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Small infants / large junior

(3 Posts)
Spindelina Tue 16-Dec-14 10:57:26

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?

Galena Tue 16-Dec-14 11:02:58

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.

DeWee Tue 16-Dec-14 11:57:47

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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