little steps forward

the smug school
the super school
the ‘my friends like this’ school
the glowing reports school

Girl1 having done the tests in November, we now have to visit any number of schools to find a good match for her. Of course, the results of the tests will determine what the options actually are, but in the meantime we get to trek round south and east Belfast, nibbling in Home Economics classrooms, and being grossed out, or otherwise entertained, in science labs.

It’s interesting how the schools choose to sell themselves, what they tell us about themselves in word, deed and attitude. What opportunities will Girl1 have? How will she be supported? What kind of young woman will she grow into?

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed so far; so much information, so many options. Late nights (I’m still not in pyjamas by 9.30!), lots of standing, hoards of people. Chatty children, uniform options, Girl2 being swayed by the food choices.

There are weeks of this ahead. By the end of January, I fear all the schools may have merged into one in my mind. I won’t lose interest, but I may lose the ability to differentiate between chemistry labs.

All that money spent on glossy prospectuses won’t have been wasted at all.


6 thoughts on “little steps forward

  1. Great hearing a parent’s response to these strange evenings. I’d love to hear more about ‘how schools choose to sell themselves.’ Are there obvious differences? We’ve just had our Open Night and I feel a post brewing…

    1. Debbie, only 2 done so far and the differences in approach were incredible. I’d expected they’d be much of a muchness, but far from it. One school sold itself and its experience; the other sold how it supports the children.

      I may come back to this when we’ve more experience and I figure out how to tell it without naming!

      1. Of course, they’re selling what they think you want to see, which could either be a strength, or an attempt to address an accepted shortcoming – and may or may not be relevant to day-to-day schooling.

        There’s perhaps something to be said for schools that don’t care whether they get your custom or not.

        No need to thank me for this wonderful help

  2. ‘custom’? Surely you mean ‘family’? 🙂

    Unless, of course, you’ve read the bumph where they require capital fees of £150 or so and then ‘voluntary contributions’ of up to £500 … Then they say that those on free school meals will get priority, without referencing whether the fees still apply in those cases.

    I’m not good with too much choice in any case, so I’m not sure whether having reasonable access to loads of schools is a good thing!

  3. Aw, all the best- this time last year we were going through selection with Maddie and it was jolly hard work. Hopw you find the school which sets your heart beating (in a good way)!

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