Infant schools to junior(6 Posts)
Anyone with any experience of infant and junior schools.
What are the advantages and disadvantages in your experience?
I'm hesitant to put this nearby infant school down as well have to go through the admissions process again in 3 years time. The kids won't all go to the same junior school so may feel like starting again and I'm concerned about unsettling them and them having to make new mates again. It's 2 form entry. Nearby junior is 4 form entry.
We have the same setup here (2 form infants, 4 form junior) except in our case most of the infants children did go on to the same junior (something like 50 out of 60) - though other alternatives were through primary schools that didn't take many (if any) children in year 3.
It's worked very well for the DC. The 2 form entry infants was nice and nurturing when they were small and there were opportunities to "be responsible" for the Year 2 DC, which you wouldn't get in a usual primary. Then they had more opportunities at the larger junior school.
The schools in my case had very close links to moving was easy - worth finding out what happens in your case? It would seem unusual that the DC really move to a genuine mix of junior schools.
We actually found DS (non football loving) struggled to find close friends at infants school so moving to a larger junior with additional children was really a fresh start. On the flip side, DD had a great group of friends at infants but by Year 4 a lot of them had grown apart and having "new" children to broaden their horizons was great.
I have found that because all of the children are making the transition from the infant to the junior school it is very well managed. All of the children are prepared with lots of visits to the junior school during year 2, assemblies, special books and photos. Children who need extra help with the transition are given it.
The separate schools mean that the infant school is a very nurturing place where the children are treated like the young children that they are. The junior school in turn is able to treat the pupils like the young people they are becoming. My DC came on massively after they moved in to year 3 because they were now ready to be more mature and independent.
The down sides are probably that most families with more than one child will have a child at each school at some point. School runs are a bit more difficult, and despite their best efforts, the two schools never communicate as well as they could. If a child is very bright it is slightly more difficult for them to access materials for children who are several years older because it is in a different school. Two different uniforms makes things a bit more expensive. Parents also need to keep on top of two different lots of non uniform days, school fairs, discos, treat days etc.
Just my experience and opinion. Hope that helps a bit.
Ok thanks that's really really helpful and has made me feel a bit better about the whole thing. I'll just have to deal with the logistics side of things later on!
I had this - infant school and a primary in the area where the infants fed into the primary for KS2 - hence the school was very top heavy. I went for the primary and really really regretted it... the school isn't managed very well and the head's interest in the foundation stage was minimal to say the least - and this showed when it came to resourcing as well.
In the end various circumstances led us to a school change and they're at an out of catchment wonderful infants school where the change in atmosphere and a much more age appropriate focus runs throughout the whole school - the Y2s and Y1s get the chance to be a bit more responsible and the "big ones" rather than still being viewed as little in a primary - and the foundation stage gets the resourcing and focus it should do as well. Yep we've got a bit of a gamble that we'll have to do an out of catchment application for the juniors but I figured in the end that it was worth the risk.
They do lots and lots and lots of transition work with the partner juniors - use their big field for sports days for the older kids, they're up there doing shared Christmas sing songs this month, loads of moving up days and since there's a fairly huge group who go up together I'm not too worried about that (just fingers crossed we get them both in).
With them being partner schools things like the school days are staggered so you can do one drop off and walk to the other school in time (infants starts and finishes earlier, junior school day is pushed 15 minutes off from that to allow time to get between the sites) and the PTAs work fairly closely to make sure dates don't clash for events or too many events land too close together (most of our PTA are also on the PTA up at the juniors). Breakfast club is also shared - one school does both school's breakfast club and the kids are walked to the other school site in time for the start of the day.
I really regret we didn't go for the infant school option initially - DD1 really suffered a crap reception year before we found places here.
I think it totally depends on the child and school set up.
We did the Infant/Junior set up and DD managed it very well. Virtually all children move on and the schools handle it without any problems. The schools do work together anyway, buildings are next to each other and apart from the odd hiccup we were very pleased.
The schools now merged, but that is mainly due to finances and I heard from some parents it makes it easier to deal with if you have children in KS1 and KS2 as all is organised by one team instead of dealing with two heads/offices/admin staff. But I would say this is of less importance in my view.
Friends sent their children to a primary and one was happy with the set up where the children from Reception to Y6 mingle a lot more while one with a very shy and reluctant child had problems as the girl was totally overwhelmed with the amount of children, the size of the building and being knocked around by Y5/6 children in the playground.
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