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(16 Posts)
AloneReed Fri 31-Oct-14 08:16:45

Still haven't chosen my year 6 dd's Secondary School . . . with less than 24 hours to go until the deadline.
I would love to hear peoples stories/opinions on how they choose and why and did they choose the right one.
Do I go along with the flow and send her to the most popular local secondary for convenience or do I make huge changes practically and nin order to send her to a what I feel could be a "better" school further away?
I have no idea which one she will be happiest at. Both are good schools, both have good reputations and both had good Ofsted's. The only real difference is the number of pupils. The local one has 1000+ and the other less than half that amount. Does that make a difference to how a school is run? does it affect the "feel" of the school and is bullying more likely in a larger school?
My year 6 dd is in a very small Village Primary of about 85 pupils - but she's not as nervous as I am about transferring to a much larger one, but she is quite immature for her age and very sensitive. Am I over worrying?

JsOtherHalf Fri 31-Oct-14 11:33:11

Sorry, my DS is not at this stage yet.

Have you done the whole pros and cons thing? There is a lot to be said for being local. I went to a school 15 miles away, and could never attend after school stuff, call to see a friend, etc.

AloneReed Fri 31-Oct-14 11:39:04

Yea . . my dd hasn't got any close friends nearby and I keep being told you make new friends when you go Secondary anyway so sort of discounted that reason for staying local - that dosen't mean i'm right on that one as my other dd met her bf at 3 and a half and they are still going strong!
It's a big risk re-locating though isn't it. I like the area we live in. But part of me feels nothing ventured, nothing gained!

JsOtherHalf Fri 31-Oct-14 11:51:25

So are you thinking of moving house just to let her go to the smaller school?

What about your other dc? Would they have to move school?

Thebodynowchillingsothere Fri 31-Oct-14 12:21:58

In my experience of schools size has no relevance to bullying.

It's how good the senior management team is that matters. Here we have the 3 tier system with small middle schools and huge high schools.

All are good/outstanding and so we let ours choose their school. 2 choose one high school and 2 the other.

If as you say they are all good then I would send her local with her friends. Why change what isn't broken.

AloneReed Fri 31-Oct-14 12:28:03

JsOtherHalf no I wouldn't do that. Both older dd and ds have long left school. Yes I would move for a better school not necessarily smaller - I just associate smaller with better - but I'm happy to be proved wrong which is why I'm asking for advice.

Nanny0gg Fri 31-Oct-14 12:28:38

Have you not actually visited any of them? Read their prospectus?

What's your DD's opinion?

AloneReed Fri 31-Oct-14 12:34:02

Thebodynowchillingsothere thanks for you feedback. The main reason i am considering a school which would require re-locating is because it's speciality is Art; however I don't know how useful this is. As researching it these status' were given in 2006 with funding which i assume now has all been spent.
The local school is a practically new state of the art purpose built building with an excellent Art department but it is very achievement driven.
My dd is Arty and not very academic - I don't want her pushed and pressurised too much as she finds it hard to cope as it is being of a sensitive disposition.

bodhranbae Fri 31-Oct-14 12:37:54

I honestly don't know how to advise you because we have the same problem!

My very shy and retiring DS is in a tiny village school so I do understand your concerns about going to a much larger secondary school.
The local secondary is small (300) but in special measures. The best school locally has 1400 but gets the best GCSEs in the county. It would require a house move in order to get into the catchment.
Both schools feed into the same excellent 6th form college.
Do we hope for the best at the small local one or move areas to get him into the outstanding one? And if we do move do we wait till Yr6 or go now in Yr4?
Real dilemma. confused

AloneReed Fri 31-Oct-14 12:40:18

NannyOgg only one. I have spoke to many parents and read all the Prospectus'.The local one had a bad reputation for bullying but apparently it's been sorted.
The one we viewed she wanted to go to because it had 2 whole rooms dedicated to Art!
My fault as I've left it to the last minute! Dd just wants to do art and dosen't care about much else.
She dosen't really have friends at her school cos she's a bit of a one off however she makes friends easily in new situations if that makes sense as in she's not shy and socially stunted, just a bit of an acquired taste I think. She gets on with boys better than girls.

AloneReed Fri 31-Oct-14 12:50:06

bodhranbae I am so glad I'm not the only one! The only thing I can say to you is if the local one is in Special Measures then maybe the only way is up! Sometimes they bring a new head in and everything changes.
I got to be honest and say I avoid schools that are deemed as Outstanding as I know they are achievement driven - they don't want to lose that accolade. That's more pressure on the kids but saying that, i'm not sure I'd want to send my dd to a school in Special Measures either. You do have a dilemma don't you?

bodhranbae Fri 31-Oct-14 13:05:39

Yes I keep thinking that the only way is up from special measures. Or closure! And I have the same concerns about schools that are very driven. But equally concerned about failing schools too.
It makes your head spin.

I wouldn't get too hung up on specialisms because they seem to change with alarming frequency. Schools round here have changed from languages to computers to sport to performing arts every few years.

Good luck with it all!

AloneReed Fri 31-Oct-14 13:11:17

and to you also . . .

my head is spinning and i feel like crying. Been thinking and researching nothing else for the last 4 weeks!

Thebodynowchillingsothere Fri 31-Oct-14 17:16:42

Oh goodness yes it's bloody hard op most definatly. Totally agree with you on that one.

My older dd was considered less achedemiv then her brothers so she choose to go to the other high school. We have the choice of 2 so very lucky.

Funnily enough we/she had discovered that she is in fact quite bright but had been passed over as she's well behaved and quiet! angry

Honestly op go with your gut feeling but regard your dds feelings too of course.

Look you can only do your best op. thanks

Thebodynowchillingsothere Fri 31-Oct-14 17:19:44

bod yes for sure ours are a computer/business speciality and the other a sports and media high school.

We just wanted a fully rounded school to be honest. smile
Tis baffling!

AloneReed Fri 31-Oct-14 19:04:57

Thank you both of you . . . taken all your comments on board. Watch this space, i will report back in March when her place is confirmed on not!

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