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Which one of these two schools would you choose? I am desperately lost in detail.

(15 Posts)
MyMineOnly Mon 19-Oct-09 13:38:54

Sorry it'll be a long post. DD is 4 and will start reception class soon. Here's our story:
I have applied to two different London borough's reception classes and get two offers. Now I am learning more and more bad things about both schools, I am getting very uneasy about having to choose the less evil of the two. I am very stressed out. Distances to my home are almost identical. Please, please offer your opinions.
These below are extracts from dcsf website:

*School J:*_ DD is currently at this school?s nursery class, which is nothing special iykwim. Many of her friends will be going to reception in School J so she wants to be with them.
KS2 Results:
English: L4: 88% L5: 25% A/T: 5%
Mathematics: L4: 85% L5: 20% A/T: 5%
Science: L4: 90% L5: 45% A/T: 5%
Average Point Score: 28.4
Contextual Value Added score: 101.0
Coverage: 85%
Ofsted results:
*Overall effectiveness of the school: Good*
Achievements and standards: Good
Personal development and well being: Outstanding
Teaching and learning: Good
Curriculum and other activities: Outstanding
Care Guidance and support: Outstanding
Leadership and management: Outstanding
Standards reached by learners: Satisfactory

*School W:*_ we have been offered this school but when i visited it, i was not at all impressed with the building or class sizes and almost made up my mind about not wanting it but everyone tells me how they wanted to be offered that school so it makes me undecisive.
KS2 Results:
English: L4: 97% L5: 38% A/T: 0%
Mathematics: L4: 83% L5: 24% A/T: 0%
Science: L4: 90% L5: 28% A/T: 0%
Average Point Score: 28.2
Contextual Value Added score: 100.4
Coverage: 83%
*Overall effectiveness of the school: Outstanding*
Achievements and standards: Outstanding
Personal development and well being: Outstanding
Teaching and learning: Good
Curriculum and other activities: Outstanding
Care Guidance and support: Outstanding
Leadership and management: Outstanding
Standards reached by learners: Satisfactory

Comparing these figures do not give much confidence to me to make a decision.

A bit background info: My dd has been in *School J* nursery which was quite rigid in every sense of the word, nursery staff very obnoxious and arrogant, so not at all impressive. But hoping reception class staff will be better ??? She'll have friends in reception class from her nursery and she knows the reception teacher. And school has big safe garden to run around. These are pluses.
The minuses, the very impressive efficient male headteacher whom I liked, has retired and things may start to fall apart??? Also heard 10 teachers resigned this year and now new teachers are in. Ofsted report is just Good in overall effectiveness, compared to Ofsted report of School W, which has Outstanding rating.

As for *School W*; outstanding rates on more ways but it is in the middle of a housing estate with lots of concrete, no proper garden, in fact almost no garden. Classes looked very crammed to me. More crammed than School J. I didn't get very good vibes about that school when visited it but I may be ever so wrong! Not sure of staff turnover but again head has been changed apparently and some staff movement may be happening.
Ofsted report is very good, better than School J.

Please do offer your neutral opinions, I am lost in so many details and cannot look objectively. I have never been a decisive person either, this is a nightmare! My gut instict tells me to go for School J simply because DD wants it / she is used to this school. Thanks a lot.

zanzibarmum Mon 19-Oct-09 14:11:35

choosing a school is an art not a science - go on your instinct

lljkk Mon 19-Oct-09 14:23:57

I reckon you can't choose because there isn't anything in it. The only tipping factor is stability; your DD would likely be quicker to settle and happier to stay with her friends if you went to School J, so I reckon that's the one I'd go for.

MyMineOnly Mon 19-Oct-09 14:26:34

Thank you for the two fresh approaches
Typical me, complicating the matters every time for almost everything.

Lapsedrunner Mon 19-Oct-09 14:29:16

Have you loitered outside school W at pick up time, even chat to some Mums. Perhaps that will give you another view, albeit biased I know.

BetsyBoop Mon 19-Oct-09 14:29:51

I would also say go with your gut instinct, when you looked round which school could you imagine your DC happy in? Decision made....forget league tables/ofsted

MyMineOnly Mon 19-Oct-09 14:34:37

No, I have not been to school gate at home time, this is a problem. I am at work most of the time and do not have many friends with school age kids. I am only trying to make frienships with other mums at DD's current nursery at School J which is very hard-going. I have been told about School W being so desirable by some mums at DD's swimming class at the weekend, and those mums already applied to School W and could not get it. Then again, swimming pool is closer to School W so it means more mums within catchemt area of School W than School J.
Thanks again for the reply.

fiercebadrabbit Mon 19-Oct-09 16:59:58

If you don't like the second school on a visit then stick with the first one. Doesn't matter what others say. Ignore all the Ofsted stuff, gut feeling is far more important, and there doesn't appear to be much between the two of them anyway.

Choosing schools is a nightmare but I promise you at this age your dd will be fine at school j

MyMineOnly Tue 20-Oct-09 13:01:40

Thanks fiercebadrabit.
I am more comfortable now. I had a period of desperate panic but it is subsiding. I think I'll settle where we are at the mo which is School J.
If that school fails us, then I'll download my worries to MN again.
What a lovely people you all are...Thanks.

mumto3boys Tue 20-Oct-09 14:39:43

Flip a coin. You must go with whatever the outcome of the coin flip is.

When the coin is in the air, if you find yourself hoping it will land one way or the other, you have your answer.

This may work, it may not!

Even tho school W is better on paper, if you don't like it, then you don't like it. It doesn't matter one jot what OFSTED think, or if other parents want it.

LilianGish Tue 20-Oct-09 14:43:51

Go with your gut instinct. Nothing to choose betweent the schools so I'd go for school J. It won't be such a big adjustment for dd and she'll have lots of little friends there.

Doozle Tue 20-Oct-09 14:51:11

Doesn't really sound like much to choose between them.

So on that count, I'd stick with the one your child is at already. Having friends she knows there, and being happy there, are enormously important things to factor in.

MyMineOnly Wed 21-Oct-09 09:55:19

Thanks a billion to all.
Yes, school J for now. She is starting reception class in there immediately after the half term. We'll have from beginning of November until beginning of January to see how it is going there. Then if it goes horribly wrong, then I have school W to fall back on, at the beginning of January.
Best wishes to all.

Kitchens Wed 21-Oct-09 21:16:43

Go with your gut instinct. You will know deep down where you think your child will be happy. Also don't feel that you should send your child to the same school as her friends. Kids make new friends very easily and she can always keep in touch with her old friends. I moved my son to a new school at the end of his reception year (luckily a space came up) as I did not go with my gut reaction and it bugged and bugged me so I decided to move him and have not regretted it one bit and can only kick myself for not going with my gut instinct to start with.

southernsoftie Thu 22-Oct-09 12:11:10

The nursery attached to our school was nothing like the reception class - total chaos all the time, to the point that for DC2 she went to a different nursery evne though that meant she knew fewer of her classmates when she started reception. It was definitely the right choice though as she was much better prepared for school than DC1 had been even though he knew more children. As everyone says, go with what feels right to you (and if you then regret your decision you can always change, children are really adaptable at that age).

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