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What is "good" school for you?(14 Posts)
Hello, looking for a primary school for my dc. Several times I was in a situation when somebody recommends me school their dcs are in only to find out that according to recent ks2 results only 75% of students met expectations. How can you call "good" a school when one quarter of children don't know what they should now?!
How did you choose primary for your dcs? What is "good" for you?
75% is really rather good. You need to take the context into account. Do you have any reason why your child might be one of the 25%?
There is so much more to school quality than data. And do you want your child to just be seen as 'data' by a school which only focuses on results?
A good primary:
- teaches maths & English well
- is kind and caring
- supports children with SEN
- supports higher ability children
- supports mid ability children
- instils good values
- instils a love of learning
This curriculum is HARD, state schools now deliver content at the same pace as the selective private sector despite not being selective. 75% is very very good.
So for instance pre 2014 children were expected to know up to 10x10 by the end of year 6. Now they’re meant to know up to 12x12 by the end of year 4.
My advice to all would be forget the academic side of things as long as the results look ok - the curriculum will stretch most children enough. Go for general feel and convenience for you - ie availability of breakfast club etc if you need it.
I think it depends whether you mean good as better than average, or just good? As in the average can be also good? I look at children’s school report and it says the county average for expected standard or above in 2018 KS2 is
Reading test 73%
Writing teacher assessment 79%
Maths test 79%
Grammar, punctuation and spelling 78%
RWM combined 65%
The school around us are all in 80/90% range.
Sorry that’s the national average, not county average. So 75% is good, as in about average, I’d say?
Because a good school is not only about academic results.
They might be very happy with the support, teaching and overall experience their kids get in school. If their kid is doing really well academically as well
Cohorts can vary massively as well and some years you can get a class with several issues that impact learning. I remember one year we had one child move in straight into y6 , his maths was great but his english was very basic so his results were mixed. Add in a few more with learning difficulties, social/emotional issues etc and you can make a quarter that despite all the best efforts fall under expected range.
For different people a good school will mean different things. It will also depend on their child's ability,personality and needs.
The school DD goes to is small, very academically inclined , has brilliant results but pastoral and SEN support is rather lacking. It suits her though and it is a great school for her.
The school I work at gets ok results, higher than country average but nothing amazing. However we are an amazing school when it comes to SEND , pastoral support, enrichment opportunities and experiences , supporting parents etc.
Every cohort will have children who do not meet the expected standard - whether because they have SEN, because they speak English as an additional language, because they are coping with adverse conditions at home, or because they just aren't very academic. That's normal.
For me a good primary school is one where my child is happy and cared for, where bullying is dealt with swiftly and effectively, where children have the opportunity to develop talents in areas such as sport and the arts, where storytelling is valued, and where there is space and time to play. Where children are treated as individuals - so SEN children are given extra support, shy children given encouragement, gifted children extra stimulation, dramatic children space to perform etc. Ideally the lessons would reflect the needs and interests of the individual cohort, though I recognise that that might be asking too much in the state sector.
I am not too worried about how well my child does academically at primary, because I know there's time to concentrate on that at secondary, and also I'm able to help him at home. I'm more concerned that he has friends, is happy to go to school, and is excited to learn.
For me a good school is a school that is inclusive and encourages ALL children to do their best, and achieve their utmost in whatever area they might shine - not just the areas OFSTED like to collect data on.
Not just for the dc who come from homes that value education; not just the dc who are academically able; not just the dc that haven't suffered any trauma in their lives; not just the dc who have English as their first language; not just the dc who come to school having had a full night's sleep and woken up in a warm home and been fed a decent breakfast.
A school that encourages children to laugh and sing and be active and try different sports and to embrace and support their peer whatever their differences.
A school that communicates well with the parents, and that understands the dc aren't robots and that understands the families have different needs and start in different places.
I know of plenty of great schools that the 'data' will show considerably fewer than 75% hit the Government's ridiculous "targets".
Initially ofsted and ks2 results were important, then i went to the open days, the important things were being shown round by the kids and asking them if they liked school, what they liked etc also important was a welcoming feeling, lots of books in the reception classroom and more PE than 20 minutes a week for my full of beans 4 year old.
It actually still annoys me that me local primary school head was planning to do more and more religious studies but cut back on PE as the children 'wouldn't be able to cope with more than 20 minutes PE a week' and she was highly thought of in our village.
Also annoying actually (I'm on a role now) is that none of the LEA schools I looked at talked about SEN support. And that annoyingly the head teacher who impressed me so much didn't mention SEN support nor the 60 kids to classroom - but its fine folks we call it 'freeflow', not for the youngest children it wasn't. It was only the private school I looked at that mentioned that learning support was very common.