I don’t know where the time has gone, but I have found myself at the time when I need to be choosing a new school for Miss A for next September. We work on a three tier system where we live, so currently she is in year four and will be making the transition to middle school in year five.
It doesn’t feel like five minutes ago she was starting school, and I have been dreading this time arriving too quickly for a little while now. Even when she went back to school in September, I knew this week would arrive but I was still burying my head in the sand wanting it to go away again.
Every year schools will have open days and evenings to invite prospective parents and children to have a look around the school and have any questions they may have answered. If you’re anything like me then you will have already looked at the school’s websites before visiting.
We have two immediate choices of middle schools for Miss A. One is the feeder school from her first school and is right next door to where she goes to school currently, and the other is a few miles away in a different village. I have heard good things about both schools so I wanted to look around both before making my decision. Plus I went to the school furthest away when I was a child, so I was eager to see how it may have changed.
- Will you need transport to get to school? Our feeder school is five minutes away by car and the other school is around fifteen minutes away by car or a bus journey ride which I will have to pay for. The bus trip puts me off at the moment because the roads are narrow and I am not comfortable putting my nine year old daughter on a bus in the winter on icy roads.
- The atmosphere of a school is important to me. Both have really nice feels to them, and I couldn’t really pick a favourite between the two here. The smallest thing I could choose to set the two apart is the feeder school is a newer building so it looks a bit nicer, but I won’t be choosing a school on what it looks like.
- After School Care
- Miss A goes to an after school club at the moment in her first school. She could still stand this is she goes to the feeder school. This is a big factor for me at the moment as she’s not old enough to walk home from school alone and I want to make sure she’s looked after. I would need to meek different provisions if she goes to the school further away.
- I like to see the teachers in action to get a feel for how they will be with the children in the school, and also with my child. In both schools I saw teaching staff that both impressed me, and left me with questions. I can’t pick a clear difference in teaching staff and I think that where ever I go, I would never find a set of staff that I wouldn’t find questions with.
- I am going against the grain here, but an Ofsted rating isn’t the deciding factor for me. I do like to read the reports but I don’t feel a report written from a one day inspection is a true reflection of a school.
- Extra Curricular Activities
- Both school have a great set of extra curricular activities, and for me this is important as not every child knows yet whether they are sporty, arty, musical etc, so to be able to try lots of different activities is a great idea.
- Miss A’s Opinion
- Miss A’s opinion means a lot to me when choosing a new school. I want her to be happy where she goes and as long as she is understanding my reasons when we discuss the above points I have made, then I am happy to take her advice when choosing a new school. Neither Miss A nor myself can find a clear winner in our choices which means we will be selecting the feeder school for many logistical reasons I have laid out above.
Are you choosing a new school this year? What factors are you considering? Good luck in your search.