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Yr 6 senior school transition

(11 Posts)
Temporaryanonymity Sat 07-Oct-17 11:25:06

My son is in year 6 and we have been attending open days. We are fortunate to have the choice of two schools within walking distance.

school A is 10 minutes away. It is shabby, badly maintained with a mixed intake. Neighbour's son is in year 13 and he has thrived there. It has a vertical tutor group system which I very much like the sound of. I felt very comfortable at the school, results are OK and there is a new HT.

school B is a 60s build and v shiny inside. V academically focused with great results. It is one of the leading schools in the region. The extracurricular stuff is varied. All the kids from my son's school will go there. It is around a 45 minute walk.

DS wants school A because it is closer, which I have some sympathy with. School B starts at 8.30 so he will need to set off at 7.45 to get there. school A starts at 8.50 so could comfortably leave at 8.30.

School a is the obvious choice but the open day left me cold, despite the shiny facilities. The added complication is that my son has been bullied and I suspect he has plumped for school A to get away from them.

To be fair I prefer school A but on paper there is no basis for this reaction. Results, facilities all point to school B.

I am a lone parent so this decision is mine alone. Another factor is that all the city schools are undersubscribed with decaying buildings so I suspect one will close. It won't be school B for sure.

I dont know what decision to make. If the results in school A were terrible it would help but they aren't. And the vertical tutpr group thing would suit my son massively.

It should be a no brainer as school B is so, so good. has anyone any suggestions about how to make this decision?

MaisyPops Sat 07-Oct-17 11:29:34

I'd say caution on 'nice shiny building' appeal.Some of the schools in my area that have a reputation of being odd are almost all shiny shiny schools.

Personally, I'd say A if the extracurriculars are ok. 45 mins each way to B is a lot on the end of the school day, especially factoring in after school.clubs and getting in late when it's dark. He could be getting in at 5/530 after a club and then needs to eat, do homework and relax.

noblegiraffe Sat 07-Oct-17 11:34:49

Don’t put too much emphasis on vertical tutor groups, they only spend a minority of their time in them and whether they work well depends a lot on how they’re managed and what the kids are like.

MaisyPops Sat 07-Oct-17 11:52:56

Some things to consider:

What sort of curriculum do they both offer?
Have they cut options subjects?
What vocational pathways do they offer?
How do they group?
What's the behaviour policy?
What trips do they run?
Do they have a habit of hot housing y10/11 with extra after school lessons or saturday morning sessions?
How do they support mental health and well-being?

Paddington68 Sat 07-Oct-17 11:55:32

You aren't alone in your decision as your son has told you where he would like to go.

Temporaryanonymity Sat 07-Oct-17 12:17:07

Yes, I know he will play a part in the decision. But as I mentioned, he is being bullied and those boys are going to school B. I don't think he should choose a worse option based on other boys bullying behaviour.

I am surrounded by people who are choosing school B, because by far it has the better reputation. his school will assume that we will choose school B because it is the obvious choice.

I do prefer school A. The shorter walking distance is a factor in this, as is the positive feedback from my neighbour and his son. There appear to be lots of extra curriculars in school A but not as many as school B. School B pushes DoE etc and has far flung trips to exotic climes. This wasnt mentioned at school A.

relaxitllbeok Sat 07-Oct-17 13:47:58

You have a typo in para 5, right - it's school B that left you cold despite the shiny facilities? Sounds as though your gut and your son's are telling you the same thing, and in your place I'd go with that, assuming you've done your due diligence so that if there really were a strong reason against school A you'd know it. Getting away from bullies and making a fresh start is an important bonus, too.

RedSkyAtNight Sat 07-Oct-17 22:25:36

I'd definitely go for School A in your circumstances.

though to warn you that DC's school has just abandoned vertical tutor groups to cut costs.

MsJolly Sat 07-Oct-17 22:30:21

Ignore the tutor group thing-DD's school has it--it's neither here nor there with its actual merits tbh. She also spends little time in tutor group as she plays in a lot of music groups which meet in tutor time. DS has just started and he has little support in his tutor group and it's a waste of time apart from giving out messages.

Go with your gut

Temporaryanonymity Sun 08-Oct-17 03:37:26

Just to update; we are going with school A. I looked up the Estyn report from 2015 and it is listed as an excellent school with excellent prospects. So I am happy now that I have that to back up my gut feeling.

We have looked at their twitter feed this evening and we have both got a bit excited.

DizzyDandelion Sun 08-Oct-17 08:04:00

Good luck.
I too chose a school that most of my child's peers parents did not.
Their face freezing reactions made me doubt myself but he is doing great [touch wood!] and it is closer to us so is able to access clubs etc easily.
Also, he keeps in touch with a couple of friends who have gone to the other school and it has made those friendships more special.

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