This morning we did our first school visit! Eek! I can’t believe it’s time to start doing school applications already, and my little girl will be starting next September. It’s seems an age away, but then these things always do and then BAM they’re right on top of you.
We visited our local school first, seeing as we’re in the catchment area for it. It seemed sensible to use it as a benchmark for any other schools we go to see. However, after the visit this morning I’m tempted not to both going to any other schools; this one was just brilliant!
The school used to be a secondary girls’ school, so had lots of space; loads of classrooms, a large dining hall, a separate gym, a stage, and MASSES of outdoor space which included a huge pirate ship climbing frame, a sports field, a kitchen garden, a sheltered play area, both grass and tarmac play spaces, outdoor classrooms and more. It just kept going on and on! We saw all the ages of children, from the smallest ones who were learning through play to the oldest ones who were quietly knuckling down to work.
The teachers all seemed pleasant and unphased by our visit. The headteacher was charming, and clearly approachable to the children who all wanted to show him their work as he took us round. The children all seemed happy and well-behaved, clearly very into their work and proud of their achievements. I can see M fitting in there wonderfully!
From what I can see, the only thing that might put off a parent is the size of the school; there aren’t a huge number of pupils, but the school itself is very large and has capacity for growth. In fact in 2017 there are going to be families coming back into the area from overseas after deployment with the army, at which point the school may end up expanding hugely. I don’t think this would phase our daughter though. She’ll fit in anywhere, I like to think!
I have now arranged to view the school nearest to where we work, which just so happens to be a nice little CofE school filled mostly from families outside the catchment area. Kind of opposite ends of the spectrum, but the school itself looks great from their prospectus so worth a look.
Next comes sorting out how on earth we manage to work around school hours. Blimey that’s a minefield!