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AIBU to be considering moving my DD to a new school so early in the year?(20 Posts)
I'd really appreciate some objective advice on this..... My DD is 7 and in year 2, at a lovely country primary school. She has always been outgoing and popular...... until now. The school has varying numbers and so always runs some composite classes. It's policy to expect your child to be in a composite class for 2 our of the 7 years, but not for 2 consecutive years in a row. Its stated clearly and all parents are made aware of this when applying, so it's not a surprise to me. It was my DD's turn to be in one this year, so about 1/2 her class also has year 1 pupils (total class size 26). I was fine about this, her teach is fantastic and academically I can see improvement in a few weeks already. But she's desperately unhappy as there are only 4 other year 2 girls in her class, and none are in her group of friends. But she perceives she is being ignored by all the other year 2's in the "proper" class (ie not the composite one). Her teacher has noticed her standing alone, I've gone in to chat to the teacher about it, who has tried to get some of the others to play, but 2 days later its back to her being alone. DD has started writing in her notebook when in the playground, which Im dreading as making her a target for bullying etc. WIBU to consider moving her to a local prep school? Although obviously she wouldn't know anyone there to begin, at least the would be no mucking around with classes each year. The pros are its a school with a fantastic record of academic achievement, smaller class sizes (15) and no composite classes. The downsides are the cost (3500 for the year) which I could just about afford as well as the extra cost of wraparound care as the current school is beside my parents house and they do some of the drop offs etc. Am I being precious considering this or should I leave things longer? It broke my heart to listen to her crying herself to sleep :-(
I'd work with the school for a bit longer to try to fix this. Be open and honest about your plans.
Hope it gets better for your dd.
Thanks, Im really hoping it gets better for her, hopefully it's just a temporary thing and I'd hate to be seen as the parent making a fuss and uprooting their child so early in the school year! Thankfully the other school is undersubscribed so there would likely be places at a later stage if needed......
Are you sure it's £3500 per year and not per term? Sounds very reasonable. Sometimes the cost goes up as the child moves up the school. Is she your only child? If you plan to have more could you afford to do the same for all of them?
Your current school sounds great albeit with a few issues with the class structure. It's a tough call but she could have problems with the girls in her class at the prep school. Is there another village school nearby that you could consider if things don't improve?
I would talk this over with the Head of her current school first and explain how very unhappy your daughter is.
We have a similar situation with composites in our school.
It's a good idea to arrange lots of playdates to keep up the friendships where possible.
Ds2 " lost touch" with some of his friends one year and when I suggested play dates he said "but they're not in my class", There seemed to be a thought process that you could only socialise with your own class. Perhaps that's how the other girls are thinking too . I'm not sure where it comes from. Maybe a word with other mums may help too. It helped for us.
Talk to the school before doing anything drastic.
Don't move her....it sounds like a blip and this is coming from a woman with 2 DDs one of whom struggled socially terribly AFTER I moved her!
My DD went into a lovely primary for year 3 after three years in a prep and she was a nightmare for a whole year bless her....she couldn;t settle at all.
The thing that helped her was her amazing teacher who jumped in with an idea...she instigated a new playtime "lesson" which was to learn all about traditional circle games. Every playtime she herded her class to one spot...most wanted to join in...and she would mkae one child the games master...this child had the job of allocating the "parts" in each game....ie "You're the farmer... and she made my DD do it too....the games became so popular the kids all mucked in more and DD was much happier.
In the meantime, invite some of the girls she's been friendly with in the past year home...
Yes it's per year, it goes up slightly per year but only by a couple of hunded pounds in total. There's not a great demand for prep schools here as we still have the (equivalent exam of) 11 plus and grammar schools, so the vast majority of children go to state primary schools. I've only one child so there wouldn't be any additional expense in future years. The other local schools tbh wouldn't be anywhere near as good as the current one in terms of standards and pastoral care, so the prep would be the only other option I'd consider. I just really hope it'll settle down and things will improve. The parent teacher meetings are in 4 weeks so I think I'll give her that time to settle down, and if she's still unhappy at that stage will reassess things then
Also the fees will work out much more than that once you take into consideration that uniform is WAY more expensive and the trips and activities are not subsidised at all.
Would she be able to move class rather than school?
I agree, the play dates advice is good, think Ill plan a few to see if that helps. Her birthday is coming up in a few weeks so I guess that is a good opportunity to invite some of the other girls. It was birthday invites that actually got her upset tonight, she is upset as one of her closer friends from last year has only invited children from the other class (dont worry Im not one of those mums who gets annoyed abut parties and the politics surrounding invitations!!). She doesn't care about the actual party but seems to think its the start of being left out of everything for the year by being in a separate class. I've suggested that for her party we have it in a local soft play or leisure centre and invite all the girls from both classes, which wold be about 20 in total, so will see how that works out
They don't allow class changes, plus I actually really like her current teacher. Although in saying that, I know that one of the pushy mums was able to get her child moved just before term started. But Id hate to be one of the annoying parents who are always complaining and as they have to do 2 composite years, at least we are getting one over and done with at a younger stage I suppose
DD was the youngest in the Y2/Y1 she missed all her friends who happened to have summer birthdays and were in Y1/YR.
She moaned and muttered and finally made friends with the new girl who joined her class. The playground politics settled down and all the Y1's regardless of class went back to playing together.
I guess it took till Christmas for them to decide sod it nothings going to change just because three Y1 girls aren't in our lessons we are still all Y1.
And from that day to the last day of Y6 that group were far closer and more loyal to each other than DD1's class that were never split.
Several of them are still great friends despite being in Y8 at 4 different schools.
I see - I think you are doing the right thing. Maybe keep pushing the excitement of making new friends etc. Good luck - it is hard when they are unhappy. You want to help, but not baby. Really tough.
They need to do something practically to help her....it's hard but has DD tried to approach her older friends?
Thanks I appreciate all the replies and advice, nice to know from others that it may settle down. I hope she is making an effort to play with the others, she says they are all playing already and she can't join in, she probably needs to be more forthcoming about approaching them!
Bless her. Play dates are def the way forward. Does theschool do any eextra curricular stuff she could join in to help her socialise? Or get her to join something like brownies and make new friends too
If the class sizes in the new school are only fifteen, I'd be concerned that she might not find her niche there either. There could only be 6 or 7 other girls, and she might not particularly click with any of them. If you're happy with the current school otherwise, I'd work on sorting things out where she is tbh. Moving might not be a solution.
I would keep mentioning it to school, they should be able to work something out. She could mzke friends with the younger ones. I always said to mine to find someone else to play with if they feel excluded. There's always someone, you just have to look for them.
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