location location location????(25 Posts)
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So, which primary school would you go for?
a) Very close (< 5 mins walk), good school, very big, academically a tad pushy
b) 30 mins walk or 5 mins drive, excellent school apparently but presents itself as non-pushy, medium size
c) 15 mins drive, unwalkable, totally outstanding creative village school, small (100 pupils overall but only 15 in reception class) ??
The child in question is confident, bright (I think) but can't sit still.
outstanding as per ofsted, or as per your impression? if the latter, then c for me
I think the way you have presented the choices makes it obvious you want (c) so I would choose that one but try to move a bit closer - having to drive to school every day is just boring and wrong.
Outstanding as per ofsted - All 1s. Impressions were v. good also except for location obviously and lacking in a few facilities e.g. they don't have their own hall and so use the village hall but aren't allowed to store indoor P.E. stuff in there etc.
Personally I'd not judge based on ofsted. It has to be a school that is right for your child. Am v cynical about ofsted in the runup to my school's bid for outstanding see my thread about y6. This is a small village school btw. But my impressions are probably coloured by this. I'd make your mind up based on what you experienced in each school, and how important it is to you to be able to walk. Driving to school wouldn't bother me, i drive to work.
You need to go with your gut instinct.
I think C though. Thats cos all my children attend a totally outstanding creative village school with only 15 in the reception class. It is a truely wonderful and stimulating school and has been the perfect option for my bright sons. There is even a specialist sports coach teacher bought in to cover the sports side of things. We have to drive about 6 mins but plan to move closer in a couple of years.
I would choose A.
My DC went to a small village school for the first four years of his education; initially I thought it was great but there are very limited opportunities, not much choice of friends, not enough children for a sports team, not much of an academic challenge, too cliquey; he now goes to an A choice school and he, and I, am much happier. (Actually just realised that the school he now goes to is not very big, only one form entry so some might consider that 'small' anyway - sorry, probably not much help .)
In order of preference (I'm assuming you need to put down a school that you will definitely get into as a last resort)
If the PAN is 15 then I'm assuming they must have mixed age classes which to be honest, I wouldn't really choose.
How big is very big?
having more than one class per year does have it's advantages, they can split problematic friendships up etc. Bigger pool of dc to chose friends from, more choice of afterschool or lunch clubs.
agree with you shoshana on mixed age classes
It depends on so may things
- how do your LA decide on admissions
-how over subscribed are the schools
-do you work
-do you have your own transport, and possible back up transport
-do you have other children at nursery / other schools
We had to make this decision recently and put the equivalent of your C as our 1st choice and A as second (we didn't put a 3rd). TBH I'll be happy if DD gets into either as they both have their own benefits.
I'd go with the big school, because they can offer so much more than a small school.
They have more teachers and more TAs and it adds up to them being able to offer more clubs and more support / interventions.
They will also have multiple teachers at each year, so they have people to work with and discuss problems with.
The nearest one. Sounds great and you'll have a minimum of 20 mins extra PER DAY for 6 YEARS of primary school to play with.
Big local one.
Local one every time (unless peopled by knife-wielding thugs - unusual IME)
Agree local always unless real problems.
It may only be 15 mins drive but what if you're ill, car's broken down, one of your children is ill the other isn't etc. It's such a privilege being so near school and your children will be able to walk on their own at such point too.
Like someone else has said it's not like you'll have 15 kids with one teacher in small school, not the way it works.
I wouldn't go for option C. I would be concerned that I or my child may feel a bit of an outsider if it is a small village school and we didn't live in the village. I would go for option a I think
We moved DS from small local village school at y4. I would be pleased with option A.
Village school had 20 in reception, so also had mixed year group classes.
Support your local school unless it has something seriously wrong with it!
I'd never go for mixed age classes in a small school - have taught in them and taken my children out of them. For my kids, if I had my time again, school A from your description.
A - there's an awful lot to be said for being able to work to school and later to friend's houses.
I think A.
DD goes to a small school that is about 10 mins drive away, its a small school with about 8 or 9 in her year. I don't find the driving too bad to be honest. But I'm always really early both ends of the day as I can't judge the times and worry about traffic (even though its country lanes) so spend a lot of time sat in the car waiting as well as actual driving. Friends coming over after school is a bit of a pain. There isa general lack of friends issue through it been a small school. Have to say though I don't find the mixed year classes a problem at all.
We took her out the village school (failed ofsted, DD falling behind big style). That school also had mixed year classes which didn't work. So I think it depends on the school as to whether they work or not.
DD has lost touch with her friends in the village now even after lots of promises of keeping in touch. People are too busy and out of sight out of mind. I think her social life has suffered.
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