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Secondary School Choice

(7 Posts)
LizyMint Mon 16-Oct-17 11:56:14

Hi All,

Okay so it's the same old question "Which school do I pick?" DS starts high school in September and I just can't decide Help me please.
We have a choice of
School 1: A boys comprehensive which gets very good results is heavily sports orientated and quite traditional.
School 2: The local comp, it is steadily improving and actually really impressed us when we went around it. It has lots of updated new facilities and seems keen to treat students as individuals. Despite not having the greatest results it does offer clubs to do extra GCSEs, but the teachers in ds's primary have advised against it saying he won't be pushed there.
School 3: The best performing school in the area. Wouldn't normally have a chance of getting him in but I might do because of complicated stuff. it is however on the other side of town and would mean getting the school bus at 7;30.

DS is bright and very good at maths and science but struggles with writing and isn't a sports fan. He is also, well lets just say he lacks self motivation and will do just as much as he fells he can get away with. He likes the first 2 schools and flips between which one he prefers. Weirdly I think school 3 seems to have all the points he likes about those schools in one place but he prefers the others.

HELP confused

Seeline Mon 16-Oct-17 12:01:03

Do not under-estimate the impact of a long/difficult journey to and from school. 7.30 is an early start. What time would he get home in the evening - would he still have to get he bus? What about if there were after -school clubs would he still be bale to use the school bus? How much homework does that school give (or any of them come to that!) - eg getting home at 5/5.30, then 1.5hrs homework and an evening meal doesn't leave him much down time.

I assume you have visited all the schools? Gut feelings say a lot.

BubblesBuddy Mon 16-Oct-17 12:02:47

Why do students need to do extra GCSEs at clubs? Why don't they do a full set in school time? Sounds a bit relaxed to me for a bright child.

If your child isn't bothered about school 3, then he won't be motivated to get the early bus. This will be a chore and not conducive to after school activities doe to length of journey when it's dark in the winter.

School 1 for me. They won't just do sport will they? What other opportunities are there?

keepingbees Mon 16-Oct-17 12:09:40

Sounds like a tough choice. Be aware that when viewing the schools, especially on the open evenings you do only see the good side of things and how they want to make it look, so be wary of school 2 if your son needs pushing and motivating and his primary doesn't think he will get it there. Having said that, if the school is vibrant and offers a good variety of things to capture his interest, he could do better there than a more academic school. Sometimes it's the extra things that can make a less academic child fly. If your sons not sporty and school 1 is sport focussed then he might not enjoy it there. I wouldn't rule out school 3 if it is very good, however the journey to and from needs careful consideration.
I would view them all again, during a normal school day, and go with you and your sons gut feeling on where you think he will be most suited and happy.

LizyMint Mon 16-Oct-17 12:29:45

We have visited all the schools open evenings and during the day. He has liked them all on leaving and there is a bit of me that suspects he originally wanted to go wherever he saw last. The boys school is very academic but the sporty boys do get special treatment. The local comp runs some quite academic clubs such as GCSE astronomy and some of the pupils have built a single seater electric sports car, despite this their exam results aren't great but he prefers the more modern atmosphere.

Due to the way the traffic works even if he went to the furthest school away he would be home about 4:10.

I should be pleased the schools all have good points really but it's so hard to choose.

keepingbees Mon 16-Oct-17 13:21:22

It really is hard, I had a similar dilemma last year with my eldest. Have you read the ofsted reports on behaviour etc? Or the reviews on google, they can sometimes be an interesting read.
It doesn't sound like there's much in it to be honest. The sporty school might worry me if my child wasn't sporty as he might be a different kind of child to a lot of his peers, and his strengths may not be as important to the school if that makes sense.

LizyMint Mon 16-Oct-17 13:44:42

Thanks keepingbees, I have read the ofstead reports the sporty school has gone from outstanding to good recently, the local comprehensive needs improvement but tbh you can see that it is improving and the last school is rated outstanding but hasnt been inspected for 8 years!

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