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choosing a school, would you send DC2 to a different school to dc1?

(30 Posts)
ninjinglebells Fri 21-Dec-12 21:42:31

I know that I'm leaving this until the last minute, but it's been going round in my head for months.

Some background - DD2 will start school next year and I have to decide before 15th Jan where to send her. There are 2 possibilities both equidistant from our house.

DD1 will be in year 6 next year Her school had an intake of 20 of whom 5 were girls in her year and she's never been particularly friendly with them for various reasons. Because of the small intake she's been in split year groups and her best friend is in the year above but only actually in the same class for 2 school years.

Academically it's been OK - some issues but frinds have had more. Communication from the school is poor. The head teacher is a bit of a control freak (I'm a Governor so have seen it from that side too) and difficult to deal with. It's a good school and DD has been happy however I have some concerns:

a) There are currently 3 out of 5 teachers on Mat leave. There has been quite a lot of change in the teaching staff in the last few years.

b) More concerning. It's a small setting, just a yard, no grass, small hall, not really enough space and last year they increased the intake to 30 at the last minute (Governors objected to the change and were told if it did happen it wouldn't be for 2 years). So this year there have been extra kids which means class 1 has had mainly receptions and 2 year ones and class 3 (a junior class) has had 4 year 2's. I don't think this was dealt with well.

I know that the head is hoping that there'll be a new classroom for the next reception class (in fact possibly for the reception and the new nursery), but no concrete plans so I don't know if DD will be in mixed years her own class and I just think the grounds aren't big enough.

c) I have a LOT more friends are the other school and so does DD2 (and DD1 for that matter!) which means that when I need a favour it'll be a lot easier. One of my best friends lives opposite the school and will have a daughter in the same class. I also know (from a couple of people who have moved their kids) that the communication is a lot better there.

As you can guess, I'd like to send her to a different school from her sister, but would you do this.

It's only for a year but I know DD1 would be gutted (exH told her it was a possibility and she was really angry with me). DD2 obviously is more familiar with her sister's school as well and so the first few days could be difficult.

It would be lovely to send them to school together, but it would just be a year and I think it would be a short term gain for long term loss.

Sorry long post - just want to make the right decision

3b1g Fri 21-Dec-12 21:45:25

You need to send your DD2 to the right school for her. I think your DD1's opinion should come second here.

ninjinglebells Fri 21-Dec-12 21:52:28

Thanks 3b1g - that is what I think which is why I was so annoyed when exH told DD1 that we were thinking about sending DD2 to a different school before we'd even made a decision.

cloutiedumpling Fri 21-Dec-12 21:53:37

i would send my DCs to different schools if I thought it would be best for them and for us as a family. I suppose there are some practical issues though. Would you have to be at the two schools at the same time for drop offs/pick ups or could that be managed OK? DD1 is also old enough to understand the issues re class sizes and so shouldn't remain upset for too long if you decide to go to the other school for DD2.

ninjinglebells Fri 21-Dec-12 21:56:10

Thanks, DD1 can walk to/from school by herself, so that isn't an issue. She already walks to.

ninjinglebells Fri 21-Dec-12 22:29:55

anyone sent their kids to different schools?

DewDr0p Fri 21-Dec-12 22:37:06

Your dd2 is going to be at the school you choose for 7 years so I would make that your priority. I have to say my only concern would be getting them there and back but it sounds like that isn't an issue for you?

I'm a Governor too and I would be really concerned at the prospect of 2 Year 1s in a Reception class; also Year 2s in a junior class is highly unusual.

You don't say much else about the other school - have you been to visit?

Good luck deciding! And i'm sure your dd1 will come round if you do decide to go for the other school.

ninjinglebells Fri 21-Dec-12 22:43:20

Yes, I probably had a slight preference for the other school with DD1 - but we decided on hers.

The other is a C of E school and more subscribed and has a 'better' reputation - outstanding rather than good at Ofsted. To be honest, though, I take all that with a pinch of salt.

I like the fact that the classrooms are bigger, the grounds are bigger and they have playing fields.

They have class assemblies (which DD1's school don't have). They have a buddy system for the new reception kids. The recption class room is lovely with a covered outside bit.

