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independent v state and smaller v larger

(3 Posts)
lia66 Thu 25-Oct-12 10:05:04

Sorry if the title is a bit vague. DD is only 5 and has just gone into yr 1.

DD has "issues" with life, nothing I can pigeon hole, nor do I want to but her whole life (so far) we have known she is different to her siblings, (child 5 of 6).

She has ocd tendencies, sensory issues, (loud noises, situations, smells etc), it's difficult to describe her. She is very bright.

We have just moved (end of june) from a large school of 3 classes of over 30 kids in each year , to a school with just 120 kids in from reception to yr 6. I've just had parents evening and she is absolutely flying through her learning, her male teacher has really got her sussed too, he has worked out just how to react to her and in doing so is obviously bringing out the best in her.

I know it's years away but i'm wondering how this will impact when she moves on to secondary. Will the size of a secondary school scare the life out of her, ?

Do independent schools have smaller classes ? What are the benefits of an independent school? We have grammar where we are, is that as good as an independent?

I know i'm waffling a bit but I worry about her more than the others as she is so particular.

Thanks if you managed to make any sense of this let alone reply.

happygardening Thu 25-Oct-12 11:29:22

Yes independent schools usually have smaller classes usually the biggest will be around 20 quite often smaller but the schools themselves can be big Eton for example is 1300 from yrs 9-13. But independent schools are not necessarily any better at coping with children who are different. The majority of parents when the push comes to the shove are paying for academic success, better results; exams, university places etc than they think their DC would have got in the state sector so that means even in non selectives at secondary level the pressure is on.
But IME of secondary I've got DS's in both the teachers are more accessible there is less of a blame the parent child if things don't go the way it's meant too and higher standards of pastoral care in the independent sector and obviously more extra curricular stuff but this does not mean it would suit your DD.
OP it's early days as you DD matures maybe she'll settle and find her feet and hopefully will thrive in either. It sounds like you have a good teachers and these too are found in both sectors as are bad ones. Give her time.

eatyourveg Thu 25-Oct-12 11:34:27

Its all rather subjective. A lot of grammars are better than a lot of independants. Not all independants are big public school Eton/St Pauls types so you will get a whole range of places some of which may suit your dd, some of which may not.

Your description of your dd is not dissimilar to a lot of children and as you say, you are talking rather along way down the road but generally private schools do have smaller classes 14-18 is the norm ime. ds1 and ds3's school is v small and once you get to gcse years the classes go down to 6-12 depending on how many pick that subject. Their biggest class in Y7-9 was 18 for maths and now ds3 in Y10 has 12 which is considered quite large for our school. it is not the norm by any means and certainly in a grammar you would be looking more in the region of 24

The size of a secondary school may not scare her if the transition process is handled properly - lots of visits in the term leading up to the transfer, a member of staff visiting her at primary so that there is a link person along with full and open communication between everyone involved.

If your dd is bright and of grammar ability then I would go for it. There are tons of bright quirky children at our grammars here, many of them have Aspergers and similar difficulties and they seem to thrive.

My advice would be to keep an open dialogue with her teachers and ask them how they think she would cope in various types of setting. I imagine they would say it was far too early to say anything with any certainty but with frequent candid reviews of how she is coping both socially and academically you will have a much clearer picture of what she needs and what the options locally are for her

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