Deciding on a child’s school can be one of the hardest decisions a parent faces. You want to make sure that it’s a place that’s perfect for them and that they will settle in well and be happy there – after all, they spend a lot of their time there. you may be choosing their first ever school if your child is in nursery, you may even be considering changing their school all together especially if you move house or if your child is unhappy and you have exhausted every avenue to make them happy there.
Things to consider when moving schools include:
Distance to the school from your home – If you live in a rural area or don’t drive it’s important to make sure that you choose a school that is close by. When we were small we lived in a small coastal village, our nearest primary school was only a mile away and our local secondary school was 4 miles away so they were pretty easy to get to but we had to depend on school buses to get there on time. We have considered moving back to the same village with our boys but the one thing that is putting me off is that there’s no longer a school bus and I can’t drive so getting the two smaller boys to school would be a nightmare. It would be ok for my eldest as there would be a bus to the high school of our choice.
Ofsted reports – If you are lucky to have more than one school within your catchment area take a close look at their most recent Ofsted report to see how they match up. In our local area, we have 4 primary schools and 3 high schools. They are all within our catchment but all have been rated very differently in their reports. When we first moved here we wanted Callum to go to one school but they were full and their waiting list hadn’t moved in years as it was such a great school. We ended up in our third choice school but he settled in really well and when we were offered a place at our second choice we decided to stay put as we didn’t want to upset him again after we had already moved him from his first school when we moved home.
Outdoor space – This may sound like an odd thing to take into consideration when deciding on your child’s school but recent studies have shown that giving children a play area that has outdoor play equipment can help keep them fit and healthy. Having an area where they can let off steam will also help them to concentrate in their lessons as they are able to relax and free their minds when on their break so that they come back inside with a clear and open mind and be ready to get back to work in the classroom. When I was small we used to have hopscotch and a number snake printed on the ground – they were the bee’s knees when we were 5 but not so much when we were older. The boys have a wooden climbing frame and an enclosure where they can play football (they call it the mugger at school), each year group has a set day in which they can use the equipment so that everyone gets a fair turn.
The size of the school – Another thing to consider if you have the choice of more than one school is how many children there are. In the boy’s school, they have two classes per year with an average of 25 – 3o pupils per class. Whereas in their cousin’s school there are so few pupils that two school years are taught together.
Secondary schools nearby – If you have your heart set on a particular secondary school you may decide to send your child to a primary school that feeds into it easily. Our local high school is just over the road from our house and many of the primary children feed into it from all the local primary schools. We have 3 local high schools so there is plenty of choice here as all the local primary schools feed into them and it is a pretty easy process, however, I know this isn’t the case for many and applying for places and confirmation of a school place can be a worrying time for many parents.
What things would you consider when choosing your child’s school?
*This is a collaborative post – all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own*