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Small schools - experiences, pros and cons

(13 Posts)
BootsAndCatsAndBootsAndCats Thu 25-Jan-18 23:59:54

We're just at the very beginning of thinking about education for our dd, who will soon be 2. One of my friends mentioned that she's considering a small school for her ds, and I've googled and found one local to us. Does anyone have any experience of small schools? What is the daily routine like? How have your children found it? Are there any major pros and cons we should be aware of? We're planning to go and look round, but I'm keen to hear wider experiences too.

I know this is far in advance, but school catchments etc mean that we're having to plan now! Thanks in advance.

BootsAndCatsAndBootsAndCats Fri 26-Jan-18 00:00:57

Oh, and I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section - I get the impression small schools are a halfway house between mainstream education and home education so I wasn't sure where to put it!

Pixiedust1973 Fri 26-Jan-18 00:03:11

Depends on the child & also on the mix of kids at the school. I had one it worked reasonably well for but the other it was a complete car crash for because of small-town ignorance & prejudice towards special needs. She fared much better at the 700 pupil school we moved her to than the 60 pupil one she was at!

BootsAndCatsAndBootsAndCats Fri 26-Jan-18 11:36:34

Thanks pixie. I guess when the numbers are low then problems can be magnified. Glad dc is happier at the bigger school now.

I was actually asking about the educational movement though - Small Schools, rather than small schools iyswim?

http://www.educaresmallschool.org.uk

Is an example, although not one we are thinking of because it isn't close to us.

Pixiedust1973 Fri 26-Jan-18 12:18:04

Ok, thats not what you asked about on your post though if you read it back. All I can suggest is Google it!

BootsAndCatsAndBootsAndCats Sat 03-Feb-18 18:14:18

Bump - anyone? smile

MollyHuaCha Sat 03-Feb-18 18:33:32

I think it could be a great experience (but possibly a bad one) all dependent on the staff and particular children who are at the school at the time.

We moved from a large infant school (90 pupils in the year group) to a small one (70 pupils in the whole school from N to Y4).

The difference was instantly apparent. All the teachers and ancillary staff knew my DS by name. Instead of having a token filler part in the school Xmas play as he'd had in the bigger school, he had the main lead in the smaller one.

The new school was calmer and more caring - fewer whole class tellings off etc. simply because there was more space and pupils seemed to feel more valued. I wished my DCs had gone there from the beginning.

Ceara Tue 13-Feb-18 00:36:16

My DS goes to a small school in the sense you mean it, OP, though still in preschool years so I can't speak for older age groups. He is thriving there in terms of his learning, his social skills and his growing independence, in a way he just didn't at his (well-regarded) traditional preschool linked to the local state primary, so it clearly works for him. The calm, small scale environment, lots of outdoor time, and mixed age range in class through the EYFS are the main things that make the difference for him, I think.

Twinky27 Fri 16-Feb-18 15:42:50

Hi, I'm just about to take my three children out of a small school because of prejudice. My kids are adopted and I thought the school would be a great place for them to settle in. Its been an awful experience, but its given me the courage to homeschool them.
Another downside of small schools is they can be disorganised as the staff do everything and lack the resources and opportunities of a bigger school.
I guess they're all different though, you don't know till you try.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Fri 16-Feb-18 15:58:02

I quite like the idea but the particular one you have linked seems to be full of guff. How many times do they need to mention that they let the children drink water? Do they think children are all dehydrating to a crisp in other schools? Movement circles, quiet time, Alexander technique....

Maybe have a look for a small prep school rather than a school that makes a Thing out of being weird Small.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Fri 16-Feb-18 16:05:30

This 'Small School' on the other hand, I think looks lovely. Nothing weird, just stress free education in small groups.

www.newforestsmallschool.com/

Ceara Sat 17-Feb-18 18:13:31

Yes, the one my son attends is like the second example (the lovely one!) - absolutely just stress free small scale education, and v supportive of Flexi schooling too.

BootsAndCatsAndBootsAndCats Sun 18-Feb-18 10:42:43

The new forest one is one we're considering actually, although it is a bit further away from us.

Thanks for all of your comments - I think we're going to go and look round and see what we think.

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