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To not want my DC to be the only girl in her year group within a composite class?

(39 Posts)
Compositedilemma Thu 18-Jun-15 04:46:29

NC due to being very identifiable!

I don't have any objections to composite classes so this isn't about that.

However we have just been informed of the class allocations for next year and DD is being put in a composite class where her year group will be 5/6 boys plus her.

There will be girls in the class in the year group above but from my personal experience of 2 composite classes is that the year groups are kept very separate and don't socialise together at break/lunch.

DD knows but does not play with any of the boys who will be in her class. She is at that mid primary age where the friendship/social groups are very sex segregated ie parties are now single sex.

She is also the youngest in the class so will be almost 2 years younger than the classmates in the older section of the composite.

Aibu to want the school to reallocate her to one of the 2 non-composite classes of her year group?

Archduke Thu 18-Jun-15 04:54:10

Not unreasonable for you to want to change this at all OP. Have you spoken to the school?

Compositedilemma Thu 18-Jun-15 04:56:52

Not yet, just got the letter after school yesterday.

ShadowFire Thu 18-Jun-15 05:00:48

How are they allocating the children to the composite class? Is it some sort of ability based thing? When you say youngest in the class, do you mean youngest in the composite class or youngest in her year group e.g. August birthday?

My primary school had composite classes, but they based these on age e.g. youngest of one year would be with the oldest of the year below.

Anyway. I don't think it's unreasonable to want her to be with at least one girl in her year. And if she's one of the youngest in her year, it seems a bit odd to put her in the composite class. Unless she's a very high achiever and they think the work in the composite class would stretch her more perhaps?

Compositedilemma Thu 18-Jun-15 05:08:26

There are 1 or 2 in the whole year who are younger, none in the composite. She is short as well as young so is noticeably smaller than most in her year anyway.

They haven't allocated by age or ability. She isn't one of the more able pupils. (For this reason I think in theory a composite would be good as the max class size is smaller) however I don't think 8 fewer pupils in the class will compensate for being the lone girl.

NobodyLivesHere Thu 18-Jun-15 05:10:11

The age thing is not a big deal, my dd is a composite class and also the youngest. It's not been an issue but I think I'd want the split to include some other girls from her year group.

Compositedilemma Thu 18-Jun-15 05:12:56

Yes, I wouldn't object if it was just the age thing. It just emphasises how unlikely it is she will fit in with the older year group of girls.

Mistigri Thu 18-Jun-15 06:39:28

I think you are quite right about both issues.

My children did all but one year of primary in composite classes, and my children were almost always the youngest, but the school ensured that they had a "critical mass" of children from each year group in the classes. and that friendship groups were maintained as far as possible. Isolating one child like this is a definite no in my view, especially if she is noticeably younger/less mature than the other girls in the composite class.

Eebahgum Thu 18-Jun-15 06:42:11

I think you have a valid point. Mention it to her teacher.

Euphemia Thu 18-Jun-15 06:55:41

Go in and ask - if they say no, kick up a fuss - in my experience, that gets you what you want. I've seen this happen with a few composites - there are always children who don't quite fit into the way the class should be split, and the school always seems to accommodate the parents who object loudest!

inaboxwithafox Thu 18-Jun-15 07:11:58

I was a depute before maternity leave and had to compile the classes for coming academic sessions. I did this with another depute and then presented the classes to the head for approval/amendments.

We would NEVER have organised a composite like that. It was related to ability but social needs and balance were also a priority. I think the smallest we had was 3 girls, 4 boys from a current class moved in with a mix of others.

It was a very big school and it is a very difficult job but we worked at it for hours and hours, considering every pupil especially if big changes were made.

I'd approach the school and explain your concerns.

Euphemia - not a course of action I'd suggest - you catch more bees with sugar than vinegar! Though I understand complaining loudly may work in some schools.

Compositedilemma Thu 18-Jun-15 08:00:40

Thanks, I've had very little sleep worrying.

I'll contact the school today.

DeeWe Thu 18-Jun-15 08:01:45

Unless it's much smaller I think 6 children from one age group and, lets say, 20 from the other is always going to be difficult. I think they should be fairly comparable numbers.

If there's only 6 from the other age group then I might be a lot happier, particularly if there was only one girl from the other group too.
However I would want them to reassure mem that they would be making every effort to try and keep them integrated, eg school trips they would be able to partner people in their own year.

