Friday, 8 April 2016
School Admissions - My Experience 1 Year On.
This time last year was one of the most important times of our parenting lives. We found out what school Max was going to. Whilst the admissions process had been pain free, we were on edge as we hadn't put our catchment school as our first choice.
Max had grown up in nursery and preschool with his best friend and we wanted them to be together, so we applied for his catchment school. One road separates us and the catchment area, so we thought we had a chance.
Unfortunately when the day came and we opened the email telling us where he was to go, it wasn't the choice we wanted. It was the biggest school in the area, the one where there would be double the amount of kids in a year than the school we wanted him to go to.
We called up our first choice and asked what the chances of getting him in were. When they said slim to none I knew there was not much hope. Finding that siblings and catchment kids didn't even get spots made me focus on the positives of the school that we were given.
We headed to a welcome evening and met the teachers and the classrooms. Everything seemed really nice, they were expanding parts of the school and there was lots going on. We could walk to the school and still have the chance to meet up with our friends after school.
Once Max started I was worried I wouldn't make any mum friends. Fortunately Max did that for me, on the first day he met a handful of kids and to this day they are his gang, his best mates and the mums are amazing. Breathing a sigh of relief, I can honestly say these mums are friends for life. They are always there for a coffee and a natter, a trip to the park and a much needed night out.
After nearly a full year at his school I can safely say we made the best choice. Max is thriving, he's made friends and learnt so many new things. He's in a place where he loves and I can honestly say I love the school and Max has so much one on one time with the staff, despite the fact it's the biggest in the area.
To all the parents awaiting their school I just want to let you know, if you don't get your first choice then don't worry. Take a deep breath and weigh up your options. The school further down on your list might just be the right one for you. You never know until you give it a try. At the end of the day you know what's best for your child. But you won't know what a school is like until you are there.