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to be confused about which school to send my SD to??

(12 Posts)
skybluepearl Tue 04-Oct-11 18:19:35

The options for my tom boy step daughter in year 5 are ...

a) Catchment school ten mins away. Above average results, good pastoral care, medium sized school and mixed sex, no sixth form attached. I think she would do well here but would she reach her potential? Half of her friends are boys and so this could suit or could be a distraction?

b) Grammar school ten mins away. Mostly single sex, fantastic top results. I've have been told by friends that they think the environment is too driven and that there seems to be a higher level of self harm and eating disorders. No idea if this is really true? What other peoples experiences of grammar? Also not sure about the single sex environment?

We are due to visit the schools in the next couple of weeks

worraliberty Tue 04-Oct-11 18:21:57

I'd leave it til you've visited the schools to be honest

How would anyone know the amount of children that self harm or have eating disorders in either school?

I doubt that information is available.

MumblingRagDoll Tue 04-Oct-11 18:23:52

Yes....how do your friends know the statistics of self harm etc in the local grammar?

nooka Tue 04-Oct-11 18:26:43

Personally I wouldn't want to send my child to a single sex school (I went to one myself), but I would also be concerned about whether a school with no sixth form has high aspirations/great teaching (especially within a grammar school system). But until you visit you won't really get a feel for where your SD might be happiest.

Fundamentally that's what would concern me, as if she's not happy I don't think she is likely to thrive.

lifechanger Tue 04-Oct-11 18:29:04

Unless you find pressing reasons to choose one over the other, I would honestly let her decide nearer the time. She is more likely to thrive in the one she feels is right for her.

skybluepearl Tue 04-Oct-11 18:29:51

Thanks for your responces. My friends of friends work for social services. I'm not sure if they are under the impression there is more self harm or if they know it as a fact?

CardyMow Tue 04-Oct-11 21:48:12

Um - does your SD live with you full time, and do you get the Child Benefit for your SD? If you do, then personally I would go round both schools - not just on their open evenings (pupils at open evenings are cherry picked form the BEST behaving / highest acheiving in the school), but also arrange to visit while lessons are on. This will give you a much better 'feel' for the school, and a much better chance of seeing which one will fit your SD's personality and interests best (also ask about after-school activities).

However, if you are not in receipt of the Child Benefit and your SD does not live with you full time, than all you can do is what I've mentioned above and tell the main carer what your opinion is - because even in cases of 50-50 shared care, one parent is still in receipt of the Child benefit, and it is THIS parent that legally MUST fill in the application form, from THEIR address. Otherwise it is fraud.

Also, either way, if you want your SD in the Grammar school - I would start prep work NOW (my DS1 is in Y5 and hopefully going to do his 11+ and get into my local Grammar School). Find out what the 11+ involves in your area (each is different), and get some work books going with your SD - or get a tutor if you can afford it. There are some good tips on Eleven plus forum.

Getting into Grammar school is not done in the same way as applying to your local catchment Secondary school - you have to ASK the school for a form for the 11+ exam, and pass the 11+ exam AND be in the top X amount (varies by the intake amount for THAT Grammar school) of the people applying for that school - but you STILL have to put that school on your ordinary application for Secondary school form from your LEA as your first choice.

So YABU to think that getting into Grammar school is as easy as writing that school's name on your SD's Secondary application form. YANBU for giving serious consideration in Y5 to Secondary choices. YABU to not say in your OP if your SD lives with you FT or not (makes a difference to how much 'say' you get in the Secondary application process).

My thoughts - unless your SD is currently working at NC Level 4a or Level 5 at the start of Y5, she is unlikely to pass the 11+ with a high enough mark to get into Grammar school (at least in my area, don't know about others), only you will know if this is the case. If your SD is not working at this sort of level now, I would ponder whether the Grammar school will be the right environment for your SD to flourish.

<<Huuuuuge post, sorry!>>

nooka Tue 04-Oct-11 22:02:02

That's interesting. We've never claimed child benefit, is that just a requirement for separated parents?

I agree about the 11+aspects though.

redexpat Tue 04-Oct-11 22:17:59

All girl environments are better for girls, mixed are better for females. Grammar school will def get the best out of her. I went ot a single sex grammar school and loved it. I was also a tomboy. Was just pleased I didn't have to deal with the crap that comes with having boys around, didn't have to worry about my hair or whatever.

Having said that good pastoral care is not to be sneezed at. Not having a sixth form might actually be a good thing because there is no automatic drift into A-levels that might not be the best thing for SD. She'll really have to THINK about what she wants to do next, which I think is actually quite healthy.

Why not apply for both and see what happens?

olibeansmummy Tue 04-Oct-11 22:51:57

What does your SD want to do?

troisgarcons Tue 04-Oct-11 22:52:50

And you have the 11+ results already???

Floggingmolly Tue 04-Oct-11 22:58:12

Redexpat, did you mean mixed schools are better for males? (not being pedant, btw, genuine question)

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