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changing schools but which one?

(13 Posts)
Catnap25 Fri 16-Jan-15 21:33:36

To cut a long story short I'm thinking of moving my DD from her current school. She has been unhappy since Yr 1, saying she hates school and crying before she goes in. I have looked at a few schools but still undecided. my DD has been to see 2 of them. here goes...

School 1 is reasonably local and walking is doable, has a good rep and good sats results. The school felt "nice", children were well behaved and busy, head is new and seemed keen. I didn't fall in love with it though! Not sure why.

2nd school is a 6 mile drive, half the size, lovely outside area, good results too, family atmosphere. for me it had the edge but the distance is really worrying me. my DD says this school is her favourite. Also feeds into good secondary.

I have seen another school with a space that my DD hasn't seen yet, had a nice feel but is also nearly 5 miles away. I do know a mum who lives me tho who goes to this school so could share lifts. Felt at home here but head and teacher were off sick so need to have another visit. Sats not great tho considering intake of children and higher level to start with. Less academic feel generally.

Any ideas, anyone doing a track into school and regretting it?

DramaAlpaca Fri 16-Jan-15 22:02:13

My DS was at our local primary school, a short walk away, and by the age of 9 he really hated it, so much so that he walked out a few times and took himself off home.

There is a small, country school about five miles away from us and I moved him there. He settled there straight away, and despite the hassle of getting him there & effectively having two school runs (his two younger siblings stayed in the other school because they were happy and I didn't want to disrupt them as well) it was worth it.

I think with schools sometimes it's right to go on your instincts, and it's also good to go with one your child likes. My DS liked the school we chose when we visited & I'm sure that helped him to settle.

So to answer your question, no I didn't regret the trek to school.

If you can manage the transport issue, I think in your shoes I'd be going with School 2.

Catnap25 Sat 17-Jan-15 23:31:15

Thanks, did you get to the bottom of why your DS hated the previous school?

TheRealMaryMillington Sat 17-Jan-15 23:36:25

If all else was equal, I'd choose the school I could walk to.
What are your secondary options with the local school? I would weight this quite heavily.

DramaAlpaca Sun 18-Jan-15 00:12:13

I didn't really. He wasn't able to articulate why, his distress was reflected in his behaviour & I knew it wasn't anything to do with home. The school didn't seem to have a clue either and were not helpful. I just felt that I couldn't leave him where he was so desperately unhappy and I moved him after the Easter holidays. I was justified in doing so - he was back to his old self within literally two weeks of starting at his new school.

It was an easy decision for me, but your circumstances may be completely different. I hope whatever you decide works out the best for you & your DD. Best of luck.

Catnap25 Sun 18-Jan-15 15:51:59

secondary school in local area school ok but not good. Has declined in recent years. I was told by the local school HT that about 5 children each year go to the better school ( out of 30) so not impossible. I was told by other HT that we have a 99% chance of getting in if she went to the the other school.

my DD can't seem to articulate and pinpoint what is wrong either, just that she hates school. It maybe the same in a different school but feel I should at least try.

TheRealMaryMillington Sun 18-Jan-15 17:16:34

Do you have strong feeling about secondary? If you definitely want the "better" school - then I would go further if that would secure it (check criteria)
If you are not so bothered, I'd stay more local.

CharlesRyder Sun 18-Jan-15 19:48:53

I drive DS 5 miles to school and it doesn't feel arduous at all. It is down very quiet country roads though and only takes 10mins.

His classmates are also spread round a wide area so he is not missing 'playing out' locally after school. We do playdates in about a 10mile radius and this has also been ok.

Catnap25 Thu 22-Jan-15 16:37:41

Ok, so my DD has just had a taster day at the nearer school. She came out animated about her day and said she enjoyed it. Told school she would start on Monday. Just had a conversation where she has said she doesn't like it and doesn't want to start on Monday!. At a loss now about what to do, maybe I should home educate! Ahh

DramaAlpaca Thu 22-Jan-15 17:45:18

Oh no! You just can't win, can you? Very positive that she was so animated & enjoyed it, so maybe she's just a bit hesitant & worried about the change?

Catnap25 Thu 22-Jan-15 19:03:37

She keeps saying she wants to go the school further away, I like the school too but feel I can't justify the long drive and taking her away from the community/ town. It's difficult to understand the motives of a 5 year old! If I knew it would definitely suit her better I would just go for it but I'm undecided

TheRealMaryMillington Fri 23-Jan-15 09:41:31

You can't leave the decision to her. She's 5, it's not fair on her.

Take her on Monday. See how it goes.

Catnap25 Tue 27-Jan-15 20:14:51

Having a wobble here! It's been day 2 of new school and DD doesn't seem happy there, she misses her old friends and obviously other children in her class has established friendship groups. I know it's early days and it's not completely unexpected considering she's a sensitive child but just feel so sad for her. I didn't want to make things worse and now worried I have!

Any advice or positive stories?

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