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Primary 3 class intake??

(10 Posts)
10thingsihateaboutpoo Wed 19-Mar-14 16:45:35

DD1 shortly turns 3 and as we are house hunting (relocation for work) it makes sense to make primary catchment areas a factor in our house hunt.
We've narrowed down the areas we prefer and the most likely school we'll be in the catchment for is a large city primary (rated good by Ofsted) with a 3 class intake.

I'm going to ask to have a look around but I was wondering if anyone has any experience of such a large primary as 3 classes in each year seems massive to it a negative thing?


MirandaWest Wed 19-Mar-14 16:48:31

I think there's quite a lot of schools with a 3 class intake, and even some with a 4 class intake. They offer more possibilities for friends and often more resources.

10thingsihateaboutpoo Wed 19-Mar-14 16:53:35

Ah ok, my knowledge of primaries is solely based on mine (one class intake in a town) and DH's (village primary) schools, whereas we've moved to a city so maybe it is more normal than I thought? I just worried about DD being swallowed up by a huge school but you're right about more friends, and I hadn't thought of more resources that's a good point, thank you

Pooka Wed 19-Mar-14 16:57:06

Three classes is pretty average sized. Round here they are generally 3 or 4 form entry, with a few two form entry and a couple of one form entry schools and one SIX form entry super-primary.

Personally I think there is a lot to be said for three form entry. My dcs go to a two form entry school and generally the school has just less money than other larger places. The six form entry school has huge fund, super swish buildings and can afford the best equipment and learning schemes.

Pooka Wed 19-Mar-14 16:59:45

When push comes to shove, your dd will be in a class cohort and will mostly be with that cohort throughout the school. The number of other classes doesn't have that big an impact on the dcs IMO if the school organises it well. For example, the six form school has vertical distinction, so broadly 3 two form "mini schools" for assemblies and so on

Mandy21 Wed 19-Mar-14 17:02:15

My children's school is currently a 2 class intake, moving to a 3 class intake as from Sept. I think it will be too big - there already seems to be a massive amount of children (around 420) so a 3 class intake, based on 7 years in primary is 630 children. There were 150 at my village primary.

They do have great facilities (IT suite, musical department, lots of theatre productions, great sports facilities / support) and an active PTA (from so many parents to draw from). They also seem to "stream" quite well, so more able children work together in a group with dedicated teaching support - those who need more teacher input get it because they do have lots more staff / teaching assistants etc. Not sure if the head teacher knows all the children's names though......!

I think you need to visit the school - see how the teachers interact etc. There are pros and cons to the size, depends on your children too. Good luck smile

tiggytape Wed 19-Mar-14 17:02:50

Unless you are in a position to look at very rural and remote schools, class sizes will generally be around the maximum of 30 children per class whether there are 2 classes or 5 classes per year. The year group may be bigger but each child's experience in class is the same size as it would be in any other school.

As well as resources and funding, friendships can also be easier at bigger schools. A child in reception will have about 14 girls to play with from her own class and also 30 other girls from the other reception classes too. This can mean she is much more likely to find a little group who like the same things as her and, further up the school, it keeps things a bit fresher than if it is the same 14 girls stuck together for 7 years.

10thingsihateaboutpoo Wed 19-Mar-14 17:43:05

Thanks everyone for the replies. It's put my mind at rest and i'll definitely go and have a look around.

tiggy that's an excellent point, day to day she'll be mostly with her class anyway.

BambooBear13 Wed 19-Mar-14 18:01:19

I had the same feelings at first but now wouldn't swop our 3 class intake for anything else !

fizzly Wed 19-Mar-14 21:13:07

Round our way the 'outstanding' school was 3 form and is now 4 form. I was always a bit unsure about it (and it turns out we're too far away anyway as catchments are pinprick sized) on the grounds of size, however, my observations in watching friends' kids go there now is that there are many advantages, largely resource based. E.g. they are able to justify having specialist teachers for sport, art, music etc, which our (2 form) school can't. The IT and music facilities are definitely better. There's also a much much stronger PTA which must be at least partly by virtue of there being more of a pool to draw from.

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