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Running out of time, need help choosing primary school

(21 Posts)
InTheLostAndFound Mon 11-Jan-16 21:21:00

Ok so I've got two choices and I'm stuck. DD starts in reception this coming Sept she's really quite shy and takes a while to come around to getting involved and talking to new people.

School one is attached to her pre school, so she would be starting school with all her little friends, she has really blossomed there and I can see her confidence growing in her peer group many of whom would be attending this school. It's a about a 7 minute drive from our house along quiet road but very busy to find parking when we get there. Good offsted and lovely feel to it.

School Two is a 2 minute walk from our house, was in special measures but has now changed to an academy and is on the up, we've met the new head and he's very keen to improve things. It a two form intake so 60 children and this is where I'm struggling as I feel DD may get a bit lost as the classes are mostly taught together although split into smaller groups. DD knows a couple of the children starting but isn't as close to them as her pre school friends.

Sorry bit of an essay! Do I go for the closer school or one where we have to drive with the added stress of finding parking?

LizzieMacQueen Mon 11-Jan-16 21:25:03

I'd go for school 2.

she's really quite shy and takes a while to come around to getting involved and talking to new people

That is true of every 3 or 4 year old I have known. She'll likely make friends who live close to you too which will be a blessing over the years.

VocationalGoat Mon 11-Jan-16 21:26:53

School one.
You cannot underestimate the value of being settled. Anxiety is incredibly common in infants and it's often overlooked and goes unnoticed, unattended to. If your DD is a sensitive type, you should honour this aspect of her character and place her in school one... where she has blossomed (which says it all really). The school run isn't a bad one. There are worse runs (mine is one of them grin). Good luck with your decision and here's to your daughter's new beginning. It's a big step and an emotional one, so choose with your heart. flowers

InTheLostAndFound Mon 11-Jan-16 21:46:29

Thanks for your replies, I think the problem is my heart says school one, smaller class and friends already there and my practical head says school two as it would be so much easier as we wouldn't have to fight the traffic every morning and have problems parking at both at the schools and on the return.

I have an 18 month old also and in the back of my mind I wonder if he would get in to school one a few years down the line as its smaller and getting more popular each year.

RabbitSaysWoof Mon 11-Jan-16 21:48:32

I would go closest school, I think school 1 would be a choice based on the first few awkward school days, especially if it has a juniors attached, that's 10 car journeys a week from reception until secondary because you feel she is shy now at 4.

admission Mon 11-Jan-16 21:53:01

The fact there is sibling involved would definitely sway me towards the local school as you have a much better chance of getting place for younger child there than at school One. Plus not having to drive - what will you do when daughter has two after school clubs she wants to attend, you will end up with a far longer day.

RabbitSaysWoof Mon 11-Jan-16 21:58:32

Didn't see the sibling update, that sways it even more nearly 10 years of driving to school.

Inkymess Mon 11-Jan-16 22:13:38

Local school for me too. Bigger schools are much better long term for friendship options. I love big schools and feel that shy children really blossom where they can find other children like them and also many different types of friends. Walking 2 mins to school is a total dream. Ace for play meet ups and sharing drop offs and pick ups. Blissful once they start endless clubs and after school activities. By year 4/5/6 they can walk themselves to school. It's a huge confidence booster for children to go to the local park etc and see people from school. They love having friends living near by. Get involved in the local school community / PTA etc and you'll never look back.

Inkymess Mon 11-Jan-16 22:16:47

I second the comment about not basing a decision that will change the next ten years or so of your life based on friendships of 3/4 year olds. These change very quickly in reception, even best friend change. Think of your DC at 8/9/10/11 and upwards

InTheLostAndFound Mon 11-Jan-16 22:21:47

I think 10 years down the line I'd probably be happier for not having driven to school everyday! I'm just going around in circles feeling like a mean mum for taking her away from her pre school friends.

The closest school hasn't got a pre school attached which is why she ended up at the village one. I guess children are adaptable, my partner is very practically minded and is keen for her to go to the closest school.

