Emailing the Headteacher...

(36 Posts)
M0naLisa Tue 18-Jun-13 10:25:50

Ds2 goes to year 1 this September. He has one best friend. The school mixes the classes up each year.

I've just emailed the Headteacher to ask about keeping ds2 in the same class as his best friend.

Would you say I was unreasonable to ask this?

MissMarplesBloomers Tue 18-Jun-13 10:28:01

Yes - it also puts a strain on the boys to keep up a friendship that may have naturally dies a death as they grow up.

If they remain friends they will do so anyway but they will have the opportunity of making new ones.

They will still see each other at breaks & joint form activites.

Sometimes does them good to have a fresh start although not easy.

MissMarplesBloomers Tue 18-Jun-13 10:28:59

BTW has your son expressed an opinion on this?

AndHarry Tue 18-Jun-13 10:30:36

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask but you might be too late. DM is a HoY and sorted out next year's classes over half term. Generally classes are rearranged to split up groups of children who don't bring out the best in each other and to help quieter children make friends but friendship groups with good dynamics are kept together IME.

of course its not, they're yr 1!

If they're going to drift, they'll drift regardless of if they're in the same class or not.

mistlethrush Tue 18-Jun-13 10:33:15

DS has still got friends from reception/nursery even though he's now Yr3 and hasn't been in the same form in Y1, Y2 or Y3 - if they're going to be friends they will stay friends even if they are in different classes, and you can reinforce this with playdates and party invitations.

Mrschocolate Tue 18-Jun-13 10:33:51

Have you mentioned this to the class teacher first?
When I used to work in a school it was the class teachers that mixed the classes because they know the students. The head teacher wasn't really a part of the decision making.
Also the teachers looked at who was friendly with who anyway and kept friends together,
Also usually when the classes mix children make new friends so it can all change anyway.

simpson Tue 18-Jun-13 10:34:05

Yes, if the classes are mixed up and your DS is not with his best friend it will be an opportunity to make more friends.

DS (now yr3) was split up from his best friend in yr1 and was not bothered in the slightest, they will still see each other at play/lunch time.

PrettyKitty1986 Tue 18-Jun-13 10:34:29

No, yanbu. I would do the same in that situation.

In case it was an oversight and they were due to be split up, this would hopefully just be an extra insurance.

I don't see it as any pressure for them to keep up the friendship...they wouldn't even need to know it had been requested. No pressure there.

PrettyKitty1986 Tue 18-Jun-13 10:37:40

As an aside...how many children are in these schools for there to be different forms at such a young age?

I've never been to a primary school with more than one class for each age group. I think there are around 230 pupils in dcs school, around 25 per class. That's just a standard sized primary, not particularly small.

imaginethat Tue 18-Jun-13 10:40:36

Not at all. I've done it myself and was all fine.

MamaBear17 Tue 18-Jun-13 10:40:42

It is fine to ask, however, you would be unreasonable to insist. Part of my job involves putting 11 year olds into classes for their first year at secondary school. It is a logistical nightmare because there is so much that needs to be considered. Friendship groups are just one of the factors. Many parents will email me and ask and I always try my very best to keep friends together, but there are times when it is genuinely impossible.

M0naLisa Tue 18-Jun-13 10:42:10

Ds2 (5) told me that he didn't want to be split up from his best friend like ds1 was from his best friend who now doesn't play with his 'best friend as much'
I told ds2 that school may split them up but they play at break times and dinner. Ds2 was upset and said that he did have friends in class but none like his best friend. His best friends mum has said that her boy has said the same thing. They are very close. Ds2 is a shy boy and doesn't just confidently go speak to other kids. Unlike ds1.
The class teacher has been making them sit apart in class 'just in case' they're split up in year 1. Which hasn't filled me which much hope for September. That's why I messages the Headteacher. He has replied and said 'he will pass on my concerns as class teachers are starting to look at options for class lists for September, they meet their new class teacher on 4th July'

I just hope she puts them together. Ds2 found it hard to adjust to school after nursery because he didn't have friends. He went from a private nursery to the school, rather than going to the school nursery.

M0naLisa Tue 18-Jun-13 10:45:11

There are 2 reception classes which approx 30 children in each class. Allocation for reception is 60-62 the most.

