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Start Prep School this Sept & struggle or wait til 2010?

(9 Posts)
karise Thu 28-May-09 13:22:20

Difficult decision to be made! Visiting the prep on Tuesday to discuss entry for DD. DD not happy at state school she's currently at but might do better under new teacher in year 3(this Sept).
Prep does mass entry into year 3 and has places left & argues she would do better starting with everyone else rather than waiting a year. However, I am still waiting to find out if my contract will be extended in September. Although I have been told there should be no problem with this I'm still a bit jittery until I get it!
Question 1:- If we pay the deposit does the school have to keep the place open for us until next year?
Question 2:- How far behind academically & socially would she be entering in year 4?
Sorry it's so long- some very difficult decisions to be made!

CeciC Thu 28-May-09 13:35:52

Hi Karise,
No personal experience as my DD1 so far she is very happy at her state schoool, but her best friend from school, was moved to private over 1 year ago. That was in Y2 and her sister was moved last september when she was to begin Y5. As far as I know neither of them have really struggle accademically or socially. I have to say they still see a lot of their friends from her old school, as neither their parents nor me or other parents sow the need of stoping the friendship.
My personal opinion if your only problem with the school is the teacher everything else you are happy with, I would wait until the new year starts and then take another look.
My DD1 best friend move schools in the middle of the school year, I think it was after the May half term.

slummymummy36 Thu 28-May-09 14:11:12

IMO - some prep school also have an intake into yr 4 as well. Obviously the prep school want you in sooner than later but tbh, i would feel like you until I had the contract. It does not have to be September even. You do not need to give a state school a terms notice to leave like in independent schools. So why not start your DD into yr 3 under the new teacher in Sept. at her current school and see how it goes. If you are unhappy at half term ask th eprep school to start her after Xmas.

My girls now board because we move house alot with jobs etc. But they have started at indy and state schools mid term, mid year many times. Indy schools tend to take the odd new pupil all the way through (if spaces). I always found mine integrated OK.

abraid Thu 28-May-09 14:22:53

My son moved from state to prep in Year 6. He got through the pre-test for the school's selective senior school and a fair number of boys who'd been in the prep school from reception didn't get places.

Sooooo--if your child is bright, I wouldn't worry. Good state primaries are IMHO just as good at basics like literacy and numeracy (though that might vary according to area).

We do still have to work very hard in French (the only subject he was really behind in because he'd never done it) but the rest of the 'catch-up' was challenging but not too much so.

Obviously we still have common entrance to go, yet, and that's tough.

karise Thu 28-May-09 18:35:28

The two things that are set in stone are the fact that she will need to go to the prep at some point in the next 2 years (our middle school is closing & I'm not at all convinced about the state alternative). Also the prep does not have a year 4 entry so she would be entering into a pre-formed class.
Interesting what you say about French ABRAID- I hadn't considered what languages our state offer, will check it out!

MollieO Thu 28-May-09 18:44:18

I think it depends how sociable she is. If she is outgoing then I doubt it will be a problem whenever she joins. If she is a bit reserved then it may help her to start with a group of others all in the same position as her.

At ds's school they do French from reception which is different from his friends in state school.

sunnydelight Fri 29-May-09 05:34:54

With regards your first question, you need to ask them. Terms and conditions around deposits vary so basically it's whatever the contract you sign says. Our school is quite specific in saying that a deposit paid to guarantee entry into a particular year isn't transferrable to a future entry point.

Personally I would put her in at the same time as a lot of other new starters if at all possible. When we moved to Australia a couple of years ago DS2 went into a "non standard entry" year when a place became free (luckily only a couple of days after the start of term) and he found it hard. He's a fairly sociable kid, but even amongst the boys who, in my experience with two, are less "best friend" focused it took him a while to make friends, though he was happy enough.

JeffVadar Fri 29-May-09 12:48:53

I would go for it as soon as possible, it's always better to start a new school with a lot of other new people. I agree with slummymummy though, there seem to be new children joining DS's year every term!

In terms of struggle, there is a boy in DS's year who has an end of August birthday and he has no problems at all. Your DD will (presumably) be in a smaller class than in the state system, which will help too.

As far as DS's school goes, they have only really started working them in the 3rd form (year 5) where they have been streamed for the first time so she may not find it too arduous at first in any case.

karise Fri 05-Jun-09 14:06:24

Decision made! She is going this September smile.
Our visit was fantastic, the children relaxed and happy and most importantly DD relaxed and curious there!
Will have to stomach the fact that my wages may not be completely secure, but generally we are financially secure so will see how it goes. Should manage for at least 5 years which is the most difficult state school time for us!
Just need to tell myself to stop worrying about the money!

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