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Deciding factor in secondary school selection..??

(16 Posts)
Su2019 Sun 07-Oct-18 22:54:59

I am in the process to select my DS's secondary school and conflicting priorities/preferences pulling us to different sides.

My DS want to be in a school where most of this friends from primary is going... DS first choice is that and DH also saying DS will be more familiar/comfortable among this friends in that school and will easily settle in new place. Also DH says when he is Year 9 and more matured he could be moved to a different school if needed when he need to make choice on his direction of study etc. This school is in Ofsted's 'Needs Improvement' category though it got new head and moving to right direction now.

I prefer better school (Ofsted - Good) outside my areas and DS may not have many friends there as kids are coming from different schools not just nearby schools. DH says he might struggle settle and may face bullying etc more (due to less diversity) and DS don't have many old school friends there.

So DS's comfort level based on friends or selection based on better academic prospects though could have tough time initially..? Really confused so good to hear from parents faced similar choices when they decided on DS/DD's secondary and how it turned out..? thanks in advance...

OP’s posts: |
Mungo1984 Mon 08-Oct-18 05:50:40

My Q1: Can I afford it? hahahaha

You can never really know how it will be for you, or for him until after you try. Other people's opinions can be a guide and no more.

PhilomenaButterfly Mon 08-Oct-18 05:55:39

Do the tours with your DS and then make the application.

DD just wants to go to the nicer feel school, she's less bothered that their results are lowest in her favourite subject, probably because she knows she'll do well anyway.

We've since found out that half the girls in her class have applied for the same school.

meditrina Mon 08-Oct-18 06:42:21

Is he likely to get a place at the more distant school?

Don't count on changing places at year 9, unless it is to join a school which has an intake at year 9. Not only might there not be a vacancy, but also if he is happy/settled he won't want to move. If you think he won't be happy, then should be be there are all?

Ease/convenience/reliability of school journey matters quite a bit.

Do the schools offer a similar range of subjects, and co-curricular opportunities?

overmydeadbody Mon 08-Oct-18 06:55:07

Having friends is really important, and feeling that you for in. His self esteem will be higher which will impact on his achievements.

If he is bullied, feels lonely or struggles make friends this will impact negatively on his ability to do well academically.

So I would take that into consideration.

TheThirdOfHerName Mon 08-Oct-18 07:04:43

My DS want to be in a school where most of this friends from primary is going

This might help for the first three or four weeks, but then he will make new friends anyway. The dynamics shift a lot at the beginning of Y7 and by October half-term he might be friends with a whole new set of children, none of them from his primary school.

Also DH says when he is Year 9 and more matured he could be moved to a different school if needed
Assuming that there is space. And that he wants to.

TeenTimesTwo Mon 08-Oct-18 08:44:41

Unless there is a special reason, I wouldn't choose a school based on where friends are going. They often change in the first term anyway. Crazy to pick a poor school just for 3-4 weeks of already knowing people.

Echobelly Mon 08-Oct-18 11:07:33

I wouldn't choose on friends basis - as it happens, choice has been made for us as DD doesn't want to go to the school where most people are going - she's not been unhappy, but she fancies a fresh start and will likely be the only pupil from her school anywhere she goes (or maybe there will be one other at most).

I'd go for a school with a better reputation over one requiring improvement, but then again, the latter often then works really hard to improve things, so if it sounds like it's in the ascendant it may be worth it if it has potential.

All the schools we're looking at are fortunately good performers, but actually it the 'lowest' of them is ranking much higher in our minds than we expected as it seems to have a lot of potential and is very welcoming and not too big. I'm quite interested in music performance options for DD, so also consider if there is anything they do extra-curricular that is particularly of interest to your child, eg sports, drama

Su2019 Mon 08-Oct-18 16:13:51

thanks again...very informative responses.

OP’s posts: |
Toomanycats99 Mon 08-Oct-18 21:10:40

My dd has started a new school. She was the only one from her primary going and tbh I think she quite enjoyed the though of a fresh start. She ended up knowing 2 people going godmother places. One who she didn't really like anyway and one she hadn't seen for several years. She has had no issues making friends - seems to have formed a group with others in her tutor group. Don't think she even really sees the two she knows (it's a big school and the y7 intake is over 300)

With social media it's very easy for them
To stay in contact with friends from primary if they want to.

Notquiterichenough Mon 08-Oct-18 21:26:10

DS1 chose, and was clearly happiest, at the school his friends were going to. But, he is not great with transition, he was already emotionally attached and invested in the school. Although not best on paper, locally, it was the right choice for him. Several years in, he is thriving, and still best friends with his original group of friends who moved up together.

DS2, on the other hand, was less bothered about friends. He went to a school where he knew no one, but was clearly the best fit for him. He is also thriving.

I would say it depends on how your child copes with change, and whether the school fits them.

BrickByBrick Mon 08-Oct-18 22:01:33

Due to how the catchment areas work my dc's primary school has a split between 2 schools plus a 3rd over arching catchment, so we were never really faced with the 'I want to go where my friends are going' As it happened we picked a 4th school and only 5 from her school went, none of who were her friendship group. She has however made a lovely group of friends. (now in yr 8)

DS will be going to the same school (we have moved and now live next to the school) there may be a few of his friends going, but they all live out of catchment so we will see. But with him the fact he could easily get there and the SEND provision seemed good was what confirmed it.

Growingboys Mon 08-Oct-18 22:57:45

Good school first. Results/discipline/happy children.

Then distance from home.

Friends irrelevant. DS knew no one but now, a month on, has loads of friends and is at a top school.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 09-Oct-18 06:36:20

They quickly drop friends in my experience, plus it is worth finding out what the school's policy is on friendship groups-- sometimes they split them completely up, other time will be in with one or two - they are unlikely to all be in the same class. Dd knew 4 girls in her class - the closest of these before school (been on sleepovers etc.) I virtually never hear mentioned.

He is far less likely to want to move or make a successful move in yr9. In yr7 everyone is starting over so all keen to make friends.

Su2019 Tue 09-Oct-18 10:13:33

Ok thanks for the input on Y9. I thought Y9 is like Y7 fresh application/schools for all kids. Looks like I was misinformed. Thanks

OP’s posts: |
shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 09-Oct-18 13:17:27

Do check where you live as if there is a middle school there may well be a fresh round of applications but you would probably already be in a middle school which generally runs yr5-yr8.

There is movement going into yr9 - some independent schools take cohorts then so there may be some spaces available in other schools but it isn't a big shift. Most people decide in yr7 and stay there unless their circumstances change. In our area there are quite a few independent schools and even so the movement in and out in year 9 is minimal. Do check though for your specific schools.

The next time there will be a major change is after GCSEs in our area, many change for yr12/6th form but most stay where they are with their friends.

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