If you have moved one child but left other at old school...

(18 Posts)
shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 14-Sep-15 10:15:35

..how long did it take you to 'trust' old school again?

We moved dd2 in the summer term. There were a number of issues. The class was disruptive, the teachers kept leaving, there were a few specific incidents which weren't dealt with appropriately, the school also wasn't catering for her academic and sensory needs. MN jury was to move her. We moved her, she is very happy in new school, we are very happy. It suits her and it suits her needs. Two school runs are annoying but the time differences are such that I can do it without any additional help.

There are two dc left in the other school. One I won't move. She is yr6 so school run is irrelevant, her teacher seems great, she has lots of friends and is happy.

The youngest one is another issue. He is just going into yr1, he has some nice friends but also a girl who is making his life miserable. She is rude to him, teases him and takes things from him. I did mention it to reception teachers but issues still seem to be there now. He is having nightmares and chewing his clothes. I am also a little concerned about the school's academic inflexibility. For example at the end of yr5 dd1 was told that they couldn't study algebra because it is yr6 syllabus. Ds is a typical MN child!! He is the one reading chapter books and understanding them, doing complex calculations etc. He is also oldest in his class so I am concerned that he might get bored. Dd2's new school is a free school and more flexible - will extend to secondary if required.

Now if we hadn't moved dd2 I wouldn't consider moving ds at this stage (dh occasionally murmors about scholarships at 7+). The issues are mainly pfb issues and MN should rightly tell me to get a grip. I think that it is because I lost faith in the school (even they admitted that it should have been handled better). Do you think that it is better to cut our losses and move him if a space comes up? Is it possible to regain the faith? Most of the teachers have left but there is still one who is on SMT who was key in our final decision and she can't unsay what she said and she can't go back and move dd2 in a more timely manner.

If I was making an application to reception then I would put dd2's school down, but it would mean moving ds, disrupting his friendships - and he has got a good peer group in that class who I think academically will give him a run for his money. Not sure whether he will feel the same challenge from peers at dd2's school (have friends with dc in the class) although they do allow movement between year groups more. They would also in the longer term be willing to stretch him more.

tiggytape Mon 14-Sep-15 11:20:01

It is tough. A school can fail one child spectacularly and yet still be fine for most other pupils (in the cases where a child has additional needs or in some instances of bullying for example because sometimes a school gets it very wrong but only for a specific group).
However it is the poor handling of things that is more of a worry. It is one thing for a school to fall down on a particular issue but if the leadership is not good and things go unresolved then that bodes less well for trusting the school again than the initial failing.

It probably won't help but with older children now, I know lots of people over the years who have moved a child out of one primary school to anpther and it seems to follow a similar pattern:
If it was their older child they moved, all siblings have also been moved or have followed later to the new school.
when it was a middle child who was moved, the younger sibling has always moved as well but the older one never has (in a straw poll of 5 families).

If an older child has got as far as Year 5 or 6 they tend to stay put no matter what happens with their siblings (although I know 2 pulled out of Year 6 but that was to be Home Educated to avoid SATS)

If you have lost trust, it is harder to keep a younger one there I think. It might be as much a case of being on edge and looking for faults but equally if nothing has changed then the worry is you could come up against the same problems again or other problems also not dealt with.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 14-Sep-15 12:10:29

That's interesting. It confirms my experiences that very few families have a younger one complete the school if an older one doesn't. If it makes any difference the HT is quite new (only in post for 6/7 weeks when dd2 left). She was off sick when it all crashed down and did address the matter when she returned, by then we already had a school visit lined up and dd immediately decided that it was the school for her. Dd2 was never really happy from yr1 onwards so it was simply the final straw. Not sure if the member of staff will stay with whom we had problems. She is DH but appointed under old head. All the other SMT from old HT have already left.

It is so hard getting two different newsletters etc, two very different schools and styles of education. It is difficult not to compare them and have favourites, but that isn't fair on the other dc. Obviously I don't do this in front of the children but in my head I do.

Part of me thinks that ds moving is inevitable and I should put his name on the waiting list (although he will get sibling priority there is no guarantee that anyone will leave) and get on with it. Another part of me thinks that at the moment he is generally ok and this is just a blip. Of course in 2-3 yrs time dd1&2 will be independently going to school and he could move to any other school, so maybe we should stay put and look further afield for him in a few years. There are a couple of very academic state schools and maybe a place will come up in one of them, or of course go for a 7+ scolarship. Lots to think about.

