Does anyone have two dcs of the same sex at two different secondary schools?

(27 Posts)
banania19 Fri 31-Jan-14 10:04:51

We hoped dd2 would follow dd1 up to the senior part of her current prep school. BUT dd2 is a very different kettle of fish, they sadly don't get on very well at all, dd1 is often quite jealous and threatened by dd2. Dd2 is very independent and wants to carve her own path.

Dd2 is keen to go to another single sex indie school nearby. Its a great school although slightly more expensive and has a more 'snobby' reputation.

It starts at year 7 and the fees are comparable with dd1's school which we can just about afford. But in year 9 the fees increase considerably.

I am in such a dilemma as to whether we should just insist dd2 goes up to the senior school dd1 is at (which is academically very good, turns out very nice rounded girls, is a bit tatty and small) or the other school (whizzier, smarter, also academically good but much more pushy)

Sorry this is probably a very boring thread and I am thinking aloud.

It just seems odd to have two girls at two different schools (not to mention the price of all new uniform etc).

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Fri 31-Jan-14 10:22:05

Can't help but watching with interest as having a similar dilemma with dds' prep schools. Fwiw, if they don't get on that well and have strong opinions on what school is right for them I'd let them go to separate schools.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Fri 31-Jan-14 10:25:56

It's tricky isn't it?

How old are they each?

My first thought is that I feel a little sorry for DD1. DD2 seems, from your OP, to have quite a "loud" voice in family affairs... Have you taken DD1 aside and asked her how she would feel about either option? Is she currently happy and doing well at her school? Think about what would be best for her - that might help you to decide what would be best for the whole family.

Does DD2 want the alternative school purely to be away from her sister, or does it provide access to some specific benefit relevant to her talents and interests?

It's not at all unusual to send siblings to different schools - but I do think you need to establish that it is for the right reasons....

MrsSteptoe Fri 31-Jan-14 10:35:55

A friend has decided to separate her same sex twins, as they are very different and shine in different ways - so the best school for one is always unlikely to be the best school for the other, IYSWIM. The only proviso she's made is that they either both go state, or they both go private, so that they don't get into a situation where there may be resentment. Not much info there, but you certainly wouldn't be alone if you separated your DCs!

banania19 Fri 31-Jan-14 10:47:39

zero
that is an interesting thought

dd1 is very vocal about how much she loves the school she is at and she is doing very well there, HOWEVER there is no doubt that the school that dd2 may go to is a bit more highly regarded. I think we spend more time thinking about dd2 because she is much harder to read. We moved her to the prep that dd1 had gone to (from state primary) and although she has done well there she is definitely not as happy as dd1 was.

LadyMuck Fri 31-Jan-14 11:09:54

Ours have been at two different preps and may end up at different senior schools - we'll know in a month or two!

One of the reasons I am happy to pay for schooling is that I increase my choice in which schools my children go to. That gives me the relative luxury of choosing which school suits each of them best. So I can take account of whether single sex or co-ed works best (we've used both though only having ds's), of whether sport or music and drama is the "big thing" (yes, all the schools do both, but there is a different emphasis) etc.

As we approach secondary for our youngest, the sibling relationship is an important one. Ds2 would be moving into senior school as "Muck minor" rather than simply "Muck" if he joins his brother. I am very comfortable that we have chosen a good school for ds1, one that suits him, and where he is and will continue to thrive. It certainly isn't the most prestigious or shiniest of all the schools we looked at, but equally he isn't the easiest of personalities. They have read him well, and he has the support and opportunities he needs. Ds2 is quite different. He would like to go to ds1's school but may have a choice of some more prestigious schools, as well as some more suited to his particular interests.

Depending on the distances involved and time taken to travel between schools, it can be a pain, especially towards the end of term, or if there are a lot of sports fixtures involved. We've lived with it for some time, but I wouldn't be unhappy from a practical view if both boys were at the same school. But thus far they have each thrived by being in the school that suits them best, and since the age of 5 we have always reiterated why we think that their school is best for them. Being boys there is always rivalry, but actually there has been little argument over schools at all. At secondary school children should be capable of travelling by themselves.

Sorry - that is a ramble, and probably not helpful. Many of the girls in a girls schools will certainly have a male sibling at a different school, and it isn't uncommon to have same gender elsewhere in the independent sector.

banania19 Fri 31-Jan-14 11:12:58

I am very comfortable that we have chosen a good school for ds1, one that suits him, and where he is and will continue to thrive. It certainly isn't the most prestigious or shiniest of all the schools we looked at, but equally he isn't the easiest of personalities. They have read him well, and he has the support and opportunities he needs. Ds2 is quite different. He would like to go to ds1's school but may have a choice of some more prestigious schools, as well as some more suited to his particular interests.

^^ this is exactly where I am

I feel a bit rotten that dd2 may end up going to a 'better' school

it doesnt help that the girls from each school have a long history of rivalry

kilmuir Fri 31-Jan-14 11:13:27

Yes, i have. 2 in different schools. Picked secondary depending on DD. Different children, different needs

ZeroSomeGameThingy Fri 31-Jan-14 11:14:39

sad

Is DD1 afraid that you might move her to the other school to suit her Ds?

You do need to keep some focus on her. She's closer to important exams and I'm worried <overinvested I know> that she's being slightly overlooked because she seems ok.

(Obviously the, rather separate, money question might depend on how close, or not, they are in age.)

