Another 'which school' one...

(14 Posts)
FraterculaArctica Wed 29-Nov-17 16:16:37

The usual, trying to choose school preferences for PFB DS for Reception. Spring birthday, for what that's worth. Seems bright-ish but slow in self care, not the most gregarious.
Options are A: catchment school, new head, 2 form entry, walking distance. Feels a bit dingy and very loud inside as entirely open plan. School tours done by yr 6s, little chance to chat to head. Heavy sport emphasis. Will almost certainly get in. Wrap around care a bit dismal (trekked off to a grotty building elsewhere in town).
School B: 4 miles cross country drive. We loved the school on the tour - all sorts of little things. Village school with 1 form entry. 50-50 whether we get a place. Wrap around care much better. Feels much more nurturing. Rapid development of facilities.

Similar Ofsteds, demographics and academics.

Thoughts, anyone? Didn't think it would be so difficult!

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MsJolly Wed 29-Nov-17 16:18:55

Put school B first as it sounds like you like that one best and put school A second so you will get a spot somewhere

Ttbb Wed 29-Nov-17 16:20:12

School B

FraterculaArctica Wed 29-Nov-17 16:20:41

Yes, can do that of course. It's just whether it's really unwise to commit to a cross country drive and try and tie it in with commuting arrangements, twice a day for the next 10 years (we have DC2 as well).

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FraterculaArctica Wed 29-Nov-17 16:21:43

DH reckons A, I'm much more torn, so canvassing other views!

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SummerRains Wed 29-Nov-17 16:24:37

What is their policy for accepting siblings and is school B over subscribed? In case child 2 does not get a place at school B?

FraterculaArctica Wed 29-Nov-17 16:27:00

Siblings are above catchment (nearest school, technically) and distance. Both oversubscribed. Realised have made A sound dreadful - it's actually highly regarded and Ofsted Good (was Outstanding) but I was expecting it to feel nicer, and Head didn't seem to have much time for us.

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sirfredfredgeorge Wed 29-Nov-17 16:42:14

A unquestionably, espeically with siblings there!

FraterculaArctica Wed 29-Nov-17 16:44:53

Why Sirfredfredgeorge? Given that siblings will get into the same school whichever choice we make?

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sirfredfredgeorge Wed 29-Nov-17 16:45:22

Ah, sorry, misread on the siblings, still I would say a short walk school would be massively worse than the alternative to not be taken, chatting to a head on a look around really isn't a good way to find anything out about the school anyway.

ArriettyMatilda Wed 29-Nov-17 17:21:10

Op we are in a similar position. But in our case if we don't put school A down as our first choice I believe we will be unlikely to get in at all as it's over subscribed every year. I may be misunderstanding how places are allocated though! We are leaning towards the one in walking distance, I feel that will have more of an impact on life after school for example going to the park or swimming after school. We don't have to consider wrap around care, so I appreciate that may sway things for you.

Valeriemalorie Wed 29-Nov-17 17:29:00

School A sounds like the better option to me. Being able to walk, being close when they have things you need to go to outside of school hours too (clubs, parents evenings, school fairs, discos etc) would make your life so much easier. All their friends will be local. 2 form entry means they get to mix with more children.

Valeriemalorie Wed 29-Nov-17 17:30:44

Can you go back and visit at another time?

RedSkyAtNight Wed 29-Nov-17 19:59:46

School A for me too. A school within walking distance is a huge bonus.

My DC went to an open plan infants, so I think they come over as quite overwhelming when you first walk in, however the children do soon adapt and don't really notice it, plus it gives the school opportunities to use the space more innovatively. If you really hate the after school care, you can always look at alternatives e.g. a childminder. Though as long as it's well run and has good activities your child will not notice that it is in a grotty building!

I'd also say that you need to think ahead beyond Reception. 1 form entry is great for Reception but may become claustrophobic very quickly as they grow older. Where do the other village children come from? If mostly locally, your DC will be out of the loop and/or you'll have to work much harder to keep up friendships as they get older.

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