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Do small state senior schools exist?

(31 Posts)
2014willbemyyear Sun 29-Dec-13 19:33:58

The 3 local senior schools to us all have around 1000 pupils in. Do small (500 or less) state senior schools exist?

NigellasDealer Sun 29-Dec-13 19:34:47

yes in obscure and remote parts of the country

Roisin Sun 29-Dec-13 19:57:50

About 200 at this 11-18 school in the Lake District.


ChristmasStrumpet Sun 29-Dec-13 19:58:51

In rural remote places like the Highlands of Scotland.

Snog Sun 29-Dec-13 20:01:23

Ours has 3 classes per year (city state school) and so does its sister school

ouryve Sun 29-Dec-13 20:07:24

The one nearest to us is 440 pupils. No 6th form and no great shakes, though.

ErrolTheDragon Sun 29-Dec-13 20:07:32

Most state schools grew in size when comprehensives were introduced, it's hard to provide a range of options over mixed abilities otherwise. Selective schools, where they still exist, may be smaller.

chocoshopoholic Sun 29-Dec-13 20:08:54

Yes. You can use to see the characteristics of schools near you.

2014willbemyyear Sun 29-Dec-13 20:34:36

I would prefer small senior for my dc but didn't know if such existed. Thanks for the links will check them out.

TalkinPeace Sun 29-Dec-13 20:49:36

smaller schools have much less scope for breadth of curriculum, less facilities for extra curricular support and if you do not get on with somebody, less chance to find different groups of friends

in secondary schools, the more pupils per overhead cost generally leads to better facilities

SlowlorisIncognito Sun 29-Dec-13 21:50:16

Why do you want a smaller school?

In general, smaller state schools can't offer the same amount of options at GCSE, facilities and range of extra curricular activities that larger schools can. Also, having a wide range of peers to socialise with can be beneficial to children.

As well as this, the range of abilities of children in sets will be wider at non-selective schools, so their education will usually be less personalised not more.

Marmitelover55 Mon 30-Dec-13 10:01:43

What would people consider to be the optimal size for a secondary school?

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 30-Dec-13 10:05:33

The next nearest school to here, about six miles away, is about 350 pupils. They don't have a sixth form, instead all their Year 11s have an automatic right to a place here with free bus ride etc.

Academically, it's probably not as good as ours, but pastoral care and support appears to be far better.

Badvocatyuletide Mon 30-Dec-13 10:09:33

Ours has about 450 pupils and we are not that obscure! smile

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Mon 30-Dec-13 10:31:49

Yes - I teach in one. Small can be beautiful.

cece Mon 30-Dec-13 10:36:33

"smaller schools have much less scope for breadth of curriculum, less facilities for extra curricular support and if you do not get on with somebody, less chance to find different groups of friends

in secondary schools, the more pupils per overhead cost generally leads to better facilities"

This is exactly I chose the much bigger school in my area. Although several of my friends have chosen the smaller one. It is so small they mix the Y7 and Y8 together for lessons. hmm

Several up here in Cumbria...
John Ruskin in Coniston
Cartmel priory school
Probably loads more.

TalkinPeace Mon 30-Dec-13 13:49:58

the size of the school is really just a number
most of the ones around here are 250-300 kids per year group
Eton has 1300 pupils after all

what makes a school WORK is how its SLT run things
tutor groups, pastoral, SEN provision, G&T provision, music, arts, drama, sports
the trick is whether they push the top, support the bottom and do not lose the middle

schools of all sizes fail and succeed

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Dec-13 17:20:25

Yes, we have one here on Berkshire/Hants border 500 pupils, but no sixth form.

EvilTwins Mon 30-Dec-13 21:07:57

I teach in a school with about 550 pupils.

Rosetti Mon 30-Dec-13 22:10:23

Settlebeck in Sedbergh is a wonderful school - fantastic head who knows all the children - almost like having one to one private tuition! Teaching is geared so much to the individual.

Erebus Tue 31-Dec-13 12:39:57

Echoing what Talkin says: It's all about how they arrange the school that counts, not the numbers. Some bigger schools make a big thing about Houses, so the houses contain DC from all years and the DC identify primarily with that house; ours work in year groups (280 DC) where the DC are taught to identify primarily with their own Tutor (i.e. class of 28), then the year group. They don't have a big enough hall for the whole school to assemble all at once, anyway!

And ditto about breadth of curriculum and choices; put crudely, bums on seats = cash to spend.

Marmitelover55 Tue 31-Dec-13 15:25:44

My DD1's school has 140 in her cohort split into 5 classes and this seems quite a good size for now. The range of GCSEs isn't enormous though.

I work in a smaller school and disagree re curriculum. The school bends over backwards to provide a varied and personalised curriculum and our pupils thrive. It's harder than in a bigger school but not impossible.

Also, re sets, yes they're much more mixed in terms of ability but it means teachers become experts at differentiation.

I've worked in a school with 1400 and I've worked in a school with 300. Personally I'll be aiming for something in between for my dc.

MillyMollyMama Tue 31-Dec-13 18:34:12

Where I live the secondary modern schools start at about 800 pupils and the largest grammars are 1400. They grammar schools are mostly outstanding and the secondary moderns are, generally, not. It is not about size, it is about quality of teaching, learning and leadership. If these attributes are poor, it will be a poor school even if it only has 400 pupils on roll. Outstanding schools are nothing to do with size. I would look beyond this when weighing up the pros and cons of schools.

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