Boy heavy Reception...

(48 Posts)
FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 12:27:55

My ds [whose nursery friends are are mainly girls] is starting a Reception class of 30 which contains just 3 girls. He will cope I'm sure but just wonder if anyone else, either teacher or parent, has experience of this. It is two form entry and the other class has a similar ratio of boys to girls. What a strange year- something in the water round our way 2008-2009!!
grin.

Periwinkle007 Fri 28-Jun-13 12:44:33

gosh- that is unusual for it to be so heavily one way or the other. My daughter's year is a bit girl heavy but not to that extent (think there are 35 girls out of 60) Not sure for my other daughter starting this year but so far from her settling in session I have counted at least 8 girls out of 30 in her class and there were others that I THINK were girls names on the list, will have a better look this week.

gegs73 Fri 28-Jun-13 12:50:08

My DS2 is in Y1 now and is in a class of about 18 boys and 12 girls (at the last count could even be more now with people leaving and new children starting). This has worked out really well for him. There is a big choice of different boys for him to play with and I am guessing that the teacher has to be more boy savvy which can only be a good thing.

DS1 on the other hand higher up the school is in a class with many more girls and I think this has made it harder for friendships and just choice of boys to play with, especially if they fall out with each other. When they get past a certain age, it does seem that mostly boys hang out with boys and girls, girls or together but still in their groups.

If I could choose I would prefer a boy heavy to girl heavy class for my sons in primary. Very hard if you are one of only 3 girls in a class though!

FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 12:50:33

I was shocked Periwinkle and wonder if will be stressful for the teachers or whether they just take such things in their stride. Wonder how the girls will cope and hope there are some quieter boys like my ds in his class.
I know there are some puppy dog type boys in there... but hey that's normal I guess. Its the en masse boys that is rather startling...

FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 12:52:48

I agree gegs that it may make teachers 'boy savvy' which is a good thing. My older boy rather outshone by the girls in his early years in a more 'balanced' class.

Galena Fri 28-Jun-13 12:54:53

It's boy heavy round here too this year. No experience of reception, but in y3 a boy heavy class tended to be more noisy in the classroom, and I had to deal with more hitting, etc in the playground. However, a girl heavy class would have far more bitchiness and was generally more... dull... worthy... erm, lacking spark...

Obviously, I'm not saying all boys hit or that all girls are bitchy and lack spark, but it was a definite trend with classes skewed towards one gender or another.

xylem8 Fri 28-Jun-13 12:56:27

My DDS go to a small village primary which is nearly all farming families and a lot of interbreeding related children
.For some reason year after year is boy heavy .Maybe they drown the baby girls ;-).Seriously though makes me think there must be some envinonmental factors at work favouring the conception of boys.e
I think in Ops case they should have put all the girls together in one class.

xylem8 Fri 28-Jun-13 12:57:22

Or maybe even had 4 parallel R/Y1 classes to get a better mix

JamInMyWellies Fri 28-Jun-13 12:58:02

DS2 is starting reception this September too and its 12 boys to 3 girls. The exact same ratio when DS1 started too. It has worked really well. Teacher really likes it as well. They just all seem to get on really well boys and the 3 girls just all play together.

FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 12:59:12

I only had glance at the lists but think small number of girls have been 'shared'. My ds I think would prefer to have a few girls in his class than not.

FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 13:01:02

This boy heavy trend is odd. I can imagine it being a noisier class than a more 'balanced' one...

Anja1Cam Fri 28-Jun-13 13:03:54

It's round here too - DD2 just finishing her reception year with 11 girls out of 30, and the other class the same. You just get these unusual rations at times I suppose? I think made it harder for the teacher, but also because the ages are bunched in early and late rather than spread. As far as I can tell DD2s experience was just a good as DD1 did 4 years ago with a much better balanced 2-Form reception intake...

devilinside Fri 28-Jun-13 13:30:52

Galena, really hope you're not a teacher, bitchy, dull, worthy, lacking in spark. poor girls

Periwinkle007 Fri 28-Jun-13 13:35:29

I would be unhappy if either of my daughters was in a class with so few girls (unless it was a tiny class of say only 12 children anyway) but what can you do about it I suppose, it is just the way it is.

FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 13:42:32

Yes Periwinkle, I do wonder what the girls' parents think...

ClartyCarol Fri 28-Jun-13 13:49:29

devilinside - I thought that too. I could play that game and knock out a few generalisations too: I'd say girls are, in the main, much more sparky than boys. They're also chatty, eager, bright, interested and quick to learn.
However that would be a bit daft. Some girls are like that, some boys are like that.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 28-Jun-13 14:04:36

interesting that the consensus seems to be lots of girls = good and lots of boys = bad. DS1 is in a girl heavy class, there are 6 boys out of 27 and DS2 starting nursery this year is in a similar girl heavy class. There is the definite sense that this is a good thing and that lots of boys = unmanageable.

It's quite sad really that the education system seems to favour girls in this way. Most on MN would have you believe that there are no differences at all between boys and girls, so I feel very sorry that the old rhyme about slugs and snails is still alive and well.

FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 14:16:34

There is often an achievement gap between boys and girls at primary with the girls tending to 'shine'. I hope teaching in the class full of boys will adapt to the boys rather than letting them flounder as a 'difficult year'.

Quenelle Fri 28-Jun-13 14:19:15

DS's Reception class will be mostly girls. Not to that ratio though.

It has been commented on amongst the parents but only as a curiosity, not as a good or bad thing, fortunately.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 28-Jun-13 14:29:54

that's how I feel Faded. I really feel sad for my DS's that boys are viewed so negatively

DD receptions class/year is very boy heavy this where as ds has done nothing but complain that there are too many girls in nursery this year. So I assume that next year reception will be girl heavy.

I have tried to explain that he won't mind that his class will have lots of girls in, in 10 years time grin but he doesn't understand.

In fact DD2 did a graph on the school computer yesterday show all children in her reception class 20 boys and 6 grils (as she put).

Wallison Fri 28-Jun-13 14:37:32

My ds's class is also boy-heavy but that's because there are two classes in each year and the more challenging kids are all put together in one class and given to the more experienced teachers, and most of the more challenging kids seem to be boys.

BrianTheMole Fri 28-Jun-13 14:37:41

I would prefer a girl heavy class for my ds. The class he is moving into has more girls than boys.

SoupDragon Fri 28-Jun-13 14:38:57

I really feel sad for my DS's that boys are viewed so negatively

Did you miss the bit where a girl class was described as bitchy, dull and lacking spark...?

bruffin Fri 28-Jun-13 14:40:28

When DS started (one class intake, staggered start) it was 17 boys and 3 girls. One parent asked the teacher how she would manage with all those boys hmm
Teacher said it wasnt the boys that were the problem but the girls. Having just 3 girls, it would be likely that one would end up being left out and there could easily be friendship struggles. The next intake bought it up to 10 girls and 20 boys and as they went through school it evened up a little more.

thaliablogs Fri 28-Jun-13 14:41:35

My ds is starting reception with only 9 boys across 36 reception children. Not too bad but did give me a bit of a moment when I found out.

FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 14:47:22

Wallison, I find your post interesting. I wonder if the boys are 'challenging' because the primary system does not cater as well to boys in the early years as it does girls and thus boys are perceived as challenging. Perhaps behaviour deemed challenging is just boys being boys at that developmental stage.

Wallison Fri 28-Jun-13 14:51:20

Quite possibly, FadedSapphire. I certainly don't see how boys can be intrinsically naughtier than girls or whatever; it's just that they seem to struggle more with school in the early years. So is it the boys that have a problem or the schools?

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 28-Jun-13 14:59:12

it's not a competition Soup. I did see that and just because I feel sorry that at my children's school a large group of boys =bad, doesn't mean that I think that that statement is correct either. In general I don't think people see a large group of girls as dull and bitchy, I think they see 'oh lovely girls who will be easy to teach'. It's just a bit sad to think there is a level of discrimination against a large group of boys.

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 28-Jun-13 15:01:06

the schools have the problem IMO for the reasons I have mentioned above. I am sure that boys learn in a different way and at a different rate to girls and I don't think that primary schools are really set up to cater for this

AWimbaWay Fri 28-Jun-13 15:02:49

I was on the other side of this when my ds started reception, he was one of only 5 boys in a class with 23 girls, one of the boys left a few months in. The other reception class had the same ratio.

With 2 sisters he plays with girls well but it would have been nice to have a few more boys, I feel like he's outnumbered both at home and school.

He's now in a mixed year 1/2 class and has gravitated towards the year 2 boys, this has been tricky as he's a teeny tiny rather immature August born trying to impress the big year 2 boys. He can't keep up with them physically or academically so acts silly to get their attention instead, but then maybe that's just how he'd act anyway hmm. His other trick is to act all little and cute and helpless so all the girl's mother him, or more treat him like a puppy and do stuff for him which feeds his naturally rather lazy behavior.

Again this behaviour may or may not be the result of the girl/boy ratios and I do think it's led to a slightly calmer environment. I know I've found the boy heavy parties my daughter sometimes gets invited to rather more out of control than the girl heavy ones.

LtEveDallas Fri 28-Jun-13 15:03:14

DD is Yr3. Currently her class is 5 girls, 18 boys, as it was when she started reception - although in yrs 1&2 they has 4 girls.

I don't really like it, and neither does DD. She has one 'best' girl friend, but doesn't really get on with 2 others. The remaining girl is quite new and shy but DD is trying to get to know her.

She is friends with the boys, but there are no chances for friendships out of school. DD seems quite isolated, and if her best friend is away or ill then she ends up lonely. Luckily she has a number of friends in the classes above so she does have people to play with at break.

When we move DD will be in the catchment for 2 primaries. I'm going to make a decision for her based on class sizes/split rather than inspections etc because I think she needs more 'variety' (if that makes sense).

harryhausen Fri 28-Jun-13 15:03:31

My ds is just coming to the end of Y1. In a class of 31, there are 22 boys.

I was not very happy at first. My dd is coming to the end of Y3 and has an equal balance and its a great class. My ds gets on well with girls and yes, I thought it would be really boisterous.

