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Is 8 too young to start looking at secondary schools

(14 Posts)
Buttonmoonb4tea Tue 14-Jun-16 14:00:16

My daughter is 8 and I've started to think about secondary school and which will be the best one for her. I also need to move in a couple of years so would like to incorporate secondary schools into my choice of area. Am I thinking about this too soon or is it better to be well informed when it comes to house hunting? I also need to consider what my daughter would like and not sure it's going to be an easy ride on that front as we'll more than likely be moving from the area that I currently live, so she probably won't end up going to the same school as her friends. What do you think?

Heirhelp Tue 14-Jun-16 14:02:49

School can change alot in a couple of year so I would say it is too early but then you want to be in your new house before applying to new school. I think it all depends on the property market in your area.

Gizlotsmum Tue 14-Jun-16 14:02:51

We are doing similar as we can move ( relatively easily) into a grammar school county but need to get house on market and decide our target location

ineedamoreadultieradult Tue 14-Jun-16 14:05:24

Not too early to be thinking about it especially with a house move. My DS was 2 when we moved and we considered both primary and secondary schools when we looked at areas to live in.

irvineoneohone Tue 14-Jun-16 14:07:43

My ds is 8 as well, and we live where there is only one state secondary, and no private(we can't afford it anyway) close by. My ds's secondary is always on my mind...Yet dh is reluctant to move, so I'm really dreading this situation. It's better to plan ahead, if you have choice.

TooMuchCoffeeMakesMeZoom Tue 14-Jun-16 14:17:56

You certainly need to factor in secondary schools if you are planning to move house now. I'd make sure you are up to date with local admissions policies and effective 'catchments'.

Is your daughter just leaving Year 3?

If I were you, I'd find out all the dates for the Autumn open evenings and go to all of the possible schools, but without your child at this point, as even at the start of Year4. You may be lucky and find some summer open days you could go to now.

Even though things can change a great deal, as will your daughter in the next three years, you will get an idea of which are possible and which are really not for you.

I moved house before applying for a primary place, and I visited the school's summer fairs to get a feel for them.

Buttonmoonb4tea Tue 14-Jun-16 17:40:14

Thanks everyone..I'm not on my own then and it's not too soon to be thinking about it.

Toomuch - she is leaving year 3 this time, plus my DS will be starting primary school as she starts secondary so have to factor that in too. I think you're right about checking out schools through the open evenings and I could look at primary schools at the same time

PettsWoodParadise Tue 14-Jun-16 18:26:18

Some grammar schools have requirements to be resident nearby for a certain period prior to sitting the test, although the majority don't have that sort of long term requirement. I think I started looking at the secondary school admissions booklets so I had an idea of distances etc and we did first visits of schools in Y4 as DD would be starting grammar practice at start of y5 so we wanted her to be motivated by seeing the schools she was aiming for. We didn't need to move but it was still a lot of research to do.

Cleo1303 Tue 14-Jun-16 20:20:52

In Year 4 I started looking at schools' websites and just getting an idea of what was available.

I do think visiting the school fairs is a good idea. I would never have thought of suggesting it. In fact when I was looking when DD was three I went to a school fair and decided there was no way I wanted her to go there. It was a very good school with an excellent reputation. My neighbours' children went there and loved it. I can't put my finger on it. It just didn't feel right.

Grumpysfirstwife Wed 15-Jun-16 11:35:12

I visited all the open evenings (usually around September/October) for my local schools for the 2 years before I needed to apply (Years 4, 5 and 6 of primary).

I got a really good impression about how the school improves (or doesn't in some cases) and also if the same staff were still there after 2 years then it cant be a bad place to be.

One high school I visited had a very high turnover of staff and I never recognised a face or name over the few years I visited.

You get a better overall picture if you visit more than once. I think more parents should visit from at least year 5 primary upwards. The schools I shortlisted in the end had all shown really good visible improvements over the years I visited and they had very little staff movement which reassured me.

Buttonmoonb4tea Wed 15-Jun-16 17:52:20

Ah thank you grumpy I think this is what I'll do, then depending on house prices take it from there smile

OVienna Wed 15-Jun-16 19:36:31

not too early, especially if a move is a factor.

AnneOfCleavage Thu 16-Jun-16 10:40:10

I actually looked round one secondary school we were very interested in when DD was in year 2. We looked round several every year after then and for our 1st choice put the school we loved when she was in year 2 as it never changed in our opinion (well only to get better inho) and she got her 1st choice. She is currently just finishing year 7 (so her 1st year there) and has had a great year and loves it there. Go with your instincts and by all means look round early. I actually took very little notice of OFSTED reports as lots of school round here are being bullied into becoming Academies so lots got bad ratings but went on my gut feeling and how the students behaved as I walked round.

Good luck.

AChickenCalledKorma Thu 16-Jun-16 17:38:20

Very sensible if you are moving house. But definitely look for an area where you will have options. The most sought after school in our area massively changed its character in the two or three years before DD1 started secondary. When she was 9 I was pretty sure she would go there. After a change of head I wouldn't touch it. It's gone from lovely small, nurturing school to the ultimate exam factory where they dish out detentions if you so much as breathe funny.

If I'd moved specially to be in catchment and there weren't other options I'd be feeling pretty daft!

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