Anyone else still need to fill in their secondary school application and dithering over schools?

(17 Posts)
harryhausen Mon 12-Oct-15 11:21:12

Fairly light hearted, but I'm actually dreaming about secondary schools now.

Me and dd have visited 4 schools (all comps). I'm going out of my head because we can't decide on our preferences. We both really like 2.

First school, average results but improving. Exciting vibe, new modern building however I have just learned that head teacher we both liked is leaving. Hardly any pupils from dds primary will go there. So not sure.

Second school - consistently better academic results, relaxed vibe. Huge number of extra curricular activities. Pay for school bus as just outside our LEA. Didn't feel quite as 'exciting'. More pupils from her primary will go there.

We have a fairly good chance of a place at either so would like to decide on our 'favourite'. Although there are no guarantees.

We get to list 3 schools.

Anyone else in a dither?

catslife Mon 12-Oct-15 15:02:12

On the whole having 2 schools that you are happy with is a good position to be in OP.
Having a new Head seems to make less of a difference at secondary than primary. Of the 3 schools we listed as preferences (dd is now Y11) only one still has the same Head (the one she's at BTW) but they are all still (according to OFSTED) Good or Outstanding schools. The friends from primary is less of an issue than you would think but would have more concerns if it was the other way round and there were fewer children from her primary going to the school outside your LEA.
At the end of the day imagine it's allocations day and your child was offered a place at School 1 rather than 2 would you be disappointed or pleased?

ILovedThe90s Mon 12-Oct-15 17:16:30

Oh God I'm so confused! Do we go for the two schools that are further away but are good schools with average GCSE results 5 A*-C incl Maths and English over past 4 years of 74% and 68%. DS loved them and would be happy with either and of course DH and I would be happy also. Or do we go for the catchment school round the corner, which went into special measures a couple of years ago and still is, and averages 55% but most of DS friends from school and the general community that he knows from after school clubs and religious classes will go there. He's outgoing and makes friends easily. But his sister doesn't, and she will start in 4 years and would do better where she knows people already, especially as her close friends will be going there.

Will I be isolating them from the local community if I don't send them to the closest school? Will that affect them long term? Or will it be worse sending them to a school that is performing badly?

Argh!

Electrolux2 Mon 12-Oct-15 17:20:55

Not dithering but don't have the information I need to fill in the preference form.
11+ results not out until October 21st and then have 10 days to decide.

stardusty5 Mon 12-Oct-15 17:37:33

Have you visited during a normal school day or just the open evenings?

DollyTwat Mon 12-Oct-15 17:42:43

I'm now in a dithering mode as have had the 11+ results and ds2 could go to a grammar school an hours bus ride away. Or he could go to the local school 10 mins walk.
I just don't know

Electrolux2 Mon 12-Oct-15 17:50:53

Dollytwat. That's a hard one. But if I had a good comp 10 minutes walk away I'd be jumping all over it!

Ds went to grammar this September and it's definitely the right school for him.
Dd is different

harryhausen Mon 12-Oct-15 20:11:31

Thanks the replies. It's helpful to know I'm not the only one dithering about. I visited on open evenings and open mornings.

We don't have grammar schools in my area so at least I don't have the 11+ to wait for.

I've actually just submitted my form. However the submission email said I could still change the order of preferences right up to the deadline! Lol. Argh!!

clary Mon 12-Oct-15 22:20:45

Dolly an hour's bus ride is a total nightmare IMO and not a school I would consider for my DC. DH and I both travelled a long way to secondary (not that far tho!) and it was a blight on both our teenage lives.

Ilovethe90s you could send yr DS to the further school and DD to the nearer one - nothing says they both have to go to the same school if something different will suit better.

DontCallMeBaby Mon 12-Oct-15 22:41:06

Dolly you're local to me IIRC ... we opted for comp over grammar, but only this September so no real conclusions yet. But it does depend on which grammar and which comp how easy or difficult that decision is.

DollyTwat Mon 12-Oct-15 23:45:33

It's so hard. We're looking round the Crypt weds night, so ds2 can ask lots of questions. Friends of mine have said the same thing about the travel, I'd have to drop him off at 7.10 every morning! It's Pittville dontcallmebaby that we really liked, literally 10 min walk.
I'm hoping ds2 doesn't like the grammar if I'm honest

littledrummergirl Tue 13-Oct-15 06:40:59

Dolly one of mine travels an hour for grammar, ds1 loves it. Ds2 is at local comp which he also loves.
Dd yet to decide which option she wants. confused

ThePan15 Tue 13-Oct-15 13:23:08

I haven't submitted it yet, awaiting 11+ results but even if the grammar schools are not an option we are stuck for local comps too.

Electrolux2 Tue 13-Oct-15 15:05:50

Thepan. If dd doesn't pass I don't know what we are going to do.
Appeal. Then maybe have her sit again next October.
Home ed after all that has been exhausted.
Fingers crossed for your DC. When do you find out? Next Wednesday for us

DontCallMeBaby Tue 13-Oct-15 17:27:19

DD had a wobble about not having opted for grammar when she had a friend over in the summer - friend was able to conform my suspicion that she would be getting on the bus about the time DD's alarm would be going off in the morning! Would have been torture for all concerned.

Dolly I get the impression Pittville's on the up and up ... I have two colleague's who chose it over "better" options, and one whose son is loving it despite it being a last resort.

ThePan15 Tue 13-Oct-15 18:41:04

Electro - we find out next Friday. The secondary school where most of his classmates will go is on the up but I just didn't get a nice feel from it. Others are a long bus ride away and he won't know anyone which worries me. We live in the middle of nowhere I have come to realise! Best of luck to your DD

DollyTwat Wed 14-Oct-15 23:34:09

We've been round The Crypt tonight (hour bus ride away) and ds2 loved it. So that's the choice made I guess!

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