The school places 2016 hand holding thread

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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby catkin » 19 Apr 2016, 09:17

Oh dear p_h. Do you know where you are on waiting lists yet? Or is that later? There's often a lot of movement as people decide on private schools etc. Hope the school is better than expected when you look though.

Reputations do seriously lag behind. It's been fascinating to see both the ofsteds and the reputations catching up with the impression we had of schools we looked around when mouse was starting. Both upwards and downwards. Perhaps we have better judgement than we realised!
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby Marrow » 19 Apr 2016, 09:26

sabrina fair wrote:Marron - stick to your guns when people react to the school you've chosen. We went with a school with worse Ofsted than our catchment school. I had a few people look at me with amazement, including one helpful woman whose kids go to the catchment school who told me confidently that her friend has kids at both and doesn't rate the one we chose (after she knew we'd been offered that one). I managed a terse response about how different schools suit different families. And we made the right choice. The smaller, less busy environment has suited our sensitive boy, and they are very child-led and have been supportive of him attending part-time. Reputation from a few years ago and Ofsted results aren't everything.

Yeah, I think the most difficult conversations are going to be with the (many) people we know who have chosen the more popular school, some of who rent on our street specifically to get in. I'm going to have to practise my "different schools for different families" spiel, with my best self-deprecating not-in-any-way-critical voice.
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby emzit » 19 Apr 2016, 21:35

Hope you manage to sort things out whichever way that works for you PH.

Can i drag you all back a bit and ask for suggestions for questions to ask schools? So far I have homework policy, religious education, technology, access to languages and arts, bullying... What have I missed?
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby catkin » 19 Apr 2016, 21:53

Clubs and activities? Trips? Involvement in inter-school events? Approach to differentiation? What sort of parental involvement?
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby LucyLastic » 20 Apr 2016, 08:48

Drop and pick up policies, breakfast club/after school, what are their weak points/how are they working to improve, rewards/reprimands, how many days a year will you be expected to dress them in flipping fancy dress, at a moment's notice?, PTA (or whatever they're called these days!).
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby emzit » 21 Apr 2016, 12:11

mamapup wrote:And we are feeling quite happy we opted not to put the c of e school first despite it being amazing. We had the puppy's Xmas play at nursery today and we were both so uncomfortable with the whole nativity thing I think it brought home that we made the right decision.


Mp, I was reading through the thread to get more ideas about questions to ask and saw this - thought it might help the bit of sadness you had about not choosing the religious school.

Catkin and LL, thank you for the suggestions, have added to my list. Doing a tour tomorrow morning argh!
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby mamapup » 21 Apr 2016, 14:23

Thank you! That's really thoughtful of you. It does help. Xx
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby emzit » 22 Apr 2016, 04:07

So, first school tour today. (We did a couple last year but redoing them all before enrolling now.) It's a school with a good reputation but I'd heard a few things that put me off so it was second on our mental list. We were feeling pretty set on where muncher would go.

Now it's all complicated. The school was great, the head was great, even the stuff that had put me off actually when I saw them I think would work well and be positive for muncher. A couple of big ticks around extracurricular activities, arts and technology. My homework question wasn't quite answered and I forgot to ask how much formal learning is done but overall it's now a strong contender. Muncher would know two kids, one well, one not, and possibly some from his kinder as well but probably less than the other school... chances are that the childcare bully would be at the other school we like so that's a bonus too as he struggles a lot with this kid.

Need to go organise a tour of the other school now because I don't think just going to the open day is going to cut it!
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby Lily » 22 Apr 2016, 08:10

That sounds similar to the situation we were in, emzit. The one I didn't think I would like so much, turned out to be brilliant, and the smaller, nearer one that I had assumed would be nicer, turned out to have a much less positive atmosphere. Are you taking muncher with you on tours? For me that was the real clincher - it's all very well if I like somewhere, but it was the fact that he obviously felt immediately comfortable there that really reassured me I was making the right decision.
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby emzit » 22 Apr 2016, 09:09

Yes, we are - he really liked the other one when we were there last year, not so keen on this one but he was shattered today and by the time we got to the prep room he'd had enough. It was a bit of a backwards tour because of cross country.

We both liked the other too so it will mostly be gut feel I think. The other has some bonus points for being next to childcare and closer to home but the other isn't massively out of the way. Muncher is quite keen on the closer one as his bestie goes there already so I'm not sure if he really likes it or just wants to be with B.
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby Lily » 01 May 2016, 08:22

What did you decide, emzit?

And how's it going, ph? I've been thinking about you and B.
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby pirate_han » 01 May 2016, 17:41

Thanks Lily. We have surprised ourselves by, after a lot of research and thinking, being about 98% in favour of home education, at least in the infant years. We have accepted her place at the not-great school, because there is a parents' meeting and a chance to meet her teacher in June and we would like to do that and give it a fair chance, but I think we are very likely to home educate her. I think I will find it tough - currently DH leaves for work at 6:30am and I look after them both and then five days a week I go to work at 5pm when he gets home, and I'm tired and was quite looking forward to the break! but I'd rather be tired than have her in a school that isn't good enough.
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby yorkshirepudding » 01 May 2016, 20:01

Wow p_h, it's hard to get your head around home ed when it's not what you've been planning. I've been driving myself slightly crazy the last few weeks reading about it. I think I love the idea but am struggling with going against what all our friends will be doing. I guess you have lots of good places to visit round you, and I bet there are lots of home ed groups?
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby sabrina fair » 02 May 2016, 08:59

We have been very seriously considering home ed. We'd love to HE but the finances would be so challenging, and would then knock on to other aspects of our happiness, so we're trying school for the moment.

If you do decide to HE, is it possible to keep B in preschool for her free hours until the term after her 5th birthday? Then you'd be getting a break. There's a woodland kindergarten near us who take a lot of HE kids until they HE full time. Or if you decide on school, she can be part-time to start off with - you could use that to decide on how you feel about the school?
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Re: The school places 2016 hand holding thread

Postby pirate_han » 02 May 2016, 16:30

I didn't realise she could stay at preschool SF, thanks I'll look into that.

YP none of our friends would consider it either. It doesn't bother me much as I am also the only breastfeeding/BLW/babywearing one and none of them seem to care :D There are home ed groups nearby and we live in a rubbish area with nothing to do (literally, the nearest park is two miles away) so we're well used to getting out and about for stuff.

I feel very positive about it to be honest - I think I have always been willing to do it in that if she went to the school we'd chosen and was unhappy I'd have pulled her out and HE'd without a second thought. I know it will be tough but I keep thinking of the lovely things she could be doing (grandparents have already been roped in for PE/horticulture/the arts :D) and at 4 years old I want her to be doing lovely things. I'd want to keep the option of school open, if she wanted to try it that would be fine.
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