Bunny is now in Year 6 at school, which means that the time has come to choose a secondary school. Bunny’s first choice of school, is a Grammar school, where two of her friends go. However, we were told to go online on July 1st to book her in for the Grammar test, only to find that the registration had already closed. We had been given the wrong information and the registration was actually on June the 1st, not July. Bunny was gutted and I felt like an absolute failure as a mother. I had fallen at the first hurdle of her impending adolescence and there was nothing I could do about it.
The LEA told me that I can apply for the late test next March, but by then allocations will have gone out, so her chances of getting a space will be slim to none. So it’s back to the drawing board and choosing a public school where Bunny will thrive.
My first choice of school to look around, was the one where most of her friends are planning to go (and in general, the majority of the children from her school go). When I went to secondary school, I went to a school where only two of my friends were going. I ended up being left out, feeling isolated, getting bullied and generally having a horrible experience of high school. I don’t want this to happen to Bunny, so I think some importance should be placed on her having friends at secondary school.
I went on the open day, listened to the headteacher’s talk and then went on a tour around the school. I figured it was important to consider what Bunny needs and wants from a school, so I had to silence the part of myself which was inwardly criticising the archaic science block. Even though I really think they need to knock it down and build a new one. Bunny had absolutely no interest in science. She loves English, sport and above all, art and design. So it doesn’t matter if the science block looks like it got stuck in the sixties. What mattered was the art and design options on offer.
I asked lots of questions. I wanted to see the design rooms, hear what design courses were on offer and how many of them she was allowed to choose for GCSE’s. Back in my school days, we were only allowed to do one design subject, but nowadays, at this particular school, they said she could take up to four design GCSE’s. Bunny wants to be a fashion designer, so art, textiles, photography and a number of other design subjects all being open to her, is great.
Bunny also loves sport, she is a keen gymnast, who has been training for six years now. She also loves cross country running and has been competing locally for her primary school. To hear about the secondary schools links with external sporting associations, their gymnastic and cross country programmes and see their sports facilities were also strong areas of interest for me.
I picked Bunny up from primary school and took her for a tour around the school too. She saw some of her friends from the year above and found the whole experience hugely exciting. It’s made me wonder whether we even bother with the Grammar test. She seemed so keen to go to this secondary school.
I plan to look around some of the other local secondary schools, so that I have comparisons, but I think deep down I just know, that the school we looked around first is the school for Bunny. Their sports facilities and design facilities and programmes were fantastic. She has friends there. She’s excited. It’s not too far away. The teachers seemed friendly. The pupils seemed happy. There seemed to be a lot of pupil led choices and exciting extra curricular activities and opportunities. I think my little girl (okay… maybe not-so-little anymore) would be happy there and to me, that’s the most important thing of all.
I hope you manage to find somewhere that you are happy with. How awful that you were given the wrong information. Best of luck with it all. #honeybeelinky
Sarah MumofThree World says
That’s great, it sounds like you’ve found the perfect place for her already! Definitely important to look round a few more too, even if it’s just to reject them and know that your first choice was right (but also important as you need 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices on the form!).
On the subject of grammar schools, one of my daughter’s friends did the late test and is at grammar school with her. Another friend got allocated a place very late, so it can happen! At grammar school most people are there without their old friends, so they all make new ones. It’s a very different situation from the one you were in.
Good luck with it all! x
Sarah MumofThree World recently posted..My son, the summer and cricket
Karen, the next best thing to mummy says
Choosing a secondary school for my children was easy, they attended the same one that I went to, primary school was a problem for my youngest as we had moved from the catchment area my older children had attended so we had to find an alternative, we sent him to a lovely village school eventually which worked out great and he then went on to the same secondary as his brothers had been to#brillblogs@_karendennis
Angela Milnes says
This is an interesting post. My child isYear 5 and we are starting to look at what high school to send her. Your post was food for thought #BrilliantBlogpost
Good luck with finding somewhere! It’s amazing how you have to plan so far ahead but then you realise that time goes very fast, especially the school year. Am dreading when mine start school at all, let alone secondary! Thank you so much for joining in with the #HoneybeeLinky lovely, see you at the next one I hope! xxx