That time has come and I can’t quite believe it. We are looking at schools for Pinky. She will start in September 2017. How is our biggest baby about to start her school career? Where has that time gone?
We are extremely lucky where we live as a vast majority of schools around us are excellent schools. We also have a lot of schools to choose from. Or so we thought. Our little part of the country is full of younger families therefore all of the schools are over subscribed. This isn’t actually a shock to us; the shock was more how the system works.
We get to pick four choices. Four!
‘Wonderful’ I hear you say, ‘What are you worried about?’ Well, hopefully I am worried about nothing, but here is our predicament…. One admissions officer has told us if we don’t put one of our local schools as our first choice we simply won’t get in. All of the schools are so over subscribed that they only take pupils who have put them as their first choice because there are so many of them. This means if we don’t get a place in our first choice we could end up anywhere! Another admissions officer of a different school has said that isn’t necessarily the case as schools simply get given a list of applicants.
When I first started looking into which schools to put down 3 were easy but the fourth choice was a little harder. I had to look further afield so there was a lot to chose from. I looked at the website for one of the possibilities and it stated that it is so oversubscribed it admits children according to distance from the school. Last years catchment was 500m wide! That’s not a catchment!
Initially I went to see all of the schools by myself but I have had to ask Hubby to visit them all subsequently because I was buckling with the decision. I have my top 2 schools in mind but they are so incomparable I need a second opinion. A pro for one isn’t always a con for the other.
First up; the school Hubby went to as a child.
- It is a very small school, only one class of 30 children per year.
- Of these 30 siblings get priority so we don’t know how many spaces there are available.
- It is a Primary school so Pinky (and hopefully Perky) will be there until they go to Secondary school.
- It feeds in to the best Secondary school in the area (apparently).
- It is a high achieving school and its small size doesn’t seem to stop the students from thriving and succeeding in county sports games.
- The children were all well behaved and polite. All seemed to be happy and confident.
I think Pinky would do well here. The smaller school wouldn’t suit all children but I think it would be fine for her. She would flourish in a smaller environment.
Second choice (currently):
- This school has 3 classes in each year group, total 90 children each year which means there are more places available even after the siblings have taken priority.
- It is an Infant school so we would have to apply for the Junior school in a couple of years.
- The Infant school is fantastic (better than the first choice) but the Junior school is very average… I feel this evens things out a little.
- The children were very happy and bouncy.
- There is a preschool nursery onsite.
- There are breakfast and after school clubs on all days. We don’t actually need these at the moment but what if we did one day?
So there is a little insight into my predicament. To make it worse we live smack bang in the middle of both of them. There is absolutely nothing in it! As far as suitability for Pinky herself I think she will be fine in both schools, I don’t think we can make a wrong choice. But if we make the decision to put a school as our first choice and she doesn’t get in I think we will always wonder ‘What if we had chosen the other one?’