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Primary school choice - which would you choose as a preference ?

(29 Posts)
Rainbowchaser8 Tue 21-Nov-17 23:32:38

We have Two choices of school for reception 2018 - having to decide between the following - Which would you choose and why ? -

Option 1/
5 mins.Could walk or drive.
Ofsted good.
Well regarded school.
No before or after school care.
Not as many extra curricular activities.
Small village school.Very warm and friendly.
90 pupils - but larger class size of 30 due to dual forms.
Close to home for events/socialising - playing with friends outside school ,inviting people over etc.

Option 2 a
30 mins.Drive.No traffic.
Ofsted Outstanding.
Very well regarded school.
Large village school.
Ambitious head that manages the school brilliantly.
Lots of extra curricular activities.
Breakfast /after school care.
180 pupils - single form class of 25 - 28.
Too far for events/socialising.- playing with friends outside school etc.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Tue 21-Nov-17 23:44:26

Hmm...very tricky.

I think, on balance I would choose two. The only thing that tips it for me is that dual classes aren't really a good thing. The age range can be too broad and it's confusing for younger students.

If you put the outstanding down as first choice, you may not get it though...as you're thirty minutes away. So be very careful when choosing your third option...because the worst case scenario would be that your very local school ended up oversubscribed too and you didn't get either.

There's a lot to be said for walking to school though....years of driving thirty minutes can be wearing.

BubblesBuddy Tue 21-Nov-17 23:46:05

A query re School B. If you are driving there every day for 30 minutes, why can’t your child stay and play with a friend and you pick them up later? I drove 30 munutes to a prep school and never assumed my child wouldn’t go to tea with another child due to the drive. How odd that you won’t do it. This would make B a non starter for me. You would isolate your child from your home village and the school B community.

purpleme12 Tue 21-Nov-17 23:47:14

Number one. I wouldn't choose a school that's 30 mins away personally

CheapSausagesAndSpam Tue 21-Nov-17 23:50:28

Bubbles I suspect OP is thinking more of the time when her child would be old enough to walk home with a friend alone...when the child is ten or so.

Also, living thirty minutes in one direction could mean all the child's friends live thirty mins in the OTHER direction, meaning a playdate takes an hour to pick up from and an hour home.

OlennasWimple Tue 21-Nov-17 23:53:44

Do you need the wrap around care of School 2?

Skatingmama Tue 21-Nov-17 23:55:25

I would definitely not pick 2 unless you plan to relocate. Two hours driving for school run daily is exhausting and it really limits social life for you and kids. We found not many wanted to come back to ours.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Tue 21-Nov-17 23:56:43

Really OP we need to know if you work or if you're a SAHM and if you plan to work in the coming years. Those things matter.

Rainbowchaser8 Wed 22-Nov-17 00:01:50

I don't work at present, but would like to at some point. Though not an urgent need in next couple of years.
Also don't have a problem organising play dates etc 30 mins away, just think it would make it harder to invite back etc.

Whizziwig Wed 22-Nov-17 00:06:20

The one that is 5 minutes away. Mixed form entry is not ideal but with 90 children is workable. Doing 10 hour-long school runs a week will soon drive you crazy, especially as there's a good school on your doorstep.

CheapSausagesAndSpam Wed 22-Nov-17 00:17:23

I'm starting to agree with Whizz. Ofsted reports can change like the wind OP...and the walks I have had over the years to and from school with my children are actually some of our best memories.

MrsJamin Wed 22-Nov-17 01:48:39

Walk to A, definitely

Ttbb Wed 22-Nov-17 02:09:44

2. 30mins is not at all far, the school ad are sending ours to next year is 30 mins away from us. Quality of education over convenience every time.

Flowershower Wed 22-Nov-17 02:24:45

School 1. Ofsted is not a guarantee of an amazing school as much as an indication that the head knows how to play the game. Mixed years can be nice - my kids are at a similar sized school and are doing fine, no problems with learning in mixed classes and I love how integrated the school is - yr6 play with reception etc. Having friends locally is so so important - and not just for your children - going to the local school will allow you to be more a part of the community. Plus easier to pop back for forgotten swimming kit/reading help/class assemblies etc etc etc.

Loverunandwine Wed 22-Nov-17 02:32:33

Do they have stat results to also consider rather than just ofsted? Unless 2 is massively ahead in the league table for this then I would go for school 1.

Labradoodliedoodoo Wed 22-Nov-17 03:02:05

30 minutes is an hour a day traveling for her. 5 hours a week. 20 hours a month. Fewer play dates for her, fewer socials for you, less excersise.

For you it’s 2 hours driving a day, 10 a week, 40 a month in glaring heat, on dark rainy nights, on days you feel sick/have PMT or when your car brakes down and you need to source a hire car. Have you costed it out? Petrol money? Upkeep? Do you intend to move closer to the school eventually? Have you considered the cost to the environment?

Also schools change in the blink of an eye. Different leadership, teachers moving on. Also there will be many more unknown pros and cons that you aren’t aware of but will only get to grips with while your child attends.

Personally I’d go for the local option.

Labradoodliedoodoo Wed 22-Nov-17 03:04:29

Educationally you’d be much better off reading or baking or playing games with your child for an extra hour a day rather then driving the poor sod an hour each day.

CappuccinoCake Wed 22-Nov-17 03:35:49

I sort of like the sound of school B (not fussed by ofsted though) BUT there's no way of go 30min drive away! You don't want to commit to doing that for the next 7 years of your life.

If your school if 5mins away and rural (presumably if the next school is 30mjns away!?) then surely it's part of the local community and you'll be taking the kid away from that. Being able to walk to school with friends is amazing and as pp says there's so much fun they can have and learn to in an extra hour a day! That's a lot of time over 7 years. And all the commuting for you, when you go back in the evening g for parents evwning and performances etc.

And yes we live local to the school and often have friends over and it's ever so easy. I've never driven more than 5mins for a play date!

Firefries Wed 22-Nov-17 03:39:43

Typically I'd say B but a "good" school on your doorstep changes everything. Proximity saves you in so many ways. Choose A.

Homebird8 Wed 22-Nov-17 03:46:28

School A unless the before and after school care is important to you. That drive for School B is daft, not having local friends adds more driving, extracurricular activities are arrangeable outside school (and School A has some), warm and friendly is worth it's weight in gold.

BikeRunSki Wed 22-Nov-17 04:40:49

School 1 would have to be absolutely awful for me to sacrifice a a 5 min walk 4 times a day, in favour of 4 x 30 min drive.

RedSkyAtNight Wed 22-Nov-17 08:02:48

Do you need wrap around care and do you have alternatives available?

I personally think that 30 minutes drive (is that in rush hour?) is too far to be driving every day. 5 minutes walk and local friends is a huge plus.
I wouldn't be bothered by extra-curricular in A - these can always do these out of school - better for extending the range of friends considering such a small school.

SavoyCabbage Wed 22-Nov-17 08:09:48

I agree that school 1 would have to be really bad in order for me to not choose it. A whole extra hour in the house every single day is a valuable thing. Also, assuming your child will be able to walk themselves to and from schoo at some point. Which is invaluable. Well it is to us as it means I can go to work.

whoareyou123 Wed 22-Nov-17 10:36:58

Yet another one who would favour the nearer school and would need something really wrong with it not to choose it.

MiaowTheCat Wed 22-Nov-17 10:46:50

I'd go for warm and friendly over ambitious head any day.

Disclaimer- had a shit time at the hands of a school with a very ambitious head with an ego the size of a planet.

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