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To change schools or not?!?

(6 Posts)
ChalkyC Sun 19-Oct-14 21:17:35

I have a little boy in Yr 1 in a small village primary. He's happy, it's very close to where we live, he's doing ok-ish (could def be doing better academically). His younger brother will start next September. I'm feeling a bit unsure about the school though - DS1 is sporty and loves to play rugby and football - there's not much of that as the school is so tiny. There's also no afterschool club which is going to make next year a struggle as we will not have our nanny, and there aren't really any childminders in the area.

Sooo....I'm thinking of trying to move him to a prep school nearby for next September, so he and DS2 will start together. I want him to be pushed a bit more academically, and I want him to have more opportunities for playing sport. I also want a decent afterschool club and access to holiday clubs - all of which the prep school would give....at a cost!! We could just about afford it I think but it would be a struggle.

But am I being ridiculous? The village sch is lovely and really family like and cosy...and we are really part of the local community there. and, most importantly, DS1 loves it. But I just feel we could be offering him more....

Any advice?!? I'm totally undecided about what to do!

MillyMollyMama Mon 20-Oct-14 00:11:00

I think if he wants sport you won't get it at a small village school. Don't be so sure about the prep school being more academic but there will be more homework! I am a fan of larger schools and small village ones seem a bit parochial to me. How important is a family atmosphere when they are aged 9, 10 or 11 and other things are missing from their school life? Don't under-estimate that school fees go up faster than inflation so really do make sure you can afford it. Having to leave after a few years would be disastrous. Where I live a few always leave the village schools at 7 to go private anyway. It's normal. Just do the best you can. Children always enjoy a school that is cosy and does not push them too hard!!! You may struggle to keep friends though because you will have moved into a different set of Mums.

ChalkyC Mon 20-Oct-14 10:10:38

Thanks for the reply....yes will have to look at the finances really carefully. I would really like to wait another year and go at 7 as you say, but am mindful that it's not that easy to get spaces in 2 year groups and it would be good if ds2 didn't have to go o the village sch for just a year....

iseenodust Mon 20-Oct-14 11:17:58

If it's going to be a financial struggle I would wait. We moved DS for the start of year5 looking for more sport amongst other things. The independent school has 40 boys in his year and DS made it into the cricket A team, football A and the rugby B (having never played the game before) in his first year, just by being generally sporty.

DS previous primary only had 10 boys in his year and team sport barely featured. He started cricket at a small village club at age 7. Your DS is happy and you can help him find his sporting feet outside school at that age. My DS needs ferrying all over to see friends (10 miles for a birthday party Friday night, 36 miles for another party Sunday) so think carefully about how much weight you give to lovely local community !

ChalkyC Wed 22-Oct-14 21:21:55

Thanks iseenodust. I know the commute might all get a bit much - I would basically do it on the way to and from work, but playdates would obv be limited.

I'm worried about there being places available if I wait - with the added complication of needing two places as both boys have to be in the same school. The particular school I'm looking at has places and is an all through school, so could potentially be a great long term option - or prepare well for 11+.

I'm taking my husband to have a look round on friday.....not sure what to do still! Socially I think it would be way more up our street than the village primary, where I feel a bit out of place, but that's a whole other matter!

Maki79 Wed 22-Oct-14 22:37:28

We actually have had the same dilemma as you!

We in the end decided to stay put as Dd is ultimately really happy and we are doing more sport outside of school. Distance to the private school was another factor....I want her to have local friends, I think it's important for them when they want a bit more independence. Having said all that, if we weren't really happy living where we do, I think we would have moved closer to the private (dyslexic specialist) school.

Good luck with your decision! Whatever you decide you can always enrol ds in football, rugby, cricket, tennis clubs and will be cheaper than prep school!

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