Not the greatest photograph, but above you see the face of a child who was not ready to be a school boy on his first day of school. After the greatest of struggles to even get out of the house (and a great deal of sweating and stressing from the mother ship) I took this picture as a last ditch attempt to join in with the series of portraits swamping my newsfeed lately but frankly, there was no way this was ever going to make the cut and the stance and general attitude you see before you is nothing compared to the emotional storm that was brewing away.
I expect that if your child is reaching school age and you happen to live in a nice little village somewhere with a lovely little village school then you are probably not too worried about this application process that we are all expected to go through sooner or later. However, if, like me, you live in a relatively large town in the South East of England with at least 7 or 8 different schools to choose between then its a bit more complicated.
JJ just missed the admissions round this year, being an early-September baby, so some of his (slightly) older friends have started school recently and therefore I already have some insight into several of the local offerings. There is no substitute for doing your own research and getting your own feel for the likely candidates though, so I’ve thrown myself into the round of open days currently available. I had three specific candidates with one being the likely favourite in my mind (being as it is, our catchment school), however I now find myself in a bit of a dilemma. Each school has its pros and cons but is there really any substitute for that instinctive feeling you get when you first walk into a building? Its a bit like house-hunting and knowing instantly that you love or hate a place when you walk in through the door – I could live here – I want to live here! I wanted to love our catchment school – I certainly haven’t heard any bad reports – but it seems almost too big somehow. Its true that it has one of the largest intakes of pupils of any school in the area – 90 pupils for Reception year – and so it seems to lack that intimate feel of a smaller school.