I am in the process of choosing infant schools. There is a small, very good village school with only 2 classes total or the largest infant school with 4 classes in each year group. There are pros and cons of each. They are thankfully both good schools. As my DS is an August birthday I thought the smaller one might be better..? Any views ?
You've got to go round them on a visit. The large size of one of our options was putting me off on paper, but on visiting I was amazed at how great it was, It made the other schools look half asleep. I guess with the input of 3 or 4 year group teachers for topics, after school activities etc there was a lot going on. And the physical layout of the school was such that each year group's classrooms were in a circle, opening onto a large shared space, so that they are their own little community. The children who showed us around were confident and articulate and I was really impressed.
As it was though, we didn't get a place. And DD is at a small village school (140 pupils infant & juniors), mixed age group classes etc. It's nice. They are in their own bubble a little bit and nowhere near so many opportunities for different things to get involved in. But she is settling well. Chatting to some of the other mums; they say it's nice that the children play with all ages. Especially as for one, there's only 3 girls in her yeargroup - and she fell out with the other 2 recently (can't be easy). I am (already) concerned that the transition to secondary from this school could well be hard. I'm going to keep her in the village school unless things go particularly wrong. It is a sweet school. And easy to get involved myself. I think it'll give DD fond memories of school (nice views, quaint building etc).
Sorry, waffled a bit. Have you visited your choices yet?
Thanks - very useful! I've seen the larger one and am trying to get appointment to see village school, although from ofsted and word of mouth reports it sounds fantastic. I thought the larger school was a bit chaotic - sounds like the one you saw. Open plan with lots of little nooks opening out onto a communal area. I can't see how they can get anything done with the noise! But maybe it works. It just wasn't what I was expecting. Hey ho. I'll probably just go with my gut feel in the end anyway!
The only thing I would say is in the small school if the teacher and the pupil does not get on or if they struggle understanding her then she is stuck for longer with her/him, also check to see how many are going to be in her year if you can as when she moves to junior school if she was say the only girl she may be alone just a thought