Which school would you choose?(6 Posts)
It's a couple of years away yet and we will of course visit all the schools before we decide but what order would you put these secondary schools in?
Bit of background.
DD1 and DS go to a school in the next town (6 miles away). It is a Catholic school as we are catholic. We joined the school mid term and couldn't get both of them into the same school any closer. As it turns out the school they are in is fabulous and we are very happy despite the school run.
School A. When it comes to secondary schools their primary school feeds into a catholic secondary which is good but is even further away and although there is a bus I can't get her to the bus stop in time as it is in the town they go to school in (6 miles away). A significant number of pupils from her primary school will go to school A.
School B. The catholic secondary school for the area we live in is in the other direction but there is a school bus that goes from the town we live in, it's about a 25 inute journey. It is an excellent school but she wouldn't be going with any friends from her current school & out of school activites might be tricky.
Schools C&D are both state comp schools in the town they go to school in. Most of the children from the primary school will go to one or other of these schools. Both are outstanding, one is becoming an Academy. As we don't live in the town we run a high chance of not getting in although I have heard DD's year has quite a low birth rate.
School E is the local comp within the town we live. It's ok. It's improving but it's not great. She won't know anyone when she starts.
They will all have open evenings which we will go to. How many schools do you get to list? Do the schools know which order you have listed them in?
I'd go for C/D and hope you get in.
Then put A.
You usually have to put a max of 3. They are in order of importance.
having friends there(at least some friends) I think is very important, although not if the school isn't great. At that age, they quickly make new friends.
I think ....at least from what I have read on here, is that many kids start secondary without knowing anyone. The majority of kids this age will know some kids...but as parents get pickier, lot's go to schools where none of their classmates are going to.
At 11 they make friends...if your DCs are socialble then choose the best school which is more important than anything else. I am not friends with anyone from primary school...and dont think a lot of people ARE are they? School is for education...social life is a plus.
Here you list 3; I don't think the schools even know where you've listed them, the LEA sorts out the placement. A lot of them now it doesn't disadvantage you at all to put the school you really want first and then an acceptable one you're bound to get a place at last.
In Leeds you get to list three schools. (Don't know whether that's standard everywhere in England.) Assuming you get to list three choices, if you are not 100% certain to get choices 1 or 2 you should make sure that as choice 3 you put a school at which you would be sure of getting a place. If there are no places at any of the three choices you have listed, you might just get allocated a place at the nearest school where there are places available, which might mean a really dire school. The only circumstances in which you shouldn't follow this advice is if the only school at which you would be sure to get a place is the one that would genuinely be your last choice in the whole of the area covered by your admissions authority. You should read the admissions policies for the school to check whether you have any realistic chance of getting in - no point wasting one of your choices on a school where the chances of getting in are realistically zero.
If it was important to me that my children go to a Catholic school then I would go for Option B. A is pointless to even consider if you can't get her there in time each morning. If a bus goes to B from your town then there must be other local children who attend it, and if your children make friends with local kids then if they do an after school club and no bus runs after a certain time, there may be parents of the local kids who can give yours a lift back with theirs. Also there is the behaviour aspect. I don't know about your area but in my old home town and my current one, the behaviour of the kids I see out and about seems much better by the kids from the Catholic schools. Generally faith schools often have very good pastoral care and children of all abilities feel valued, which I suppose then leads onto good behavour - and I say that as a non Catholic personally, but I have taught in a couple of Catholic primary schools.
If you're not too fussed about the religious side of things then I would think most seriously about Option E. Your kids will make friends with local kids if they attend this one, which will be better for them if they want to see friends outside of school hours, as it will be easier to meet up with them. Don't take the Ofsted report too seriously. Sometimes 'Outstanding' schools are just very good at jumping through the right hoops, and usually have a Head Teacher who knows exactly what to say when interviewed by the Inspectors. When you go to the Open Evening at this school talk to the children and the staff, look at the facilities, how work is displayed, and just try to get a real feel of the school. If you and your children get a good 'vibe' from it then they could be really happy there. Also, try to take notice of the kids you see locally in this uniform. Are they smart? Are they polite? Do they behave well? Of course they won't be behaving quite like they would do in school but you will get the idea about the kinds of children that attend, and if they are obnoxious outside of school then they may also be the types of kids to disrupt lessons within school. The kids in my area from the local comp are scruffy, rude, loud and just generally awful. Of course there must be some nice ones but I wouldn't send my kids there. The school used to be very good but has a worsening name and image. I would do what a few families from my area do and send kids to the next nearest school, if possible, which has a very good public bus link from near my house.
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