DS has found out which Y6 classmates will be in his Y7 form class and he isn't happy

(43 Posts)
Kamer Wed 12-Jun-13 10:33:32

Most of Y6 class from DS's smallish village primary are going to the local high school. The class are asked to write down the names of 2 friends that they would like to be in a Y7 form class with and the high school will try but not guarantee to make sure they are with one of those friends.

DS put "Jack" down and a.n.other and Jack put DS and a different a.n.other down. Neither of them put their mutual friend "Ben".

The backstory to this is that DS had a terrible parents evening in November. He was behaving badly, along with a number of the other boys, notably Ben (but not Jack, who is a sensible lad). DH and I were horrified and DS very ashamed and he really pulled his socks up. At the recent end of year parents evening we were told he had turned himself around, good behaviour and excellent school work/levels.

According to DS, Ben is still messing around and DS does not want the temptation of a "naughty" friend in his high school class. Also Ben is omnipresent out of school, lives nearby, calls and phones DS all the time. Sometimes DS likes it and sometimes it does his head in because it stops him playing with other friends as much as he would like. So he saw high school as a chance to break away from Ben slightly.

Anyway yesterday, they were told that DS, Jack and Ben would all be in the same Y7 form class. Ben had put Jack and DS down and no one had put him sad. Apparently there is someone at the high school that parents can talk to if they are unhappy about the form class arrangements.

DS is asking me to phone up and say he doesn't want to be with Ben. I said that the school will either say he has to put up with it as his reasons are not serious enough or they will move him (DS) and leave Jack and Ben together.

The high school does not use sets until Y8 and then only for some subjects so they would be spending a lot of time with their form class for years to come and also travelling on the school bus together.

DS is not feeling positive about high school anyway and now is feeling even less so. WWYD?

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Wed 12-Jun-13 20:09:58

I don't see why you can't talk to the school and explain the situation - see what they have to say... no harm in talking to them.

clam Wed 12-Jun-13 20:32:06

I would leave it be, as you seem to have decided. If you phone, even to just discuss it, it may well all be taken out of context and they might split them anyway (in the way you don't want).

I must say that it is terribly common for Year 6 parents to get their knickers in a twist about friendship groupings for Year 7 and it's almost always the case that by the October half term, they've all moved on and diversified. To be frank, you won't have the 'luxury' of knowing anything much about the new kids they're mixing with. You don't do the school run or meet other parents much, if at all.

Your best bet is to keep reminding your ds about how to keep away from trouble and temptation - even if Ben isn't in his class, there'll be others similar or even worse.

Loshad Wed 12-Jun-13 22:23:39

even if the school does not set they may well not be in the same lessons for everything, unless it does actually teach in tutor groups, which is relatively unusual.

BackforGood Wed 12-Jun-13 22:58:37

I agree with clam.
Both my older two have completely changed friendship groups as they've moved up to secondary. There are just loads more children in the mix, and also different children start "becoming teens" at different ages, and it has a big pull on friendships. Your best bet is to talk with your ds about how to handle things, and not start your relationship with the school by fussing about someone else in the class, when it's not even a situation of them having been bullying your child.

TheBuskersDog Wed 12-Jun-13 23:55:11

zipzap I don't think any school would take into account which teacher a parent wants their child to have, that is totally different to peer grouping.

ReallyTired Thu 13-Jun-13 00:01:07

I am sure that your precious darling will find plenty of new naughty friends to corrupt him. Even if the secondary school agrees to your request to move your son, he might end up with even worse children. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.

Surely the answer is for you to tell your son grow up abit and not get tempted to misbehave.

Kamer Thu 13-Jun-13 10:49:46

Bit harsh Reallytired, as I've explained, DS has not been misbehaving for most of year 6, the real issue is more that the child in question in clingy and might stop DS from making new friends.

Anyway, thanks for all the comments. Have definately decided not to contact high school. The main reason being that DS now doesn't want me to as doesn't want to risk being in a worse situation and am going to respect that.

tiredaftertwo Thu 13-Jun-13 13:28:26

I agree, some of these comments are a bit harsh.
Of course children ar secondary school have to make new friends, manage groups etc etc. But this is a very specific concern about an existing problem being carried over into the new setting. And, IME, those can be toxic as the "clingy" child can say but X is bullying menbeing mean and the other child may simply not be given the space to get away from them, by well meaning teachers.

OP, I would definitely alert the school to the issue, as you plan to, so if Ben is clingy or needy, they don't try to help using your ds or Jack. All of them would be better spreading their wings.

And I would talk to your ds about how to be cheerful and friendly so he cannot be accused of not, without actually getting entangled with Ben. I'd suggest breezy smiles, polite but vague excuses if Ben tries to make out of school arrangements (I think we have family stuff on or sometuing), if he starts texting a lot, just stop replying etc etc. It sounds harsh but having experience of a similar situation, it is really important that ben is not given signals that he can rely on your ds as a friend, or it can turn nasty, for all concerned. The boys are allowed not to be friends with him, as long as they are not nasty, and they are entitled to the emotional and physical space to form their own new friendships without feeling guilty or always having to include him.

