bigger or smaller school UPDATE

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bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  missbee on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:51 am

So I went and check out a country school last week for Christopher. It has 70 kids, so about half the size of the one he is at.

Im going to get Dh to come along, but wanted some feedback. Would a smaller school be beneficial, or in fact worse for an ASD child.

His school is decile 5 this one is decile 8.

This school is a country school, surrounded by farm land. They have a hard knocks attitude to school, allowed to build forts, bring bikes to school, play full tackle rugby.
They are very eco friendly (which appeals to me of course) have chooks, plant seedling for local council, have a no rubbish policy (rubbish is bought home from lunchboxed). Class are mixed - y1 and 2, y3 and 4 etc up till intermediate age.

Im not sure if this would be better or worse. He isnt 100% happy at his school, but im unsure if its that school or just him. He has been a bit bullied earlier in the year also. Its a bit of a rough school in many ways....but has some really good points too.

The new school being decile 8 has some affluent families - which actually puts me off a bit, im thinking...will they be snobby and clicky. Then again the mums at current school can be very very clicky and i already dread pick up.

Education wise its hard to tell really without him going to both. The new school has two other children on the spectrum so have some experience.

Im loath to change him if the wrong idea, he has made friends at his current school. But if i do make a move then i want it to be earlier rather than later.

So my question is....is a smaller/bigger school better? Is there a difference in providing for ASD kids, or is it purely a case by case (or school by school) basis??


Last edited by missbee on Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  Jeshiko on Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:54 am

the smaller school appeals to me but I have no idea if it would actually be better. Did you have a talk to the principal to see if they have had any kids with aspergers before and what kind of support they offer? I think a small school would be great for Mikko as he doesn't like lots of people around and also I feel like the teachers would all know their students better and also from a safety point of view it seems like they would be able to keep an eye on everyone better.

Finn's school has about 700 kids Shocked one of the biggest in AKL and I am so unsure if I am going to keep him there/send Mikko there. Ours is decile 9 and everyone is really lovely and definately no snobbery. All the schools around here are 7-10 I think. The school I am potentially looking at changing to has about 300 kids and is also away from any busy roads unlike our current one. I am going to have a talk with both principals next year though before I decide.

eta oh just saw that the new school does have ASD kids there - maybe hunt down their mums and have a chat???
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Re: bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  teegee on Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:16 am

Well, DD1 goes to a school with about 70 kids! It is great (but having said that, we didn't really have much of a choice). They already had dealt with an ASD child a couple of years ahead of DD1, so they have a lot of resources. I think lower decile schools get more funding though than higher decile schools, so there may be a bit more $$$ for them to spend on a teacher aide? But def speak to the mums of the other ASD kids to see what they think.

Also, you probably need to pinpoint the reason why he is unhappy at school, because there is not much point moving him if he ends up taking the problem with him, IYGWIM?

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Re: bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  Dearna on Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:06 am

I wrote a long reply and then lost it Mad What I will say is that if he has friends at his school now I would consider carefully before moving him. Social interraction can be such a huge deal for our kids.Christian is at a school of 417 kids here in Hamilton.We looked at some smaller country schools but decided against them because of a.the lack of technology available (Christian is very technically minded) and b. the lack of secure fencing (turned out to be a good decision as we have had a few 'great escapes' from our very well fenced school as it is).We are a decile 10 but I dont really know any of the other parents yet so cant comment on that aspect. Lower decile schools should have more discretionery(?)funding available.
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Re: bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  missbee on Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:46 am

Thanks for the replies.

Also, you probably need to pinpoint the reason why he is unhappy at school, because there is not much point moving him if he ends up taking the problem with him, IYGWIM?

This is the major one. I don't want to move him when he could potentially be unhappy at any other school. Also spoke to his teacher today and she seemed to think he is happy, so not sure why he tells me he doesnt like school, and seems unhappy every morning. Its hard to know if he is actually unhappy or if he is just playing on my emotions. Or is just being a grump, as he is good at that!! He has a very melancholy disposition.

Finn's school has about 700 kids

Wow, that is big. Eden's school up in Auckland had 400 and I thought that was pretty sizable! Had great resources though.


Lower decile schools should have more discretionery(?)funding available.

Thats a good point, although at this stage i havent asked for anything extra, and not really sure where to start on that front.

We ran out of time today to look at the other school today, which is a shame. Id really like DH to have a look.

Gosh its a hard decision.....I jsut want him to be happy, and at a place that can do the best for him.

Ill update when we get a chance to have another look. Im trying not to be swayed too much by the fact that a lot of mums i know have kids at the school, lots of air force wives, and i feel compared and judged alot, and part of the change would be to avoid the next six years of that!!!

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Re: bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  missbee on Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:21 am

Christopher started his new school on monday.

He has so far being okay. We had two melt downs, on the way to and from school yesterday BUT aside from that, he seems okay.

Teacher says academically he is where she would expect him to be.

He tells me he has no friends, but its (very) early days yet, and it took him three terms to make solid friends at his old school.

But i feel this has been a good move for him.

He is having his friend Noah from his old school to play tomorrow. They get on really well, and its probably the one friend he has ever made that he Really really clicks with, so hoping to keep up that friendship!!!

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Re: bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  Jeshiko on Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:34 am

missbee wrote:Christopher started his new school on monday.

He has so far being okay. We had two melt downs, on the way to and from school yesterday BUT aside from that, he seems okay.

Teacher says academically he is where she would expect him to be.

He tells me he has no friends, but its (very) early days yet, and it took him three terms to make solid friends at his old school.

But i feel this has been a good move for him.

He is having his friend Noah from his old school to play tomorrow. They get on really well, and its probably the one friend he has ever made that he Really really clicks with, so hoping to keep up that friendship!!!

all the best, i hope chris settles in quick Smile

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Re: bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  Jeshiko on Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:37 am

how's the week going Lara? I imagine most school are a bit out of routine at the moment being the end of term. Hope Chris is managing okay.

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Re: bigger or smaller school UPDATE

Post  larab on Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:04 pm

Not too bad thanks Jess.

The teacher is lovely, and so willing to help in any way. Its awesome.

He is a bit anxious at the moment, and is playing on his own, but I think it will take some time for his to settle. And yes the routine of class is all over the show so thats not helping.

He is also on a new diet too, so big changes here. He is coping remarkable well.

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