Secondary School Choices - Opinions Needed! Single Sex Schools?

mr starface

Well-known Member
So its decision time for my sons secondary school, we have a lot of schools around us and are completely lost on best one to choose.

Did you ask your child where they wanted to go and did you put this as your choice or have the ultimate say yourself? Our sons main concern it seems is to have some friends in the school he is going to which although nice doesn't seem sensible as there are better schools academically and from experience you make friends quite easily at a new school and don't often stay friends with people from primary - kids are fickle friends!

One of the options we are looking at is a an all boys school, seems like a really good place and culture but I don't know anyone that went to one and guess have always had that concern about does not having girls around impinge on development. Has anyone here any experience of an all boys school.

Then you think should maybe just choose one of the closer schools so he can walk but, although there isn't a lot in it, didn't get a fantastic vibe off them and results are only average. But then again with support if a child wants to learn they will usually do well?

Its all so confusing and very worried about making the wrong choice :(
 

oneman

Well-known Member
My son choose his own high school. We have one 10 minutes walk and one 45 minutes walk and that was my main criteria. Virtually everyone went to the local one but after visiting the further one he preferred that one. He knew nobody there and didn't know the area.

But ultimately he thrived there, made friends, cycled in all weathers. Finished his A levels with AAB this summer and now at a top uni. In the meantime the local high school went into special measures, sacked the head and governors and was taken over by a MAT. His friends from primary school didn't do anywhere near as well.

Basically at 11 I think they are old enough to make that decision unless it's completely crazy. He will feel like it was his choice and more likely to try harder.

And as you say, if kids want to learn then they will learn.
 
Last edited:

IronGiant

Moderator
We chose the primary school, because it was catchment to a good Secondary, so by default they all went there. They are all different though, two went onto A levels and Uni, one stopped at GCSE and went onto an apprenticeship. We are proud of the lot of them.

My best advice, include your son in the decision :thumbsup:
 

mr starface

Well-known Member
Thanks all, we are trying to impress on him that its his choice as he is the one going but is so indecisive and sometimes just says what he thinks we want him too even though we have told him he can go to whichever school he likes the most!

Have to make a decision by mid week and at the moment his choice seems to change every day :(
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Thanks all, we are trying to impress on him that its his choice as he is the one going but is so indecisive and sometimes just says what he thinks we want him too even though we have told him he can go to whichever school he likes the most!

Have to make a decision by mid week and at the moment his choice seems to change every day :(
Has he visited them, also look at ofsted for results and any concerns And most highschools have a parent group on Facebook. Worth looking on their as I tend find people post their complaints about the school on there. Obviously judge for yourself if complaints are valid. We had one about bus being unreliable for example. But we had more serious ones for example drugs and bullying.

As for all boys school, it's up to you, they work for some kids but expect a lot of testosterone and potential bullying. But the usually do well for results. I wouldn't have sent my kids to single sex school.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
Definitely include your child in the decision making process. Around here, we still have selective schools, so that adds the complication of taking and passing an 11+ examination.

Daughter #1 was less academically minded and just scraped the 11+. We jointly decided the local girls non-selective was better for her, and although her results were not stellar, they were good enough to get her into University and to come out with a 2.1 in English Literature and Creative Writing. She's now working for PGL, living her best life.

Daughter #2 did a lot better in the 11+ and went to the girl's high school. Very good GCSE and A Levels and now studying Animal Conservation at Ambleside University. This school really piles on the exam pressure and has a few issues with mental health with some students, no doubt because of this.

The other options around here are mixed non-selective schools, all run by 1 trust, so in effect you just go to the campus closest to you. They all get average results, but push the kids heavily to go to Uni, even though it's obvious in some cases that it's not the right route. Worth checking therefore, what the 6th Form options are, as the vast majority of kids will stay on at their school and not change to a college or other provision.

I don't think it matters whether it's a single sex school or not. There's plenty of activities outside of school where they can meet members of the opposite sex and it's not like joining a monastery, they will still see girls! It does stop some of the distractions in class however, and more importantly, teaching can be more tailored to the way most boys learn - doing instead of listening.

The child needs to feel happy and secure. Academic results are not everything, and a strong pastoral team might be of more importance if the child is a little immature or struggles socially. Does the school have a culture of bullying or cliques? If you are "In the circle", this is not a problem, but if your face needs to fit, they could well end up being deeply unhappy.

Does the school have a range of extra curricular activities that your son might be interested in? This could be sport, music, drama, anything really.

I agree that they will make new friends and mine now being 20 & 22 have 1 or 2 from Primary School, maybe 5-6 from Secondary and a few more from Uni.

I would suggest more than 30 minutes travel to and from school is best avoided, but is not always possible. Within the cadet organisation I help out with, we have 6 or 7 schools represented, some of them nearly an hour's travelling away. The child therefore is out of the house not long after 7 and is not home until much before 5. That's a long day in anyone's book.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Sony Bravia XR A80J OLED TV Review
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom