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I think I might have sold my soul...

26 replies

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:00

mm not sure if this should be in primary or here but I have a dilemma which is really bothering me and wondered what you all think. My ds has been offered a place in the nursery of at our local CofE school. When we went to the open afternoon, they told us that when it comes to allocating reception places, they offer them to their nursery children first provided they have continued fulfilling their criteria (which is pretty much going to church 3 out of 4 sundays). The hours of the nursery are 9-3 mon-fri. My ds will be 3 yrs 9 months when he goes. So that's the background my worries are he is so flipping young to be doing those hours. I am not 'allowed' to choose when I send him, although I am guessing there is certain limited ways around this, eg sick. I am C of E but the church we go to is not my cup of tea at all. Is really really high church and the fact that I have to go is beginning to get to me. I feel bullied into it (yes I know I am choosing to go) but I feel so hypocritical. It is so high church it may as well be a catholic service. And it all feels so wrong. He is so happy at a local nursery school where he goes 5 morning a week. But if he doesn't get into this school for reception then state is not an option as the one we would most likely get a place for is not a good school. We could possibly afford private but also have a dd so would mean no holidays, no emergency funds, no savings etc. We have a lot of equity in our flat and ideally I would like to move out of London but dh job is so london based he would have to commute. Anyway i guess what bothers me the most is I have sold my soul to get my son a place at a good school, yet I can't bear the idea of him having start school already iyswim.
Congrats if you've got this far, and a prize for whoever replies, you can have his place!
ps I might post this in primary too.

OP posts:
harpomarx · 10/07/2008 22:02

brain too tired to unscramble message, luckywinner

please reformulate question in form that brain dead can understand!

deanychip · 10/07/2008 22:04

oh dear this is very difficult to understand and read.

cant quite pick out what it is you are asking.

sorry, would love to comment but struggling.

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:04

i know i know tired too, in bed with laptop
basically just have gut feeling don't want him to go to school already he is so little, sob. and i bloody hate the way i feel like i have no choice in the matter because otherwise we have no school for him. today london sucks and i want to run away!

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deanychip · 10/07/2008 22:05

ahh i see.
does he go to any pre school/play school now?

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:06

i have been rambling on all day with this and didn't have energy to read thread back. shall i start again? is it bed time yet?

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OurHamsterisevil · 10/07/2008 22:06

Tough one lucky, He is going tobe quite old though. 3 months older and he would be in reception, so I guess going full time is not as big a deal as it could be. It is hard when you see them as your baby though. You just need to think about his future education and what you want from that.

harpomarx · 10/07/2008 22:06

ok, luckywinner. Why do you say the other school is not a good school?

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:08

yep he's at nursery 4 mornings a week and stays one full day. he loves it. i know this is probably more to do with the sudden realisation that my little boy is going to school. am now off to wipe a little tear.

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deanychip · 10/07/2008 22:08

is this school attached to the church?
does it mean that if he goes to the nursery, he will have a place at the church school when he starts big school?

Posey · 10/07/2008 22:11

I really feel for you, your confusion and dilemma shout out from your post.
Is the other school, the one he'd get into if you didn't go to the CofE one, really that bad? When did you visit? Do you know anyone else with kids there?
9-3 is quite long, but for some it is quite nice getting used to the hours, in a more relaxed and gentle environment than school before starting reception. And you can always keep him off (kids at that age catch everything going, or at least you could pretend he does if you think he's flagging)
Do you have to go to that particular church in order to get the reception place? Is there not another church, more to your taste, in the area?

I'm not sure how helpful my post is, but maybe it will give you more to think about (and add to the confusion!)
Good luck

S1ur · 10/07/2008 22:12

Is 9-3 too much for a 3 nearly 4 year old?
Depends on the child I think but mine would be ok.

The school you like is church linked and feeds to a 'good' state primary? But you don't want to go to local church. Plus you recognise the hypocrisy of you decision but can't bring yourself to go to local state non-religious school?

I suppose you could go to an alternative church and get a letter from churchy leader person. Or you could go and look at other school. What is it that makes it so bad?

But tbh,in the end you will ahev to decide whether to choose hypocrisy or prinicples. I know that's not an easy decision.

And yes he is very young for you to have to make these sorts of decisions.

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:12

it is a huge school. Most of the children who start have left by the end of the year, its v transient. I am not so bothered about the academic side, to me, what is most important is philosophy and ethos of a school, where he can feel safe and happy, which the C of E school has. Most kids (I think they said 80%) stay till 11. You are right though hamster, I do just need to focus on what I want and the bigger picture, and tis true he would nearly be in reception.

