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choosing a primary school

(17 Posts)
lljkk Sun 02-Dec-12 13:13:42

Isn't OP just complaining that she wants her DH to be more involved? Thread is not at all about which school is better, or how to choose a better school, is it?

I don't see anything wrong with OP choosing based on her research alone. As long as one of you has been there.

DC school only DH visited in person before we signed up for it. Was too awkward for me to go visit, too. No regrets (8 yrs later).

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sun 02-Dec-12 13:05:02

I had to do all the research and make all the choices. I definitely had an idea about what would suit my kids though, while DH wouldn't know what to look for. I'm quite happy that I make the decision as I know he just doesn't have time.

fourlittleangels Fri 30-Nov-12 11:43:28

Ticked all the boxes,
Minimum of one highly qualified TA per class.
Specialist training dyslexia staff
Lots of outdoor space,
Extra curricular activity-loads of it.

Just don't know if I got 'feel' for it. Initially loved I went round wasn't so sure...

fourlittleangels Fri 30-Nov-12 11:35:09

Complete coincidence, but just viewed a primary near us and did not know until talking to the head they were 40 something in the list of four hundred not bad for a small county

Also in the top 7% across the country!

Now I have to decide whether that effects my decision as it one of 3school we are choosing between...

exoticfruits Sun 25-Nov-12 20:11:02

I would agree-ignore league tables-as I said I wouldn't choose the ones that I know that come top.

Rooble Sun 25-Nov-12 19:52:45

"Topness" was dependent on the scores children received in their KS 2 SATS. There is an awful lot more to a school than its SATS results and as Sirzy said it's most important to visit. See how the children speak to each other/adults; what kind of green space they have; how the school deals with behaviour, bullying etc, how it teaches reading, how well children progress during their seven years there.

This whole notion of identifying the "top 400" seems to me quite wrong as it recognises as child's education as worth nothing more than the score they come out with at the end. Sunday Times articles like this really feed the insane hysteria over getting children into school. Given there are almost 17,000 primary schools in England I'm not sure how worrying about getting your child into one of the top 400 serves anyone other than the doctor who deals with your blood pressure.

(however I've caught norovirus off DS and am feeling a tad grumpy today)

fourlittleangels Sun 25-Nov-12 19:40:13

Thank you, just tried to view the article online but cant.

It's interesting as if i do move my children to a different school they will move from Jolly phonics to Read, Write, Inc. Don't know how they compare or if changing esp in the early stages would cause alot of confusion.

I'm sure the current schools ofsted said the children read daily. Not sure if this means, guided or just in general through out the day.

exoticfruits Sun 25-Nov-12 19:29:37

I haven't got it to hand- but I think it was ask if the teacher heard them read regularly or was it always teaching assistants.
I would ask what method they use, which reading scheme-how parents are encouraged to help. Do they sound enthusiastic? How do they deal with dyslexia-or those who need extra help.

fourlittleangels Sun 25-Nov-12 19:24:34

I was intrigued as to what reasons the article gave as being 'good/top'

Thank you exotic for taking the time to summarise smile

The part about asking how the teach exactly should they teach reading. From a parent point of view how would you be able to decide if the teaching of reading is satisfactory!?

exoticfruits Sun 25-Nov-12 17:11:54

And we're the listed primary school spread around or were top ones in specific regions ;)

All over- but I suspect they are, in general, where you find the middle class housing. e.g. if I take a town that I don't know like Doncaster I could bet that the nicest houses are around the school that is top in Doncaster exceptions being the many RC schools mentioned who will take from a wide area.

exoticfruits Sun 25-Nov-12 17:06:47

I would agree with their points.I haven't copied word for word as too long. My comments in brackets.

1. Ask to see the admissions policy (very sensible because you need to know whether you stand a chance)
2. Reading is the most important thing-find out how it is taught (too long to summarise)
3.Ask local parents ( I am wary of this-schools can get a reputation and still have it when they have changed beyond all recognition -however worth asking around)
4.Visit the school on a normal working day (nothing beats this IMO)
5. Try and see the Head teacher. Ask about their ambitions and visions for the school and children (don't just try-insist on going on a day when you can see them)
6. Check OFSTED reports.
7 Find out the extracurricular activities offered.
8 Research which secondary schools they feed into and what proportion of pupils get into their preferred choice.
9 Look at the outdoor space-if there isn't much do they go elsewhere for games etc?
10 Class size-if large what provision for extra help. How qualified are the TAs

I can't say that I agree with all their top schools -the ones that I know wouldn't be my choice but they do get the results.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 25-Nov-12 16:30:35

define "top"

fourlittleangels Sun 25-Nov-12 15:03:51

I'm no where near at shop in which to get the Sunday Times, but intrigued.

Any tips stand out in most important factors etc.

And we're the listed primary school spread around or were top ones in specific regions ;)

Don't worry if it's a PITA to summarise just interested as a parent considering changing my dcs school!

patrickrcooke Sun 25-Nov-12 08:04:37

look in the Sunday Times today - there's a "top Primary Schools" pull out in the news review plus a 'how to find a good state primary' section. Plus a 50% discount on an online learning site on the back!

Sirzy Sun 25-Nov-12 07:43:22

You have looked around your first choice school together and you are pretty sure she will get in there so I think you are expecting a bit much TBH.

There again I am not sure on the reliability of things like Ofsted and SATs is trying to pick a school. They rarely give an accurate picture and it's much better to visit the school (multiple times if needed) and to talk to parents of children at the school.

exoticfruits Sun 25-Nov-12 07:38:07

I am confident that I know exactly what I am looking for in a good school so would be quite happy. I can only see it being a problem if you are not confident and need a second opinion. Seeing as you both like the first choice and think that you will get in I can see that he wouldn't want to do the rest if pushed for time. You have already proved you are looking for the same thing.

sleeplessinderbyshire Sat 24-Nov-12 21:20:05

We are lucky in having 4 good schools locally all of whom admitted numerous children from addresses miles further away from them than our house last year. DH and I viewed one together which we loved and which we'll puit first. as last year they admitted 29 with a PAN of 29 and the furthest distance a child was admitted from is 15 miles away I am pretty confident DD will get in (we are 3 miles away - rural area, catchment is mostly fields and ends 200m from our house). I clearly need to put 2 other schools as choices and I am pretty sure which ones however DH and I have just had a huge row because I have been alone to all the other school visits, spent hours reading ofsted reports, SATs/other DFEE reports and read loads of MN threads on reception admissions etc etc his response is "I trust your judgement, sounds like you've done your homework". Now I admit I am on mat leave thus have lots of spare time to visit schools and he's working crazy 50hr weeks on a huge scary work project but I feel really peed off that I will have done everything related to choosing a school and he seems pretty much unbothered (or AIBU and should be flattered that he can see I have some idea of what to look for?)

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