Big School Application underway…

Today is the day I submit the application pack for Liam’s big school. My stomach is actually in knots. You see, this is it. There’s no second choice. This is IT. If he doesn’t get in here, I’m not really sure WHAT we are going to do. So this HAS.TO.BE.IT.

If you’ve been reading a while, you’ll know that Liam is in Grade R this year. Both him and Hannah go to a preschool (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) which ends at Grade R and then you have to leave. Boo hoo, I wish they could just stay there forever.  He is, however, very young. He has just turned five, which means he is a year ahead of where he should be. So in order for him to be 6 turning 7 in the year he enters Grade 1, he will repeat Grade R next year. Now, if you remember, I did have my issues with this… I think he is smart enough to enter Grade 1 next year. I think he is emotionally ready purely because I think he is on par with his peers who WILL enter Grade 1 next year. I sincerely think he would have been fine in Grade 1 next year. Hashtag Just Saying. However (and I know Cat will be happy with this!) I’ve decided that that extra year will do him no harm – it will be to his benefit in fact. He’ll be none the wiser, he is moving schools so it’s not like his friends move on and he stays behind, it’s still a new experience for him. Also, he’ll be the same age as his peers, he’ll participate in sports and extra murals with the correct age group, he’ll have a whole year on his peers (having repeated Grade R) so he should be the most brightest and most cleverest and most wonderful boy there (I need to work on this competitive thing, I really do). I’m kidding. The main reason is that I want him to be in the best position to feed into the big school we have chosen. And his best chance of this, is if he attends the preschool which feeds into that primary school – because we do not live in the catchment area and this automatically puts us on the B list and I simply cannot take that chance. No ways.

The primary school is government and because we are going government, I’ve really put a lot of time and energy in selecting a GOOD one.. however, the preschool is privately run and the fees are HECTIC. AND its half day. AND they only get a mid morning snack. Where they are now, although the fees are high, it’s full day and they get breakfast and lunch and two snacks in between. This also means that I’ll have TWO school drop offs because Hannah will stay where she is for another year. It’s going to be quite a change (and challenge) to our routine. BUT, it’s a great school. And that is all. I am willing to make sacrifices NOW in order to make sure this kid gets the education I so desire for him (at a rate I can afford!).

So this is why I’m feeling all sorts of anxious this morning. He HAS to get into this school. I may or may not have overdone it with the application and made it pretty with colourful tabs and a lovely folder and fancy paper clips and a letter of recommendation from MYSELF about my OWN kid. His current principal has assured me that she will make a call and give him (and us) a further glowing report. I’ve prayed over this application and I’m THIS close to spraying my perfume on it – kind of like a love letter. I’m JOKING. Relax.

So hold thumbs for me. I mean for Liam. Who would have thought that big school would be so stressful?

Ps: can someone explain to me, the reason that schools request such a LARGE sum of money as a NON REFUNDABLE application fee?? What do they use that money for? I mean WHAT is the purpose of the application fee? You paying to submit a whole lot of papers basically? And if your child is rejected you don’t even get it back! WAH! And who’s to say that they don’t  just keep accepting applications even though they know they are full, in order to cash up with the NON REFUNDABLE application fee? I don’t know, can someone explain this to me?

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13 thoughts on “Big School Application underway…”

  1. So glad you did it – I promise you will not be sorry. C learned to read in grade R and you have no idea how well he is doing in grade 1.

    I am a bit confused as to how a government school can still have grade R privately run. As I understand since this year it has to be physically part of the primary school in most ways. We pay fees to the school itself (they had to take grade R away from the partially privately ran pre school because of this). With us the deposit gets deducted from the first month’s fees which is great in January. And I do believe that our school simply does not take applications in when full and do a waiting list for January (places if kids that got in does not show up). And funny as that seem it happened with one place in C’s class that was quickly filled two wees later when February started.

    1. Nope, the whole Pre-Primary phase is run separately and privately, although on the same premises as the primary school. Your comment stressed me out, called the school immediately to ascertain!! I had to pay a reg fee, and on acceptance (God willing) will need to pay a sizable deposit too!

  2. We’re applying to two govt schools and I’m not stressed in the least. I’m very que sera, que sera these days………

    We pay a deposit on acceptance and that is deducted from fees like Cat said above.

    I’m so blase I’m doing BARE minimum and the stuff has to be in next week………. I’ve not even filled in a form or got their photos taken..

  3. Yikes this school business sounds daunting. Praying he in gets in and if he doesn’t I believe it is because God has other plans!

    You know some schools even make you pay a fee just to be put on the waiting list and it’s non refundable even if you don’t get it. My physio mentioned this happened to them and the only reason they couldn’t take up the place was because her hubby’s business had to be shut down abruptly and finances were tight. They made a case to the school to be refunded the deposit – quite a hefty sum at that – and the school flat out refused to refund it to them. I’ve effectively crossed that school off potential schools for my little miss.

  4. This big school saga gives me nightmares!! The gov schools in my area are not really good so all 3 of my kids have their names on lists at 3 really good but reasonably priced (relatively speaking of course) private schools. And even though my eldest has been on the lists since she was 2 (she’s 5 this year), she has already been told by 2 of these schools that there isn’t a place for her for Grade R next year!!! I am super stressed now because now all our eggs are in that last school’s basket!! If she doesn’t get a spot there then I really really don’t know what we are going to do!!

    She is in a great Montessori preschool and they go up to Grade R so I can leave her there for another year but I really didn’t think getting into a school was going to be this hard!

  5. Honey. All the best. I will pray. Am wondering if this is a Jhb thing? Cos ain’t no one in CT stressing about schools like you all! Or maybe I am just moving in the circles of very chilled Mamas.

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