Gah! Yet another help me choose a school before I get carted off by men in white coats thread.(10 Posts)
Having been an avid watcher of chipmunks and others deciding on schools for their dcs, I now have my own dilemma for where to send dd1 at reception. At 7, ideally, I'd take her out of all of these and send her to a really brilliant prep that's a short walk from us.
a)State primary. Five mins' walk. Had a reputation as the sink school for years but recently has been transformed by a very impressive head. Now is "good with outstanding features", top value added in the borough and is a gorgeous school with really happy atmosphere.
b) Private school X is ten mins' walk away. It's very popular in our area, not very academic but excellent facilities. I didn't like it much on looking round, found it a bit Beverly Hills 90210, but know others would give their kidneys for a place there. It goes 3-18 but doesn't prepare for 7+ exams
c)Private school Y is about ten mins' drive away, more on a bad day. Kids come all over to attend it, which means dd's potential friends might be hours away, meaning hours in the car, which is very unappealing as I am a terrible driver and prefer not to drive as my bit towards the environment. It's a low profile, small school, struck me as sweet but didn't get my blood fizzing. It does however, prepare for 7+ exams - and have just read thread below on how pre-preps can help with these.
Right now it's really betwen state and Y with just the bit of me that knows how much people fight for a place at X making me keep it in the equation. Overall, I'm favouring state because of the school run issue and for dd to have local friends, not to mention sending her to such a clearly happy school. But I'm not sure I can take the stress of the seven plus exams and having her tutored. OTOH, school Y is giving them sackfuls of homework from day one and I like the idea of at least her first year at school being unpressurised.
I know these threads have been done to death on mn but if anyone has a second to give advice I'd be so grateful, I'm losing sleep at night which I badly need worrying about it all and the private schools both want an answer by Monday! Thank you.
state - it's the school you like best and if you are sending her private later on it's important she makes local, ordinary (as in not a subset of the population) friends.
It sounds like you've decided on the state primary. Would you definately move to a prep school at 7 or is there an option to stay at the state primary until 11. This would avoid the need to tutor your child when they are so young. You could always tutor them for 11+
The state primary sounds quite like the school my ds started at this September which is an undersubscribed primary school with a good head, great atmosphere plus a good OFSTED report. I agonised over sending him there because so many parents locally choose to drive to schools further away. Its worked out well for us so far. He's getting to know local children. The 5 min walk to school is so easy.
If I had the same decision it would be a).....no decision - look to move at 11 if appropriate and if you have spare cash you can always look to support academically with tutoring. I have no bias by the way - currently have two in state and one in independant.
I would put the various characteristics of the schools the back of your mind and answer one question. Which one has year 6 kids whom you want your DD to be most like.
If you are going to pull her out at year 7 and send her elsewhere I would think free state school brings the most short term benefits.
My kids go to state school, but I would send them both to private in a heart beat if I could afford it.
agree that a) seems to be a no-brainer.
Not wishing to start a private/state debate here but, who knows, you might even decide to keep her though if it's as good as it sounds
State school. Local friends and 5 minutes walk is top priority IMO.
Ach, y'all are right it's a no brainer
mumtoone your experience sounds very like mine - normally I wouldn't hesitate to choose the state school, but when all your neighbours are driving miles away to avoid it you worry you're condemening your dc to a sentence in Alcatraz. Glad it's working out for you.
Of course I don't have to move dd at seven , it's just there are a couple of fantastic prep schools very close that start at this age which I've always though like dd to be part of. But as some of you have said, possibly nearer the time I'll decide to keep her in the primary. And thanks for the tip on registering, dilemma, but we'll be fine - atm children come from other boroughs to this school and we're very close so I can't see how we'd fail to get into get in. Though with the credit crunch, who knows ... .
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