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which school shall I "choose"?

(7 Posts)
bunnybunyip Fri 19-Oct-12 14:00:28

I have 2 reasonable options for primary which are roughly equidistant. I have been to look round them both and I am still not sure which to go for (and obviously the "choice" is likely to be out of my hands anyway as they are both oversubscribed). The pros and cons are partly to focus my own mind, but if anyone has any pearls of wisdom/WWYD comments then please go for it!
School A Pros
DS's best friend is going there, it is linked with his preschool so lots of other children he knows will go there, our neighbours children go there.
It is outstanding on ofsted.
It is a smaller school.
It has a great reputation locally.
It is on my way to work so good for drop offs.

School A Cons
The school feeds into a junior and secondary school which are both rated "satisfactory" and don't have such a good reputation locally.
It has some mixed year groups (e.g. reception/year one half and half).
We are not in the catchment so may be setting ourselves up for disappointment. Also higher risk that DD won't get in in a few years time.

School B Pros
A child that he likes at his childminder's is going there.
Talking to parents, they are very happy with it.
It has more outside space (a playing field).
It is in town so quite handy for shopping, library etc at pick ups (trivial!)
His childminder is likely to collect from there (so he will be with DD after school).
It has a junior school, so no big change after 3 years.
Since its ofsted it appears to have made some improvements and has a new head.
It feeds into a "good" rated secondary.
Has very marginally better results in KS2.
I quite liked the way the classes split into smaller, ability based groups to study phonics.

School B Cons
It has a less good ofsted rating (satisfactory).
He will know fewer kids going there.

I might think of some more!

mummytime Fri 19-Oct-12 14:46:18

Have you been to look around them? (Including the toilets.)
Are you in the catchment for school B?

How long ago where the OFSTEDs done?
Have/Are either of the heads likely to be moving?

What child care do you need? Are there after school/breakfast clubs? Could CM do drop offs?

bunnybunyip Fri 19-Oct-12 15:03:34

Hi, thanks for answering. I have been to look round, and both seemed good; the children seemed engaged and attentive, staff were friendly, toilets were fine, lots of artwork on walls etc. Yes we are in catchment for school B.
Ofsteds are old, both about 3 years. Both have new heads since the ofsted, I don't think either head is moving.
Both have breakfast and after school clubs which we might need 3 days a week, but childminder ds is currently with is likely to be picking up from school B.

mummytime Fri 19-Oct-12 15:56:57

Well if you are most likely to get into school B, I would think carefully was there anything you saw which gave you a strong preference for A? You could also ask any parents (and your CM) why they made the choices they did?

For my third child, I had a preference not to send her to the same school as my older ones had attended. However in the end I did choose that school as its convenience compared to other options, was much stronger than my doubts. (The Headteacher who had been new, and I expected to be there for years, then suddenly decided to move on.)

I hope this helps.

scootle Fri 19-Oct-12 17:55:56

I think you have two good choices actually, so it doesn't matter too much which you go for. I would lean towards B, because junior school matters more than infants in the end. If the school is inner city, I would check how many kids leave between reception and y3 - if there is a high degree of movement (which can happen in inner-city schools) that is unsettling.

lljkk Fri 19-Oct-12 18:05:52

I like B, seems like it has more going for it.

BlueSkySinking Fri 19-Oct-12 20:20:47

Which is your catchment secondary school? I don't think it matters which primary school feeds into which secondary as it goes on catchment primarily.

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