Kamer Thu 13-Jun-13 14:17:52

tiredaftertwo, I've already had talks with DS about how to deal with Ben's over persistence. Basically that its ok to say no I don't want to play out or to call for other people and not him as long as he is pleasant and not nasty about it.

VaginaFraud Thu 13-Jun-13 14:30:48

My DS went into YR7 last year, there was one girl and six boys from his school, in his class. Out of the six boys, one ignores him and the other will play rugby with him on a Sunday, come back for pizza and xbox and then do a combo of joining the other boy in ignoring or needling. For the first few weeks of school, my heart was in my mouth on a daily basis. God I am rambling,blushany way the point I am eventually getting to, is that he had a birthday about three months ago and the list he presented me with for his party did not contain a single boy from St Peters.

I queried this and I was told that we are not joined at the hip you know.grin

They will all be fine and make new friends.

HTH

zipzap Thu 13-Jun-13 16:16:39

sorry op for slight hijack...
thebuskersdog I know - completely different but still involves talking to school. And potentially serious - ds1 had a really miserable year with the teacher in question, hardly progressed at all. And it's not that I'm requesting that ds2 is with a particular teacher, I want him to avoid a particular teacher. There are a choice of other teachers, there are several classes in each year group.

Anyhow, I happened to spot the TA this afternoon, nobody else around so had a quick word. And she was very sympathetic, agreed with me that he might not thrive in the same way he has this year with her. So she's going to talk to the teacher and they will try to steer him into one of the other classes grin

I will be very happy if it happens - and feel much happier now that he's got a better chance of not going into bad teacher's class. Particularly as they often put kids with a teacher an older sibling has been with as they think there's already a bond between teacher and family so the odds were stacked against him if I hadn't mentioned anything.

And as his current teacher and TA have been soooo fantastic, it would be a real downer to be dreading a whole year with the next teacher. TA has also said she'll keep our conversation low key, I did say that I didn't want to make a formal Request / complaint that would have ended up on the bad teacher's file in case it was just on the offchance that the two personalities had rubbed each other up the wrong way (even though most of the other mums also felt pretty much as I did about the bad teacher!).

So now it's just a case of fingers crossed!

EliotNess Thu 13-Jun-13 19:38:44

"Definitely "

HollyBerryBush Fri 14-Jun-13 06:07:48

Lets be honest here. In a class of 30, with a mix of children from different schools, and perhaps three from the same school - none of these primary relationships will be in effect by Christmas. New friends will be made, sets within subjects established. It is quite possible your son will go through his entire secondary school life, only seeing Ben and Jack for registration and assemblies.

SWStressed Fri 14-Jun-13 10:29:25

From the mother of a year 7 child I would say try not to worry too much and leave it be. Friendship dynamics change massively in year 7 and it is very unlikely friends from primary will stick together anyway. Unless there is any bullying going on I think it is just part of growing up for your son to choose his friends and how he wants to behave in class. If Ben were not in class you can bet there might be someone else who will be the class clown and try and lead him astray!

Madmog Fri 14-Jun-13 11:01:25

There are many friendship changes during the first year due to the fact they have access to so many more children and possible friendships. My daughter had her four closest friends in her tutor group which I was pleased about, but at the end of Year 7 she is only friends with two of them and I can't see her mixing with the others again now.

On her first day, my daughter hit it off with a girl in another tutor group at PE. The other girl was like your son, only a few girls came from her school, she'd acutally been bullied in the past and she wasn't that happy about being with them. She spends every lunch hour with my daughter and her friends now.

In the first term ours had a couple of joint homework projects, so you could suggest your son tries to do it with a new boy, and that you'd be happy to have the other boy back for homework & tea, or over on a Saturday when they can have some extra time for sports, playing on games console. Even if they do it at school, he will still be getting to know someone else though.

If there are any problems at school, they will deal with it appropriately.

mumslife Fri 14-Jun-13 22:33:26

In our case there is a specific bullying issue school were only too pleased to grant the request didnt seem the least surprised or put out you wany to stop known bulies being in same class asyour child not saying there wont be others but at least eliminate thoseyou doknow

xylem8 Tue 18-Jun-13 14:17:19

Our school just does it alphabetically and you get who you get!

tiggytape Tue 18-Jun-13 23:01:23

In cases of very severe bullying, yes I would talk to the school. When a child's welfare (mental and physical) is at risk, it is important it is not left.

But not in this case. Basically the outcome you want is Jack and DS get put in a class minus Ben. But Ben has only named DS and Jack as his friends. So that would be asking the school to completely ignore the only 2 friends Ben has named. I am guessing your DS would be very upset if he were the only boy placed with neither of the people he asked for and Ben would feel the same. I am also guessing you'd not be happy with the other obvious outcome which is your DS goes into a class alone leaving Jack and Ben together?

And to be honest, it is better the issue is faced and sorted out in Year 7 than Ben is shipped off to be someone else's temptation. There's a pretty safe bet that the naughtiest boy in your current Year 6 will have an equal or even naughtier counterpart joining Year 7 with your son and if DS can be silly in tempting company, he'll just have to learn not to be.

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