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Major Primary School Dilemma for Jan 2011 start


prdarling

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OK, so after much hand wringing, tears and whatnot we eventually got a place at Goodrich. Son due to start in a couple of weeks, we have met the teacher who is wonderful, he has seen his classroom, met the teaching assistants, got his uniform and his two best friends from pre-school will be in his class. So far so fab.


Got a call at 4pm today offering us a place at Fairlawn, which is where i would have sent him from the get-go, had I had the luxury of choice. Would need to accept by Monday.


Very big dilemma. Have no idea of the starting procedure at Fairlawn, how much time doing half days etc etc, nor when he would start, nor who his teacher would be. Can't find any of this stuff out as school has now closed.


More than happy with Goodrich but really wanted Fairlawn all along. Both logistically the same so even that can't be a deciding factor.


he would choose Goodrich for all of the obvious reasons and the last thing I want is for him to start school with trepidation, but I feel bonkers rejecting a place that I would have sold my granny for this time 3 months ago


Clearly parents at both will big up their school so i am not looking for which school is best, just venting I suppose.


Let this be a lesson to all of you parents applying for Sept 2011. Be careful what you wish for :)

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Stay with Goodrich.


You like it. Your son likes it. You like his teacher. He will start with two close friends from pre-school. So wow - a great start for him.


You liked Fairlawn before you got to know Goodrich - now things have changed. Go with what has been sent your way and let go of the stance you took before on the issue.

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Do you live a lot closer to Goodrich? Being able to walk to school is a huge advantage.


Our son is at Heber and we see Heber uniforms and children round and about all the time in the park, sweetshop, library etc, although since we moved a mile away, we do lose out on being right on the doorstep in terms of playdates, shared drop offs etc


I'm not sure that an be said for Fairlawn... though I know it is a very very good school.

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I would go for Fairlawn. It's what your heart is telling you so go with it and you'll never regret it.


He won't even remember looking round Goodrich once he's been at school for a little while. My daughter did two weeks at a school before we got offered our first choice. I moved her and she settled into the new school brilliantly. I'm really happy that she finally got into the school I love and the school that I had picked out as being the right one for her.

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Ouch that's difficult. That's a lot of pressure to make a decision for Monday. Goodrich is likely to be closed now until Jan so you could ring Fairlawn on Monday and accept and then give yourself some more time to think about it. You could also ask your starting questions when you call on Monday. It is a bit unfair to hold onto two places but both schools haven't really got any time to re-offer as they are now closed for the hols and this gives you a few weeks to decide.


But Fairlawn is outstanding. I know which I would choose. Just remember if you go for Fairlawn your son will be a bit confused for a day but it's not likely he will remember it after that as he hasn't even started.

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Fairlawn is closed too - it's Lewisham who offer the place so they won't be able to answer any of my questions. If I accept I will have to play it by ear from 4th Jan and I do feel that's quite stressful for my son, who has talked of nothing else but Miss Moss for weeks now.

If I accepted Fairlawn on Monday not sure if this would automatically take me off Goodrich - not sure how or if the systems are connected?


I loved Fairlawn but I also loved his Goodrich teacher and love lots of things about both schools


It feels so ridiculous having this dilemma after not having a school place of my choice at all back in May. Too much choice is not always a good thing :(


Think I'll have a Pinot Grigio and see if that helps :)

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I speak as a Goodrich parent who loves the school - but surely this is a no-brainer?


If Fairlawn was your first choice, then go for Fairlawn.


There will be another family for whom Goodrich was their first choice who will be made VERY happy by the space left by your son.

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This is a completely unscientific answer but I'm a big believer in fate and serendipity. Fairlawn fell into your lap at the eleventh hour. It was the one you had an instant heartfelt reaction for. Children adapt to change REALLY quickly and a couple of weeks in he'll have new friends/adventures etc and won't remember Goodrich.


Good luck with it - I'd be interested to see how you get on as we've chosen these two as first and second for next year.


xx

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It just doesn't feel like a no-brainer. I am worried about my son being really anxious about something which up to now has been the most exciting thing that has ever happened to him.


I'm sure he'll love wherever he goes but I'm just a bit concerned that he'll be stressed about Fairlawn, never having been inside/not knowing any other kids/not knowing his teachers name or anything else. Maybe I'm being over anxious...just wish this had all happened a week ago so I could have got him in there for half an hour so I could have sensed gut reaction from both from him as well.


Got the call 4pm on Friday the last day of term...you couldn't make it up :) God I don't want to complain, I have the choice between two lovely schools, but I'm nervous about getting it wrong for my son.


Ryedalema hope things are more straightforward for you next year!

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When I moved my daughter to a different school (bearing in mind she had settled brilliantly and even won a star of the week certificate in her second week so i did feel major guilt about uprooting her!) I just reminded her of the school it was as she'd looked round it with me, and i said that we felt it was the very best school for her and that she would be very very happy there. She didn't know who her teacher would be or know anyone in her class but she didn't make a fuss and she settled straight in there without a problem. Kids are much more adaptable than we give them credit for.
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As an outsider it seems very simple. In your heart you prefer Fairlawn. The only thing holding you back are your fears for your son settling in/not knowing the teacher/the kids. But after day 1 at Fairlawn, he will know all these things. And he'll be at the school for a very long time so you might as well plump for the school you really want.
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I really feel for you prdarling.

We had exactly the same experience with Fairlawn Nursery- they offered us a place at 4pm one day and wanted a reply by 9am the next morning. Our daughter was already at Goose Green nursery and thriving there. We made the decision to stay at Goose Green.

For school places next year Fairlawn is our first choice as it is our closest community school. I think as people have said children do adapt and you loved the school so I would go for Fairlawn.

I wish you luck with your decision. I hope we have a similar choice of two lovely schools come September!

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Not sure that this helps but I changed primary schools after one year and started at a new one and , although this was a long time ago c1981 :-), I have no terrible memories of the change. Kids are very adaptable and from my experience pretty happy when plans change. If Fairlawn was the one that you wanted, I would say go for it. As Dorothy said here, you'll also make another family on the Goodrich waiting list very very happy.
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Not that it's much help but you can 'look' at the 3 Reception teachers on the Fairlawn website. The only one I know is Ms Morris and all the children seem to love her. My son had her and thinks she was one of his best teachers ever. He also thinks the other two are nice as he sees them around the school but doesn't really know them that well.


As regards accepting the place why don't you just tell them that there are some Qs you need to ask the school when it reopens in Jan before you can decide.

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it breaks my heart as i fell in love with Fairlawn when i looked round


Yeah, but it's not you who will be going there every day. The fact he has 2 friends going to Goodrich is reason enough to stick with it IMO. Plus, he's been there now, and is probably excited about it.

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