Skip to content

Too much choice!

November 17, 2008

So we have picked the two schools that we would like to send our daughter to. The annoying thing is we can only pick one first choice and we have two that we like.

The first one we saw had a lovely feel, a great Ofsted that was very recent, a lovely head mistress, new facilities and more new facilities being built this year. Needing decorating in spots I noticed but seemed like it was being attended to. But…. but….. about a forty minute walk from home.. up a hill.

School two we saw today.
A lovely feel again, a great Ofsted, not such a recent one but current. You can tell as you walk round and see the children and the environment. A sweet head master, new facilities (Smart boards and IT equipment) and new facilities being built this year such as a playground and reflective area with a small pond. Smaller classrooms and a bit rough round the edges and maybe in need of decorating here and there but nothing that would put me off. A shorter walk…. not up a hill.

They will both automatically accept Ella because Rowan is there and both have a preschool attached to the school that Ella could attend as well as nursery.

Is the choice between the schools really falling down to which walk I would rather do…?

The second is nearer an area we would probably look to live in over the next 2-3 years. Larger houses with a nice area. The first is in an area I would like to, no, LOVE to live in but is out of my price range. It’s not too far for us to get there at all but I can’t help thinking that the practicalities of the second make it a wiser choice.

The second is a controlled CE school and therefore has the Lord’s Prayer every morning and the vicar visits once a month.

It streams its pupils for reading, writing and maths (without their knowledge they split the class for these activities and concentrate on the different parts of the same task. So, for example, today we witnessed the same class split into half at opposite ends of a large L shaped room. They were all doing an activity based on brushing their teeth. One half were trying to think of all the activities involved, in order. The other half were concentrating on the joined up handwriting of the sentences they had picked.

Strikes me as fantastic. They play, paint, dress up, read stories and anything else you can think of, together… but when ability is an issue in terms of the learning of the basic skills, they are streamed for their benefit. I really liked that idea that each child gets to feel like they’re going at their own pace.

The first school is not religious at all..

They both employ the healthy eating and the fruit. They both offer milk, hot meals with a balanced diet. They both felt friendly and secure and safe.

How do we choose?!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Mancais permalink
    November 17, 2008 11:05 pm

    Does Rowan have a preference? Which school are her friends going to attend? How bothered are you about the religious bit? You described the second one as fantastic but not the first one.

  2. November 18, 2008 12:04 am

    You base it on the walk. 40 minutes twice (or will it be 4 times?) a day for BN will not be fun for anyone and certainly not 5 times a week for 7 years!

    That’s what i think

    Merry´s last blog post..Radio GaGa (Going GaGa?)

  3. November 18, 2008 7:36 am

    Get a bike with a tow on it and the trip is much quicker and pick the school your gut feeling is for when the girls get bigger maybe they can cycle too :o)
    In our fairly huge experience of schools (we are up to schools 5 and 6 including going up to middle/senior schools) the CofE ones always had a better pastoral care for the children, just as important as the education they receive. Again, can’t comment on schools I haven’t visited but does the middle/secondary school alter depending on the first school you pick? also worth considering as they vary hugely as Merry can tell you!

    mrs hojo´s last blog post..Something Nasty in the Pool

  4. November 18, 2008 10:06 am

    Go with your gut instinct – you know what’s best for those girlies. Take the walk out of the equation too, it only confuses things.

    Vic´s last blog post..The Own-Up Challenge

  5. November 18, 2008 11:23 am

    Just from reading your post I think the second school. You seemed to have more to share about it and I just get the sense that you liked that one better.

    Kate´s last blog post..My Top Peeves (in no particular order)

  6. November 18, 2008 11:09 pm

    hmmm… all good comments. I’m still thinking about this. I think it’s possible the second one got a more detailed write-up ‘cos we went to see it yesterday whereas we saw the other one in September….

    I’m not sure if I only like the second one better because it doesn’t involve a hill and that bothers me a little.

    @SCM – Rowan says she prefers the first one but she can’t articulate why only that she didn’t like ‘the man’ (headmaster of second school) but she has no reason to say that as he was perfectly nice. I think she just prefers women in general. So that didn’t help me – her not you. Also her only friends are at nursery and I’m not sure where any of them are going but perhaps that is something we should consider…. I hadn’t thought of that until now..

    I’m not bothered about the religious bit at all as I went to a school that was very similar. Lord’s prayer at assembly etc. But I get the impression that BN is uncomfortable with any religion involved. Although he hasn’t said that – just that he wanted to know more about it but I don’t think there’s any more to explain other than what’s been said. That gives me reservations about choosing that one. I’ve asked him for thoughts but he just says that if I think the second one is better then we should pick that one.

    Kind of makes me feel that if anything should ever happen at that school then I would be the one that picked it…

    @Hojo – we thought about a bike – we agree – a bike would make a big difference. They both have an affiliated secondary school that they are automatically accepted to and they both seem to be good schools too. The second school mentioned that the teachers integrate in their final year as well so that when they move up they recognise some teachers.

    Just don’t know what my gut instinct is!! 😕

  7. November 19, 2008 12:41 am

    just so ya know, all schools cover all (ok many) religions in their syllabus, not just the affiliated ones. None of the schools we chose, until the college out here were overtly Churchy, just a trip to church once a term or month depending, which gives an insight, certainly not enough to change a childs perspective. Ask the staff how much religion is included daily :o)

    mrs hojo´s last blog post..Mr and Mrs Smith

  8. November 20, 2008 8:33 pm

    I’m with Kate here – it sounds like you found more to like at the second school.

    Have you got long before you have to decide? Could you visit the first again and get a more recent view of it?

    Hannah´s last blog post..Another update

  9. November 22, 2008 1:52 pm

    I really don’t think you should take the walk out of the equation, it is something that they’ll have to do every day and it is a big part of it, not just for her but for Ella, you and BN too. When we discussed senior schools with Fran we spent a long time discussing the fact that if she went to the one further away it was going to add nearly another 10 hours a week to her ‘school’ time. Not that i have personal experience of it with my kids, obviously, but school seems to really exhaust small children and it might become a huge drag, especially in winter. I know that my first term and a half at senior school, when i had a 40 minute drive in each day and an hour and 1/4 bus ride home at the end of the day, it really wore me out. I just wanted to be home.

  10. November 22, 2008 10:10 pm

    Hi 🙂 I know the walk is important – just not sure if it should be the actual basis for the whole decision rather than just part of it if you know what I mean – the other thing is the first one is nearer to Ella’s nursery where she will hopefully go full time once Rowan is at school enabling BN to get a day job. This means obviously that collecting them both is far more straight forward if they are nearer to e o and Rowan goes to the first school.

    The second school is nearer to my work and nearer to town… The walk to the first is longer and it is up hill but not impossible. And certainly not miles away or anything. Just harder.. But then the girls walk up hill to go to nursery already…

    I think we’re going to go for another look at the first and see if we can ask more questions… We have to apply by the 19th December.

    THIS IS SO HARD!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: