10 year old being ostracised by whole class

(65 Posts)
PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:07:29

Name change here

My heart is breaking for my 10 yo DS, who broke down in a right state on Christmas Day. We finally prised it out of him that his was ostracised by his whole Year 6 class for pretty much the whole of last term. He's still pretty clammed up about it, but it appears there are one or more kids who are intimidating the others, and threatening to send them to coventry if they play with DS. There is one kid he chats to a bit.

DS doesn't want me to talk to the school as "he thinks it will only make things worse". Can anyone tell me what sort of strategies the school would use in such a situation, so I can try and put his mind at ease that it's not going to backfire. I also can't get the name(s) of the perpetrator(s) out of him, as he doesn't want to snitch (although I have my suspicions).

We had no idea this was going on. He's such a lovely, caring kid. He's a bit geeky (not interested in football, lives a bit in his own world), so I can see how he might not click with some of the other boys, but doesn't deserve this sort of treatment. Any suggestions about what to do.

cornystollenslave Fri 28-Dec-12 16:10:27

[poor ds]
make an appointment to see the head as soon as school goes back. Ask to see their bullying policy.

Sparklingbrook Fri 28-Dec-12 16:11:29

Firstly as the owner of a 10 year old DS myself have a big hug. For all this to come out on Christmas Day must have been a shock to all and so upsetting for you.

You need to make an appointment to see the teacher as soon as school starts again. There must be things they can do. How many classes are there in the year?

PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:22:25

Thank you both for the replies and concern. There are two classes in the year.

Sparklingbrook Fri 28-Dec-12 16:23:14

Do you think moving to the other class would make a difference?

PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:27:13

I'm not sure. I could run it past him. This class have been together since reception. On the whole, they're nice kids. I knew he wasn't the most popular kid in the class, because he is a slight oddball, but he's always had a small circle of friends. When I asked him, what about so-and-so or such-and-such (who have been his mates in the past), he clammed up again, so I think they've got intimidated by the class thug.

PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:28:00

I need to get him to talk more. I think his confidence has been really eroded. sad

cornystollenslave Fri 28-Dec-12 16:32:38

What's his relationship like with the teacher?

Virtuallyarts Fri 28-Dec-12 16:33:14

You poor poor things. Another one who recommends talk to the school, despite your ds' worries about making it worse. I don't know what strategies the school would use in this type of case, but as corny suggests they must have an anti bullying policy (in fact it may be on the school's website so you could pre-inform yourself!) and as sparkling says there must be things they can do. May be that they will consider changing form (though why should your ds be the one who moves? I know! Still, if it will help your ds..).

I would ask them at the first meeting what precise steps they are going to take, and then ask to arrange a follow up meeting or phone call for them to update you. Also I would consider e-mailing/phoning now rather than waiting till school goes back, as head may be reading e-mails, and you could say sorry you know that its hols but this is so important you felt it better not to wait.

RyleDup Fri 28-Dec-12 16:33:33

Poor little guy. Thats rubbish. I'd go and have a meeting with the head teacher and his teacher, and get to the bottom of what really is happening. I wouldn't say a move to the other class is the right thing initially, as the ringleaders might transfer the bullying over there. What does your ten yr old want to happen?

RyleDup Fri 28-Dec-12 16:34:38

I think its important that the teachers identify who the ringleaders are and start with them really.

Sparklingbrook Fri 28-Dec-12 16:34:44

It's an awful situation for him. DS1 (now 13) seemed to somehow alienate himself from friends when he was 10ish. He couldn't take a joke or laugh at himself and they seemed to have fun pressing his buttons which led to him becoming more and more withdrawn. They too were children he had come all through the school with.

You can't move forward until you have spoken to the Head or teacher. The teacher must have noticed something you would have thought?

TheMonster Fri 28-Dec-12 16:35:40

You need to speak to the school and the two ringleaders need to be spoken to sternly.

PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:36:27

He gets on OK with his teacher. She "gets" him (and probably shares his slightly daft sense of humour).

I looked on the school website yesterday, and they do have an anti-bullying policy, but it does say what it does.

Would it be better to meet with the head or his teacher, do you think?

PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:36:50

Sorry - doesn't say what's in the anti-bullying policy.

Sparklingbrook Fri 28-Dec-12 16:37:40

I would be tempted to go to the Head. Then leave it with them to get to the bottom of it with the teacher.

Your poor DS. I would be very surprised if the teacher doesn't know something is going on (if they have no idea that would be a major concern). However, it is very difficult to do anything if all the kids deny there is a problem, but if just one admits they are being picked on it often has a domino effect and others admit it too. You will probably find they will all be relieved that the grown ups take back control from the bullies. What they do will depend on the strategies the school has in place, ranging from vague PSHE sessions to tackling it head-on.

This is not uncommon behaviour particularly with boys. They seem to take on a 'pack' mentality (even though individually they can be good kids) and one child becomes the target. Speak to the school, I am sure it can be swiftly dealt with.

Virtuallyarts Fri 28-Dec-12 16:40:00

Would it be worth your asking over a couple of the friendlier boys during the rest of the holidays - to play computer games, or go to the cinema? Even if they don't come, you haven't lost anything by asking, and it might boost his confidence a bit and cheer him up to have a friendly meeting with them outside school.

The other thing that is often suggested is to ensure that a dc has a non-school social life as well - maybe cubs, woodcraft folk, music group etc, or just seeing neighbouring children who go to a different school. I do think it's good to know you have friends outside school - can be a confidence booster, so maybe do some of that as well. But obviously your main issue at the moment is the school one - so I'm not suggesting cubs is the complete solution!

Loads of sympathy, this is awful for you and ds.

cornystollenslave Fri 28-Dec-12 16:41:02

Yes I would also go to the head. It can be difficult to get an appointment to speak confidentially with the teacher, as they can be very busy before and after school.
I would ask to see the head on the first day back as a matter of urgency, or if they have inset on the inset day.

Brycie Fri 28-Dec-12 16:42:11

Can you take him out of the school? He only has two terms to go. Can you tutor him yourself for two terms? I wouldn't let him go back. It must be torture.

PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:43:57

Virtually. He does do musical activities outside of school, which he enjoys. That's a good idea about getting some kids around over the hols.

PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:45:31

Brycie. I work part-time. I would have to give up my job for that.

Virtuallyarts Fri 28-Dec-12 16:45:43

You could suggest teacher joins the meeting as well, as otherwise the head may (understandably!) say that s/he needs to find out from the teacher what is happening, and that will slow things down, lead to chinese whispers etc. But I do think you need to involve the head, and as corny says, make sure you say it is urgent.
I think football can be a prob for boys who aren't interested in it. Is there any other non team sport your ds might like, like judo, karate, fencing, or maybe cricket (I know that's team!)? - I think it can give them more confidence to have 'their' sporting activity, and although he might be doing it outside school, that feeds into their confidence in school.

Sparklingbrook Fri 28-Dec-12 16:46:17

Are there any other schools around? Sounds drastic but we did it as DS was so unhappy.

PlaygroundPolitics Fri 28-Dec-12 16:46:22

I just keep thinking of him hanging out on his own every breaktime and lunchtime sad

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