QueenofallIsee Fri 31-Jan-14 11:23:09

I see no problem with it providing that your DD2 isn't deliberately trying to get one over on her sister by selecting what she thinks is the a 'better' school. A good friend of mine won a prestigious scholarship when we were kids and her (frankly awful) younger sister talked her parents into sending her to what could be considered a rival school, paying full fees etc. It wasn't about the 2 girls being different, it was one up man ship by the younger one to ensure that her sisters achievements were played down. Upshot is that as of the age of 23 (last time I saw them) they hadn't spoken properly for 5 years

CoolJazz Fri 31-Jan-14 11:24:16

I have 2 children at 2 different secondary schools, and 1 private and 1 state.

We've let them be very involved in choosing their schools. They have different interests and different academic strengths and weaknesses.

They both expressed strong preferences for the schools they now attend and we felt that both schools were right for them.

They both seem happy, no jealousy/rivalry. Neither would want to go to the others school.

We stressed at the time and continue to mention it, particuarly to DS in state school that he could have the opportunity to attend the private if he wished, he's always adamant he wouldn't want to.

You have to balance the needs of each individual child and consider the dynamics of the whole family.

Are you meeting the needs of each child?
Are their needs different?
Would forcing them into the same 'box' for family unity disadvantage one or the other?
Would giving them different experiences benefit one over the other?
How would either forcing them to have the same or to give them each something different affect the relastionships within the family?
How could you manage this to ensure everyone feels they are equally important and valued?

Not an easy decision and no right answers.

I have 2 ds at different senior independents. I have 4 dc although 2 have long left school and they all went to a different senior school. They are such different characters and the two still at school both fit in perfectly at their schools but would hate each others. I have never for a moment considered this to be unusual. They travel as far as the City together each day and then go their separate ways meeting up again at the station after school though both happily travel on their own if for whatever reason the other isn't there.

Merrylegs Fri 31-Jan-14 11:31:30

I would just be mindful of the 'just about affordable fees'. If you are going to struggle financially when dd2s school fees go up in year 9 and it impacts on the whole family then dd1 might understandably feel a little resentful if she is unable to do say, an extra curricular activity because the excess money is being spent on dd2.

Also, if Dd1 plans to go to Uni you will have to top up her maintenance loan and you don't want to have to restrict her choice of unis depending on whether you can afford the rent or not. I guess what I'm saying is if you can't easily afford the fees for the 'posher' school, don't do it.

banania19 Fri 31-Jan-14 11:45:28

yes merrylegs we are waiting for scholarship results to come back from both schools before we make a decision...

Shootingatpigeons Fri 31-Jan-14 12:31:58

My DD2 absolutely insisted on going to the same school as DD1. It was sibling rivalry, she wanted to prove she was as clever (they are both clever but in totally different ways) DD1 said it wasn't the right school for her but that just made her want to go more. I felt another school felt right for her but in the end not enough to take the decision away from her, especially as the school was more prestigious, had better facilities etc. Admittedly it was an entirely different year group, some very difficult characters, and the school cannot control that, but it wasn't a success. She is now at the school I first felt was right and couldn't be happier or doing better academically.

MajesticWhine Fri 31-Jan-14 12:38:24

I have 2 in different secondary schools. They have very different needs academically and also there is an unhealthy jealousy and rivalry, so we felt they were best kept apart to have their own space. And avoid the situation where DD2 does very well at DD1's school and makes DD1 feel inadequate. It's a tough decision though, and practically it's a pain. 2 x sports days, different uniform, etc.

PurpleAlert Fri 31-Jan-14 14:40:14

My two DDs are in different schools. The older one goes to an independent and the younger to a grammar school.

DD2 was given the option to go to the Independent when she went to secondary but chose the grammar as she had friends going there.

DD1 goes to school on the train and DD2 by a school bus which leaves from a stop a two minute walk away.

It hasn't caused many problems other than the fact that their friends are in opposite directions but there are fairly good transport links in both directions.

Oh and only one set of fees is rather nice too! wink

TeenAndTween Fri 31-Jan-14 14:51:35

If DD2 wants a different school, is there any chance a local state secondary that might suit her better than the current private one?

Then they each get their own school, and it costs you less!

Ericaequites Fri 31-Jan-14 15:00:57

Dd2 should just move up to the senior school. It's much easier logistically and financially. There's no guarantee dd2 would be happier at another school. The shared experience of attending the same school will help draw your daughters together in later life.
It would be worthwhile to talk with both daughters separately and together about their feelings toward each other and their attitudes about school.

BackforGood Fri 31-Jan-14 15:07:36

I definitely think you should give each child the same consideration of choosing the best school for them by secondary level. Mine are all at state schools so can't comment on that, but I have 3 dc at secondary now and we looked at all the local schools with /for each one, and didn't 'assume' they would follow each other.

Eastpoint Sat 01-Feb-14 06:54:35

If they were the other way round (dd2 was born first) what would you have done? Is there a reason why you didn't send dd1 to the snazzy school? I have a friend who has sent her youngest daughter to a school which is about 3 steps fancier than the schools her older children attend/ed. They didn't even sit the exam for her school as they would not have suited it. The school dd2 goes to will affect her whole life, I think you should choose what is right for her if you can afford it without the whole family making sacrifices.

auntpetunia Sat 01-Feb-14 20:32:02

my friend has twins at different high schools, each child is happy without the pressure of the other being around!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Sat 01-Feb-14 20:56:43

I also have a friend with twins at different Secondary schools, has worked well.

banania19 Sun 02-Feb-14 06:32:08

Thank you. We've had an extremely good financial offer from dd1s current school which I very much doubt the other school will match.

The point about having shared experience when older is a lovely one, thank you.

LauraBridges Sun 02-Feb-14 16:45:16

We had Habs and NLCS, very similar top academic girls, selective schools. My daughters say it was fine and they liked having different schools and friends although knew a lot of each other's friends out of school. I think it helped that they were both bright at two schools which were more similar than different though. Not the same as one at comp and one at say Wycombe Abbey.

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