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Choosing a secondary school!!??????????????????????????

(12 Posts)
sunnyskies Sat 16-Apr-05 14:58:29

Our DD currently in yr 4 - lots of the parents with children in her year are talking about going to visit Secondary schools - sept/oct although they don't have the form unitl the following yr - has anyone else done this?is this common?. I waited until DS was in yr 6 before looking at Secondary schools but that was a few yrs ago - How far also are people prepared for their children to travel?? - half across LOndon according tosome of the parents I've heard???

happymerryberries Sat 16-Apr-05 15:02:49

In our area parents and children are invited at the start of year 6 to visit schools. They can, of course, make an appointment sooner, but open evenings are targeted at that year group.

Top tips when you do go, look at the loos, says a lot about the school! See how the teachers interact with your kids, if the teachers only talk to you and ignore them, alarm bells. See if there are lots of examples of the kids work on the walls. Ask any current kids (and the school will get some in to help out) what they think of the school (take into account the school will have picked good ambasadors IYSWIM)

incognito1 Sat 16-Apr-05 15:03:48

we visited in november last yr and ds starts in Sept this year Year 4 is way too early

sunnyskies Sat 16-Apr-05 15:15:43

I thought it was too early and that these parents must be going with next yrs yr6 parents to be able to get in to open evenings etc. Thanks - new I could rely on you MN for an answer

roisin Sat 16-Apr-05 15:21:49

DS1 is only in yr3, but we intend going to a couple of the "open evenings" next year. This is for a number of reasons:

a) We have a very limited number of schools (4) within a 'reasonable distance'
b) On paper they are all far from ideal
c) Schools actually change from year-to-year, and I want to base my opinions on more than a single-snapshot and local gossip
d) The open evenings all tend to be at the same time, and I don't want to go to them all back-to-back as it were
e) When the time comes we want to take ds1 to look at the schools too, but I would only want to take him to a couple of schools, and I'd like to rule out a couple first.

rosepetal Sat 16-Apr-05 18:28:55

I think it depends how many schools you want to see. We did go to a couple of the open evenings in the autumn of Y5. If we'd left it all to Y6 I think we would have been struggling to get round them all. Also you don't actually have that long in Y6 to decide on your preferences and we found it useful to have had some idea of what the schools were like before this. We also looked at some independent schools and did go round these in Y4 - again because we're both working and to get all this in at the beginning of Y6 would have been impossible! So I don't think it's that mad to start looking in Y4!

firestorm Sat 16-Apr-05 20:32:41

its never too early to start thinking about secondary schools. if you live in an area with unacceptable state provision & you cannot afford to go private its best done sooner rather than later for the childrens sake. my eldest is in year one & we are moving area (hopefully this year) to escape our poor local schools. id much rather they start at a new school in year 2 & reception than leave it longer & possibly not be moved in time (as happened when we were trying to move for primary schools)

tiddlypom Sat 16-Apr-05 20:56:46

Go in Year 4. And start reading Ofsted reports. The more I found out the more I realised that school choice was all about horses for courses - different schools offer different things, and you need to fit the child's needs/interests/requirements (including distance from home to school) to the school - all the heads will say the same thing.

sunnyskies Sat 16-Apr-05 21:15:17

Right am going to talk to DH about this and tell what you all advise. Think we need to think about how far we are prepared for her to travel and/or how good any of the local schools are.

mumeeee Sat 16-Apr-05 22:18:40

All the secondary schools near us have open days targeted at primarlyat year6 children,but they also welcome those in year 5 during the first half term the school year.

tigermoth Sun 17-Apr-05 08:44:09

totally agree that you should see some secondary schools before year 6. We didn't and boy do I regret it! In the space of 6 weeks, we saw about 8 schools, prepared for the 11 +, and ds sat the 4 papers for the test. Way too stressful for everyone.

Also, if you work, be prepared to book lots of time off - school open days are so useful to go to, but if you are seeing lots of schools, the hours mount up alarmingly. Another reason to see some school early. Good luck!!

wizzysmum Mon 18-Apr-05 00:08:37

We went to Open Evenings in Y4 and 5 to get an idea of local schools - admittedly only grammar schools as they are the only places locally I would contemplate sending dd. She chose which she preferred (obviously if we weren't happy with both she would not have had the choice... ) and starts in Sept.

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