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Teachers advice on choosing between two schools?

(11 Posts)
educator123 Tue 12-Feb-13 20:59:17

I'm torn between a small school with class sizes of 14-18 mixed with two year groups to a class.

I know they are mixed classes but I know small classes can have positive effects.

Or a one form form entry school with classes of 25 (30 in years 5&6)

Shelleylouise Wed 13-Feb-13 17:34:35

We had the same scenerio for our children. Difficult choice. Pros and cons of each! In the end we choose the small school with mixed year groups and small classes. It just felt more nuturing and we felt our children would be individuals rather than get lost in a large class. They are really happy and progressing really well, one has now moved up to high school.
The teachers are experts at teaching different levels and ages, and they get split into small groups for maths and literacy. The only con is that there is less choice of who they may want to be friends with. My children are quite confident and easy going so they are friends with everyone really. But i have known a couple of other children who have struggled with friendships. Depends on your childs personality.

educator123 Thu 14-Feb-13 20:46:12

That is what is becoming apparent atm.

I never really thought about the friendship part initially just the numbers...I can see how the smaller school could be better in the younger years but wonder about whether the larger is better as they get older..

It's tough as there is no doubt the larger school is a really fantastic school...but it's the drive and not supporting the local school/community.

educator123 Thu 14-Feb-13 20:48:12

Shelly - if you don't mind be asking what are the numbers in your dc school?

I'm comparing a total of under 50 with a one form entry with total of 165.

LucyLight Thu 14-Feb-13 20:59:24

Just to throw my two penny worth in - neither sounds a particularly big school. What I would also think about is the financial state of each school - small schools are really struggling financially and depending on what area you are in and the government funding you get this can have a big impact. Both in terms of what you as a parent will be asked to contribute to school trips and what they can afford to spend on the curriculum, teacher development etc.

Mine go to a relatively small school - one form entry with about 180. Friendship issues can be more of a difficulty in a small school as you have a limited number of people to choose from and if you fall out with one (as children do) there are less to choose from as a pool.

Also, one thing that has only been apparent to me recently (eldest is in year 6 and we have been choosing secondary options) - is the reality of going to a tiny primary and then on to a huge secondary...

educator123 Thu 14-Feb-13 21:09:00

Thank you, the children I've known to move from the small school to secondary have done so oh I ease...think it maybe down to the nurturing start giving them the self confidence to move on smoothly!?!

I have wondered about the financial side but they assure me they are fine...hard to be sure but I suppose a lot can change with government changes etc. Or things like the possibility of becoming an umbrella academy etc.

But they are all things to consider hard to choose not knowing the future.
I suppose the bigger school which as an all rounder is prob edging it on the 'better' front seems like the safer option.
But is already federated and becoming an academy too...we have 11years of primary ahead of us so very hard to know what is the best choice now for all of our children.
The small one could change for the better/worse as could the larger.

They are both fab school atm but the
Larger is def amazing school...but enough so to warrant the driving etc, that is the question!?

LucyLight Thu 14-Feb-13 21:18:55

I'm not sure what area you are in - I'm a governor of our school and we are having some very difficult discussions at the mo.....

and just to not help some more wink - there is something about helping them make local friends and also eventually the independence of walking to school with your friends....and although not ideal, whatever choice you make, you can alway move if it doesn't work out. When you are choosing schools that feels awful and I have known friends that have made that choice and their children have been fine...

educator123 Thu 14-Feb-13 21:30:29

My first two are currently at the smaller one I I've always loved it and just happened to be nosey and look at the next village on due to sport as my first dd loves it and it made me think about so much...friendships, opportunities, future finances of the small school etc.

I'm feeling quite sad about it all as what I loved is now what is making me doubt it...that with the pressure of them being offered places at a school that usually never has any so I may regret not taking them if I don't take them...terrified of making the wrong choice!

Must be quite nice to be on the inside for info ;)

LucyLight Thu 14-Feb-13 21:42:49

Go with your will make the right decision for your children as you know them best...things will always change and you can't plan for all of that, just respond. It sounds like you give them lots of support, which is just as important as what the school does.

educator123 Thu 14-Feb-13 21:51:23

Thanks...I feel like I don't know what my gut is telling me now!

I've looked in to so much pros and cons etc.

The 'easy' option is to stay driving, trying to park get to the other school with a baby and toddler in tow and I'm worried about how my youngest would cope with a change half way through reception etc.

My head is telling me to move the other school offers more variety, friendship, a driven head with lots of innovate ideas and it could have a more promising future and suit all four children as it's bigger - something for everyone.

My heart is saying stay, but I can't push aside the niggling worries aside about the future and mixed classes etc.
Sounds silly but I wish I had never looked now as I was happy before and now I've spent since before Christmas stressing not knowing what is best sad

Thank you for offering advice and being supportive smile

Shelleylouise Sun 24-Feb-13 11:37:49

Hi educator123, sorry haven't been online for ages! Our school has about 67 at the moment, but this figure goes up and down depending on how many yr6s leave and new children start.

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