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Which school of these two would you choose ? I feel desperately lost in detail.

(17 Posts)
MyMineOnly Mon 19-Oct-09 13:20:51

Sorry it'll be a long post. DD is 4 and will start reception class soon. Here's our story:
I have applied to two different London borough's reception classes and get two offers. Now I am learning more and more bad things about both schools, I am getting very uneasy about having to choose the less evil of the two. I am very stressed out. Distances to my home are almost identical. Please, please offer your opinions.
These below are extracts from dcsf website:

*School J:*_ DD is currently at this school?s nursery class, which is nothing special iykwim. Many of her friends will be going to reception in School J so she wants to be with them.
KS2 Results:
English: L4: 88% L5: 25% A/T: 5%
Mathematics: L4: 85% L5: 20% A/T: 5%
Science: L4: 90% L5: 45% A/T: 5%
Average Point Score: 28.4
Contextual Value Added score: 101.0
Coverage: 85%
Ofsted results:
*Overall effectiveness of the school: Good*
Achievements and standards: Good
Personal development and well being: Outstanding
Teaching and learning: Good
Curriculum and other activities: Outstanding
Care Guidance and support: Outstanding
Leadership and management: Outstanding
Standards reached by learners: Satisfactory

*School W:*_ we have been offered this school but when i visited it, i was not at all impressed with the building or class sizes and almost made up my mind about not wanting it but everyone tells me how they wanted to be offered that school so it makes me undecisive.
KS2 Results:
English: L4: 97% L5: 38% A/T: 0%
Mathematics: L4: 83% L5: 24% A/T: 0%
Science: L4: 90% L5: 28% A/T: 0%
Average Point Score: 28.2
Contextual Value Added score: 100.4
Coverage: 83%
*Overall effectiveness of the school: Outstanding*
Achievements and standards: Outstanding
Personal development and well being: Outstanding
Teaching and learning: Good
Curriculum and other activities: Outstanding
Care Guidance and support: Outstanding
Leadership and management: Outstanding
Standards reached by learners: Satisfactory

Comparing these figures do not give much confidence to me to make a decision.

A bit background info: My dd has been in *School J* nursery which was quite rigid in every sense of the word, nursery staff very obnoxious and arrogant, so not at all impressive. But hoping reception class staff will be better ??? She'll have friends in reception class from her nursery and she knows the reception teacher. And school has big safe garden to run around. These are pluses.
The minuses, the very impressive efficient male headteacher whom I liked, has retired and things may start to fall apart??? Also heard 10 teachers resigned this year and now new teachers are in. Ofsted report is just Good in overall effectiveness, compared to Ofsted report of School W, which has Outstanding rating.

As for *School W*; outstanding rates on more ways but it is in the middle of a housing estate with lots of concrete, no proper garden, in fact almost no garden. Classes looked very crammed to me. More crammed than School J. I didn't get very good vibes about that school when visited it but I may be ever so wrong! Not sure of staff turnover but again head has been changed apparently and some staff movement may be happening.
Ofsted report is very good, better than School J.

Please do offer your neutral opinions, I am lost in so many details and cannot look objectively. I have never been a decisive person either, this is a nightmare! My gut instict tells me to go for School J simply because DD wants it / she is used to this school. Thanks a lot.

MrsJiggle86 Mon 19-Oct-09 13:27:30

I would go for school W, your dd is so young she will quickly forget her old friends and make plenty of new ones, plus school W sounds like a better educational option, is there much travelling distance between schools?

MrsJiggle86 Mon 19-Oct-09 13:28:16

sorry just seen travelling distances, def go for school W if it was me smile

katiestar Mon 19-Oct-09 13:54:40

Go with your gut feeling when you toss a coin ,which day you want it toi land ?

Objuctively it sounds as though school W is a better bet.School -J 10 teachers leaving a school at once , obnoxious staff ? It doesn't sound as though the staff are very happy there and that will almost certainly affect the school?

MyMineOnly Mon 19-Oct-09 14:57:06

Thank you for all your replies. Gut feelings School J because DD is already there at nursery and when I broached the subject to her about possibility of going to School W, she said very diplomatically, I;ll go to School J now and will go the school you want, next year"
She is v sensitive child so I probably leave her where she is...
Another complication - is that she'll be able to start at School J reception a bit earlier that the other, ie after the half term. Whilst in the School J nursery, teachers are already taking her to sCH J's reception class for one hour or so each day, to make her get used to the new class atmosphere. Whereas School W reception will be brand-new and start in January. So perhaps I can still keep our options open until we see how J reception goes until January ???
You see, the more I am trying to make a decision, the more options come up to make it more stressful.
Thanks again.

