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Choosing schools?

(12 Posts)
educator123 Sun 02-Dec-12 12:49:31

If a school locally (10min drive) had several recognitions for a achievement, excellent ofsted report, 100% of pupil progressing at leave two key stages between ks1&2 in English and maths.
Smallish one form entry. 30per class.
In the top 11% of primaries in the country.

Would you choose is over a small very local school within walking distance. Good ofsted. No publication of SATs due to low numbers on the role.
But as far as I'm aware I think they all do well.
Would be in the local community.
3 mixed classes.

Might sound a bit of a silly question, as the first on paper sounds amazing but I'm aware it isn't one minute I think utilise it the next utilise the one on the doorstep.

LoopsInHoops Sun 02-Dec-12 14:16:21

Personally I'd go for the smaller, local school as long as I and my DCs like it. Community is so very important, and OFSTED means bugger all (am a teacher).

educator123 Sun 02-Dec-12 14:42:05

It's difficult, isn't it? As from a apparently point of view you only have Ofsted, league tables and a quick viewing of the school to go by so it's hard not to take all of those into account.

The first school I talked about obviously gets very good results as there was a high percentage achieving level 5.
And like I say they have everything on offer every extra curricular, lots of outdoor spaces, loads of TAs, dyslexia specialists. So why am I not jumping at the chance...maybe it's just the drive putting me off!?

loops what is your opinion on mixed age group classes?

educator123 Sun 02-Dec-12 14:48:25

*from a parental

LoopsInHoops Sun 02-Dec-12 14:52:44

I'm a secondary teacher so my experience is different, but have taught in primaries doing outreach, some mixed age.

I personally think that it can be a really positive thing, especially if your child is bright (and younger in the class) or struggles (and it older), because they will be catered for better. To differentiate for a mixed age class means teachers will be prepared and hopefully supported, whereas only too many teachers lack differentiation skills and assume the kids are all the same.

educator123 Sun 02-Dec-12 15:04:21

That's pretty much what they say at the school, the more able can move forward, the less able can recap.

But I have also heard some people say that low and high achievers can struggle in mixed classes as can go unnoticed.

Tough choice!

Need a try before you buy smile

LoopsInHoops Sun 02-Dec-12 15:25:56

And the teachers will get to know them very well.

You can always change if you don't like it.

educator123 Sun 02-Dec-12 17:28:42

They are currently at the smaller school. I started to have a look around as my daughter is quite into extra curricular things.
As I started looking I discovered various other things. Now I have to decide whether any of them warrant moving the children.

lljkk Mon 03-Dec-12 07:57:33

I would be loathe to move happy & settled children for a school that looked better on paper. My parents did that to me & it was a disaster (for me).

I would have to visit the schools & assess what they felt like compared to my child.

We have had similar choices for DD's secondary school. She chose the higher results travel-away school. If she doesn't get in I certainly won't appeal because there are lots of drawbacks to it, especially higher travel costs.

tiggytape Mon 03-Dec-12 08:30:24

You also have to consider how likely you are to get a place. In our area, a single form intake school 10 minutes away would be such an unlikely prospect that it wouldn't even be worth listing or looking at. Such small schools fill up with children applying from less than 500m away and siblings.

But assuming that it is sparcely populated area and the school has spaces for children from further away, there is a lot to be said for a local school (friends, parties, ease of attending school events). You'd have to look around and see - don't just go by SATS results.

educator123 Mon 03-Dec-12 09:24:21

It's a rural area with most catchment areas being surrounding villages.

There are several reasons for looking initially it was for more extra curricular. But also for a bigger friendship pool and the possibility of one form classes being better than a mixed class.
I originally looked into the other school because of the sport as my daughter loves it at the time I didn't realise how successful they were in all the ether areas too.

It's tough as they are settled where they are and it is on the doorstep, but I do have some concerns. Atm I would say where they are is a 50/50 split between pupil attending from the village and pupil attending from surrounding villages.

lljkk Mon 03-Dec-12 11:32:30

Sorry if I haven't read carefully enough:
Does your child have dyslexia concerns?

What else do you not like about current school that you think other school could redress?

One form entry -> mixed classes: could well change; our school likes to mix up yr4 & yr5 so that we have between 1 & 3 mixed yr4-5 classes. Besides, mixed yr classes not a problem ime, anyway.

I do get the sport concern, I have this with DD. How old is your sporty child, and what sports that are done in schools does she have a flair for?

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