Inkymess Mon 11-Jan-16 22:37:12

They will be off over summer. Loads of time to make friends who are new school etc. as soon as you get place confirmed you can seek people out. Our school is quite transient and the DC make new friends very quickly. School is very different and exciting for them so they will all find new friends in reception

Inkymess Mon 11-Jan-16 22:44:43

I do think this is one decision where you have to put practical parent head on and make the best long term choice for her. The lack of preschool at School 2 is good as means they will all be 'new' ... As opposed to her entering a school where 50/60 have been at the nursery.

InTheLostAndFound Mon 11-Jan-16 23:03:58

Thanks Inky, all the children being 'new' so to speak is not something I had thought of. I didn't know what worrying was until I had children.

DD is such a quiet girl (before you really know her!) I guess I just don't want to make it any harder than is necessary for her, but you're right that I do need to look to the future.

KohINoorPencil Mon 11-Jan-16 23:29:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

noramum Tue 12-Jan-16 11:13:29

DD started a school knowing just one child in an intake of 60. All her nursery friends went to a different one.

DD was extremely shy, we went in favour of a school intake of 60 instead of 120. She blossomed very quickly, walked happy into the school on her first day and we never had "hidding behind mummy" like she did just 2 months earlier at a party.

For me, friends or not should not be a critical point in choosing a school. DD is now in Y4 and hardly plays with the ones she had as "friends" in Reception.

For us it was more important that the school could accomodate her for 7 years, offer lots of clubs/activities, had teachers who interacted in good and respectful manner to the children and realised that grades are not the only goal in life.

Luxyelectro Tue 12-Jan-16 11:19:51

It gets difficult as year go on

My children are at a school similar to the one you describe. I've spent an absolute fortune in fuel getting them to school. This year is horrific with one in high school and one in primary. They are in opposite directions to my house. One is 8 miles one way, the other 8 miles the other.
My fuel bill is £60 a week just for this schools runs. It is time consuming and expensive. I'm also not sure it's worth it especially for the primary. There is a downside to small cute village schools in the friendship pool available. We have always been viewed as outsiders by a signicant minority of parents and this has caused problems. I now have a year 6 daughter at home today trying to find her another school.

Luxyelectro Tue 12-Jan-16 11:21:36

Oh and you need a super Reliable car. A few years ago mine developed an issue and for that one day I spent £80 in taxis.

InTheLostAndFound Tue 12-Jan-16 12:35:13

Thanks for all your input everyone.

There's lots of village schools around here with good reputations so it's not unusual for people living in town to send children a couple of miles down the road for schools. I have not heard of anyone missing out on a place, although the one I'm looking at for DD filled all 30 places last year and according to the head is looking popular again this year and although we're not in the catchment area we are closer than many appling.

Noramum, that's very reassuring hearing about your daughter. I've set my self the deadline of this evening for making a decision!

noramum Tue 12-Jan-16 13:10:10

I think the most important thing is to be open to new friends, doing lots of playdates, and don't let your anxiety show. If you tell your DD that she will be happy with a sadness in your voice she will pick it up.

We are still good friends with a circle of nursery friends, the girls now do a riding club together. It is a bit of effort to keep in touch but DD now loves her two groups of friends.

InTheLostAndFound Wed 13-Jan-16 10:21:38

So decision made, I've gone with the closest school, seems the most practical for the whole family, confirmed this morning when it took me as long to de ice the car as it would have done to walk to school!

I'm hoping that dd will settle quickly, she has friends to walk to school with and although really shy she is keen to make new friends.

Thankgoditsover Wed 13-Jan-16 12:03:52

Well done OP, honestly think that's a great decision. Give yourself a pound for every time over the next 7 years that you:
a) run back home after drop off because you've forgotten a sports kit/musical instrument/homework
b) go into school three/four times in a day because their after-school club starts at a weird time like 4.30
c) go into school for a performance etc
d) go into school for a parents' evening
e) ask another parent to take your children in because you're ill, unavailable etc
f) ditto for picking up...
Honestly, you'll be rich, rich I tell you, by the end of their time at school.

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