Szeli Thu 18-Jun-15 08:12:28

What age is she? I do think you have valid concerns and it's worth speaking to the school - even if it's just to justify their decision

BUT y5 my class was a bit like this. I was always in a mixed class but y5 I think there was about 8 of us to around 25 y6 2 girls and 6 boys and we had a blast! We were kept pretty seperate so couldn't at all interact with the y6 girls but those boys became my best friends til teendom

RebootYourEngine Thu 18-Jun-15 08:22:54

Does she have a mixed gender name such as cameron? Maybe whoever did the classes thought ur dd was a boy too.

Autumndays14 Thu 18-Jun-15 08:24:21

I think you are totally justified in asking about it. As others have said, don't go in and read the riot act, just say that socially it may be hard for your daughter. Of course girls can be friends with boys but that's not the issue as in this instance she wouldn't have a choice! Some people choose a single sex school, but this is the opposite of that!

Compositedilemma Thu 18-Jun-15 09:30:03

The max composite size is 25. So 7 in her year and up to 18 in the other, although I think it's near 18. I know of 3 girls in the higher year. She knows 2 to say hello to and the other she has been on play dates with in the past but they have drifted apart recently due to age gap.

She is 7, will turn 8 during the school year. Other kids will turn 10 days after her birthday. I think at that particular age it's a big gap. If she was at the start or end of primary school I wouldn't be as worried about the age/sex dynamics.

No gender neutral name. I know the reason for this odd allocation of places- it's very specific to the school and would make her very identifiable.

I've spoken to her this morning but I don't think she has the capacity to understand. She says the boys are 'annoying and naughty' and she never plays with them but doesn't actually seem distressed about the prospect. She is more worried about having a teacher she doesn't like or not knowing where to queue!

Speaking to DP this morning his preference is to try it out then deal with any problems as and when they arise, removing her from the school if need be.

Compositedilemma Thu 18-Jun-15 10:33:56

I'm drafting an email atm to ask about how they intend to manage the situation.

saresywaresy2 Thu 18-Jun-15 10:48:46

This happened to my son in year 3. He was put in a mixed class of mainly year 2s and some 3s - but only two boys - and the other one was wild and never there. I was very upset. Wrote to the school twice, cried when I met the teacher - felt very emotional and strongly that it was the wrong thing for him. He didn't get changed. The teacher was aware of my worries and did her best. I was very vocal about how hard it was for them changing class every year - and from year 4 they never did again. So I'd definitely make your point. In all honesty he was fine that year -it wasn't his best year but there wasn't any lasting damage. I think we worry more than they do.

crymeariverwoo Thu 18-Jun-15 11:23:23

op where in the world are you? Are you in the UK? just trying to paint a better picture in my head. I am thinking back to when I was 8, I wouldn't have liked to have been the only girl in the class.
Trying to work out the age thing though .. is your DDs birthday in august? You say she is one of the youngest but then you go on to say she will turn 8 during the school year (which is why I wondered if you were in the UK or does the school year run differently). About the 2 year age gap, there will only be a few with that age gap, there will be children in the year above who also have late birthdays too so will bring the gap down to under a year.
My main worry would be the girl thing to be honest. let us know how you get on.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 18-Jun-15 11:29:13

It's very unusual to organise it like that - I'm in Scotland where they do it strictly by age, the only exception being to not have just one child of either gender in each class. If you disagree with their reasoning then you need to tell them so. You say they have a reason - doesn't mean it's the right one...

crymeariverwoo Thu 18-Jun-15 11:29:58

I think I've realised, you definitely aren't England are you? As you say she's 7 and will turn 8 in year 5! In the UK children are age 7-8 in year 2!

crymeariverwoo Thu 18-Jun-15 11:31:30

Oh my goodness... Please ignore me! It's been a long morning. I read 5/6 as years not that there will be 5/6 boys... sorry!

LuubyLuu Thu 18-Jun-15 11:38:03

I'd go in and speak direct, rather than drafting an email. And would always seek to address now, far harder to deal with later.

Like you I don't have a problem with composite classes, have had good experiences. But sometimes when classes are being put together they don't necessarily think in the same way as we as parents do. (Oh yes, she's an easy-going girl / will fit in easily / not G&T / doesn't have additional needs) but haven't considered her age within that year, and the span in age and friendship groups.

ShadowFire Thu 18-Jun-15 11:54:14

I would also try and address this now.

If it's possible to rearrange things so that she's in a non-composite class, or that there's another girl from her year added into the composite class, it's bound to be a lot easier for the school to change this now, before the new school year starts.

At the very least, if the school is made aware of your concerns, then they may be better placed to help your DD handle being in the composite class without girls in her year group.

I'd also go in and speak face to face with the school if possible.

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