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Very few girls in prep

(24 Posts)
Upatnight Sun 07-Feb-16 23:23:04

Trying to decide between two schools - both a good choice for various reasons, but one is all girls with approx 12-14 girls in the year, and the other is co-ed but only 3 girls in the year and 7 boys. Would that worry you?

thirdtimeplucky Mon 08-Feb-16 00:09:12

Is this pre-prep? Will the numbers increase at prep level? I couldn't be comfortable with this. Socially claustrophobic and too few girls to field a netball team!

CupcakeMilly Mon 08-Feb-16 10:22:18

I think when they are younger the girls actually don't mind about boys, it really is neither here or not there from my experience. I think you need to think about which school will offer the best education. Where is you daughter going to be most happiest going to school each day? Which school offers most inspiring lessons etc?

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Mon 08-Feb-16 10:31:40

With class sizes this small I would also be asking about the financial viability of the school.

AnotherNewt Mon 08-Feb-16 17:15:14

Yes, check viability as far as possible.

What year of entry are you considering? And what are your onwards plans?

Either would be fine for pre-prep. But the time they're old enough for team sports, not having enough girls in the year for a netball team is not great.

What are the numbers and sex ratio like in the other year groups?

Upatnight Mon 08-Feb-16 18:42:37

This is age 8-9
Socially claustrophobic is my worry

lavendersun Mon 08-Feb-16 18:49:13

I would want a bigger friendship pool OP.

We are looking for schools right now, Yr 5. Currently at a school with a mixed sex year group of 9 and it is far too small (more girls than boys)

I am not entirely sold on single sex schools right now, one of our potential schools is single sex. In my mind a class size of 18-20 is ideal.

Can I ask how much you have involved your daughter so far? Our move is a distance one and we need to view the schools (currently 3) before attending a taster day.

Lightbulbon Mon 08-Feb-16 18:52:00

Id go with the girls school every time.

Upatnight Mon 08-Feb-16 18:52:40

Numbers increase in the next years but sex ratio remains similar, it is a choir school and apparently viable... Seems a very happy little school. Arguments put forward by other parents that small number of girls means everyone gets chance to play netball, hockey etc in A team...? My girls not very sporty anyway, so that isn't top priority.
We like both schools for different reasons - pros of one are co-ed, rural, ponies, beautiful, cons are small number of girls, seems more chaotic educationally although this may be unfair as based on one taster day. Pros of the other are more girls, better facilities, seems safer educationally, cons are further away (not much), town, not beautiful, less quirky.
Thanks for all your opinions

greenfolder Mon 08-Feb-16 18:57:11

We moved our dd from state to a very small school. Maybe 8 girls in the year. It was an utter disaster. I would think long and hard about that few friends.

ABetaDad1 Mon 08-Feb-16 18:58:59

Our two DSs went to a girls school at Pre-prep until Yr2. Very few boys, overwhelmingly girls. No problem. It was an outstanding school and they both did well.

Then they went to a Pre-prep/Prep that was very heavily weighted towards boys. The girls were physically at a big disadvantage in a rowdy boys environment and no doubt suffered to some extent. DS2 said the girls were always being knocked about in the rough and tumble.

After one year we moved both DSs back to a predominantly girls Prep. In fact they were the only boys in the school. DS1 quickly noticed girls in year 5 and 6 no longer wanted to interact with him. DS2 was fine as he is two years younger and more boys joined. The problem was the school was small with very small classes in years 1 - 4. In this school boys sport really didn't exist in year 5 - 6. It wasn't a great experience for DS1.

Overall, I think our boys navigated their Reception = Year 6 time well and benefitted from the heavier girls environment in the classroom but boys sport provision was a real downside.

I think I would advise against very small Pre-prep/Prep school or where there is a heavy sex imbalance. Single sex is fine but not where boys dominate with very few girls.

