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What to do about Primary school

(13 Posts)
Zoomum Wed 22-Jul-09 21:23:18

Hello all, wondered if anyone had any thoughts....my DS is just 2, so not yet ready for Primary school just yet but I'm thinking about it. I'm torn about the whole where to go to school issue. The so called best school in the area that everyone wants their children to go to, is really hard to get into. Child has to be baptised and you have to attend the church, get a letter from the vicar etc etc. Upon reflection I have decided that I am not in the slightest bit religious and don't believe in a Christian God anyway, so would I really want my son to go to this school. But does it mean that Im not a good mum, I mean of course I'm a good mum, but I get confused by the whole thing. Should I as a mum just do the whole church thing, I mean some mums do go to church and all of that to ensure a school place.

Also a friend of mine with a daughter is freaking out because she doesn't want her child to go to a school where there is more than 50% children as a second language. The nearest secular school to me does have higher than national average English as second language children, and also has an outstanding Ofsted report from May this year, and the neighbours children go there and they love it, as do the parents. Am i supposed to care about this kind of thing?? (The whole English as a second language thing)....

As a first time parent I am confused about it all, I don't seem to have the huge ambition to try and get DS into the best school, but maybe I should....part of me feels that I would be needlessly stressing myself out about it, like my friend, far better to relax about it all.....thoughts??? Sorry for rambly message

hercules1 Wed 22-Jul-09 21:24:54

You're probably too late for the church school anyway.

The second language wouldnt bother me especially if it has a good reputation.

Zoomum Wed 22-Jul-09 21:27:34

Yes I think I am too late for church school, I am not baptised myself, and DS is not baptised...ha ha might look a bit suspect if I roll into church at this late stage, but some mums I know have done it just to get their kids in......

misshardbroom Thu 23-Jul-09 08:51:55

what hercules said about the church school.

Also, if everyone's doing it, it will reach a tipping point where it can't accommodate everyone anyway.

The EAL (English as an additional language) thing wouldn't bother me at all. There are a lot of EAL children in my children's school & preschool and it makes for a vibrant, diverse community where the staff have to be extra committed and innovative to help all the children.

Look at this link - it's not the school my children go to but another in the overall area where the head has won national awards for his work with EAL children... just thought it might interest you / give you confidence in the sort of environment that can be created with children from different cultures (including our own!).

Wilts Thu 23-Jul-09 09:03:23

Drove school that Misshardbroom linked to is in my town.

It is hugely multi- cultural, I am not sure we have another school here that is so diverse. The school is often in the local paper for the excellent work it does, both within school and in the local community

I know someone who sent their children there even though it was out of catchment , specifically for its diversity . The EAL was not a problem for them whatsoever.

I think if I were in your situation I would choose the school with high EAL over the church school.

teamcullen Thu 23-Jul-09 09:19:11

My dc go to a church school and it has a lot of children of which, english is a second language.

Going by your views church school might not be right for you. There are lots of church services and RE is a big part of the curriculum. However, the thread of the teaching is good morals and thinking about other people rather than memorising all the books of the new testoment or condemming you to hell if you dont go to church.

As for the thing about children with english as a second language, children pick up language so quick you wouldnt know from listening to them. Also these children are often the hardest working students as their parents are often so pleased that they have the oppotunity of a good education. The worst part is trying to spell their names on Chritmas cards

misshardbroom Thu 23-Jul-09 12:28:32

<<gives cheery wave to Wilts while zooming round roundabout>>

now I'm going to keep wondering if I've seen you in the supermarket or something!

Wilts Thu 23-Jul-09 14:32:53

Misshardbroom- I am the harassed looking one, usually dragging a stroppy child behind me grin

rafa Thu 23-Jul-09 15:28:55

sorry to jump in I have a qq! Why is zoomum too late for the church school? Too late to get DS baptised or too late as people assume the waiting list will already be really long. I have always been told that schools do not really operate "first come first served" type wiating lists, rather they wait until the closing dates and then assess each childs criteria at the same time. Hope I am right as DD is 2.5 and I have not even thought about schools yet!

hercules1 Thu 23-Jul-09 15:34:09

A lot of church schools will expect baptism of at least one parent and the child to have baptised in the first few months of life plus parents married in teh church. All this and church attendance from young age and helping out at church.

shigella92 Thu 23-Jul-09 15:42:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Zoomum Thu 23-Jul-09 18:35:54

Thank you so much ladies for all your thoughts. I too lean more towards the view that my DS would not be at any kind of disadvantage if he went to a school with high percentage of EAL students.I just think there can be so much stress around the whole school thing, and sometimes I just wonder if I am supposed to be more driven about the whole thing. But I don't feel particularly competitive, so that's that ......

Love2dance Thu 30-Jul-09 13:29:18

Hello Zoomum. I am in exactly the same position as you. What a relief to read other first time mums are going through the same thing. Our options are:
1. RC Catholic primary school school with stringent entry criteria (my parents both lapsed Catholics but I was never baptised and neither is DS though funnily enough DH, who is not religious, was babtised in Cathlic church). If we are serious/competitive enough about it we would need to get DS baptised and go to church regularly. I'm an agnostic and my conscience tells me this would not be right. What do you tell the child when he/she gets older as to why they were baptised? So they could go to the right school? Don't think I can do it.
2. Private. In reality just what a good state primary would have been when I was a child - but we have to pay!
3. Not particularly good primary schools.
4. Brand new (but untested and no Ofsted report yet) city academy than goes from 3 to 18.

All have substantial proportion of ESL pupils. Not a problem at all for me. I'm more worried about exposure to any behavioural problems (I speak from experience having had my secondary education at a crap comprehensive compromised)and quality of teachers. Whaaadya Do?! It's a toughie, especially if you want another child and can only afford one set of school fees...

Good luck. Would love to know what you decide.

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