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How Would You Travel for an Outstanding Primary School?

(42 Posts)
ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 04-Oct-09 19:03:15

Due to totally not understanding the British system, I thought DD would start school the year after she turns 5, but since she's a July baby, it will be next September.

Am doing the school rounds at the moment, and there is a school that has been rated outstanding by OFSTED, but is about 2 miles away. I like being able to walk to school, and it just wouldn't work.

How far would you travel for an outstanding state primary?

nowwearefour Sun 04-Oct-09 19:07:25

we had 3 outstandings, all 2 miles away. our local, walkable one was average. we drive 2 miles to one of the outstandings. was a no brainer to me but i am fortunate enough to have a car available so i drive. i can definitely see the attraction of walking to school but it isnt enough to swing which school if there is a considerable difference in the quality of the schools. my dd1 also a july baby. she started this september.

sarah293 Sun 04-Oct-09 19:09:47

Message withdrawn

franklymydear Sun 04-Oct-09 19:11:08

answering thread title

by horse and cart?

VinoEsmeralda Sun 04-Oct-09 19:11:21

We tried the average one for a year and then decided to move the DC and now drive 4 miles a day.
Best decision we've made we both feel!

franklymydear Sun 04-Oct-09 19:12:11

where do you live - unless you have sen you won't get into one that's outstanding - it will be oversubscribed no doubt

Golda Sun 04-Oct-09 19:15:29

We travel about 2.5 miles to a 'good' Catholic school. Our catchment school is outstanding and undersubscribed. In our LEA they told you how many applicants there were for each place so you had an idea of the liklihood of getting a place.

ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 04-Oct-09 19:18:24

Dreadful grammar! grin I meant, 'how far would you travel?'

There are additional places being planned for most primary schools, so one can only try.

Really disappointed though. Last week, was happy sending DD to local primary, but then went and visited, and was just not the right place for her, at least for reception. I can see the school from my bedroom window, so really frustrated.

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 19:19:09

I would always go local so I guess my answer is not very far.

What is yr local school like? There are many many things in favour of going to the local school - play dates (dread word), local friends, ease of getting there, no need for car, neighbour can take them in crisis, see school pals out and about etc.

Plus, y'know, you should get in there. We would be out of catchment for a school that far away.

We do have an outstanding state primary not that far from us actualy <hasty google> It's about 3 miles away in the nearest village. There is no way I would go there (not because of the school as such) and in any case I'd be amazed if we got in.

That's a bit further than you are saying to ilovemydog. How near are other schools?

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 19:20:19

sorry x-posted with yr last post. what was so bad about the nearby school?

LIZS Sun 04-Oct-09 19:20:36

2m isn't so far but will she get in ? You may want to check out how far this year's admission catchment extended. If the palces all went to siblings and more local children, with some not in at all, you may need ot reconsider the other options

ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 04-Oct-09 19:32:24

I want DD to go to the local school. I really really like the head teacher, think she's doing a fantastic job. There is a strong PTA, and the location is fab, but reception Year 1, both have classes of 30, as is typical, but they seem to be all in the same area, so it isn't actually 30, but more like 60. It was complete chaos, and DD who came along for the open day, was quite spooked by it.

Am meeting with the head teacher next week, as I was hoping it was play time, but was told by one of the other teachers that free play was 'all the time...' The head is wondering if I saw the groups dovetailing into each other, and I'm happy to have another look.

DD is also very young for her age, and think a more structured environment would be better for her, at least initially.

One of the other local schools has recently been rated by OFSTED as outstanding, and am having a look tomorrow. Apparently all those putting it as first choice last year got in.

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 19:39:38

Well but ilovmydog you don't know where those first choicers live...tho I agree it sounds hopeful (if that's what you want).

FS2 (or reception) is always play based, or should be. It's an extension of nusery ie FoundationStage1. There is structure to the learning but it's sometimes difficult to spot. grin

Your local school sounds good esp if you like the head. I woudl certainly go and look at the other one too. Where do most people in yr street and nearby go to?

