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Is space to run about really important?

(14 Posts)
OhIDoLikeToBeBeside Sat 16-Mar-13 19:03:21

We are trying to choose between two primary schools for DS. Both would suit his personality and ability and they have v similar ethos to each other.

However, one has loads of outside space for playing plus a huge sports hall. The other is in the centre of the city so has only a small playground (no grass etc), though it does have a playing field a few minutes walk away.

All things being equal we would go for the one with space. But it is around 30 mins away from where we live. DS would get the school minibus there and back from Y1 and one of us would meet him at the stop. He would have to do after school club before getting the bus.

The other is 5 mins from where we both work so we would get the bus in and out with him (40 mins due to traffic) - as we currently do coz his nursery is in the city near work. We would drop him at 8:45 and pick up at 5:00 (he would do after school club).

So, which do we pick?

ScillyCow Sat 16-Mar-13 19:04:42

I'd go with space.

But you know your DS!

HormonalHousewife Sat 16-Mar-13 19:07:05

I'd go with convenience.

As long as there is some out door space then I'd be fine with this after all you want them there to learn not just run around !

Leeds2 Sun 17-Mar-13 00:57:58

I'd go with space! Sorry, not much help.

stubborncow Sun 17-Mar-13 01:06:21

I initially thought "space" but when I saw that the other school is close to work, I changed my mind. I really like having my kids close to where I work.

I assume you'd be dropping him off and collecting at the bus stop an hour or so later with the school with space? In which case, that would also swing it for me 'cause I think it's a long day when they are little and the earlier you can get them, the better so you have some time with them when not tired and cranky.

akaemmafrost Sun 17-Mar-13 06:02:37

Yes I would prefer my dc to be close too.

nooka Sun 17-Mar-13 06:08:51

I'd go with the closer one, easier in general and might make it possible for you and your dh to get to school based events too (there will probably be lots of them!)

pixi2 Sun 17-Mar-13 06:11:40

What would you do if school called asking you to pick him up? Which option would allow you to get to see school plays?

OhIDoLikeToBeBeside Sun 17-Mar-13 07:12:13

That is a v good point Pixi2. I hadn't thought about that (Doh! Why on earth I thought he would magically stop getting ill when he left nursery?)

nextphase Sun 17-Mar-13 07:25:33

I was going to say space BUT both have space, its just a question of amount. Kids don't actually need a massive amount of space - just somewhere to run around, and if the outside activities are carefully thought about, either would be fine.
I'd go with convenience between those two choices, but would always put enough space to let of steam above NO space.

seeker Sun 17-Mar-13 07:33:00

Are you sure you will be able to get a place at either if the schools are a distance away from where you live? I'm sure you've already thought about this but just in case........

Needmoresleep Sun 17-Mar-13 08:38:20

Add in the physical exercise he will get on the way to and from each school. Also look at what external facilities used by the school with no space, eg do they take the kids swimming or to play football in a nearby park. How do they use the space they have, eg staggered playtimes. (Good because otherwise the bigger kids dominate - so in effect if well managed a small child might do better in a school that manages its limited resources well. )

Also are there any nearby after school schemes eg football, and would you be able to leave early once a week to take him. (Or pay one of the au pairs or nannies who is taking their charge anyway, to take yours along.)

Do you plan for your child to stay through to 11, or might one option be to use the nearby school for infants and then have a rethink for juniors. Plus perhaps set up physical activities for the weekend.

It depends quite a lot on the child. It is said that boys use 90% of the playground space. Central London schools don't tend to have much space, indeed some private ones don't have any outdoor space at all. This can matter, especially for boys aged 8-11, and there is noticeable movement at 7 & 8. (This obviously coincides with the start of many prep schools, but it is not unknown for more boisterous boys to switch state schools at this point to find a more sympathetic setting.)

Also look at secondaries. It is a long way ahead but in some places it is really useful to be in a feeder primary.

lljkk Sun 17-Mar-13 09:03:19

I vote convenience.

OhIDoLikeToBeBeside Sun 17-Mar-13 16:44:12

Thank you for all your replies. You have given us lots of questions to ask. I am leaning onwards the city school as I feel 7:45-6:00 is too long a day at primary age.

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