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Thinking about secondary school and fretting (warning: massively pfb)

(48 Posts)
2ndSopranos Sat 10-Dec-16 18:27:04

I have a y4 (yes, yes) dd and am starting to think about secondary school. She'll be starting in 2019 and I know it'll come quickly!

We have a large, good rated secondary about 5 mins walk away. We live in a 'nice' area and most local children go to various independent schools. The intake of the local secondary is wide ranging and takes in some very deprived areas. No snobbery: that's fact. This is the only secondary in the area. Exam results are okay.

Due to where we live, I can't see dd getting into any other school. Faith schools are completely out of the question due to my upbringing, unfortunately.

Here's the thing and where the silly pfb-mess comes in. Dd is a high achiever across the board. We can't afford private schools (plus we've another dc). She's also talented in an extra curricular area and I know from talking to parents of dc already there that isn't a culture of supporting that area (no opportunities in school for example barring curriculum requirements) and some dc are afraid to even admit to doing stuff).

Moving might be an option.

Am I overthinking? I want the absolute best for my very hard-working, committed dd.

BabyGanoush Sat 10-Dec-16 18:29:32

I was happy to send my academic DS to state school, as I know he'll do well almost anywhere.

And I just take him to extracuricular stuff myself.


2ndSopranos Sat 10-Dec-16 18:33:15

I just don't want her bullied due to having this decidedly non-trendy interest. We're going to an event related to it tomorrow and her friend has just been taking the mickey out of her.

SnorkelParka Sat 10-Dec-16 18:34:48

Why not go to the open days (without dd) of all possible local schools or in areas you might move to, in september /october 2017, and this will help you think about what you want, what will suit her etc . Also, study any information the local authority publishes on their website comparing schools.

Crumbs1 Sat 10-Dec-16 18:36:17

Agree bright kids do well whatever. They sometimes look like they are dipping a bit at secondary having been top at primary as there is wider pool of brightness. All six of mine went through a comprehensive (youngest moved to independent on scholarship for 6th form for personal reasons). All have 12As/A*s at GCSE. Four had A levels at 16. All got first choice of universities for competitive courses such as medicine and Oxford. Go local and stop fretting.

aquabluepool Sat 10-Dec-16 18:37:24

I would move.

Heratnumber7 Sat 10-Dec-16 18:38:23

2019 is nearly 3 years away. A school can change a !ot in that time. I'd bet at least a third of the staff will be different by 2019, possibly more.

noblegiraffe Sat 10-Dec-16 18:40:14

If she's talented in an extra curricular/very academic have you investigated scholarships to the private schools?

2ndSopranos Sat 10-Dec-16 18:42:31

I was bullied for being academic and I desperately want to avoid that for dd.

Sixisthemagicnumber Sat 10-Dec-16 18:44:32

I don't agree with the 'bright kids do well anywhere' mantra. Bright kids will do well in any school that they feel happy in, which is a big difference to just 'any school'. A bright child who is teased for being odd and made to feel an outcast might not do well.
Have you looked into bursaries OP? If your income is low enough and your dd bright enough then you might qualify.
I also don't think you should concentrate too hard on where your other dd will go to secondary school at the moment as all children are different and the local school might be perfect for her.

2ndSopranos Sat 10-Dec-16 18:44:49

noble that's on my radar.

Her indeed, and in fact her primary school has changed beyond recognition in the time she's been there.

2ndSopranos Sat 10-Dec-16 18:47:31

six we're in that inbetween situation where we can't afford it, but our income isn't low enough for a bursary. But it's worth investigation I think.

I was state educated and did okay. Not at sixth form which was an absolute disaster.

Hassled Sat 10-Dec-16 18:49:29

You got bullied but she's not you. You're projecting. The advantage of a large school is that there's room for everyone - the geeks will find the fellow geeks, the sports people will find the fellow sports people, the clever kids will settle where they settle. She's into this hobby/activity now - she may not be in 3 years' time, so stop fretting about that. And if she is - well, learning when to talk about it and when not to for the sake of self-preservation is a pretty good life skill.

I do have more sympathy than I probably sound - I fretted when clever, oddball, geeky DC3 started High School. But he met other clever geeky people and they motivated each other and did well. Teenagers are way more tolerant of differences than I think they're ever given credit for - the vast majority of kids, even the cool kids, were nothing but kind to him.

motherinferior Sat 10-Dec-16 18:49:39

What makes you think her non-trendy interest would be more catered for/less teased at a private school?

If you'd looked at my daughters' scruffy comp when DD1 was in y4 it was very much an "oh it's really rather good isn't it" school in a surprised tone. Six years on and it's getting the best results in the borough and posh parents are queuing up to send their kids there.

Disclaimer: I am quite posh. And went to a very posh university.

2ndSopranos Sat 10-Dec-16 18:55:50

mother because it's that sort of activity. Without saying too much more, my username is a clue.

I've no doubt she'll still be into it 3 years. She devotes hours a week to it as it is now.

I'm probably coming across as a bit of a snob but she's picked on as it is now: I am projecting because I'm worried!

Sixisthemagicnumber Sat 10-Dec-16 19:00:01

So I guess she sings then? Is she talented at instruments too? If she is, have you considered applying to cheetahs school of music (if you could manage boarding or live close enough to be a day student)?

Sixisthemagicnumber Sat 10-Dec-16 19:00:37

Cheetams, not cheetahs (autocorrect)!

aquabluepool Sat 10-Dec-16 19:02:45

Op you don't sound like a snob.

There are schools and schools, really. Where I grew up, you had to conform. When I read on Mumsnet things like 'why would they be bullied over a name' or similar I cringe, I was. My first name isn't that remarkable really. But it wasn't Jennifer or Rebecca or Nicole.

Wearing the wrong trainers to PE and you were crucified. Enjoy reading, and you were bullied. I got bullied because my brother had learning difficulties.

Some schools are like this and some aren't. I would walk the streets before I sent my child to my old school or one like it.

motherinferior Sat 10-Dec-16 19:09:03

Oh, I thought you were going to say golf or archery or suchlike. If it's music and the school's not great then it won't be that hard to find outside school, surely? Mind you we're in London where we are awash with the stuff.

Crumbs1 Sat 10-Dec-16 19:11:00

Interestingly my kids sung too - well a couple of them - including at Albert Hall and in professional musical. Private is not necessarily any better - there are some crap independents out there and some amazing states. if you are London what about Tiffins or Henrietta Barnett ?

motherinferior Sat 10-Dec-16 19:12:28

If you are in London plenty of comps are good on music and academics. You don't have to go down a selective route or pay.

2ndSopranos Sat 10-Dec-16 19:18:08

I think I'm fretting because I can't see being able to get her into anywhere else.

Doesn't help when the other mums at school recoil slightly when I say she'll probably go to that secondary.

Not in London, unfortunately.

ChristmasCava Sat 10-Dec-16 20:20:40

Have you visited the local school? No reason not to attend next open day for next couple of years, on your own maybe, to get a feel of it,
Careful with hearsay.
Historic gossip is often presented as current fact....

2ndSopranos Sat 10-Dec-16 20:44:24

Oh we definitely won't rule it out - I'm just having a wobble. The benefit of the local school is that we go past it several times a day so is already a familiar feature in our lives.

mummytime Sat 10-Dec-16 21:23:24

Go and visit the school.
Singing is quite a normal activity. My DD was a chorister, and yes some of her friends didn't understand, but choir enriched her life massively and gave her lots of advice xtra friends.

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