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Roller Coaster ride with DS's Basingstoke secondary school prefernces!!(20 Posts)
Looks like I am having a Roller Coaster ride with DS's secondary school choices. Not sure how many others feeling this way..?
3 days ago local Catholic school (Bishop Challoner) was my preferred choice then I changed my mind to Perins due to convenient Bus service etc. Then DH started talking about bullying etc in a totally new place. So my reference moved to Costello as DS might have most of his friends there..
But from yesterday after thinking about morning/eve school run etc of working parents I am moving towards Independent school like Sherfields now though that wasn't serious contender till now ! I might have to pay ~£15k/year but I can still do full time job due to afterschool care etc there and DS will get good school as well. In the case of other schools I need to move to part-time job and salary cut.
Is this just me changing mind every day..??
Why do you need to switch to part time? The majority of secondary pupils get themselves home and are fine till someone gets home. Your child will be 11-12,fine to be at home and get to school without your input.
Where will he reasonably get in to? What does he think? What did you like at open day? What is the GCSE offer like? These are the things to consider IMO.
Secondary options I have are..
1. Costello: Classes ends @ 3 PM and may be have homework clubs 2/3 days in a week till 4PM. Then what's options DS got..? To reach home he need to take bus as we don't live in city centre. Roam around city centre and take stagecoach to home is too troublesome for him. Waiting for me in town centre is not an option either as I hate to see kids roaming around city centre McDonalds in the evening!
2. Perins School : School bus drops him @ 4 PM, 5 minutes away from home but he need to cross road 3/4 times to reach home. So that is not an option either. ( at least now)
So for those 2 schools I need to move to part-time at least for couple of years. But places like Sherfields provides after school clubs/activities till 6PM and gets good education as well (for a price). Price I pay is closer to the pay cut I take while moving to part time. So it looks to be no-brainer..? Also Sherfields is on the way to my current work location.
Is there any particular reason he can't cross roads on the way home? Most in my dds primary were walking home from y5, crossing more roads than that.
Maybe try the journey with him and see how he feels, most y7s will be making their own way home including buses etc.
Also he may have friends to bus home with after the first few weeks? If friends from primary also get in you could see if they could go home together?
I think that not selecting a school on the basis that your DS would have to cross some roads is possibly not the best one. He should be able to cross roads by then.
My daughter is in year 11 so whole different kettle of fish to be grappling with! But I agree with others that choosing a school based on the travel capabilities of a 10/11 year old doesn't make sense.
I remember at the end of year 5/beginning of year 6, the teachers at our then primary school saying they see such a developmental leap in the children throughout the year - and you need to project that forward to year 7/8/9.
Unless there are additional needs that mean your son will struggle with road crossing/bus taking I wouldn't let that be primary consideration. It makes sense to think about the ease/length of journey - if you're travelling for over an hour on 3 buses - is it conducive to a good school/life balance but just crossing roads seems to be self limiting.
Im assuming given the difficulties catching a bus/crossing the road that your ds has some special needs. That being the case Id take a close look at how each school you're considering caters for such needs (esp the private one as they often aren't keen to accomodate).
As others have said, those journeys are totally normal for Year 7s. Secondary school children (in the absence of special needs) are perfectly capable very quickly of getting on a bus by themselves, or crossing a few roads. Is there any reason you don't believe he can do these things?
No special needs for my DS. But we were dropping him to school so far.
Pick the school that you all think is best then work on building his independence so he can travel alone
Then you have a year to get him to the stage he can ;-)
Honestly, the great majority of secondary school kids get themselves there and back on buses, cycle, walk, cross roads, etc. It does them no favours to mollycoddle them, plus it's a good way to meet friends!
But most secondary school children will
be mortified to be dropped off by parents make their own way to and from school so I genuinely think you moving to part time basis for school runs isn't necessary (you may want to move to p/t for a multitude of other reasons!)
Ok fine but you have 9 months to teach him how to cross roads safely/catch a bus. Being independent in this way is a big part of starting secondary school. The school we chose for ds1 is a 45min journey for him (walk, bus, walk). It took him a week to master and allows him to access an excellent school.
I would strongly recommend that you focus your thinking on what each school offers academically and pastorally. What enrichment opportunities does each offer, what does your ds think about them? The practicality of getting to and from school should be a relatively minor part of your calculations, at least for journeys of under an hour.
OP, I had to ponder school choices last year and it was agonising as you feel you must make the best choice for DC, but none of the choices available feels right. So I used to jump from one thing to another. You are right to explore all options and play with the ideas. As part of this process though, you need to identify, think clearly about you DC particular circumstances, and how they affect the factors and criteria for your school choice.
Whatever makes you so worried about your DS after school ought to affect him at school as well. The private school might or might not be the answer. In my experience when they 'discover' SEN (regardless of whether you are aware, have diagnosis) they either abruptly manage you out or charge you all the extra support, which might be great if you can afford it.
Secondary school choices are really tough so you absolutely have my sympathies.
One thing I would say is to try and think long term about it. Issues like your DD having to cross roads and/or be alone for an hour or so after school will really only be a problem for a few years. Although I must say for me road crossing wouldn't be a concern at all for me at his age with no SN.
Similarly going to a school without many of his friends from primary won't be an issue for longer than a few weeks.
I would also give proper weight to your own career. Do you want to go part time? Would it hurt your prospects of promotion to go part time? And indeed is it something your workplace would easily accommodate?
Also, private school fees tend to increase well above inflation and obviously one your DD is settled it may be a difficult decision to move him. Would you be able to comfortably afford the school if (when!) fees rise? And for any other DCs, if that's applicable.
I think you are under estimating how much your DS will mature between now and next September.
If he doesn't do much independently at the moment you have 10 months to work on it.
I remember taking both my DDs out to practice crossing roads in y6 / summer break so they would be ready for their journey to school.
I know Perrins has a good reputation, don't know about the others. In my opinion you would be crazy to go for independent school just because your NT child isn't yet used to crossing roads independently.
You have 3 options, BC, Costello and Perrins. Put them 1,2,&3 on your form in whatever order your fancy. Then teach your DC how to cross roads.
Yeah what Teen says. Choosing a private school (and remember there's more to pay than just the fees) because your ds can't cross the road is mad.
Why can't he cross the road at 10 going on 11 BTW? Has he never been anywhere on his own? Have you never encouraged him to cross a road while you stand and encourage? I think thus is very much time to develop his independence.
Great responses. Thanks a lot for all.
I am visiting 2 more schools this week . Also I think I might have under estimated my DS. Looks like their school is already preparing them to deal with road safety etc. I am more confident now after reading these feedbacks and after talking to him. Thanks again.
I helped at our primary for years listening to readers, doing PTA stuff etc. Every single year the y6s matured massively during y6, and again from leaving primary to the first half term of y7 (lots used to come back to pick up siblings or just to say hi to teachers).
It is quite possible for 10/11yos not to be used to crossing busy roads independently. Our walk to primary was quiet estate roads, and in to town the only busy road had a pelican crossing. But the route to school had quite a nasty crossing with lollipop lady not always present. It definitely needed practicing in advance.
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