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Hi,


I just wanted to gather your opinions on something.


Had a call from our priest yesterday, Jack is definitely getting a place offered at his second choice school. As far as Monsignor is aware thats where Jack will be going as we're a pair of wimps and haven't really indicated otherwise.


They're both Catholic schools, the one attached to our church has class sizes of 18 and from what I gather is mixed classes so the infants are altogether and the juniors are altogether, which is really good as its like Montessori which Jack is used too. The other school is top of all the league tables, its actually top in the whole county for its CVA and 3rd in the county for its aggregate score. But saying that, the other school boycotted the exams last year so you can't see how they compare.


Part of me really likes the idea of the small class sizes and the fact that the emphasis won't be on the SAT's and other external exams they have to do. But on the other hand the other school is one of the best in the county.


If you had to choose between class sizes and the emphasis of not pushing the kids to external exams, to a school which looks really good on paper. Which one would you go for?


xxx
 

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The idea of class sizes would be gut instinct but then if they are having a wide age range, therefore probably a wide ability level in that class I'd be wanting to know I think how they meet the needs of them all
 

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Have you actually visited both schools? If not, I would arrange a visit to each before you make the decision. We'd already decided on applying to the school with the better reputation but a visit confirmed that the school felt much more welcoming and child-friendly. I'm not that keen on mixed age classes for the reasons that C questions so I'd probably decide not to go for that school.
 

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As a teacher I would go for the smaller class sizes.    League tables are all very well but statistics can be very misleading and don't tell you much about the ethos of the school.  I'm in Scotland where there are limits on the size of class you can have with mixed ages (25 for 2 year groups and 19 for 3 or more).  I've taught mixed aged classes and there are lots of advantages to this, socially and educationally.  You can have a wide range of ability in a class with children all the same age too.


Definitely try and visit both schools and get a feel for where you think you and your child will be most comfortable.
 
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