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(15 Posts)
jojodie85 Thu 26-Sep-13 14:15:50

Hi, my sons starting secondary school next year and id recommend all parents out there to view as many schools as you can early on. Viewing other schools during year 5 stage will give you a year to make your decision. Dont leave it till year 6 to make a snap decision in just a few weeks.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 26-Sep-13 14:20:43

But also be aware that not everybody will really have a choice.....

bruffin Thu 26-Sep-13 16:02:19

I dont necessarily agree, schools change in a year ie new heads etc. I didnt look at my dcs school until year 6. Its hard work and time consuming looking at 3 or 4 schools within a couple of weeks. I wouldnt have even considered dcs school in yr 5, and only found out about it in yr 6 and looked at as an after thought.

mummytime Thu 26-Sep-13 16:09:57

I'd second the OPs advice. Sorry but year 6 is very late and stressful. Especially if you want to get a feel for schools before you show your children. (Although there can be new schools that you only get to look at in year 6.)

colander Thu 26-Sep-13 16:12:15

I would look at as many as possible in year 5 and then narrow down to the favourites for year 6. However, if we weren't doing private it would be fairly pointless as there is only one secondary school we would get into.

bruffin Thu 26-Sep-13 16:21:22

I would also open evening are incredibly busy and crowded and its not really fair on yr 6 parents if time and space is being taken up by yr 5s

MadeOfStarDust Thu 26-Sep-13 16:34:11

we went to open days only - after one open evening when we were shoved round like sardines in a massive shoal!! Too many Y5 parents - and even some Y4..... as if a school would not change in 3 YEARS...

Open DAYS where you take your child out of school and you have the day off work - tend to be attended by just the Y6s round here as they get an invite through school.... so much more peaceful and informative - and the schools hold them on different days....

meditrina Thu 26-Sep-13 16:39:25

Going to the big open days is worth it in year 5, as leaving it all to year 6 means you miss out if there may be clashes (especially of you live close to a borough boundary) or you're ill or a business trip or whatever. It'll give you the initial feel for a place.

Then you can revisit in year 6, just the schools you like and have stand a chance of getting in to, and go at one of the quieter show-round times (if there are any).

VivaLeThrustBadger Thu 26-Sep-13 16:43:24

I went in year 5 as I work shifts so couldn't guarantee I could make them all the following year. There were a lot of year 5 parents there, so I think its quite common.

reup Thu 26-Sep-13 17:10:42

Lots of the parents near me went to schools in y4 &y5 then complained about how crowded it was! It was bizarre as many of them really only have one option because of shrinking catchments.

Bemused33 Thu 26-Sep-13 17:51:53

I went in year five and again in year six and it was the best thing I did. I cannot imagine having to do it all in year six. that being said i do have a fairly decent choice of schools in our area. if i lived in the catchment of an academy by here i would just have looked at that one.

Sparklingbrook Thu 26-Sep-13 17:54:39

Don't forget us Middle School parents. Ours go to secondary in Year 8, so I am currently deciding for DS2 who is in Year 7.

Bemused33 Thu 26-Sep-13 18:00:09

I also think a school can change a lot in a year and I think our opinions change as well as we get closer. last year our preferred school was much more confident and bouyant at the open evening on the back of a really huge increase in GCSES. this year its gone down and the head teacher was much more subdued in his selling pitch. then a school we did not like because of the overly scary headmistress seemed more appealing this year....

BackforGood Fri 27-Sep-13 18:31:30

Of course, if your child is in Yr4 or Yr5 and you've not yet thought of looking round secondaries, you probably won't be looking in the Secondary Ed threads grin

Your advice might be more helpful in 'Primary'

ErrolTheDragon Fri 27-Sep-13 18:33:58

Some schools do their open days in the summer term and they're (obviously) meant for yr 5s

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