've had a few come in from other schools in yr8 and 9 - the classes were all 28 at the outset and some now have one or two extra - the transfer isn't all in one direction.