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Remind me again what the issues are when deciding whether state/private for primary....move or not?

(12 Posts)
SchoolQuandary Fri 02-Oct-09 17:02:32

Sorry about the long thread title! I have namechanged for this in case I'm recognised on here. I would appreciate some views

Dd2 has just gone into year 1 at an all-girls private school. Last year, in reception there were 17 children, some of whom were boys (they take boys up to 8) and there were quite a few different children.

This year, the boys and some others have left and dd is now one of 11 girls. The girls in her class are very nice children and she seems to get on well with them but there is now a distinct lack of diversity which is apparent and dd misses having boys as well as girls in her class.

I am wondering if she would actually be happier at one of the state primaries we have nearby. I had always had an issue with her going to the local one because the Head is apathetic and people I know feel the children are not reaching their potential as a result.....but the school is getting a new head in January.

At her current school she has a new book every day and her reading seems to be improving all the time. Last year when she struggled they tried her on three different reading schemes until they found one that clicked for her and this is the kind of thing I guess you may not get when there is a class of 30+

So I'm trying to decide what to do for the best. Any thoughts on how you decide?

Runoutofideas Fri 02-Oct-09 17:47:58

Do you know if the new head has been appointed yet, and if so, which school they are coming from? This could give an indication of the likely future prospects for the local school.
Are there no other options? Another mixed independent school? Different state primary? I think a class of 11 sounds lovely, although I do understand your concerns about diversity and I personally would always prefer a mixed environment. Some schools seem to manage fantastically in dealing with the individual needs of 30 children, others don't. I think you really need to go with your instincts and choose the option which you feel best suits your daughter regardless of the state/private thing.

SchoolQuandary Fri 02-Oct-09 17:56:25

Runoutofideas - I considered a mixed independent school but in year 1 they have only 6 children and I think that it too few. The head has been appointed and apparently is going to give the school a shake-up.

Acinonyx Fri 02-Oct-09 19:01:38

I think IIWY I'd want to wait until year 3 to get a better idea of how the new head mangaes teh local school. It's common for children to move school for year 3 anyway (primary to junior).

It's a tough choice - and I speak as one who chose the local state primary. The set up in her current school does sound good to me though - dd is in a class of 28 and you are right - that kind of tailoring to meeet their needs just can't happen.

Perhpas it will change - dd is in reception. But the girls and boys really don't play. A minority of the boys are just too rough - there is A LOT of 'rough play', which frankly, I could live without - and I very much doubt would be tolerated at your dd's school.

So I guess the grass is always greener!

SchoolQuandary Fri 02-Oct-09 20:39:14

Acinonyx - thanks for your perspective on this. I think she has found it hard moving into year 1 because reception is so learn-through-play based and that would be the case in any school.

lexie01 Fri 02-Oct-09 20:56:31

SQ - we moved DD1 from an excellent mixed pre-prep school to our local state primary school in Sept and it has been a huge success. I thought my DD was happy at her previous school (lots of extra curricular activities etc) and if we had discussed whether she wanted to move schools she would definitly have answered 'NO'. However since the move the change in her behaviour has been great.

She is relaxed and more confident. Has friends locally and more importantly her work has improved as well. I think the lessons are more 'fun' and lively and the teachers give them greater responsibility. She brings a new reading book home every day (she is in Yr2) and she has spellings and h/w just as she had in the private school.

I guess what I am trying to say is that the differences between the schools may not be as great as you imagine. I agree with the comment above that you should stop thinking of it as a decision between private v state and more of a decision about what suits your DD. Good Luck

moodlumthehoodlum Fri 02-Oct-09 21:06:11

We have just been through this same decision. We opted to keep DD in y1 at her state primary, where there are 30 children in her class but where she has nice friends and is happy. But its only an infant school, and we plan to move her to the prep school we've just put ds in at reception, when she reaches the end of infants (IYSWIM).

DS is a different kettle of fish. Small for his age and young for his year, I think he would struggle in a class of 30 and a year of 60, so we sent him to pre-prep straight off, instead of the same school as dd. Its been good, and he's happy, but I do still think about whether we made the right decision.

But, something I think I still worry about with dd is, that, if they are just in the middle, and well behaved, I think they just coast along. WIth a class of 30, it does sometimes feel like the only ones who get the teachers' full attention are either the very naughty, very bright or the strugglers. The smaller the class, the less likely it is to happen perhaps?

Phew -sorry!

cat64 Fri 02-Oct-09 21:11:30

Message withdrawn

cat64 Fri 02-Oct-09 21:12:52

Message withdrawn

Cortina Sat 03-Oct-09 07:50:21

Reading between the lines you seem happy enough with the current school as does DC. Also there appear to be no major problems with it and class size sounds fine. My view is if it aint broke don't try and fix it.


cat64 Sat 03-Oct-09 11:23:54

Message withdrawn

bigstripeytiger Sat 03-Oct-09 11:29:24

I agree with looking at the individual schools, rather than the state/private thing.

Are you sure that the state school class sizes are as big as you worry they will be?
My DDs school (state) has smaller classes in some years than the local private school.

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