Small infants / large junior(3 Posts)
Thread inspired by a thread, sorry.
Back in the day, I went to one of several small infant schools (one or fewer classes per year), which then fed into a larger (3 classes per year) junior school - rather like primary feeds into secondary.
All the infant schools that fed into my junior school have now closed, and it has become a 3-class primary school.
I have read lots of comments that a small school is better for YR and a bigger school better for Y6 (or words to that effect). So what is so good about all-through primary schools that we are sacrificing the small-then-larger model of separate infants and junior?
Or was my experience freakishly weird and most infant schools were just as big as the single junior they fed?
They aren't necessarily better, but 3 small infants feeding into a larger junior means 4 head teachers, 4 secretaries, 4 sites, 4 caretakers, etc. 1 3-form entry primary has 1 head, maybe 2 secretaries, 1 site, 1 caretaker, etc.
It's often a money saving exercise.
In my area most schools were 1 form entry primaries.
Where I am now they're infants (usually 2 form) feeding into big juniors (usually 4-6 form).
I can see advantages/disadvantages of both.
1 form entry primaries: You're stuck with the same people-and teachers!
Going up to secondary can be a huge jump (I found it such and my secondary was only 3 form entry)
Year R is tiny compares to yr6 and can feel lost.
As infants we hardly ever set foot in the junior end, so it was almost like going to a new school in some ways.
Infant/Juniors: It is unsettling moving-my dc were talking amongst themselves about "when we go to juniors" part way through year R.
You also have the 2-3 a year who don't get into the juniors all the others are going to
I think the jump to juniors is at least a big a jump as I found going to secondary.
It also (mine found) was things like them wanting to show the year 2 teachers what they had done, eg Christmas show, and them not being there.
Large juniors does have the advantages and disadvantages of being big:
Lots of clubs (ours has 1 before school, 2-3 each lunch, and 4-6 after school, mixture of teacher run/free or outside provider/about �5 per session)
Specialist music/PE teacher
Lots of facilities
Doing things across the whole year group
Lots of different people
Can be a bit impersonal
Some Children can easily just be overlooked all the time-I think in a large school they're more likely to pick the same children as they haven't the time to spare to boost up the others.
Lunch times have to be done on a rota
Can find communication between teachers can be poor and take a long time
School trips are limited to places that can accommodate 100+ children in one go (although ours did manage a whole school trip once)
All in all, I prefer the primary, simply because I think year 3 ends up being so unsettled. I know the argument is it's easier at secondary, but I think at 11yo you're much more able to cope with it than at 7yo.
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