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  1. #11
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    I think it totally depends on the atmosphere of the town and school and your involvement too. I grew up small primary school, probably 30 odd kids and my year of 7 was the largest group. I was bullied and didn't quite fit in even though our parents had all grown up together, we played sports together on weekends, my mum was involved in the school and socialised together I just was the outsider. So when it came time for high school my mum sent me elsewhere alone and I had a much better time. We are regional and have about 4 public schools in town to choose from. Everyone has been saying choose this one but it has almost 1000 children while the school near us had only about 350, without any negative reviews(there are negatives for the other schools so we kept our choices to these two). I can't fathom a school so big so we are going with the smaller school.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gingermillie View Post
    I don't have any direct experience but was recently talking to a country teacher who worked at the bigger school in town (still small 200 enrolments) and she said the same thing about the nearby smaller school with only 50 kids. She said that if a kid just doesn't quite fit in or is struggling with friendships it's amplified in such a small group and they often get moved to the bigger schools where they can blend in more and have more opportunities to make friends.
    I was discussing this with her in the context that I was thinking about a school for my DD which currently only has 30 enrolments. I'm just not sure how effectively a group can be taught appropriately for their level when the couple of teachers have to constantly shift their focus over such broad capability levels. We've decided on different schooling unless that school lifts enrolments and we are in metro Adelaide so luckily have a lot of choice.
    Yes, it can be difficult. Obviously it can be a great experience, but it's not guaranteed to be better than a big school. Personally, I wouldn't want my kinder kid playing with the year 6 kids, so would avoid a school that was so small that all the kids played together like that. Before my oldest started school I looked in to really small schools because it sounded so appealing. School is a daunting thing to send your child off to, especially your first child (because subsequent kids you at least know teachets and families in thr school), so I think if you've got the choice to move and pick schools, then it's good to consider everything, and talk to the schools as well.

  3. #13
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    Default Do your kids go to a small school?

    As a teacher and parent, my preference is schools that have at least 2 or 3 classes per year. I think it gives enough room for children to make many different friends and if there's a problem then they can change classes or ask to not be in the class with a particular child. But any more than that and it starts to get too big. Also with really small schools there just isn't the opportunity to play in the school sports team because there's not enough kids for a team. Most public schools in Sydney and probably NSW have PSSA teams that play other schools every Friday. Whilst I don't have a problem with my kids playing with children from different years, I wouldn't want my children to be in a class of year 3-6 or K-2 students all together.

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    DS1 is in prep this year at a P-12 with about 100 kids. There are about 18 kids in his P-2 class and the next class is a 3-6 with about the same number of kids.

    We love our little school, everyone knows everyone and all the kids look out for each other. I do worry about high school and the availability of different subjects though. We are probably going to have to send our kids away for high school which we really can't afford.

  6. #15
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    My DD isnt in a small school like you're referring to - but there is about 170 kids in her school. Single ****** & no composite with average of 20 kids in each class. I absolutely love it. As a teacher, and as a parent, I really prefer and value a smaller school enviornment. Everyone knows everyone, & all the kids play together across the grades. My DD is SO well looked after by the older kids, lol. They older grades really take on the responsibility of helping the littler ones at play time. She has 'best friends' in every grade level.

    I think it really depends on what you value in a school. Where lots of people value a larger school, & I'm sure a larger school has more opportunities, I know it's not right for my kids and I would feel so uncomfortable sending my little 5 year old off in an environment where there was hundreds and hundreds of kids. I grew up in the country & went to a small r-12 school, & loved it.

  7. #16
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    DS primary school is small for Sydney (300 kids from kindy to year 6) and it's amazing , small enough to know everybody but big enough to have all the facilities with an average of 20 kids per class and 2 classes each year (3 in year 6) every teacher knows every child and just about every parent!

  8. #17
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    The boys go to a school of about 140 kids. I love how the school is smaller. It's quite close knit. You know all the teachers and families. The older children help the younger ones which is nice they get looked after. There is no bullying. Each class has a teacher and an aid, I think it's better for their learning having a smaller ratio. The public school is huge, most classes are massive and have 3 classes of the same year and there is alot of bullying.
    The bigger school in these early years doesn't appeal to us at all.
    We love everything about our little school 😊

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    I went to a school with about 15 kids in the whole school. It was a prep/1/2 composite and a 3/4/5/6 composite.

    It was great. You can afford to alienate anyone, you pretty much have to work it out. The older class teacher had us all working at a much higher level.

    I swapped to a bigger suburban school in grade 5. I didn't adjust well. I suffered bad anxiety and my mum had to keep coming to pick me up.

    I had the option of sending my kids to the same school, now with 40 kids. But the small school lives or dies on the principle, and I dislike the current principle. The next nearest school has 1000 kids. I'm opting to drive half an hour to my sisters town which has a school with 200 kids. One grade prep class. If my DD doesn't find "her tribe" within two years I will try the big school.

    My advice is go meet the principle. If you don't like them don't consider sending your kids there.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Enough View Post
    I went to a school with about 15 kids in the whole school. It was a prep/1/2 composite and a 3/4/5/6 composite.

    It was great. You can afford to alienate anyone, you pretty much have to work it out. The older class teacher had us all working at a much higher level.

    I swapped to a bigger suburban school in grade 5. I didn't adjust well. I suffered bad anxiety and my mum had to keep coming to pick me up.

    I had the option of sending my kids to the same school, now with 40 kids. But the small school lives or dies on the principle, and I dislike the current principle. The next nearest school has 1000 kids. I'm opting to drive half an hour to my sisters town which has a school with 200 kids. One grade prep class. If my DD doesn't find "her tribe" within two years I will try the big school.

    My advice is go meet the principle. If you don't like them don't consider sending your kids there.
    Yes, the principal makes a huge difference. We now have an amazing principal and we are begging her to hang around a while. You can see she actually cares about the kids. She doesn't put up with bullying, she has started all these great new after school programs, she puts in so much free time and she is just good at what she does. A much better principal than the last one I met.
    She doesn't believe that our remote location, and lack of resources/facilities is an excuse for any of these kids to not achieve their goals. And she certainly doesn't put up with any "meh, they're just country kids destined to be farm hands" attitude from teachers.

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  12. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeeeesecake View Post
    My DD isnt in a small school like you're referring to - but there is about 170 kids in her school. Single ****** & no composite with average of 20 kids in each class. I absolutely love it. As a teacher, and as a parent, I really prefer and value a smaller school enviornment. Everyone knows everyone, & all the kids play together across the grades. My DD is SO well looked after by the older kids, lol. They older grades really take on the responsibility of helping the littler ones at play time. She has 'best friends' in every grade level.

    I think it really depends on what you value in a school. Where lots of people value a larger school, & I'm sure a larger school has more opportunities, I know it's not right for my kids and I would feel so uncomfortable sending my little 5 year old off in an environment where there was hundreds and hundreds of kids. I grew up in the country & went to a small r-12 school, & loved it.
    Whereabouts is the school? North? South? West? East?


 

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