Picking a primary school for dd, help please!(3 Posts)
Dd will be going into Reception in September 2010 and we are struggling to pick a second choice school place for her.
First choice is a lovely school, 2 forms/year, nice warm feel, head was chatty and approachable, organised visits etc.
BUT we might well live too far away from it for dd to get in, essentially some years dd would have got in others she wouldn't.
So we also need to be happy with our second choice.
School 1 is our nearest school according to the admissions criteria. It'a a big school with 3 form entry and I've just been on a visit there. The head was 25 minutes late for me because she had double booked visits and she gave me the impresion ofbeing a bit vague and unconfident, the school itself seemed a bit tired. Ofsted report is not quite as good as school 2 and neither are the SATS however it seems to have a better reputation? I liked that the school semed to have a broader ethnic mix than school 2 and it had a lot of extra activities, esp for the older children.
School 2 is a bit further away than school 1 but the traffic is not so bad in that direction so it wouldn't take longer to get to if in the car, which we would be sometimes. It has a 45 child intake for Reception and then has mixed Yr1/Yr2 etc classes after that. In Recption there are two teachers plus a nursery nurse to look after the children. I didn't get to meet the head other than a quick hello, the deputy took me around the school and then left me with the Recption staff, dd was with me and joined in with their activity. All of the staff seemed very friendly.
Any thoughts about anything else that we should consider before making a choice?
Which could you imagine your daughter in more easily? I would personally favour a smaller school (my dd1 has just started at a 3 class entry infant school and it does feel a bit impersonal at the moment), however I don't personally like the idea of mixed year classes as generally they lose half their friends each year. How oversubscribed are the other schools? There's not much point putting the further away one as second choice if you are unlikely to get in anyway due to distance.....
I would go with your gut instinct about where your daughter would be likely to be happy - it tells you far more than ofsted reports can. From what you say then school 2 seems to be your preference so I would look at that one perhaps? With any luck it will not matter and you will get the very first choice that you like so much - and at worst if you are not happy where she does end up you could always go onto the waiting list for the first choice school and change when a place comes up perhaps?
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