Would you move school in YR4(14 Posts)
Have just got an offer from other school which was our first choice at reception stage. One form entry. small school. Academically they have higher expectations from day one and it is evident in examples of children's work.
Current school, not so academic but more "fun" i.e lots of art, dress up days, activities, mentors. Access to resources to help children / families going through difficulties.
DS is very able and is in all top ability groups. Maths he is not challenged at all as he grasps concepts very quickly. Literacy again very able but he does have to put more effort in to produce a good piece of work. Very mixed background at school with high proportion on FSM and up til now he has friends while at school but not close friends for play dates or anything. Social class - even though he hasn't made close friendships we more fit here.
Why would I like to move him?
I feel that new school would challenge him a lot more and better prepare him for secondary school expectations. Current school has very little provision to develop higher ability children. I have spoken to teachers in the passed and I am left with the feeling that they don't or won't understand where I'm coming from, even though they agree he exceeded expectations last year . For example in a way it might be good for him to be in a class where he doesn't always know the answers to the Maths questions.
This may be difficult but I feel that he hasn't made any serious friendships that go beyond the school playground anyway.
Downside - The new school is less "fun" with much less drama, art, dress up etc.- which he likes - but would rather have fun with science activities - than art or drama.
Basically what is holding me back is whether we may not fit in as it is a very mc school, and would I have made a big mistake.
You thoughts please
I would move ds if I was in your position. We have same situation here, so I actually envy you.
Fun stuff, you can do outside of school, but actual academics have to be done in school. So if other school offer better education for dc, I would definitely go for it.
Have you specifically investigated what the other school can offer children who are naturally good at maths? (it's something that many schools struggle with, based on MN threads!).
I would be very hesitant to move a child who is happy and settled without a really good reason as to why you want to move them. I disagree with the last poster - if it's maths specifically that your child needs more stretching in, there are loads of resources online to cover this at home, plus you can introduce maths concepts in fun ways like playing board games, chess, logic puzzles etc. It's much harder to, say, have a "Roman day" at home, and IMO these sorts of things add so much to the richness of school life.
I'd also be wary of moving to a single form entry school (unless current school is also single form entry?) . Remember this means a smaller pool of potential friends, and for a child moving to secondary in a couple of years, a potential big jump. DD goes to a 4 form entry school and in Y4/5/6 we've seen lots of children move in from the smaller schools nearby, as their parents found that the lovely nurturing school was just "too small" as their DC got older.
It is very much personal preference though. Which school can you see him fitting into best? I'm not sure your original post reads like you are convinced it is the other school.
Maybe you can talk to DS to see if he would like to move. We were in the same situation with DS1, he was very bright and was not challenged, but the school was fun, DS1 really liked the school.So we did some extra outside school. I always think the stuff in primary school is relatively easier, so you can provide extra strech at home. But if you don't have time or effort to do this, you may want to move him.
It depends how easy he finds into rub along with kids his age. My DD is painfully shy. We moved her for reasons similar to yours when she was year 3. She has no friends now and stands alone in the playground every day. I regret it so much, though academically it's been better for her
She is extreme tho. If he's generally friendly he'll be fine and he might build better friendships in the new environment.
If a child is happy then it's a mistake to move their school. It's better to top up with tutoring/ extra maths at home.
Your preferred school might be a SATs factory. Activities like drama do not help SATs results. It sound as if the new school has a narrower curriculum. Dress up days and the school play are part of providing a rich childhood. SAT results make limited difference in the long term.
Happy and settled go first, unless the school is clearly holding him back working at a level well below his ability.
I would also say be totally sure that the 'more academic' school is still good at differentiating higher ability. I think that a lot of schools are great for middle performers, might be pretty good for those who need extra help, but can struggle with the top end (the NC doesn't help).
And, I wouldn't underestimate how important being settled and happy is. My DD doesn't really have 'outside' school friends from school, but she is actually very happy with things like that at the moment, and seeing some of the emotional tangles some children can get into at this age, I am happy to let her take friendship development at her own pace, even if I do worry that she hasn't got really close friends out of school.
