which school?!(10 Posts)
We have to make a decision about whether to go with the private outstanding rated pre prep that our son is already in nursery at or the local good rated state option. The pre prep is considered excellent and highly sought after. Our son seems happy there and has made friends. He is learning and becoming interested in drawing and writing etc more. He is old for his year and so coping fine with everything. Our only qualms are we have to drive as it's over 1.5m away, there is some extreme wealth (worried about why don't we gave three cars type of thing) and as it prepares for exams at 7 the patents can be a bit pushy and there is a lot of homework for the age group. The alternative state is a 20min walk
Posted too soon...more of a local, community school. Seems nice with sports fields etc. It also will save us £12k a year so £36k for the three years which will double if we do the same for our ds2. But...we may well put back into private at 7-18, so in a way this is a drop in the ocean but it would really help take the pressure off of my dh, we can save and pay off more mortgage etc. But then may disadvantage ds for school entrance at 7? Also, he will have to move schools for reception and then possibly again at 7 when nobody else would be moving from the state school. Do you think this will this be massively disruptive? How worth it is pre prep? Does anyone have any experience of this. Sorry it is so long!!
I'm struggling about the decision which is exactly similar to you. I think might be a good go with outstanding community first.
You might find that you're happy with the state school and then he wouldn't have to move at 7. As you say, most children don't move at that age.
It also sounds like you can't easily afford the pre-prep and private schools only get more expensive. Can you really afford to send two DC private?
I can see myself agonizing over something like this, for sure, but if you step back a little, you will see that you have a very, very first-world kind of 'problem' on your hands. Whatever you do, you can't go wrong. Not really. Not at this age.
When our kids were little, private was out of question, so they went to a local primary until ages 8 and 11. Looking back I think they would benefit from better quality of teaching and care from an earlier age, but then again, during their primary school years kids still have a chance to catch up, fill the gaps, and make the move to a more challenging environment. This opportunity becomes very slim in secondary school, so it's crucial to make the right choice at age 11.
Our experience in primary school was good. Teachers were great, nothing ever went badly wrong in terms of studies, but kids were never pushed beyond their comfort zone. It was all very relaxed and we compensated for it with lots of after-school clubs and activities. Kids had friends from a variety of backgrounds, so when I took my DD's friend swimming, for example, this girl commented that her mum has bigger boobs than me (this is at age 6). That kinda thing... Different priorities
However, my point is, both state and private give children something of value, and until about age 8 education is more about exploring the world, then some kind of intense training that can only be delivered inside expensive buildings with wonderful facilities. Both options are ok unless you run into some serious problems.
I think it really depends on your secondary options locally. How competitive is entry to the good ones?
We're facing a similar choice and will most likely go with private pre-prep because the secondary options are really not great around us and entry at 7+ or 11+ into private school is very competitive.
However, we will do our best to ensure the DC are not pushed too hard, and to steer clear of the "three car types"...
Thanks for the replies. There's just no easy decision unfortunately, we just need to choose! We can afford private I think, we are over cautious if anything. Not risk takers! It's just hard to be sure of the long term future. We have the pre prep Fees in the bank but don't want to ever be in the situation that we run out at 14. Also, it's what else we could do with the money-less stress, nice holidays etc.
Do you think moving him at 4 and maybe 7 will have a big negative effect or are they generally pretty adaptable?
The secondary schools are very competitive -the best ones at least. We have a option of a good school that we've registered for that i think he'd get into at 7. So hopefully he wouldn't be behind and they can prepare him. But it may be easier to get in at 7.
Does anyone regret a pre prep that pushed writing, maths etc too early?
I don't know anyone who would regret the choice to send kids private, only those who regret that they invested money in the early education as opposed to leaving it for other investments later in children's lives (university, house, car etc).
I think between 7 and 11 there are plenty of opportunities to 'catch up' and become selective school material, if you want to. Even when it's very competitive. If you can't train up in 4-6 months to the required standard with a tutor, then perhaps it was never the right choice/level for the child in the first place.
I think moving kids to a different school is easier if the school is clearly better in ways that kids can understand - facilities, school trips, equipment etc. My 8y old settled immediately, and 11y old settled within the first term (a bit harder at that age due to solid friendships in the old school).
If you want to go private from 7 and/or 11/13, might as well stay in the private sector now, the early years are the cheapest and the preparation will be better. We had the same decision to make with DS, he was in nursery in a preprep/ prep school, was happy and settling well, he did really well and managed an academic scholarship at CLS which he loves, it was clearly the best decision for him to stay in his prep school.
Completely different situations but ds moved from pre school to school nursery just before 4 and then moved schools at 6.5yrs. He has been fine, I think at that age most children are. I guess also you need to consider your plans for younger ds. Will he go to same nursery in which case might be easier to drop at same time. Where is the 7+ school option in relation to both schools? Will ds2 get sibling link for state, depends whether ds1 already moved in which case might you need to leave him in pre prep.
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