Millymollymama Mon 14-Sep-15 12:18:08

Is the main problem the girl who is unpleasant? From my experience the friendships he has will be invaluable in countering this. He also needs strategies to cope with her and friends often rally round and are supportive at such times. For me, it would depend on how the school handle this girl. If they help her behave well and stop her nastiness towards your DC is there really any reason to move him? You say he has bright children to work with and no good school lets lots of children coast and get bored! If they are not allowing him to progress, then presumably none of the brighter children are progressing either. I agree that would be a worry but at the moment I would stay but alert the school to the problems that have arisen again with the girl. Does she have SEND by any chance?

Movement up to another class is not always the best idea regarding friendships. These will probably be formed already and your DS will be an outsider and a young one too. There are thousands of extraordinarily bright Oxbridge destined children who are educated in ordinary state schools in their correct year group. Is your DS a genius or just very bright? It is perfectly possible for him to do extended work and take SATS level 6 papers whilst staying in his correct year. It is also important for him to have friends and bright children to work with who are his peers. If he goes up a year at the free school, does he then go to secondary at 10 years old?

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 14-Sep-15 13:21:32

I am not aware of any additional needs that the girl has, but it is certainly possible. I know on the one hand that I need to let the school do it's thing. Ds is a very different child to dd2. Having said that the transformation in dd was startling and if I could change one thing it would be to move her sooner.

Ds is not a genius but he is only a few weeks into his academic year so a few lessons with children a few weeks or months older would only be an issue in terms of the social construction of the environment in which he is. If he was in Scotland, with all the deferring that happens of children born after Christmas, he would be one of the youngest. His reception teacher said that he was the most advanced reader for his age that he had taught, but reading and understanding is just one angle to his education. I think that I am more concerned about the school's view that drawing on the national curriculum no student should do work which is ahead of their year group. This was very clearly stated for dd1's year group that algebra specifically would not be covered until yr6. In some ways this isn't a problem for ds. He can already do simple algebra (e.g. y=2x+3) if x is 4 what is y, he has taught himself using dd1's dragon box and can extrapolate it on paper. On the otherhand if he is never allowed to do any work that is more challenging than his year group can achieve, I am concerned that he will get bored. The other school is a free school and although they do use the NC they don't have to and can give them work beyond their year group.

I don't think that he would be put into yr 2, just that their grouping is more flexible for maths, literacy etc and he could be with yr2s for some topics, and indeed reception for other topics. If he moved schools then whichever year group he went into he would need to make new friends, whether yr1 or yr2. Starting secondary at 10 is possible (grammar school area and admissions state that they will consider early applicants), but that is not our preference.

Obs2015 Mon 14-Sep-15 13:27:09

Tricky. How do you ever regain trust?
I have this situation. Ds1 just moved, leaving ds2, but the trust was do badly broken.....

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 14-Sep-15 13:40:32

Ohh me too. I should have moved Dd1 but didnt, i did move DD2 at her request (same disruptive class, lack of work, no control, situations handled badly) shes happy. DS if left, i have no faith, and can not support their ethos! They bang on about grades, and dismiss kids being hurt as `accidents`. I feel angry that Dd1 was bullied, and Dd2 was forced to leave, yet nothing has changed. Bad management is the key factor. Sorry no help.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 14-Sep-15 15:00:12

So what are your plans? I am worried that this could be the beginning of problems for ds. The impact on him seems worse than for dd2 - she just kind of kept her head down, it was only in the last few weeks that it came out in her behaviour. I feel so sad when I see him chewing his clothes - he'd never even sucked his thumb or a dummy before this girl started. He was so upset in the night too. Having said that dd2 wasn't bullied - other inappropriate behaviour but not bullying. I don't want to stand back too long and not do anything (well I have of course already informed the teacher). If I didn't have to work I could HE - he is a dream to teach. My instinct is to scoop him up and take him home. It won't help him stand up for himself though.

Hope MiniObs and MiniSally are both happy in their new schools and they will always know that their parents listened and believed them.

Millymollymama Mon 14-Sep-15 15:02:30

I have a friend whose son was moved into yr 6 lessons for maths at age 7. He is currently doing maths at Cambridge. Wants to teach maths at Cambridge. Probably will! His state primary was flexible and he, quite clearly, is exceptional. However he still needed and wanted his peer group as friends. A other state educated child I know has just started at Wycome Abbey. Her progress and ability was exceptional but she stayed in her year group and received excellent teaching.

