Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
16/06/2014 at 13:03
Happy Monday ladies, hope the weekend was a good 'un!
Choosing a school or nursery... please chip in with any questions, hints, tips etc, these might cover...
Where did/do you start?
Who did/do you speak to?
Is OFSTED info useful?
What factors to consider?
What means a lot to you in choosing where your child will go?
16/06/2014 at 13:24
For primary school there was 2 schools locally we wanted, one literally over the road and one at the bottom of the hill, we went round both. The one over the road had a good ofsted and the one at the bottom of the hill had outstanding. I HATED the outstanding one, the head showed us round (which I liked) but he referred to us and other parents as clients, it was all very business like. I felt everything was very showy and I just wanted to see the day to day running of the school and what my children would learn, I wasn't interested in awards they had won etc. the school he goes to had a playgroup every Monday and I LOVED that the head teacher would come in and just chat to us mums (children were not at school it was a separate mums and tots group), so she'd just have a brew sometimes and I remember she chatted to me for a while about some Xmas presents I'd bought, I noticed that she is out in the playground every morning when school starts and is happy when parents approach her.
I liked that the foundation stage was open access between nursery and reception and I like how the school has 'family groups' and work on projects with other year groups,
We were keen for breakfast and after school club but it wasn't essential
Pre school wise when he got his free hours L went to school nursery, prior to this it was the local Pre school, out door space was important as I wanted them out and a good staff:child ratio. Isaac goes there now and I like the fact they make their own snacks/its small groups too and I like that we are kept well informed of everything
16/06/2014 at 13:26
O and re primary, on the school we chose an admin worker showed us around which was fine. A lot if schools have the children show you round which I wouldn't be keen on. Strangely my one big question was 'what happens at lunch time' and I worried so much about would people open his yoghurt/would someone make sure he'd eaten enough etc but they explained their system so I was happy. At the new parent evenings the teachers and TAs were all there and there were year 6 children but they weren't showing people round they were just helping out with drinks etc
16/06/2014 at 20:02
Hi, I haven't been on the parent side if this but as someone who had worked with children I get asked this question quite a lot. Nursery/preschool wise I would say read Ofsted reports, have a look around and even turn up without appointment then you know staff haven't been pre warned that parents are coming to look round (nursery's aren't supposed to turn parents away if they turn up). Also take you child and see what they think to it you know your child best and will be able to tell how this situation makes them feel, we had a new parent looking round last week and within a few minutes her daughter was off playing and didn't want to leave, the mum said she had only done that in 2 our of the 5 places she has looked at. With pre schools you also need to take into consideration the feeder primary school as you child will have a greater chance of getting in there having previously been in their pre-school. Primary schools are harder as its not always a matter of choosing the school you like best. If you don't live within the catchment of the school you have chosen you wont automatically get a place I don't know how it works in other areas of the country but in my county and surrounding there is a priority list it tends to go,
-living in catchment
-living out of catchment but with siblings at the school already
- then it tends to go ling out of catchment by distance i.e the further from school you live the further down the waiting list you go.
I know that in many areas its getting more and more difficult getting into schools as there are too many houses and not enough schools. there is a big problems where I live and I have 2 friends who are facing a 2 school drop off as their 2nd children hasn't got into the school of their siblings.
Hope that is of some help.
16/06/2014 at 20:10
I thought pre schools weren't feeders for primary schools?? Certainly not in this area they aren't
The criteria to get in to our local schools are : looked after child/children with medical or social need, siblings, distance. Our primary has a Pre school but just because you go to the Pre school doesn't mean there's a higher chance ul get into the primary school
16/06/2014 at 20:58
W The Red Fraggle S, no link between preschools and primary school admission here.
Top tips would be to fill all the spaces on your primary application, nothing to be gained by only listing one or two schools. Also make sure that at least one of the schools you,list is one you have a realistic chance of getting into. A story was in our local paper recently about a parent who applied for the school their son went to preschool at which they were well out of catchment for, didn't list any other schools and not only didn't get into the one they listed but as they hadn't listed any others they were given our local school which is 7 miles away from where they live.
Ofsted is a useful tool but gut instinct is the biggest decider for me, be it for nursery, preschool or school. Don't listen to gossip but get opinions from people who actually go there and then visit and make your own judgement.
16/06/2014 at 21:43
With choosing a nursery when Isobelle was small I wanted somewhere that understood BLW & would follow it (I was really surprised how few settings had heard of it & after nodding their head at me would talk about purees! I looked into both nurseries & childminders & really thought I'd go for a childminder but in the end I preferred the nursery setting with the amount of equipment & space they had, I also wasn't keen on my daughter going in the car to do school runs, but that was just 1 person.
As for preschool setting at the local school (a new one with a great reputation) I'm going to look round 1 for her this week but she won't get a place until the term after she turns 4 so she'll only get 1 term there which is a shame I'm going to ask about the school whilst I'm there to find out if being there helps with her chances of getting into the school otherwise I might not bother & loo for somewhere that she can start after Christmas as her current nursery is close to where I work rather than where we live.
16/06/2014 at 22:05
In our area the attached pre school isn't a guarantee of primary place either....so I'd personally say don't let school sway your pre school choices.
I've been a stay at home mum on the whole (I started working 12 hours per week last August but H is home then) so we haven't used nursery or childminders to date. We have however decided to start O at preschool in September when he'll be pretty much 2.5 as we think it's important for him to have interaction with children his own age, and also with different adults...not just us all the time. We looked what was available in our local area (we'd just moved), asked on a local fb group for recommendations/opinions and read up on ofsted visits etc.
We took O with us to visit our preferred choice last week as it was important to us to see how he'd take it. He loved it, we were happy with the relaxed feel to it (allowing kids to be kids whilst having learning through play). We also liked the staff:child ratios, free flow snack system, outdoor space and the fact they do regular excursions. O was off the second we were through the door and didn't look back...that's all I needed to know!! ;-)
Some people may need to bear in mind whether places will take childcare vouchers, and also their child's date if birth as to when they receive funded hours at preschool/nursery. We will have to pay for O's first year at preschool as he was born at the beginning of April, and the cut off for summer term to be funded is 31st March!! We don't mind though as it's important to us he gets this time out xx
24/06/2014 at 08:29
Has anyone got any experience getting a place at a primary school not in their catchment? I did it a long time ago but perhaps things have changed.
Continues below ad
Nice to see you! Please do nose around, sign up and join in.