If It Aint Broke…

Happy at school

Happy at school

We had my daughter’s parents evening this week, just to add some extra fuel to the fire of my schools dilemma. Oh my goodness.

We knew she was doing well, that she has considerably more merits than the other children, and that she enjoys reading and numbers. What we didn’t realise is how well she’s doing in every area, including social. I took the fact that she doesn’t have a close friend, and is clingy at drop off, to mean she hung out with the teacher all day. Apparently she did in the beginning but now she’s off playing with this group and that.

It’s hard not to come to the conclusion if it aint broke don’t fix it. We have the same issue on a wider scale (with a similar division of opinion between me and hubbie) with regards to the local schools generally. Our local council currently operate a 3-tier system, with kids going to primary school ages 4-8 years, middle school aged 9-12 and upper school from 13 to 18 years old.

I went through the same system, albeit a different primary and middle school to the ones my daughter will attend, and I like the system. I like that those tricky pre-teen years are experienced separated from the young children and the almost-adults. But there is no doubt some of my school concerns involve not wanting to send my daughter to the upper school I went to. There is also some difficulty, if we do decide to go private, at moving her at 11 when she’ll be half way through a school rather than at a natural transition point.

When news of the consultation came in, therefore, I was supportive. Then I started reading the anti-change literature and felt the arguments had merit. Hubbie went to the consultation meeting and he’s all for it. He thinks the academy status and cash injection will be brilliant, and moving to a bigger, newer building will only be beneficial for our primary-aged children. On the other hand, I see more congestion at two already-busy sites and terrible upheaval, particularly for our son who will start school in the year of the change.

Then today I watched a promotional video for the middle school and was blown away. The eloquence of the head of site and the headmistress (pilfered from our primary school to sort out a dodgy Ofsted rating), the passion and humour of the children, the lovely middle school building (which I’ve never been inside) were all much better than I could have anticipated for a school currently struggling to achieve a ‘good’ rating. It just shows the power of video (although in general I never watch them because I prefer to read stuff on the internet).

So now we have a division in the family: one for, one against a move to private, one for, one against a shift to a two-tier system. It’s all pretty good humoured, because most of it is out of our hands and the rest is irrelevant while our daughter continues to thrive in her current school. What does it matter if she doesn’t have access to a wider range of subjects, a posh new building or gourmet lunchtime food? She’s happy, she’s learning, she’s doing well. That’s good enough for now. And all the rest? Time will tell who is right. đŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “If It Aint Broke…

  1. We’re just going from three to two tier here. The middle school McMini would have gone to is excellent but by the time he gets to entry age it will no longer exist, so we’re two tier. The school he’s at will expand which is fine but there will be mixed age year groups – which I’m not so sure about, depends how they handle it. I know nothing about the local public school – we might get him in with a scholarship.

    Then again, I went two tier and I was absolutely fine, my secondary school had about 600 pupils though and we’re looking at 200 in each year group for McMini.

    In short, or actually quite long, I absolutely get your sentiments since that’s exactly the way we feel about McMini who is blissfully happy at school where he is but may have to move… at some point.

    Cheers

    MTM

    • I find it interesting that they seem to be eradicating the three tier system. I understand it’s easier to have everyone the same, but three-tier definitely suits a rural area with lots of small primary schools… But then I’m biased because I don’t want my baby girl on a bus with sixth formers!

      • That’s my exact worry too… not the bus but just the big kids… Then again three tier here is like going to secondary at 9, which is definitely before I’d have wanted to.

  2. Pingback: Medicate Me: Day Fifteen | writermummy

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