How can you be sure that you have chosen the right school for your child? I have read all of the ofsted reports, made notes about things I want clarification on, looked at the KS3, GCSE & A Level results, listened to other parents about their children's experiences at the school and even looked at the children going to and from school, but I am still so worried that 'we' may make a wrong decision.
My little man sat the 11+ at Spalding GS, but we are out of catchment. We are slightly geographically close to Bourne Grammer, but still out of catchment. He has recently changed primary schools, something that I was concerned about being his final yr at Primary and so he sat the exam at Spalding GS with all those from his previous primary school in an attempt to make him feel more comfortable, but I am not sure that this was such a good idea. We have looked at both grammar schools and are about to embark on the comprehensive secondary schools etc.
My concern is that I feel he is a difficult child to place, but that is probably because just like all of you I want the best for my son. He has traits of Aspergers Syndrome, but not so pronounced that the education system recognises it, if that is the correct way of putting it. He is not statemented or received an actual diagnosis.
He has always been in the top group for all subjects since reception class and is on target to get level 5's in his Sats and in Yr 5 was at 4a's & 4b's, somewhat disappointingly as this is where he was in Yr4. I believe that some of the others in this "top group" got level 5's so should we even be looking at a Grammar School. Will he struggle when he gets there? When he sat the practice 11+papers at school he came out top of the group(and appears he may have passed the 11+ with these results) and his teacher actually said that he didn't think that he or the school had realised his potential.
He does not appear to be able to make friends easily, has been subject to a lot of bullying both verbal & physical, is a deep thinker and can play the fool to try to get people to like him. He relishes a challenge, walked 290 miles of the Macmillan Way over 21 days during Nov05-Feb06 and in June 06 climbed the 3 peaks in 22hrs3mins all for Macmillan Cancer Relief as I have cancer and all 3 members of my family have died of cancer(2 of which he has acutely aware of as these were recently) The focus & determination he portrayed when completing the 3 peaks just amazed me!
My concern is that there is no support out there to ensure that you are choosing the right school for your child and because he has recently changed primary school, they know very little about him and I cannot easily or readily ask for their opinion. When asking the headmaster when he was in Yr5 at the previous primary, he was very non-commital and basically only voiced exactly what I was trying to achieve" Knowing your son as I do, it is important that you choose the right school for him".
BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE RIGHT SCHOOL! My son said he preferred Bourne Grammar to Spalding GS, but now he says he wants to go to Spalding GS because he will know people there as his friends that he sat the 11+ with are hoping to go there, they have brothers there that he knows and he knows other boys there also. He will then say, "but I know that Bourne would be better for me or if I go to the local comp, people that I am at school with now will go there, so is that better for me and its not a bad school, is it Mum." However, I fear that he is just acting as any 10year old would, in that he just wants to go where he thinks his "friends" are going.
Worried, just a little. I know he has the ability to do well and I want him to the best opportunity to realise his potential without it being an absolute uphill struggle for him and also for him to be happy, just like all of you want for your children. Any thoughts or comments would be gratefully received and please accept my apologies for this rant, but it helps to get it off your chest and I don't want to let him down and steer him in the wrong direction!