What would be the ideal school/learning environment for your child entering secondary school?

(11 Posts)
Earlybird Mon 01-Sep-14 19:46:20

Starting to think ahead for dd.

TIA

Coolas Mon 01-Sep-14 19:59:51

That's an odd question. Everyone's child is different and suits different environments. Most want somewhere small enough to care but large enough to have good facilities and wide option choices.

marne2 Mon 01-Sep-14 19:59:59

Depends on the child.

Dd1 starts high school next year, we have a choice of 2 schools, one is one of the top schools in the country, has great ofsted reports and great exam results this year but it is a huge school. The other school is a lot smaller, friendlier but ofsted reports are not as good. Dd1 is very academic ( g&t ) so the obvious choice to most people would be the bigger school but dd1 also has Aspergers and possible dyspraxia, for this reason we have chosen the smaller friendlier school as we feel she will not get the support she may need at the bigger school. The smaller school has a good SENCO and a lot of support for children who struggle socially ( they have a room where children can go at break time if they are struggling in the playground ). For us dd1's happiness is the most important thing.

TeenAndTween Mon 01-Sep-14 20:08:17

For us:
- good pastoral care
- valuing the 'whole child' not just the results
- encouraging all children to achieve their best - no 'lost middle'

MassaAttack Mon 01-Sep-14 21:32:47

Depends on the child. More to the point, it depends on which schools are within reasonable commuting distance and are likely to offer a place.

PleaseNoMoreMinecraft Mon 01-Sep-14 21:45:00

For us (with very bright kids with mild HF ASD) - a mixed, friendly and inclusive school with small classes and a belief that our kids can do just as well as others (and that is willing to push them academically to achieve that).

Must have lots of clubs including chess, Minecraft and other generally geeky ones grin Regular small group lessons in social skills and team work.

Not too much emphasis on team sports, although regular physical exercise is a must. Preferably about 10 minutes walk away with no need of public transport and no main roads.

Moid1 Tue 02-Sep-14 08:29:49

For DS1 - no school uniform, limited sports, chess, computer and geeky clubs. Small classes and good pastoral care.

DS2 - lots of sport, football, badminton, strong discpline, small classes and excellent teaching

DS2 is there, DS1 we are trying to get sorted!

bigTillyMint Tue 02-Sep-14 09:11:23

Good teaching - appropriate to the ability of my DC
Strong behaviour management
Good pastoral support for the individual
Flexibility to meet the needs of the individual
Lots of sports, especially encouraging girls to participate
Happy, caring and inspiring ethos/environment
Clear ethos with appropriate rules/boundaries that are enforced appropriately
Within 45mins travel distance

And lots of other children that my DC "click" with!

Earlybird Tue 02-Sep-14 12:39:50

Thanks for feedback.

Coolas - you are absolutely correct that different sorts of dc thrive in different kinds of learning environments. I kept the question non-specific because I wanted to hear all sorts of answers - I find it helpful to think about situations and perspectives different than my own initially to get a wider view, and then drill down into my own (in this case, dd's) specific needs.

Having said that, I would welcome thoughts from anyone who wishes to 'think out loud' with me on this thread.

LaQueenOnHerHolibobs Tue 02-Sep-14 16:43:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Wed 03-Sep-14 21:19:22

Nightmare question.

DD would want an ultra ambitious energetic pushy school (like her).

DS1: I would prefer a calm school with excellent behaviour & teaching that kept telling him he wasn't quite good enough until he was highly excelling when he might just about earn a "Not Bad" assessment (he rises to a challenge in spite of slacker instincts).

DS2: In theory a school that could help him love learning in spite of his determination to do battle with the world.

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