Wilts Sun 04-Oct-09 19:50:27

Both Ds's go to outstanding schools ( primary and secondary). Ds1 has to travel about 6 miles and Ds2 2.5. In an ideal world they would both be at local schools as I feel sorry for them not being near friends. However, where we live does not have good schools and I would not have been prepared to send them there just so they were part of the community.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sun 04-Oct-09 19:57:03

Ilovemydog - There's been another thread recently which discusses how the preference system works. Schools don't know where you put them in your preferences - it's all to do with where you fit (or don't) in their admissions criteria.

seeyounexttuesday Sun 04-Oct-09 19:58:02

probably 20 mins for a really good school.

ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 04-Oct-09 20:00:25

Brilliant -- will try and find the thread about preferences. Is it under Primary Education?

Clary, there aren't other children DD's age on the street, but at her nursery, some are going to the local Catholic school, some are going to another primary, some are going to the local primary.

hobbgoblin Sun 04-Oct-09 20:05:58

Tbh. I wouldn't judge a school by its Ofsted report alone. If that is what you are going by my answer is that I would put other factors first and those would be locality of friends, being able to walk to school, all set against how 'outstanding' the school was overall from my family's personal perspective.

Put it this way, I wouldn't travel 2 miles by car to a school with high academic achievement if my DD was going to excel at football and want to be able to stop afterschool for football club but the 2 mile trek would make that impossible. Dyswim?

I travelled 7 miles to the local village school once because we had to, and that was an hour's round trip due to terrain.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Sun 04-Oct-09 20:08:04

The thread about how the preference system works.

Clary Sun 04-Oct-09 21:31:52

I didn't just mean her age actually (that would be a lot to hope for; our street has 60-odd houses and no children DS1's age) but any age - ie which way do they walk and in what colour jumper?

There are a number of schools not that far from where we live but the vast majority of kids in our street and the next couple go the same way we do. One family to catholic school, one to the other school in area, one to special school. All the rest one way. It helps - they all know each other and go round to play at each others' houses in a way they just wouldn't if at different school.


Good post hobgoblin

morocco Sun 04-Oct-09 21:42:15

agree with hobgoblin

I'm a bit of a reverse snob as well and having been to a posh primary wouldn't fancy my kids going to one - competing over whose dad has the best car/job/salary and whose holiday was to the best place plus all the piss taking of the 'poor' kids. so if it's one of those kind of 'outstanding' schools I'd be keeping away. too many alpha mums on the school gates as well grin. basically a microcosm of certain threads on mn grin grin

ilovemydogandmrobama Sun 04-Oct-09 22:03:09

Oh, I see. There are a lot of kids at the local park who go to another local primary. Seems there is a bit of a division based on where one lives in relation to the major road around here, but there are some that make the leap! smile

Up until last week, DD was going to go to the local primary. It was all worked out in my mind. DS (19 months) would go to the local nursery and DD would get dropped off first.

But it just doesn't seem like a good place for her at the moment. I hope I'm wrong and that it was a huge misunderstanding, but what I saw was at least 2 full classes of 30 (=60) and a teacher who told me that it was not play time, but it was like that all the time. There was the proper teacher - child ratio. Just think that DD needs a bit more structure. She is thriving at nursery, but the teachers there seem to have a clear cut set of guidelines.

FiveGoMadonTheDanceFloor Sun 04-Oct-09 22:09:23

he two neares primaries are 3.5 miles away from me.

Tambajam Sun 04-Oct-09 22:23:58

The issue is usually whether you would MOVE for an outstanding primary school not whether you would be prepared to travel for one.
We are lucky enough to have an outstanding school nearby and we bought a house 0.19 miles away. A couple of years before only people 0.15 miles away got in during a freak year for siblings. Luckily we were OK. I would phone your LEA primary admissions officer and find out what your chances are before you get too attached.

CHOCOLATEPEANUT Sun 04-Oct-09 22:27:07

I travel to the nearest RC school which is also oustanding.

Its only 1.5 as the crow flies which is how they mearsure it but about 4 to get there by car which is the only way

She only got in at last minute as we are outside of parish but no other rc schools in area so we were please

would much prefer a school i could walk to though but rc would come first not ofsted status.

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