How do we choose?

(7 Posts)
BertieDrapper Tue 19-Nov-19 15:41:36

We are in the very fortunate position of living by 2 schools that are considered good schools.

My DD will start reception next September. We are in catchment for school A, and this is the school her childminder can do drop offs/pick ups.

School B is a a very slightly longer distance away, not our catchment

We have been to see both.
We saw school B first and we were both really impressed with it. It's an infants school so they told us a lot about the day to day of reception through to year 2. We didn't see anything of above year 2.
OFSTED has rated them as good. They have an indoor pool they can use all year and a forest school that the kids spend a whole day in every 3 weeks.

Childminder can not do pick ups etc from school B

School A, we saw last week and came away feeling rather deflated. The teacher giving the guide mainly showed us the upper years and barely said anything about the lower years. Lots of emphasis on school trips etc.
I went back today and did the tour again with a better guide! Who talked us through the early years bits. It's a much bigger school, nearly 1000 pupils. They have lots of after school clubs. I know a lot of kids/parents who attend there. They have pool but it's outdoors and a forest area but they only spend "a session" out there a week.. School A is also rated as good.

And so now we are stuck with what to put as our first choice!

School B seemed like a newer, brighter, more well kept school, and had more of a community feel about it.

School A looked tired, even though some of it is newly built!

I'm currently working from home and so if that stays the same I won't need a childminder - so that won't be an issue. But that may change by time she starts school.

We are so conflicted on what to pick. And it's a low birth rate year and the schools are dropping class sizes for next year. The head of school A basically said what ever we put as first choice is what we will get!

How do we decide? Is there anything obvious or not so obvious we should be looking at?

Sorry this is long!!! Lol

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RedskyToNight Tue 19-Nov-19 16:16:48

What's the junior school choice like for school B? It's worth at least half thinking about it (even though things will change before you get there).

Remember with school A that your child will be there for the next 7 years, so knowing what happens in the later years is a good thing!

I wouldn't get fixated on the childminder (presumably there are other childminders) or the pool/forest school (nice but they may not use them as often as advertised and even if they do it's not really enough to swing the vote).

it does seem as though you got a better vibe with B, so I'd normally say go with that (with the caveat that you need to check out what junior schools it feeds into, as mentioned above).

JoJoSM2 Tue 19-Nov-19 16:31:39

I wouldn’t place too much value on the childminder either. I would also prefer a weekly forest school session instead of 4 days a term. Having said that, it sounds like you preferred School B so I’d go with it.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Tue 19-Nov-19 16:38:34

Childminder- not an issue.
Indoor pool- how often do they actually use it? (Same with other school pool)
Forest school- once a week sounds better- a seesion is likely a couple of hours anyway.
Size- how many classes per year is there are the bigger school? This will limit access to activities
Infant Vs through school- what is the Junior school like?

BertieDrapper Tue 19-Nov-19 17:09:42

Thanks for all replies so far!

School B uses the pool every week, there's a voluntary contribution for that.

School A use the pool from Easter till end of Sept. But I know some kids refuse to go in.

The junior school for school B is also rated as good. But other then that I don't know.

School A had loads of after school clubs for sports and hobbies, not to sure about school B.

I know I shouldn't worry about the childminder thing but she's been going since she was 1 and it feels like a real wrench to pull her out! Even though if she goes school A there's no reason we'd need a childminder based on current circumstances.

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BertieDrapper Tue 19-Nov-19 17:10:40

Sorry both schools have 5 classes a year. At the moment,
But when DD goes they are both reducing to 4 classes. So are both big schools over all...

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BertieDrapper Tue 19-Nov-19 17:13:12

Oh school B also gives all kids a breakfast... regardless of income etc.
No mention of that at school A.

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