Moving ds at age 7 if he goes to a school that is girls only after that age(17 Posts)
I am considering two prep schools for ds.
One is all boys and goes to age 13. I love the school but it is a good 20 to 30 mins drive away. Good facilities, stacks of extra-curricular activities etc.
The other is mixed to age 7 and then girls only after that so he'd have to move to another school (possibly the all boys one above or one of several others which might be a little far to go at age 4 but ok by age 7 iyswim).
However it is only 5 mins drive or a walk away, and smaller and more homely than the other school. It's a bit too girl-oriented in some ways but it would only be for two years and ds isn't a particularly boisterous boy anyway. There are only 6 boys in each class but that seems enough given there are two classes and they change them round after reception and year one.
Both seem to have lovely teachers, children leave to go to good schools at the end of their stay etc. so nothing between them there.
Any thoughts on whether it would be very disruptive to move at 7/ better to go to the other school from the start etc?
I would go for the one that goes all the way to 13...they will be preparing him for the standards CE require and also you then don't have the hidsous problem of having to get him into the second school at 7.
Our Ds went to a nursery attached to a school that sounds very similar to you describe - there was a school that was suggested for leaving at 7 but we chose another route mainly (although not exclusively) because the girls option seemed to lack things for him such as Not enough boys for a football team/ the sponsored activity was Skipping etc etc. We went mixed route and interestingly moved him anyway at 7 to a Boys school - but no regrets about not taking the nursery route.
DS1 is at a school which is mixed to Yr3 (although half the boys leave after Yr2) then girls-only. The advantages are - like for you - that it is very local, so it's been great for him to make local friends, have playdates and for us all to feel part of the community. The downside is the extra pressure that's put on the boys to get them through the assessments for future schools. It's not so bad if you've got a child who is near the top of the class, but DS1 struggles (in part due to being a late August birthday) and would probably be more suited to a school where he could stay for the longest. Not that you know what your child is going to be like when you have to commit to a school, of course.
Interesting points - I guess it will be stress for all of us if we have to move ds at 7+.
Think I'm going to stick with the boys only school as first choice and if we don't get a place go for the other one.
Any more opinions welcome though.
As well as ensuring that they're up to any academic selection at 7 there is also a bit of a jump in the area of sports and games. Squads for football and rugby would be picked in the first 3 weeks of Year 3, and whilst it is fairly common to find that the squads changes significantly over the course of time it might be a bit of a shock for someone coming in from an environment where they hadn't done as much games before.
That said a 20-30 minute drive is quite a hike unless you're fairly rural, and it would significantly lengthen the school day. What time do the schools start?
We did end up moving our DS at 7 - and he did have to sit an academic assessment to get in - but at least this was our choice and what we felt to be the right thing for him- if you take the local school then you will have that choice made for you. After we moved school and DD also got a place at a girls school in the same town - I did a 7 mile commute - took around 20 mins in the morning - it was OK (although I do work term time so had an extra juggle) but was a challenge for when they finished at different times or wanted clubs - we moved to a walk from both schools and now walk most mornings still takes 15-20 mins but we leave later as we don't have to allow for the what if it is busy factors and if it is raining drive and two drop off's take 10 minutes and can collect at different times also so much less stressful.
I would go for the school where he could stay until 13 tbh. After years of moving my kids around for various reasons I am so relieved to have found "the one" DD is currently in prep/pre-school and will go straight through to the end of high school in the same place if all goes to plan. My 9 year old is really dyslexic so he wouldn't have a hope if he had to sit exams to get into high school - this way he's guaranteed a place all the way through too. The older they get the more difficult the entry procedure gets so my theory is get them when you can! Obviously if you have very academically able kids it's easier but you really don't know aged 4.
Yes the whole entrance exam sounds like a nightmare (I'm stressed enough about the 'relaxed' assessment for 4+ entry to the boys' school mentioned) so that is a significant reason to stick with one school. Having to make a whole new lot of friends also seems like a bad idea.
It isn't necessarily a bad entry point. The dcs school does juggle around class between Yr 2 and Yr 3 in part to enable new joiners to adjust.
I would find out how many tend to join at 7+. At our school whilst the prospectus refers to entrance tests at 7 in practice most of the places have already been filled at 4+.
Am interested in this ....resurrecting an old thread here.
Does anyone else have any views?
All the boys that go to the girls' school will be in the same boat. They have a strategy for how to prep you for the next stage.
would it be a real shock if he then went onto a boys' prep?
The school I work at is a girls' school that takes boys in pre-prep. Most of the boys go onto the same boys' prep school. It may or may not be a shock for them, but they cope just fine. They are only 7 at the transition.
lots of people move at 7, it is aknown "entry year" in all sorts of other schools
I say if you can put off a 30 minute school run for 2 years, grab it with both hands. The small school sounds lovely and it will be fine until 7.
The larger, more 'established' private schools seem cast in stone and know what they are about but the smaller schools are more likely to change.
My DC went to two small, local private junior schools which between them (1) changed from mixed-sex to single-sex [the wrong one, natch] (2) changed location, to the grounds of the follow-on school which was 10 miles away (3) closed down (despite its excellent academic record and an attempted parent rescue plan). I know of another that also closed down, with very little notice, which caused no end of problems for the parents trying to find new places in a panic.
In these turbulent times, perhaps the most important thing is the economic stability of the school.
The advantage of private schools, the small class sizes, can be a double-edged sword. The OP mentions that there are only 6 boys per class - that's a very small pool of people from which to choose your friends!
It is impossible to get a generalised rule about this (or anything else in education). It depends so much upon your child's character (which may not be obvious at this age, although it will be with hindsight), the local state schools, the local private schools, other siblings, the family dynamic, etc, etc. Education is like all other aspects of parenting - you will feel guilty about whatever you do and wonder if it was the right choice.
Ruggermum the classes are mixed up every year and there are 12 boys usually in total - still not many but slightly better.
It is a 2 class entry school so not tiny and seems reasonably well off financially although you can never tell.
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