School form freak-out.
I’ve really surprised myself.
The whole choosing schools thing has totally thrown me. I’ve not been at all worried about where M might go next year, as luckily we’ve got the option of a few good primary schools. In fact, you might say I’ve been quite blasé about it. Too blasé, I think now.
My attitude so far: “He’s so little! As long as the school is decent and he’s happy, I can help with homework, surely?” And, “What is everyone getting their knickers in a twist for?” as friends are raking over the detail in the Ofsted reports and going back for second visits, or timing school runs.
But it’s suddenly come to form filling time. We’ve seen three schools – he’s already at the pre-school of one good one – and I’m suddenly agonising over what will be the right environment for him.
Things I’ve been mulling over:
- Small school/big school.
- Walking distance/a drive.
- Ofsted reports & recently turned around schools.
- Pre and after school clubs.
- What kind of families go there?
- That feeling you get when you look around.
We’re also on the border of a different County so the schools 10 minutes away are in a different system – they finish primary at a different age and do the Middle School thing, otherwise it’s infant/junior school then secondary… Blah blah blah I know. Too much information.
But the normal calm, ‘everything will work out’ me is feeling an undercurrent of panic at getting this decision right.
My gut is to go for the school he’s at the pre-school of – lots of brilliant, local Mums who I wave at and gossip with every day at the gates. He’s already making friends, some of whom will go onto Reception next year. It’s a sweet school, tried and tested because of this year at pre-school – in fact, his class already feels very much like part of the school.
But the wildcard has come in the form of a school we visited last week and hadn’t really heard of before, It’s in the most beautiful park setting – it’s less than half the size of school one, and feels incredibly close-knit and unique. The pupils play and learn outdoors a lot, the kids seemed very confident and well-mannered, there’s a focus on good morals, and prayers and hymns in assembly (like I remember at school).
Oh I don’t know. I think my gut feeling is right, but I feel I’ve really faltered at this suddenly huge adult decision. And started imagining my little M in different settings, with potentially mean kids, or tricky social situations without me there to guide him. Gulp. However hard the whole baby/toddler lark is, the parenting adventure just gets more complicated as they get older. Only in a different way…