Also, the new maths curriculum is more challenging and you are only looking at one aspect of it, algebra. I can assure you that in any decent state school, the teachers will want to push him. Later on you may well have the problem that he is in advance of his teachers. Then you will possibly need to find a tutor because the teachers will not be secondary curriculum trained or even capable of teaching it. (Why would they be?) However, Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick, UCL, LSE and Durham etc are taking very bright mathematicians who have learned within the maths curriculum in the correct year group. Their schools have kept them interested. If he needs extra stimulation, I am sure MN maths gurus can suggest something to you. Can he manage the rest of the new curriculum easily too or will he be asked to do something new and challenging this year? Have you seen the new maths curriculum?

shouldwestayorshouldwego Mon 14-Sep-15 16:36:38

The algebra is just an example of their approach. We have been told that due to the NC no child will be able to progress beyond their year group in any area. I am not too bothered about where he ends up. Obviously I would like him to be successful in whatever he wants to do. At the moment that is being in a boy band! I am concerned if they always try to limit him. There aren't really any academic areas that he needs to work on. Reception was fine as the teachers just let him go off and read books himself and most of the time was unstructured. He used to love doing junk model inventions but as he goes further up the school I can see it being harder for him to just do his own thing and he will need to sit and do the same work as the rest of the class. Dd2's school don't have much time sitting down, they don't even all have desks. They have some formal teaching but most of the time they are given a choice of tasks and they can choose which level to tackle and where they want to work. It would be much easier for him to be given differentiated work. Where he is now they have ability tables and everyone on the table does the same work. They are just different ways of working. He says that the work is all too easy, but I think he will probably be one of the lucky ones who finds work easy for large parts of his education.

My main concern though is the situation with this girl. The teacher has talked with ds and they are going to keep a close eye on the situation. Academically I am sure that he will gain a good grasp of the primary school curriculum wherever he goes, it is just whether I can trust the school again.

Barbeasty Mon 14-Sep-15 18:17:57

If you applied for a place at the new school you wouldn't have to accept it if one came up would you? Maybe it's worth putting his name down while you see how his current school deal with the issues.

If they deal with it well under the new leadership all good, if they don't then his name's down ready and you won't have missed out on a place if one comes up.

Lookingforwardtoholiday Mon 14-Sep-15 18:36:14

We moved our middle child for what we felt at the time was a unique reason relating to her. We left the eldest who was in year 5 and started the youngest in the school nursery. Over the next year or so it became clear that the issue we had had was part of wider issues within the school and my anger with how they had treated her got bigger and bigger and started to cloud my judgement over every little thing that happened.

We left the eldest to finish through to the end of year 6 and moved the youngest as we had lost faith in the school and didn't feel that we could overcome it.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Mon 14-Sep-15 22:21:19

DD2 is so much happier at her new school, she has made some lovely friends, and they all seem more friendly, less dramatic ... Its the best thing i have done for her, albeit her choice to move.

BlueCowWonders Tue 15-Sep-15 05:44:32

This time next year you'll have children in 3 different schools. I think you should try to make your life less complicated by having only 1 primary school run.
I think you need to put dc3's name in the waiting list asap

Lookingforwardtoholiday Tue 15-Sep-15 08:49:51

I have 3 in 3 different schools and it's fine as the eldest is at secondary and takes the bus so I have very little involvement in school runs. The other 2 are at different schools but relatively close by with different start and finish times plus before bad after school clubs. Parents eves are different days, never have clashes, totally manageable.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 15-Sep-15 10:45:52

The school run isn't an issue. They are close to each other (15mins walking, 5 mins by car) The schools start and finish at different times. We use any left over time to do reading homework. Dd1's secondary school choices are all closer to the schools than home, she can either have a lift nearer to school and walk or walk further but leave at a similar time. Different parents evenings are a bonus! If anything dd2's school is more awkward, it is further and dd being three academic years behind means that it is a longer commitment.

It is simply the issue of trust and whether it would suit him better at the other school.

BarbarianMum Tue 15-Sep-15 13:54:30

Why not put his name on the list for the new school and decide if/when a place becomes available? Personally I wouldn't worry too much about moving a Y1 child, ime they settle very quickly.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 10-Mar-16 06:21:32

Update - DS moved schools a few months ago. He settled straight into a new group of friends with common interests. He is finding the work more challenging and fun but less stressful (fewer assessments). School run is easier. Oldest dc is still happy in school and moving up in the summer.

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