It’s a very different experience, applying for a school place for your second child compared to what you go through with the first child. Well, it certainly has been for us. First time around we took the whole thing very seriously. We visited all the local schools, carefully considered which would be our first, second and third choices, submitted our application and crossed our fingers. It was a great relief when we finally discovered the geekdaughter had been allocated a place at our first choice school.
This time around I put our application in for the geekson back in September, on the day applications opened. I applied online, only picked one school and ticked the boxes to indicate he already had a sibling at our chosen school and that we are in the catchment area. Given that siblings are given first priority on school places there should never have been any reason to doubt he would get a place, but I still wanted to have the offer in my hand.
Last week all the councils released their information on primary school place allocations on the same day, although there was quite a variance in the time of day that parents were informed. For our council I received an email around midday, which contained the news that I wanted to hear – the geekson’s place was offered. I raced online to accept the place, breathed a sigh of relief, and carried on with my day.
Second time around has been a lot less stressful. Whilst I still find it hard to believe my youngest child will be starting school later this year, I am comforted by the fact he has seen a lot of the school already – he’s done the school run with the geekdaddy and I most days, and has been inside the school to attend assemblies and various events. I hope that means it won’t be so new and unknown to him as it was to the geekdaughter when she started.
I still worry though. He’ll be younger than the geekdaughter when she started. Her birthday is October so she is one of the oldest in her year, and was definitely very ready to start school when she did. The geekson’s birthday is at the end of May, so he’ll be younger when he starts, and I worry that he won’t be as ready. Academically I think he’s a bit more advanced than his sister was at the same age – he’s already starting to read basic CVC words, which she didn’t do until she started school. But emotionally he’s still very young, still quite clingy, and although he is getting on fine at pre-school he only goes there two days a week, and it’s a big step to full time school.
Hopefully having his big sister there already will give him a bit of reassurance.