School form freak-out.

Sat 3 Dec 16 | Mummy Stuff | 12 comments

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M filling out his own form – this one’s the most important in his opinion of course.

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.
  • Faith/non-faith.
  • Ofsted reports & recently turned around schools.
  • Pre and after school clubs.
  • Reputation.
  • 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…

Any advice?

Kimberly x

My Petit Canard

12 Comments

  1. Sunita

    Oh I’m with you Kimberly!!! Too much to think about. End of Jan will be here before we know it. And why is every school completely different so it makes choosing even harder?
    Think distance is a big factor and if it’s just a junior school (at some point that means two school drop offs!).
    At least we can go through this together eh for mutual support. Speak soon lovely xxx Sunita

    Reply
    • kimberly

      Thanks Sunita! The local element is really important to us… Let’s see! Complicated! X

      Reply
  2. Memeandharri

    Oh lovely this was us a couple of years ago with my eldest. I had the same attitude as you – as long as it is ok and she is happy. Then it was time to fill in the form and I went a little crazy. Such an important decision! Good luck! #marvmondays

    Reply
    • kimberly

      Thanks! Not just me then!

      Reply
  3. Mrs Lighty

    No advice I’m afraid as Baby Lighty is only 18 months, but I’m already dreading this. We’ve got the opposite conundrum in that there’s only really one good school within our catchment area, and when my friend visited recently for her daughter’s application, she didn’t really get the right feeling. I think you’re right though, everything does normally work out for the best. Good luck and thanks for joining #DreamTeam! 🙂

    Reply
    • kimberly

      Ugh. At least we have good options. Things change year on year though so fingers crossed you’ll be OK! X

      Reply
  4. Emma Island Living 365

    Eeeks. Proper adult stuff this! I think you have to go with your gut. At the end of the day I would be tempted to keep him where he is at pre-school. If he is already settled and has made friends then that should make the transition easier and why cause upheaval when it isn’t needed. However, I can see why you feel so torn. Good luck making your decision! #Dreamteam

    Reply
    • kimberly

      Thanks Emma… That is indeed what I’m thinking. Just can’t believe I’m here already!! X

      Reply
  5. thetaleofmummyhood

    This is something I’m not looking forward to, there is so much to consider and at the end of the day we really want to get it right!

    #DreamTeam

    Reply
  6. My Petit Canard

    I have a similar dilemma on my hands at the moment and so far I’ve had a very similar attitude to you. I have been putting it off thinking we have ages to get this sorted but actually, I probably need to start making some decisions and filling out forms in the week week or two, eek! I always say go with your gut, in my experience its usually right 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Emily

    Reply
  7. Jo - Mother of Teenagers

    I think the gut feel is an important one, it is like when you buy a house and you just know it is the one! When we looked at schools for both our now teens we just knew when we walked in which was right but the biggest sign was from our children’s interaction – that says a lot. Good luck. #MarvMondays

    Reply

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Who is Media Mummy?

I'm Kimberly, a London/Surrey based juggler of many balls including a TV career, motherhood & this here blog. I seem to write about everything from stain remover to Ed Sheeran’s drinking habits and I have got very good at tuning out Paw Patrol or smelly armpits on the commute to do it.

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