Blu Mon 19-Oct-09 15:02:27

Oh, I thought J!

Why do the educational opportunities sound better at W? J has a better 'value added' score, and v similiar aggregate points, and the pyysical environment sounds better.

MyMineOnly Mon 19-Oct-09 15:16:50

Thanks Blu. I am aware 10 teachers leaving at J school do not look good and at the same time I am dreading the scenario if I have to change her to W when January comes, because it is so easy to keep her where she is, at J school. Easy for her and aesy for us for childminder issue etc. W may be good in long run (which we will yet to decide if it is so) but staying at J will make smoother transition from nursery and for day to day living, it'll be just longer hours at the same school with same friends. I am leaning towards J. Its just other mums telling me how much they wanted and couldn't get W, that makes me doubt myself more.

hocuspontas Mon 19-Oct-09 17:01:44

To me, J sounds better. OK, ten teachers resigning - not sure, there could be legitimate reasons. A new head coming in anyway unsettles a lot of staff sometimes and within a couple of years the whole staff could have turned around. There's hardly anything on paper between the two.

If you are undecided I think it's better to go for the devil you know - especially as dd wants to stay. Why do other parents want W? It would be interesting to know.

AMumInScotland Mon 19-Oct-09 17:21:25

From your descriptions, there isn't any over-whelming reason why you'd want to switch to W. If DD is happy at J, and will have a smoother transition, then I'd say leave her there - specially if she says she wants to go there. I wouldn't say at 4 she should have the full choice, but if you're not convinced W would be wonderful, then I think it's as good a reason as any for sticking with J.

Don't worry about other parents saying they want to go to W - they are not you, their DC are not your DD. They may have their own reasons and priorities which are different from yours.

MyMineOnly Tue 20-Oct-09 13:22:50

hocuspontas and AMumInScotland, thanks a lot. The mums who rave about school W, are the ones I see in dd's swimming class at the weekends who wanted school W for themselves and could not get it... but having said that swimming pool is closer to school W, than school J. Therefore lots of mums in swimming pool are within closer catchment area of school W and the most possibly they had not even put school J on their applications. So they are not comparing W with J like I do, they are comparing W with some other schools which I didn't even consider.
Hmmm, reading my own reply, makes me see things clearer now.
Thanks for the therapy

MumNWLondon Fri 30-Oct-09 15:50:13

I wouldn't read too much into the numbers in the results - firstly as a couple of special needs or non english speakers in year 6 makes a big difference and the chances are the year 6 teachers will be different when your child goes there.

Clearly it a school has a reputation of being dreadful then its a no brainer but otherwise important considerations are how easy it is to get to (are either in walking distance) and whether you are comfortable with the way the head runs the school.

hellion Mon 02-Nov-09 14:46:53

I would go with gut instinct.

Try to imagine your dd there, and whether you feel she would fit in and be happy.

Also there is not much between the ofsted reports - and if you ds is happy she will hopefully work to the best of her ability and do well anyway.

Try to ignore the school gate gossip. What might be good for their child may not suit yours

Good luck - it is a difficult time. I had many sleepless nights over it. I am sure you will make the right choice.

pigsinmud Mon 02-Nov-09 16:19:07

I would go with school J. You sound more impressed with J than W. Try not to let other mums sway you.

I went against the majority when ds1 finished first school and had to move to school in local town. Most went to school P which I had hated when I looked round as it was sterile and kids showing us round had been coached and wouldn't really answer any questions. School M had just had not so great ofsted, headteacher resigned, but school fields were massive and I loved the slightly chaotic feel of the place. The kids that showed us round obviously loved it and were proud of their school. 3 years later everyone wants to go to M - new head fantastic and ds1 loved it and ds2 loves it now.

Go with gut instinct.

happywomble Tue 03-Nov-09 07:36:31

School J sounds better as it is in a pleasant location with outdoor space.

As others have said go with your gut instinct as to which school you like best. Make appointments to be shown round both by the Headteacher if you haven't already.

However don't think too much about your DDs existing friendships as the two children my DS knew when he started primary both moved school within a year.

KnottyLocks Tue 03-Nov-09 07:54:34

I agree, go with your gut instinct. We had a similar choice and thankfully DS is happy.

Both of the schools are 'outstanding' in personal development, care and guidance - that was what I looked for more than the results, which I was happy with as long as they were good or better.

Staff change is often greater when the headteacher leaves. Having new staff isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can often be a benefit.

Visit the school and see for yourself. Choose the one you feel is right for your child.

smee Tue 03-Nov-09 12:59:42

J, sounds much nicer and if she's happy then why not. Ofsted's can be misleading...

hellion Tue 03-Nov-09 14:21:23

By the way let us know what one you choose - we are dying to know

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