Upatnight Mon 08-Feb-16 19:01:45

We went and saw five schools, narrowed it down to these two and were bogged down in decision making, so controversially decided to do a taster day at each to see if anything came out of that. Rather annoyingly both girls loved both - again for different reasons.
They don't seem unduly worried about having had taster says at both. We were careful to say beforehand that although their opinion mattered, the final decision would be up to us as there may be factors that only parents may know about.

Upatnight Mon 08-Feb-16 19:04:47

Sorry navigating bath time madness and keep missing messages!

Upatnight Mon 08-Feb-16 19:10:31

PS we have two boys as well but they are toddlers and therefore we are not thinking about their prep requirements as they will be at our village school until they are 8 and we are happy with that.

surreygoldfish Mon 08-Feb-16 19:42:30

Gosh they are both v tiny schools. I'm sure the children mix across the genders with such small numbers. I'd worry about having a decent peer group across the curriculum sport, music, academic.

Upatnight Mon 08-Feb-16 19:43:55

No bigger private schools near here, we are end of the line!

Robertaquimby Mon 08-Feb-16 19:49:04

If your daughters have spent one day there and you think it is chaotic then you should run a mile.

Both schools seem tiny. Small schools are often appealing to parents IMO but offer a small pool from which to choose friends and fewer extra curricular opportunities.

Robertaquimby Mon 08-Feb-16 19:50:33

Why are you moving them from their current school? Are you sure either of these schools will offer anything better?

Upatnight Mon 08-Feb-16 19:51:55

Current school is village state school which has been great so far, but even smaller than these two!

Happymummy007 Tue 09-Feb-16 10:35:15

We moved our DD precisely because there were too few girls in her year (now Y5). In her old school there are now only 6 girls in the class, dominated by a couple of very strong personalities. DD is now in a single sex school with over 30 girls spread over two classes and is much, much happier, and has a much bigger group of girls to be friends with. Personally I would go for a larger group.

lavendersun Tue 09-Feb-16 12:16:27

We are finding exactly the same Happy, very strong personalities (our child is very meek) and so few opportunities for friendships caused by lack of numbers.

Hence we are looking at bigger classes for our move. It is a problem up, lack of numbers

vixsyn Thu 11-Feb-16 18:03:59

What environment would your daughters prefer/do best in? What is socially claustrophobic to one person might be intimate and great for building strong relationships to another. Do your girls already seem to be the types to make lots of friends/acquaintances or are they happier in smaller or one-to-one scenarios?

Does the small class mean there is more individual attention and more focused peer to peer interaction, are they encouraged to interact as a team or in rotated groups or both? There can be great benefits to small class sizes, and of course dependent on the class sizes they face when they're older smaller groups are more "true to life" in terms of what they'd most likely face in social and working groups when they were older (dependent on their vocation, naturally!).

If they're not very sporty then as you've said that might not be a priority, but, much as I hesitate to say it, do girls really need netball and hockey to thrive as active women? My younger sister started playing football with her little boy friends at primary school and was selected for the county womens team by the age of 13. No netball team is a bit of a cliche/sexist when it comes to sport (saying that, I went to a private sixth form and girls weren't allowed to play football or rugby at all; perhaps it would have turned us all into feminist lesbians or cause our hidden testicles or burst forth?).

From what you say about both schools, I think perhaps it's best to factor in what you want from their educational experience. The co-ed seems more diverse, the girls school better suited to traditional academia. I'm not certain what your definition of chaotic in this context is so it's hard to say anything on that front. Do your girls get along with boys? Is it really an important factor? If strong personalities are more of an issue than gender, that can be an issue in either scenario. A class of 30 can have dominant personalities. Bullying seems more common in larger groups as well, perhaps because it's easier to hide it that way.

makemineasnowball Thu 11-Feb-16 18:34:58

We are in a similar position with even smaller numbers in DDs class! Do not underestimate the impact of being in a tiny class both socially and academically. Not been good for DD sad

Duckdeamon Tue 16-Feb-16 12:12:56

3 girls in year is nowhere near enough socially IMO. Especially for a number of years. Also agree with PPs about financial viability. resources will be very stretched at such a small school.

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