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Large vs Small primary school, (Please help!!!)

(3 Posts)
luceymay Thu 22-Feb-07 18:55:15

Hi

My son was a June baby and will be starting primary in Jan - Easter 08. Our local school is V small, (48 children), with only 3 classes which are obviously mixed. It is walking distance and when visited seems pleasant. It has class sizes of between 13 - 18 and good facilities e.g.: IT room, its own kitchen, large playground and field etc, etc. Earlier this week I went to visit another school which I am slightly out of catchment for. It has over 350 pupils and class sizes of 25 – 32. It has much better extracurricular activities available, (music, French, clubs etc). I saw the head of both schools and the smaller school was nice but I didn’t leave feeling anything spectacular about the school. The larger schools head was so passionate and had the same core values and principles I consider to be important in a school and I came away V impressed by him.

My question is do I go with the school where the head ‘sold’ the school even though I will sacrifice the small classes etc or do I go for the local convenient school where the head may well hold the same views as the other head but didn’t really show this. Will my son get ‘lost in the system’ of a larger school and benefit more from the small one, or will he be cocooned from reality and be better off experiencing the realities of life at a larger school.

This is all so new to me and I just feel like this is such a major decision I don’t want to mess it up! I probably am making this far more complicated that it needs to be!!

Any advice would be much appreciated!!!!!

hana Thu 22-Feb-07 18:58:59

from what you've written the larger school sounds nicer. Of course maybe the smaller school head felt he didn't have to 'sell' his school as much, maybe he felt the benefits were obvious?
fwiw, my daughter attends a large primary school, just over 400 students, I don't feel she's lost in the syster at all. It is large classes ( the norm around here at 30) but it seems to work fine at the moment ....she's only in reception

something else you may want to consider is distance though, do you really want to have to drive to school everyday?

SparklePrincess Thu 22-Feb-07 21:02:09

350 pupils in a school is still relatively small IMO. My dd used to go to a school with almost 700 pupils now that was a large school, & she certainly was lost in the crowd. She is now at a school with just over 100 pupils & after the initial honeymoon period of being the "new girl" is having trouble finding anyone on her wavelength because her year group only has a handful of girls
350 is probably a nice size for a school. Small enough to be cosy & teachers to all know all children, but large enough to have a good range of facilities & more possible friends to choose from.

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