Single sex schools? Keeping a child down a year?(10 Posts)
I'm moving country (neither from UK nor to UK). I have a couple of choices that I've never really considered before and I don't have anyone here to bounce ideas off so I'd appreciate any thoughts you might have. All my children are currently primary aged.
Firstly, single sex schools. It's an option where I'm going, both for primary and secondary. My thoughts are that I would never consider putting my son in an all boys school, but it might suit my eldest daughter. That's not entirely down to personality, though partly it is. My 8yo son has lots of friends who are girls and benefits from there being girls in the class. My daughter finds the boys in her class mostly loud, immature and tedious, and really enjoys all-girl spaces. There is a lot of evidence that girls do better in all-girl education settings. But then I don't really want my children in separate schools, and as I would never put my son in a single sex school perhaps it's just a non-starter. (BTW, I don't think boys are loud, immature or tedious, I think they are wonderful).
And the other thing is that their birthdays happen to fall in a month that means some flexibility on whether they should be in one year or the one below. My son is certainly in the bottom half of his class for everything, he struggles, though not unduly. His teachers have occasionally told me he is "young for his age". I'm wondering about keeping him down a year - I can see all the benefits of doing it, but what are the downsides? Are there any?
You could have one in single sex and the other in co-ed? I've certainly done this in the past. Bear in mind that many of the parents at a single sex will have other children at different schools, so it isn't as odd as it might seem.
Personally I would be tempted to ensure that your son was towards the older end of the year rather than the younger year. That said, the places where it seems to matter can be in sport, especially competitive sport which may have age limits, and also at secondary school transfers. If he is just a month away from norm, then it is unlikely that early puberty would be such a standout thing, and certainly not something that you could predict.
I suppose I was thinking about half terms not matching up, two school runs... not insurmountable issues.
I tend to agree that it's better to be at the older end of the year. V good point about sport. Will investigate.
Thanks so much for your reply.
You usually find that the heads at single sex schools are very conscious of the logistical issues for families who want single sex and have more than one gender in their families. So in my experience, term dates often matched, and even start and finish times in the school day meant that could co-ordinate both school runs. I have to confess that co-ed schools weren't quite as aware and I did have ore of an issue with one in single sex and the other in co-ed. That said, it was still the right decision for the kids themselves.
Do you mind me asking, did you put your girl(s) or boy(s) into single sex?
My daughter attends an all girls school in Ireland. The biggest advantage I've found is the smaller class sizes. There's 21 in her class. All the other local mixed schools have 30+. I don't know if that would be the same in your area.
I only have boys. They were each in the best school for them.
I repeated a year for the same reason - moving countries - and I was über young for my year. It did me the world of good.
I think it's more important that your children go to schools that are right for them, than that they are at the same school, if you can face the school run.
If you are coming here from the USA then if you have the choice to go in a lower year then I would do that. When we moved the other way my sister and I were both moved up a school year purely based on the fact that we had already covered the syllabus for the year we should have gone into (and indeed had covered much of the higher year's syllabus too especially in MFL and maths).
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