I live in a town of approx. 45,000 and we have a range of primary schools to choose from, we also have primary schools that go up to Intermediate. My eldest boy currently attends a country school of about 200-300 students (I think) – his classroom has no more than 20 students. Because of the smaller size of his classroom he is able to build closer friendships with his classmates and the children are encouraged to help one another
We entered him in this particular school as it was the one his Dad attended, and now when he is in his 2nd term at school I am really glad we did for other reasons. For one thing it has its own swimming pool so can go swimming whenever the teachers allow it – this means I make sure he has togs and towel in his bag every day. The fact that he has this opportunity means that his experience with water is not limited.
Being in a country school means that he gets to experience a bit of rural life, and as a kiwi kid especially one who lives in town I think that is important. In a previous post I mentioned Pet Day which allowed students that not only had dogs but also had calves, lambs, goats and other farm animals to enter into the show.
This particular school has such a friendly atmosphere; I think that because of the smaller size of the school, students from the senior syndicate are known to the middle and junior syndicates and vice versa. My boy’s school also has a buddy system – where a senior student is paired up with a junior and there are opportunities for these “buddies” to participate together like “buddy writing”.
Some may think that in a country school that education itself could be of a lower standard than that of a city school, however I have found it not to be the case. My boy is at the top reading level in his class along with two other students – one who started the term before him (about 3 months before).
I think that whether a country or city school, a child should be encouraged in their learning and helped in the areas they find difficult. Even those “difficult” students may have a reason they misbehave and it is up to educators working alongside parents/caregivers to find something that helps the child.