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luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:17

Btw the huge school is the not so good one.
Posey, yep have to go that particular church. In theory you can go to another one but I guess I wouldn't be starting off on the best footing "Thanks for the place but there is way too much incense in this church"
But I think that is one of the things that bothers me that I don't feel confident enough to voice concerns for fear of getting a black mark against my name for reception place. But that is a really good point about getting used to the hours in a more relaxed setting.
Thanks girls, am beginning to feel a little clearer about this than my original rambling

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harpomarx · 10/07/2008 22:20

still not sure why the other school is so bad that you would only consider private if ds didn't get into the CofE one? Is it just because it's big?

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:21

Slur, that is why I feel like I have sold my soul a little, slightly dramatic I know but yes its true I have to decide whether to be a hypocrite and secure my son a place at a good school or be honest and send him to one where I feel he would get lost. It sucks. It is not the kind of message I want to be teaching him.

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harpomarx · 10/07/2008 22:22

sorry, missed your previous post lucky. Dd will be going to quite a 'transient' school, as you put it. It's in the nature of the area we live in. I think the school is lovely though - are there other factors about the school that are really offputting?

Charliemama · 10/07/2008 22:26

Have you spoken to the CofE nursery about your concerns about the long days? It may be possible for him to build up gradually to going full time. We offer that in the Reception class I work in to the children who we feel would struggle to cope full time.

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:27

Harpo, I guess the other school has its good points. Its two minutes walk, it has lots of children from lots of different backgrounds, it has improved since its last ofsted, but I suppose it just felt a bit disjointed, like there was nothing tying the school together. I think that's why I noticed the fact that it is big - it has 600 children. The C of E one is 200. I don't know, maybe I am being a bit harsh on the other school.

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purpleduck · 10/07/2008 22:29

Are you sure he has to have those hours?
Just asking as when ds started YR I was very worried he was too little. I asked at the office, and their reply was " if he's tired, you can take him home, they don't benefit when they are so tired".

I was pleasantly surprised, but it turned out not to be an issue, ds was fine.

harpomarx · 10/07/2008 22:33

lucky, I actually turned down a place at a smaller church school to go to another much bigger (also church school). The smaller one is seen as very desirable but I am extremely happy with dd's new school (sounds like yours, big, transient, lots of children from different backgrounds etc). Go and see it again and try to talk to parents of children there. Even if you decide that you definitely like the cofe one better you may feel less stressed knowing that the fall back school is not so bad!

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:33

Harpo, sorry I keep x-posting. I think the transient thing bothers me a little. I wonder whether its me trying to find the imaginary village school in London which so obviously does not exist! I suppose that is the nature of a big city. Glad to hear you have found a good one for your dd.
Charliemama, they settle them in over a two week period and in September we will have a home visit so I think I will chat to them about it then. Don't know why I am getting myself into such a tizz about it tonight, can't even blame the wine!

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harpomarx · 10/07/2008 22:33

and the two minutes walk is not to be sniffed at

luckywinner · 10/07/2008 22:35

I know! The other one is 10 mins though so not so bad. Are you in London Harpo?

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harpomarx · 10/07/2008 22:41

no, not in London, lucky, and my true location is a closely guarded secret...

I think the village school idea is sometimes overrated - I went to one myself and I think smaller schools are great if you fit in but can be hell if you don't. I understand your concerns about ds being lost in a larger school too though. But some schools seem to cope really well with large numbers of pupils and are calm, happy places. Others just seem a bit chaotic. Most of our local schools are pretty big, but some seem much bigger than others, iyswim?

you're lucky being so close to two schools though. I reckon at dd's walking pace, our walk will be more like half an hour

threestars · 10/07/2008 23:07

I got all anxious when DS did an afternoon taster session at his new-in-september school (is 3+11months), especially since he really didn't want to go as he loves his nursery and wants to stay there, but can't because it's fee-paying...
and he came out fine and had a lovely time.

As for the church-going demands...ridiculous, isn't it, that you have to be regularly attending church to be considered a person of faith. Faith is such a personal thing. Used to be that a baptism and confirmation certificate would be enough...
Is there a cathedral near you that you can go to instead? They can't argue with a cathedral. Say something about it being more convenient with your Sunday schedule (eg. seeing other family members)?

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