However, it's a great class and ds loves it. It's been good for him to mix with so many boys as our family is so female heavy. The girls that are there are great girls. They obviously bond together well but they are really fun and they play well together. The girls are really popular. Yes, it's been boisterous at times but the teaching has been excellent and some really great work had been done. The class just got really good results for the y1 national phonics test.

Our school is a large primary with a two form entry too. Very boy heavy in the other class too (and many surrounding schools)

So, I'd say go with it. It'll be great smile

Wallison Fri 28-Jun-13 15:04:41

I would tend to agree with you, Funnys - if something isn't working for 50% of the population then maybe it is the something itself that needs to change, rather than the 50% 'managed' in some way. I think it is improving - schools seem to be extending the 'free flow play' set-up of nurseries through to the whole of KS1 which suits boys better but doesn't hamper progress for the ones who aren't 'challenging'. Be interesting to see the results of this a few years down the line.

SoupDragon Fri 28-Jun-13 15:45:12

it's not a competition Soup.

I never said it was confused My point was that both were being portrayed negatively.

Galena Fri 28-Jun-13 17:41:36

Oh sorry devilinside , I, obviously mistakenly, thought the OP was asking for opinions on boy/girl heavy classes.

I did clearly state that I was NOT saying that 'all boys hit or that all girls are bitchy and lack spark, but it was a definite trend with classes skewed towards one gender or another.'

I was indeed a teacher before I had DD, and was generally highly regarded - by parents of boys and girls alike - for the way I inspired their children and got them to produce their best work. However, my experiences were that boy-heavy classes were noisier, but easier to get interesting ideas from, whereas girl-heavy classes were quieter in class, making it harder to get exciting ideas, and there were definitely more problems in the playground with unpleasantness and nasty comments between the girls. No, not all girls or boys fit that mould. Yes, it was a definite trend over the 12 years I taught.

Galena Fri 28-Jun-13 17:43:02

I'd also like to point out I didn't portray either gender completely negatively Soup , I gave a good aspect and a bad aspect of each gender bias.

FadedSapphire Fri 28-Jun-13 18:53:05

Thanks for all your comments. I hope all will be well in the class for the boys, the few girls and the teachers. I hope the school will be positive to this boy heavy class and not see it as a 'problem'. Time will tell.....

abitlikemollflanders Fri 28-Jun-13 20:28:15

galena, I would tend to agree with you, as would most teachers I know.

Boy heavy classes tend to be noisy and fidgety -yes
, but also great fun, lots of ideas and definitely 'sparky'. I know what you mean!

Obviously not all boys/girls fit these perceived roles but I have noticed it myself.

Galena Fri 28-Jun-13 20:44:22

Thank you abit . I was beginning to wonder whether I had said something so awful...

pointydog Fri 28-Jun-13 21:02:49

I find most teachers who think that way are voicing their own sexism rather than objectively observing significant differences in boy/girl behaviour. It's usually fairly thoughtless staffroom chat.

abitlikemollflanders Fri 28-Jun-13 21:20:58

Honestly, it's not but I know what you mean. Before teacher training
I felt exactly the same. Many classes down the line it has tended to hold true and I had to eat my words!
I love teaching boys and girls but there is most definitely a difference between a boy heavy and girl heavy class. It isn't sexism!

abitlikemollflanders Fri 28-Jun-13 21:21:40

Staffroom chat! -no time for that these days!

Galena Fri 28-Jun-13 21:33:59

Nope, not sexism. I loved teaching whether girl heavy or boy heavy (or even split). I really didn't have a preference.

pointydog Sat 29-Jun-13 22:08:35

I've been teaching a while and I don't notice a significant difference between the sexes. You notice one thing, I notice another and that's why teachers need to look at evidence not anecdote.

Chocovore Sat 29-Jun-13 22:09:13

I have some experience of this as DS1 is in a boy heavy class, it has varied a bit but now in Y2 is 21 girls and 9 boys. DS2 is about to start in Sept and has a similar boy/girl split. The whole school seems very boy heavy and one of the reasons we chose it was that they claim to 'do boys well'. It seems to have worked from our point of view. Interestingly there are no girls in the top reading or maths group and the boys seem to be doing really well. They have done a lot of countryside skills, forest school activities and their topics have focussed on boy subjects. I asked the teacher about this (was feeling a bit sorry for the girls) and she said if you engage the boys, the girls learn anyway, if you don't engage the boys, no-one gets to learn! I think she might have a point.

Shootingstar79 Sun 30-Jun-13 01:08:18

pointy dog-there is a huge amount if educational research available on the different behaviours boys and girls (generally) display in class and different ways in which they (typically) learn.
It is just not true to say that there is no significant difference between the sexes. You may not have noticed it but it doesn't mean it's not an area that needs recognition. all the data we analyse in school looks at gender split (raise online etc) i order to target specific groups.
FFT even consider gender when making predictions for y6 attainment when tracking from y2!
Generally the way school at the curriculum is set out is more suited to girls and teachers need to know this in order to close the gap between boys and girls in terms of both achievement and attainment.

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