Small school or big school?(11 Posts)
My first post in education so please help me!(I am more regular in multiple births as I had twin girls in December...)
My 4 year old daughter is due to start school in September. Currently she is in preschool nursery at my next to local infant school (the closest preschool nursery but not the closest infant/primary school). She is doing very well and I have applied for her to go into Reception in September.
However I am now having doubts.
Her catchment school is in our village, walking distance from our house. It is a lot smaller than the other school. The intake for reception is 14.
But 3 of her closest friends also from the village (2 of which live in spitting distance of us) are going to the small school.
But the "bigger" school may suit her better because she has a large personality (iyswim) and whilst I appreciate that she will get more attention at the small school I'm not entirely sure that this is a good thing!
I've checked out the estyn reports and the small school is good, with 2 satisfactory. The big school is mostly good, with a few very goods and 2 satisfactory thrown in.
She could walk to school in a few years time on her own, or with her friends because there are no busy roads to cross etc. Also the appeal of being able to pop the twins in the pushchair rather than the car is also lurking in the back of my mind.
Hence the question - how do you decide??
I teach in a small school and absolutely love the environment. It is so good that everyone knows everyone.
For activities and teams, everyone that wants to take part gets to.
I would go for the local one - walking distance is useful, good for her to learn road sense. Also her friends are going there
Ds started at nursery with 2 of his friends - and he has continued to be friends with them - I'd let her stay with her friends at the smaller school for now.
Agree with yurtgirl that walking distance is a big bonus. Also, I'm not a village person so am prepared to be corrected on this one, but isn't part of the attraction of villages to feel part of the tiny local community and skip to and from school with your little friends, past old Miss Marple types who wave to you from their pretty cottage gardens and the fat jolly owner of the village store who twinkles as you select penny sweets from old fashioned jars on the way home? Adding cars and distance into the mix ruins the effect a bit, no?
Small school didn't work for me - dd1 was too bright (not boasting, just what teacher said - twas a very small gene pool in our village), dd2 had too much personality - Y5/6 teacher at her 1st school said she was very difficult and would never be happy, Teacher at slightly larger school said she was a breath of fresh air with her off the wall thinking and strong will and would go far. Dyslexic ds was written off at 1st school - 2nd school said of course he could pass 11 plus. He did. Guess where dd3 goes??
swedishmum, that is my biggest feel to be honest. DD has a large personality and can be quite hard to handle, and sometimes I do think that she will overwhelm a small class, and (dare I say it?) be disruptive...
But yes, part of the attraction is skipping to school etc!
Will speak to head of smaller school this week and ask advice.
I just posted on another small v big school thread. we are in a similar situation but in our case my dds moved school from medium - big -small village as we moved around. The small village school they are now at is absolutely fine, compared to the bigger schools. The bigger schools had better facilities but the small school works really hard to make up for this - lots of clubs and activities and trips.
And my dds do get the benefits Scummy mentions. Skipping merrily to school waving hello to the friendly spinsters, picking up their friends on the way. Able to pop out at weekends and visit their friends.
For us it was really important not to have to drive to school, enough to move them a second time in 6 months from a perfectly adequate school that was a drive away from our new house. It did make a big difference to the dds' integration into the village community. they love being a part of things, knowing lots of people, making local friends.
Oh, one of my 3dds has a "big personality" (aka stroppy bossy opinionated type) and is academically above her peers. She's not the only bright child in the school though, and the school does cater for them. Sometimes the small school and mixed classes works in her favour as she works with the top group of the year above.
Agree with all below - walking is BIG bonus (esp as you have baby twins!) . Why not try her there for a yar and see how it goes?
Thanks again ladies - Fennel, loving the interpretation of a big personality, you are totally spot on!
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