Getting nervous - DD starting school next September

(9 Posts)
LapinDeBois Mon 22-Oct-12 22:50:07

Hi Twinkle, your DD sounds similar to DS1. He's just started Reception (in a great local village school) and is loving it. He does find it all quite tiring, but he's doing so much better than I would have thought a couple of years ago. I think if you find a good school, then they should be able to identify and differentiate for a bright child. Personally, I think it's quite hard to ask questions in advance, at an open day - I'm not saying you shouldn't try, but when they don't know your child yet, it's quite easy to come across as a bit of a pushy parent (and hard for them to know what to answer anyway). With DS, we had a home visit from the class teacher a couple of weeks into term (not just us, everyone did), and that was the time I felt I had a proper conversation with her, because by then she'd really got DS's measure!! (At the open day, I'd asked her a couple of questions, but I felt she was a bit cagy/wary - but actually she's fantastic.) So although it's worth asking some questions when you look round (e.g. about whether there's official 'streaming' in the classes, or how they differentiate), you might not get terribly useful answers.

The other thing to remember is that school is about SO much more than learning, particularly in the first year or two. I've only really realised this in the last couple of months. And I'm quite glad that DS is finding all the 'work' pretty easy so far, because it's one less thing for him to worry about while he's getting used to all the other stuff (being independent, choosing his own lunch, being around older children etc etc etc).

My other question is whether your DD goes to a preschool at all? DS1 started when we was just under 3, and it made all the difference with him. Until then, he'd been so socially awkward that he really didn't interact with other children at all, and for a long time we were quite worried that he was on the autistic spectrum. But he really blossomed at pre-school (it still took a while, but it happened), and when it was time for his first day at school (a day I'd been dreading for years, TBH), he was completely fine. He's still no social butterfly, but he's made a couple of new friends in his class already (who seem to like him too), and he comes home telling me he's been playing various inexplicable running around games in the playground, which I take as a good sign grin.

redwhiteandblueeyedsusan Sat 13-Oct-12 15:42:44

sounds like dd. she loved reception.

i went with the you can make up the academic at home but can do nothing about the social side of things at school.. (ie how nice the children/parents/atmosphere/ethos are, how effective their anti bullying policy is. )

if you ask questions ask for specific examples of what they have done and do not accept we have an anti bullyuing policy or we have lots of bright children comments.

lots of brright children do well at school. the quirky brightest/gifted do not always do so well (and you do not know for sure which category dd will fall into yet) have a look at the ofsted report and see how well they are extending the brightest learners.

overall though I would opt for the best school socially

the school we chose did not cater for reading already in reception. hoever, it all changed in year one. sometimes you have to go with the overall best fit, even though some things will be better somehere else.

I occasionally wish that dd's school had the same facilities as the second choice school... but then we would not have the good social side of school.

madwomanintheattic Sat 13-Oct-12 14:55:06

Desensitization and being gently introduced to busier and noisier places. The way that yr r is led, there is usually an opportunity for quieter play and learning in any case, but definitely important for her to get used to busier environments.

Dd2 was v aurally sensitive. The school essentially sat her by the door in assembly for example, so someone could take her out if she became distressed. She has improved over time.

needtochill Sat 13-Oct-12 13:06:37

I understand your worries about your DD struggling with noise - my DS is the same. His reception classroom has quiet spaces where children can get away from the noise. You might want to check what provision there is for this when you go on your visits.

To improve my son's social skills I took him to a local music class. He gained so much confidence through doing this and became much more sociable. Do you have any classes locally to you? If you have a children's centre in your area have a look what they offer. Most have a stay and play session which could help too.

Hope that helps.

Tw1nkle Sat 13-Oct-12 08:43:47

Thank you!
Any advice for developing her social skills to get her more prepared for school?
The local school has over 400 pupils (2 classes of 30 intake each year).
My DD struggles with loud situations, so the size of the school is worrying me.

madwomanintheattic Fri 12-Oct-12 22:20:20

All schools should be more than used to readers arriving in yr r. Dd2 was reading cs Lewis etc before school, and they just let her choose reading books from other year groups classrooms. Other than looking for a straight through primary instead of an infant school (just for access to ks2 stuff) I wouldn't fret.

I would be inclined to concentrate on her social issues for the next year, so that she is more confident in this area before school. It will be of much more use than anything else, and you will be doing her a huge favour in the long run.

needtochill Fri 12-Oct-12 22:05:35

Should be cried not cryed...brain has gone to sleep.

needtochill Fri 12-Oct-12 21:44:03

Hi
Your DD sounds very like my DS was at that age. He was reading, adding etc but struggled socially. He hated pre school and cryed every day because he was bored. He's now in reception at our local catchment school and is loving it. He is now reading early reader chapter books, is spelling simple words and enjoys doing sums. His teacher differentiates work for him and he is on a reading scheme. Socially he is much better and has some lovely friends (although he's still a bit quirky at times!).
Ask some questions when you go for your visits as it will help you decide where your DD will be happiest and will put your mind at rest.
Good luck!

Tw1nkle Fri 12-Oct-12 16:50:33

Hi,
I'm looking for a bit of advice please!
Firstly, I'm not saying that my DD is 'gifted', however, she does seem quite advanced for her age. (She's 3, and reading simple books, knows rhyming words, does simple addition/subtraction).
She does lack social skills, and I'm worried that she will be bored at school, and her social skills really won't help!
We have to view the schools soon, and make our choice (We're no doubt going to opt for the local catchment school), but was wondering if I should ask any questions about how they deal with situations where a child can already read/do maths etc?
Do I need to worry?
Should they automatically identify the more 'able' pupils?
It's all new to me!
I found school boring, as I wasn't challenged enough - I really don't want my DD to feel the same way about school as I did.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now