Which would you choose?(15 Posts)
Which would you choose (obviously if money didn't come into it?):
Outstanding primary school - non fee paying - but with large class numbers say 30 ish and 2 to 3 classes per year
private education with small classes - obviously fee paying and record of good pastoral care?
I'd want to see both schools and know more about them than that.
It would also depend on my child.
And where the schools were.
Well actually, our local primary is deemed as outstanding by ofsted but there have been a lot of changes including change of head and I doubt they would maintain their outstanding status now.
My child is quite outspoken, confident and almost 'demands' to be listened to - I'm thinking the private school with its small classes would suit her very well but will be taking a look next week
We chose a private school for our bright but quiet dd, felt she would get forgotten about in a large class. Her year has 2 classes of 14. She is absolutely loving it.
Confident children do well in larger schools. They may also have more going on than a small private school. Pool of possible friends is much bigger and there is little evidence to say small classes are great if the teaching is poor. Most state educated children are in larger classes and plenty do very well where the teaching is first class.
I would rather pay for secondary if there are huge differences between state and independent schools in your area.
You don't need a school to be outstanding. You need it to be good. You need it to keep up with what improvements it needs to make and do them.
I can't quite see why a demanding confident child needs pastoral care as a major factor in a decision. I imagine the shrinking violets will be quaking!
I personally chose the outstanding state school for dc but if I could turn back the clock I'd go for the private option. Dc are at secondary now.
Thank you for your responses.
I think an outstanding primary in the right setting - small classes etc would be my personal preference but I think the private school option is looking increasingly attractive given the options available. I have an appointment to view the school in question next week - I just hope it doesn't disappoint. It is going to be a big wrench taking Dc away from the pre-school where she currently attends but stands absolutely no chance of getting into the actual school attached so if next weeks visit is a success she will begin to phase out of her current pre-school and across to the Kindergarten at the private school but it will be a gradual shift and not a dramatic one - fingers crossed it all works out, I felt gutted when I realised that dc stood no chance of getting into the lovely primary where she attends pre-school so hoping it all works out for the best. The only downside to her attendance at her current pre-school and I am not saying this is going to change with new one is that she not been invited to one single birthday party - do three year olds not have parties? I think I remember holding one for my elder dc? Likewise - no play dates but this could be because parents are working etc. I don't know but it seems slightly strange it would have been nice to have felt a bit more integrated but the staff etc have been fantastic and cannot fault, so any change in this direction would certainly be a plus from a social point of view.
I don't think it's possible to choose on paper OP. I think you have to visit and imagine her in each setting.
Also, I'd be wary of putting too much importance on the OFSTED report. Yes, they can indicate problems if the school gets a poor one, but I don't think an Outstanding one is any guarantee a school is good for a child.
Just to say my DS transitioned from a day nursery/ preschool to a private school kindergarten- mid year also, he joined in the January. From October half term he went 2 mornings a week to settle in. He settled in very well and is now in the reception and very happy. We like the smaller classes (17 in his class) for DS as he's summer born so needs the extra help. I do feel he may grow out of the school as it's very small, our plan is to move him when he's 8 to the prep department of the Grammar School.
Parties- whole class parties have been the norm through kindergarten and reception. I guess it's easier to have a whole class party for 17!
Now that ds1 is at secondary, I see primary as not so important now. If it's good, that's good enough. If I had a very shy Meek child, I would be working on that, and their overall confidence.
If a child is happy, has friends and does ok academically, at primary, that's all you need.
I completely disagree with thr PP above! I think primary is just as important as secondary - if not more! I see primary children soar at secondary when they have been very well prepared academically - and vice versa. Too many leave primary school needing lots of support to get the basics sorted which holds them back. Secondary schools have to pick up the pieces of a weak primary experience.
"do three year olds not have parties? I think I remember holding one for my elder dc? Likewise - no play dates but this could be because parents are working etc."
This will really depend on where you are. In my area, for example, there are no play dates. It's a term I've only ever heard used on MN.
The more usual thing is for parents to have coffee at each other's houses and their children will play while the parents are chatting. Older children will just knock on each other's doors and ask if their friend is allowed out to play.
For younger children, birthday parties tend to involve inviting the family around for food or a BBQ (depending on weather). Some will hire a hall somewhere and have a bouncy castle or something, but those are in the minority of cases.
Slightly older children (6+) may have a hired venue, and from the age of about 9 or 10yrs old they just invite a small group of friends to go skating or trampolining or something.
I too would not place too much on the OfSTED rating. In fact, I think I'd rather my child went to a good school than an outstanding school as I have seen the hoops and pressure needed to get outstanding.
I'd choose independent if it's a school you all like.
Thank you all for your opinions.
I think I have more or less made up my mind that the private school (dependent on viewing) is the one to choose.
I think part of the problem of lack of playdates etc. is that I experienced a bereavement just as DD started at the pre-school and I was quite introverted/prickly for a while though have been trying to rectify that since and have conversations now etc. I'm not aware of many parties happening but I know certain children go to each others houses and that some parties have taken place and we have not been included. I'm sure my elder dd (different setting) had party invites at 3 not masses but certainly a few. My dd has only been invited to one hall type party from someone we have met outside of the group. DD's third birthday was not the best - we held it at dd's pre-school stay and play session and I catered for far more than actually turned up, only one person brought a card and present etc. and I took a cake/party food/pass the parcel, it all felt a farce tbh and disappointing like going through the motions. The problem is dd is an October baby so she will have little chance to befriend children at the new kindergarten but just thinking of sending a blanket invite/hiring a hall and see what happens; its a bit strange inviting a bunch of strangers but we have very little in the way of small friends/cousins etc unfortunately, I was far more successful at making friends etc when elder dd was this age.
Private, if money was no object. But DS5 has motor issues as well as being quite ahead academically so he could probably thrive more with more attention.
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