Eeek! With just over a week to go before we find out our children’s places….
Choosing a child’s secondary school is difficult, there’s good and bad in every school and so much depends on the child’s character themselves.
Our son is a bright lad and could’ve taken an entrance exam to a higher academic school, however, HE chose not to and he didn’t want to travel the distance either, we were not going to force this. Many friends and family questioned why we didn’t ‘make him just try’. Our priority as parents is to ensure our children’s happiness, if we are enforcing such big decisions at this age, making them take exams or go to church (whatever they need to get into these schools) etc, will they end up resenting US for it if they struggle? or if they’re bullied? as I said there is good and bad in every school whatever their academic status, exam results or OFSTED, and their resentment consequently could result in negative behaviours, communication and relationship breakdowns.
First and foremost children need to be happy, and parents need to guide and advise them, no pressure needed.
I cannot emphasis enough the importance of visiting all potential schools, even if you’re not interested in one, which you may be allocated because it’s your nearest, the feel of a school is more powerful than any rumours that surround it! Visit it anyway!
Don’t just visit on their open evenings when staff and students are ready for you, but during the school day too, phone up and book an appointment, then you can not just see it in action, but feel it too!
Ensure your child visits the school with you, it’s no good them sitting at home, it’s them that’s got to feel it, it’s them that’s got to be there for the rest of their education. They need to be happy with the school. Them not visiting the school, could cause greater anxieties later on. Preparation and discussion are the key!
The only 2 pieces of advice I gave my son when we were looking round were:
1- Don’t just choose a school because your friends are going there. (you can always keep in touch with them)
2- Really get a feeling from the school & visualise yourself being there.
I was so proud of how my son embraced the visits, his own little pros and cons, what he liked and what he didn’t like. He read through the perspectus’ and initiated many conversations and questions with the teachers even the head teacher, despite his nerves, he came across confident.
He was 100% involved in this decision making, of course he’s still nervous for next week (finding out) and most definitely for September! But I’m confident that his decision making will provide him with greater self esteem, particularly in those early days!!
This, gets me to my initial reason for writing this blog. School uniform and the expense! Most local uniform is generic, black trousers, white shirts etc. So, since changing my job, financially things are different, I’m having to think more about the pennies and I was looking at ways to spread the cost.
As the basics are generic I compared prices of our local shops and was quite suprised at the findings….
Next is almost double the cost!!! Why?? If you know please tell me, because personally I wouldn’t have said the quality is any better???
The costs are based on age 12-13yrs. Most of TU was out of stock and Tesco-couldn’t find an on-line range.
Anyway, I thought I’d share, it may be useful to you or maybe you have other tips of ways to spread the cost. Please share!
Good luck to fellow parents in this waiting game, I sincerely hope you get your child’s desired school.
And remember, happiness and self-esteem go hand in hand. Our children’s happiness is what counts!