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(4 Posts)
gracemargaret Tue 22-Jul-08 10:08:26

I am considering private education for my dd currently aged 8yrs but have always been a bit anti (support local school etc etc). I'm not sure wether I would be making the right decision so am after some advice.

Facts are that dd is bright (level 4 SATs end of yr 3) and quite geeky (in a very lovely way wink) so am also thinking about how she would fit in at each school - probably guilty of making assumptions here about type of kids at private school grin - sure they're not all geeky but just hoping the percentage might be higher!!. Lots of friends have said they are very happy with local school, however it does tend to be to do with the family atmosphere/sporting achievements/support for struggling students rather than for it's academic success (albeit those are not bad things for a school to excel at).

There is also almost no cultural diversity at local school which I think is a shame and not a good reflection of rl.

On the plus side local school is walking distance (rather than longish bus/car journey), her friends from primary will be going and we will know lots of the parents.

I have read posts previosly which seem to suggest it is sometimes easier for teachers at private schools to focus on fulfilling individual potential of each child rather than focusing on getting all children to a certain level (we have found at primary already that as dd has reached the required "level" she, and a few others, have spent most of this year revising whilst other kids have been pushed which sometimes I think is fine (priority should be this way round and does dd no harm to be a bit bored sometimes) and other times I think is a shame as only yesterday she said she was genuinely interested in something and asking questions only to be told (we're not doing that yet).

Really not sure what to do for the best - such a lot of money for no guarantees!! I keep thinking I've got ages to decide but we haven't really as will need to start saving if we decide on private route grin.

Any one in similar situation with any advice?

Elasticwoman Tue 22-Jul-08 12:57:05

Sounds like a G & T child. Ask the school if she is on the G & T list; if so, what are they offering her; if not why not. There should be a designated teacher in charge of G & T. If there isn't, write to the governing body.

I think a better way (than changing schools) of enriching a child's education if you have money to spend, is to buy extra tuition outside school, esp. music if she has any interest in that. Private schools vary, and while you may find a very good one, you may also be paying out for something no better than you can get for nothing from the state.

I think you are quite right to want to stretch her, even though she seems far ahead at the moment. Later in life it gets much more competitive and she may become less motivated.

SqueakyPop Tue 22-Jul-08 13:03:04

If you can afford it, you simply have more choices. Have you seen both schools and know that one offers advantages over the other?

As a teacher in a private school, I would definitely say that we help each individual pupil fulfil their own potential, and this is not through a series of check-boxes that you get in large state schools - it is through building relationships with each invididual pupil. OTOH, pupils in private schools are expected to conform to the ethos of the school, and in that regard, we do not treat them as individuals.

gracemargaret Tue 22-Jul-08 18:46:55

DD is on G&T list (although don't agree with the whole G&T label although that's another thread!!) and has teacher in for one morning a week who does extension work with her. I have seen both schools - local school is a lovely friendly school and I am sure dd would do OK there - private school seems fantastic, lovely unstuffy atmosphere and has high no. of academic scholarshops/bursaries which I like.

dd actually does quite a bit in her own time at home (like I said bit of a geek!) but no extra time for formal tuition out of school as rest of time she is busy with ballet/disco/drama type stuff.

I am also thinking if we do go the private route would it be better to move her to the linked private primary in year five to increase likelihood of getting in and reduce potentail difficulties in year 6 of all the rest of her year group going elsewhere in year 6 (V small school only 6 in the year!).

Thanks for the teachers perspective squeaky pop....can afford it but there will be sacrifices - it is just hard to know if they are worth making!

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