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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:58 pm 
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Hi this is my first post on here and am looking for advice. I have two DS - one in year 1 and one in pre school, reception next september. My eldest is in a small village primary which is lovely and comfortable, very cosy....and academically he is cruising in the lower-middle ranks, I would say. He can definitely do better. Sports and extra curricular options are limited, as are after school provisions. Both boys have been offered a place at a local 4-18 independent sch, more vibrant, lots on offer, seems great, would definitely open up options at 11+ despite it being an all through sch....but it's 20 mins drive away (rather than 5 minute walk) AND my eldest is now saying that although he enjoyed his taster day there, he would be sad to leave his friends.

So - it's the distance and moving a happy but not achieving his potential 5 yr old boy that is throwing me....and I have to make a decision this week! What would you do....


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:59 pm 
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Private school is not always better. But I'm not sure you're asking about the precise qualities of the schools.

Children do adapt to new schools incredibly quickly. I wouldn't be worried about leaving friends behind, especially if you can make a clean break. The difficulties that I've experienced is when moving between single sex and co-ed, or if there isn't a clean break (I moved one child from a school in year 1, but left his elder sibling there which meant he had to see his old school on a daily basis.)

I would definitely look at the school day timings over the next few years, as there will be differences between the end of day routines ime. It is worth talking to the school about how this works. It could be that there is an afterschool club to cover the younger one whilst the older one is still in their school day. It is also worth thinking about how sporty the school is and how many fixtures that there will be as that can also involve you in being in more than one place. Is it a 20 minute journey at the relevant times of day? Or are you being generous with the timings.

It may also be worth having a think about what extra curricular activities will look like and how easy it will be for your dcs to have local friends as well. Mine had little difficulty through church, cubs etc, but it will depend on where you live and if for eg everyone else at cubs is at school together it might be a bit tricky.

That said I've certainly pushed through a tricky commute in order to get the best school for each of my children (and they've usually been in different schools).


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:15 pm 
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I know this may be controversial but do five year olds need to really reach their potential - mine certainly didn't as weren't in formal education at that age and they've all thrived........so my advice would be go for which school you think you'd all be happiest with and you get a good gut feeling about.....don't worry about potential or cruising at such a young age........ :D


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:34 pm 
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Strongly agree with neveragain about not worrying about potential at the age of five. My dd in particular developed her full academic abilities much later, when she was good and ready. Let them play and be children. So my advice would be to stick with the lovely cosy primary for now, especially if you can get a place there too for your second one. You can always move them to the private sector later if you feel that they need a change.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:58 pm 
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Argh yes all true! A clean break won't be that easy as we live in the village very close to the school....and DS1 tends to be a bit elephant memory like (he hasn't forgiven us for moving 2.5 yrs ago yet!). And I suppose I'm being ambitious for him - I just expected him to pick things up more quickly than he has, but absolutely I want him to have a fabulous unpressurised childhood and have no desire to hot house him! I just want to give both boys more opportunities than they have currently.

I have until friday - I'm really keen on the independent option and when I think we will not go for it I feel disappointed, but then when I decide we should move I feel sad and worried about leaving a nice little school where my son is happy!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:51 pm 
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Inaquandry wrote:
we live in the village very close to the school....

I want him to have a fabulous unpressurised childhood

when I decide we should move I feel sad and worried about leaving a nice little school where my son is happy!


Inaquandry wrote:
My eldest is in a small village primary which is lovely and comfortable, very cosy....


Are you telling us everything? The language you use about the village school is all very positive. As your son gets older, he's going to be able to play with school friends easily after school and during holidays. Happiness is very valuable and money can't buy it.

The words you use when writing about the indie include "keen", "ambitious", "vibrant", "seems great" and "opportunities". Sounds more like a marketing message...

For little kiddies, a nurturing, happy place with friends and a cozy atmosphere sounds idyllic. Private schools will take your money later if you change your mind in year 4 or 5.

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Last edited by Stroller on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:53 pm 
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What about offering things that you feel they may 'miss' outside school - sport and so on......although I'm not a great fan of lots outside stuff, I think kicking around in the garden, doodling by the fire, playing family games and learning to cook with daddy is more important......
I suppose the question may be - what are you hoping for in terms of your two if you project forward 10 years?
Then think about how best to facilitate that, bearing in mind they are individuals who may have very different ideas!

Ps My first born was thrown out of ballet ( too independent in spirit apparently!) wouldn't do any maths until aged 11 really, played with toys until 13 and didn't attend school until 8/9 but is now at Oxbridge, and more than holding her own. She feels the indie kids are at a disadvantage both emotionally and in terms of not being street wise, and is horrified at their lack of appreciation of their privilege. She decided for herself what she was interested in, was supported in that and steamed ahead. (I personally am very luke warm about Oxbridge but she was very keen, and my opinion didn't sway her!)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 am
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Stroller wrote:
Inaquandry wrote:
we live in the village very close to the school....

I want him to have a fabulous unpressurised childhood

when I decide we should move I feel sad and worried about leaving a nice little school where my son is happy!


Inaquandry wrote:
My eldest is in a small village primary which is lovely and comfortable, very cosy....


Are you telling us everything? The language you use about the village school is all very positive. As your son gets older, he's going to be able to play with school friends easily after school and during holidays.

The words you use when writing about the indie include "keen", "ambitious", "vibrant", "seems great" and "opportunities". Sounds more like a marketing message...

For little kiddies, a nurturing, happy place with friends and a cozy atmosphere sounds idyllic. Private schools will take your money later if you change your mind in year 4 or 5.




Agree in bucket loads!!!! :D


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:55 pm 
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Pps - when I said 'outside' stuff I meant extra curricular not outdoors which I'm very keen on!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:51 am 
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Are the results very mediocre at your local village school? Or are you worried that your older child is capable of more than bottom to middle and that they will never get this out of him? How do you definitely know he is capable of more. Do you know that the indie definitely does educate children better? Are there any from the village that use the indie?

Does he have a good circle of local friends that will be maintained either way?


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