It's a bit more of a rabbit warren compared to DD1's school and hers is 5 classrooms around a hall, but that could all change next year.

steppemum Fri 21-Dec-12 22:46:09

I think you should think of the next 7 years rather than the next one. Take time to explain to dd1, and find a convincing reason to explain ot her

BackforGood Fri 21-Dec-12 22:50:03

Agree with everyone else - this is a decision for the next 7 years, not 1. Particularly if your older dd can walk there and back, then it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.

chickydoo Fri 21-Dec-12 22:57:20

4 kids Here
4 different schools

Izzyschangelingisarriving Fri 21-Dec-12 22:58:10

Yes especially for 1 year

ninjinglebells Fri 21-Dec-12 23:13:13

Thanks folks - ExH doesn't see it that way but has left the decision to me. He thinks if it ain't broke .... However, I can see the things that are broke.

ExH and I only separated last year and it's been hard for the kids so I don't want to do something that'll upset them, of course, but I hope I'm choosing a school for the right reasons.

Laura0806 Fri 21-Dec-12 23:15:45

I agree that sending your daughter to the other school is the best thing to do as its for 1 year. Id probably be saying think more carefully about it if it was for 4 or 5 years. i would also think carefully ( sure you will) about the reasons you give the girls for the different schools, you dont want dd1 thinking you think dd2's prospective school is better .......Its tricky I had my two at different schools but I hated it as they are only 18 months apart but dd1 is very shy and I was scared to move her to our catchment school but I have just done it and feel much better that they are together. However, it is not always the best policy and for 1 year I think you have to go with the right school for dd2

ninjinglebells Fri 21-Dec-12 23:18:42

I will say to DD1 it's because more of DD2's friends are there - she'll understand that. Her best friend's brother was moved there (veacsue of issues with the school) so she's been through it all through her.

SavoirFaire Fri 21-Dec-12 23:40:08

DB and I went to diff schools, with similar age gap. He was the elder so I can't be sure, but so far as I know it wasn't an issue. I'm sure DD1 will get over it pretty quickly. Do you think she is mature enough to have a conversation along the lines of 'Your school has been fantastic for you but DD2 is very different and we think that School X is going to be the best choice for her.'? You will of course need to be well armed with reasons which are NOT to do with things that DD1 might feel hard done to about. I would definitely go with school 2 in your situation.

kilmuir Fri 21-Dec-12 23:42:27

my 6 year old and 4 year old go to different schools.
your older childs school does not sound great, apply for a different school for your younger child

Viviennemary Fri 21-Dec-12 23:49:11

On the face of it I wouldn't want to send my DC's to separate schools. But it will only be for one year and you say there are quite a lot of problems at your older child's school. So I think in your circumstances I would send them to separate schools.

sashh Sat 22-Dec-12 05:54:23

anyone sent their kids to different schools? Where there is single sex education and you have a boy and girl it happens.

Also it's noce to be an individual, I was always db's younger sister until we moved house, I went into primary and my db into secondary so I didn't have a reputation to live up or down to.

We then went to single sex high schools so the only time anyone asked if I was related to db was when a teacher left his school and taught at mine (that happened quite a lot, heads of Geography, Art and English all came from my brother's school).

carben Sat 22-Dec-12 08:25:01

I'm probably being nosey here but why did you choose the school DD1 is at over the other school in the first place ?

ninjinglebells Sat 22-Dec-12 12:03:39

Carben DD1's school is smaller and very friendly, as it happens the smaller bit has worked against her, but we weren't to know that. Plus next door neighbour sent theirs to the same school and she was very friendly with their son and we could do some shared childcare - so convenient too.

LIZS Sat 22-Dec-12 12:08:07

Things have changed in the intervening 6 years , you need to consider the choice on its own merits.

lljkk Sun 23-Dec-12 17:24:12

LIZS puts it well. I think I'd send the DD2 to a different school, too.

Sabriel Sun 23-Dec-12 17:51:09

Mine all started at the same primary. When DC1 left after Y6, we moved DC3 to start Y3 at a different school. When DC2 left the original primary in Y6 we then moved DC4 to Y3 at yet another school. So we had 4 different schools for a while.

We picked a school for DC4 that would fit in with the school run we were already doing with DC1 and DC3 (and discounted a really lovely school because the drop off and pick up times just wouldn't work). Each child ended up at a school that suited them, and I also found that as sashh said it helped DC4 in particular not to be "X's brother" and to get to be himself.

maresedotes Sun 23-Dec-12 18:04:12

My DDs go to different schools. DD1 is in year 6 and DD2 started in reception in September. We moved, didn't want to uproot DD1 or have DD2 in a school for just one year. It has worked well for us so far (DD1 will go to a local secondary school next September). The school that DD2 goes to is a real find and the teacher is perfect for DD2.

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