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spartan_mum

Which schoo - large or smalll?

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spartan_mum

It’s my DS’s first next year and we are in the process of deciding which school to send him. We have decided on a catholic school however we are in the middle of two schools location wise so although we are zoned for one I don’t think we would have an issue getting into either as enrolments don’t exceed capacity.

 

1st school is a big K-12 school in a growing regional area. It’s relatively new (early 2000’s) kindy class is about 90.

 

2nd school is a small primary school with only 300 kids in total. This years kindy is only 34 kids with two classes of 17. It’s been around since the early 1900’s and has a much more of a small community feel to it.

 

Which would you choose? We are having such a hard time deciding. Can anyone provide some pros and cons for both types of schools?

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MrsLexiK

We have opted for the 294 cap school against the hoping to increase the 850 students school. (Both are prep-yr 6)

 

We start next yr as well but for our child his very quiet and can be shy. One of the main reasons wasn’t so much the amount of kids but the amount of teachers and support staff. My kid generally does ok with unknown kids but unknown adults is a nightmare.

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amdirel

Pros and cons- in the small school everyone will know everyone, the teachers can build up great relationships with all the kids. But not many friendships to choose from, and if there's someone they don't get along with, they're always there. Big school, they may feel a bit intimidated by the size, depending on personality. But there's so many kids to choose friendships with, more likely to find someone they suit perfectly, and are able to avoid people easier if they want to.

 

I have older kids now and I shudder to think of my kids being stuck with only a small group of peers. They've used all opportunities of changing friends to suit, making new friends, losing old friends... it's been easy in a big school.

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Romeo Void

There are pro's and cons. A friend of mine has recently moved her DD from a small school as the friendship groups were so small that it made her left of centre DD an outcast. My friend chose the small school for similar reasons to you. She's now at a huge school and thriving.

What I would say is, you know your child best so you're the best person to make the guess. *But* don't be afraid to change if it doesn't feel like it's working out, particularly in those first couple of years.

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FearsomeFeralFreak

A few of my friends chose smaller schools for the idea of them being more community minded, more focus on individual students etc but they all pulled their kids out as they found that wasn't really the case and there were issues with the kids finding people they clicked with. A couple had bullying incidents as well and with small schools there is just no where and no one to escape to.

 

They also found because it was so small everyone knew everyone else's business.

 

So for me, I'd be choosing the bigger school.

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smilinggirl

I chose a small school of less than 300 for my daughter who started this year. Class sizes of about 18 with two classes at each level.

 

Lots of joint teaching across both classes. Plenty of children to play with. Very much a sense of community and family. The principal knows every childs name and he runs the Kiss and Go line every morning and afternoon.

 

I am very happy with the smaller school as the teacher has more time to spend with every student which may not happen at the other school we looked at which had 5 FYOS classes.

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Holly298

I also chose the small school (300 kids) DS had 17kids in kindy , 19 in year 1 and now 15 in year 2 - he’s got a great group of 4 best friends but is friends with all the boys as they have all been in the same class together so far whereas my nephew is not doing well in his catholic school - 4 classes x 30 in kindy and 4 x 32 in 1st and second class and as they keep swaping the kids around into different classes each year he’s not made any close friends and he’s just overwhelmed - all our teachers know every child, most of the parents know each other, high school is obviously going to be bigger but for us I think when they are young a smaller school helps build their confidence

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ekbaby

I love a small school, 300 to me is medium size not small. Our kids school is 120 or so and I love the size. It’s our local school too which helps as all the kids friends are nearby.

I haven’t found any downsides to a small school.

My kids are in composite classes (same stage though) but I think this is good as they are mixed ability within year groups anyway

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spartan_mum

Thank you everyone for your responses. It has helped, some people have pointed out things I hadn’t thought before to consider.

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BBC

Small for the early years of school at least. Then see how things are going around year 3 and 4. If they are happy there, small schools provide great opportunities for leadership and community. The older children will know all the teachers, and everyone will know them.

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Prancer is coming

What is your kid like? If you think they are quirky, may have additional needs or have any characteristics that may mean they have difficulty making friends, I would go to a bigger school.

 

Prior to my kids starting school I would have thought a little school was best, but now I am all for a big one.

 

I don’t think 300 is small though. Ours is around 400 and there are 2 streams of each class. If there is a bit above or a bit less, the do composites rather than having smaller classes. Bigger schools generally have more funding and specialist classes. If there is 30 kids with autism or whatever in the school compared to 1 or 2, there is going to be more professional learning done on it, more specific programs. If your kid is having issues with other students, you can request them to be in a different class, where with a small school it is the same kids every year. The bigger school means a bigger pool of students, and your child may be more likely to find their people.

 

There are less than 20 girls in my child’s grade and I am totally hanging out for her to start high school next year (as is she) as a wider range of friends is definately needed.

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Let-it-go

To me I wouldn’t choose a School based upon small or big. There are some amazing big schools but there are some not so good ones. Likewise with small ones.

 

I would be choosing based upon reputation, talk with friends, tour the schools, ask lots of questions, meet the Principal.

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just roses

We chose smallish, private school for primary. Mainly for pastoral care reasons. It’s a lovely school and has 700 kids P-12. . But we’re going large public school for high school for both kids. As they get older, it’s becoming clearer that you need more kids around to find friends you really click with. And better subject selection. Also, greater diversity in student cohort and teacher body (our school is very, very white, and the only ‘diversity’ comes from the large population of white South Africans - it bothers us increasingly as time goes on).

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marley*and*me

My DS started at a 3 stream catholic school, so bigger than your small, but small enoughish. Was a disaster.

 

Me moved him in yr 5 to a massive boys catholic high. Instant success. There were far more kids for him to make friends with which was our big issue at his other school, fewer boys and harder to find a friend. He had one friend in primary and it was a toxic relationship.

 

The bigger school also had more funds to provide more resources to support his issues.

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coastlife

We have gone from a school of 1000 to 300 as we relocated - both public. I and DD much prefer the smaller school for various reasons - less people - everyone gets to know everyone and there is less traffic around no rushing, the entire school and parents can gather in the school hall - it’s also got much larger grounds with a pool - all bonuses.

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