We moved county when I had children going into Y5 3 and 1 DD1 struggled for a good year.. The change in the 2 schools was immense she struggled with the different teaching styles and she wasn't good at making friends.
By Y6 she was in the top sets she adored school and did really well in her sats. Something she never would have thought she could do from the school she came from.
The change for dd2 in y3 wasn't as big she didnt find the difference too big(she came from different school to dd1) and made friends fairly easy (sadly BF moved after 2 years and that she really struggled with)
DS in Y1 flew through it adored school and now in year 10 is still one of those people who just gets on very easy and enjoys learning plus being with people.
However I do not regret moving.
DD1 has few memories of her first 2 schools (infants and junior set up) DD2 and DS however still have keen memories of the school they attended. All 3 of them speak of the school they moved to as " their primary" and they have all been back to " help" on inset days as they love it there. DD1 and 2 would return to help with the summer fair every year their younger siblings were still in the school.
So it can work very well .. In our case it was not an option to not move as we physically moved. However in your case yes I think I would move. Just put some effort into ensuring he gets to establish some friendships.
Thank you everyone - your views have helped. Although I am still undecided - If I ask ds definitely he will want to stay where he is familiar. Which isn't necessarily the right decision.
What I am thinking is that by the time he reaches year 6 - the new school will more likely better prepare him for the academic demands of secondary school - I can see that current school he will meet his targets and anything more will be about what I can do at home. I don't want and can't afford a tutor. It's not about cramming him with stuff - it's about learning to the best of his ability along side his peers and also extra curricular activities take up most of his time
No school can teach beyond the national curriculum for the year group though, so I cannot see how another school can be more academic in this way. All schools can set "mastery" work and his current school must do that. I would talk to his teacher about how his needs will be met. It is unlikely another smaller school will prepare him more effectively for senior school. Good work habits, confidence and enthusiasm for learning is what is needed for senior school, not a perceived more academic primary school. The secondary school will also do their own tests regarding ability so if he is exceeding in every category, they will find that out and teach accordingly. Other similar children will also be in the secondary school.
If his progress has stalled, ask what the school are doing about giving him additional work that is in greater depth. Some teachers struggle with this but it needs to be done. I underestimated the friendships my DD had when we moved her for Y4. She had no invites to parties or obvious friends, but children wanted to play after we moved her! . I have to say that the friends were soon replaced by ones from the new school, but we moved from a large village school to a prep school, so a slightly different situation.
I moved mine in Year 4. She's very able and was in all the extension groups but not having to make much effort to get top grades. She was bored. The new school is far better. She's loving the lessons and thriving because they do extend her far more. The difference in size is pronounced. Her last school was 550 pupils, this one is 150. I'm a firm believer, having been to 10 different schools growing up, that children of primary school age are better off in smaller schools. The downside is that there are fewer children to choose from as friends and it took a year to really sort out her friendships; the upside is that she's learnt to get on better with people she wouldn't necessarily choose as friends and she's absolutely loving school now (before she was coming across as lazy and de-motivated). In team sports my child gets to do far more because it's a smaller pool to choose from so every child counts. As a result she's much fitter than she was in the last school and feels more valued. It's entirely untrue to suppose that schools cannot extend beyond the National Curriculum. There was a child in her age group doing Algebra last year! Maths, in particular, is not age-dependent and bright children seem far happier when they are extended more. The key is to look at your child's emerging personality, and needs, and choose the school based on that; not on any preconceived ideas of yours, or anyone else's, of what is the perfect school. There isn't one.
"It's entirely untrue to suppose that schools cannot extend beyond the National Curriculum.
Agree. I have seen some teachers state that on MN. The problem is some school says they can't.(like my ds'), and frustrating to know they are not true.
Sometimes it is really depending on the teacher. Both my DS1 and DS2 had a few very good teacher, but also had not so good teacher.
OP should check the other school, is it good at strech the able children. As our friend's son was in an outstanding school, but their school focus all the attention on the low achiving students. That school is very famous for it's acedemic standard in our city, but her son didn't get much more than my DS in a normal good school.
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