In year 1 they'll be the same in September. Where as in Year 1 at the moment there are 3 classes with approximate 25 children per class, in September the 3 yr 1 classes will go to year 2 where they'll be a third classroom instead of just the two for year 2 that there currently is. Iykwim?

MidniteScribbler Tue 18-Jun-13 10:57:13

We get heaps of requests, but we won't accommodate unless their are special needs involved. There are so many things to think about before someone wanting to be with their best friend. Special needs are generally allocated first bsed on the student and their best fit based on the teachers specialties, then try to make sure some children are separated from others. Only then may we sometimes consider friendships. All this while trying to maintain a gender balance, cultural diversity and learning styles. Bear in mind also that there are times when the school think that it is actually better to split some friendships up in order to get children to work with others.

Sunnymeg Tue 18-Jun-13 11:21:23

Classes are always split at my DS's small village primary and the children work together in a mixed year class. DS is in Y6 and this is the first time all the year group has been together since reception. The children learn to rub along with others apart from those in their year and DS has always gravitated to his friends at playtime. The problem can (and has been) parents claiming superiority if their child moves up and yours doesn't. Looking back I can see why DS was kept down or moved up. Sometimes you have to just trust the teachers.

bragmatic Tue 18-Jun-13 11:26:27

Yes, I would say you were unreasonable.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 18-Jun-13 11:27:08

YANBU to ask. It may not affect the decision however.

Sianilaa Tue 18-Jun-13 11:31:44

YANBU to ask, although I would have approached the class teacher instead of the head. I wouldn't take it any further if they are split up, see it as an opportunity to meet new friends. Teachers do the best they can for everybody and sometimes this means splitting them up!

Pretty kitty, in our school there are 3 forms so 90 children in each year - even in Reception. Pretty standard size where we are.

lollilou Tue 18-Jun-13 11:40:50

Yanbu, no harm in asking. When dd went up the school sorted it all out asking the children for their preferences and tried to accomodate them, no input from the parents at all. I'd rather try than for my child to be miserable, it's a big step and can be scarey for some children so it's nice for them to have a friend. Hope they say yes.

sybilwibble Tue 18-Jun-13 11:46:39

I think it would be more reasonable to ask to ensure that your child was with one of two or three individuals with whom your child has a friendship.

I think saying this one individual and this one only is a bit unreasonable. And the other parents may feel it will be an opportunity for their child to develop a wider social circle and want the opposite.

BackforGood Tue 18-Jun-13 11:48:48

I'd say e-mailing the HT was a bit OTT. A quiet word with the teacher, explaining that your ds struggled to make friends when he first started, and he is now getting about being split from his friend would have done the job much better.
As Midnite says though, staff have to take all sorts of things into consideration when allocating classes, many of which you won't know about. They can't accommodate every single parent's wish, and by publicly doing so for some parents, it then causes bad feeling among others who either weren't asked, or who couldn't be accommodated.
As long as the class teacher is aware of any serious issues, then I think the school should be trusted. They generally have a good idea of who is friends with who and whether this is a good or bad thing for learning.

BackforGood Tue 18-Jun-13 11:49:28

getting fretting

Oblomov Tue 18-Jun-13 11:51:55

Our school runs a slightly different policy.
2 reception classes are mixed, as they go into year 1. The children are asked to write down their 3 friends. They are guaranteed to get 1.
Parents are obviously totally fine with this.
And it gives the teacher an almost free reign, to do all the things that ANdHarry suggests. The teacher knows. the dynamics. who brings out the worst/best.

The children are then re-arranged, again, in year 2 or 3 or 4, depending on what the teacher and head thinks.
All parents totally accept this.

Some parents ask for 2 friends to be kept together.
some ask for them to be specifically split. you ask the teacher.
No point asking the head.

Jestrin Tue 18-Jun-13 11:57:27

YANBU my dd has had one friend since reception. The whole class has stayed the same (give or take a few that have joined or left - not many though). she gets on with the other children but is not pally pally with them iyswim. When she moves up to secondary, we are given a form about friendship circles (DS had same form) and I will put it on there too. It is up to school if they want to mix them up.

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