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DS split up from friend in classes from next year

(68 Posts)
sadnortherner Thu 23-Jun-16 17:17:40


DS's school have just published the classes for next year. He's a year 3 going into year 4

The school have a new policy starting this year where they split the classes up every two years to encourage the children to make new friends. The current class have been together since year 1 as have other classes.

DS and his best friend have been inseperable since reception class together, they do projects together and do all their work together, play together, eat together and so on. They're not naughty and don't cause any issues (other than being told to stop chattering sometimes which they comply with)

The schoool have decided to split them up for next year and they are both absolutely distraught about it with floods of tears today. He doesn't make close friends easily and he doesn't like football and all the boys in his new planned class are football mad.

I understand that the school are worried about setting a precedent if they agree to every request but I've got a meeting tomorrow with them to see if we can get them to reconsider.

There's several other children in the class with really close friendships who are also really upset about it - not really sure this is a great policy at this age.

AIBU to try and get them to not split them up?

katemiddletonsnudeheels Thu 23-Jun-16 17:19:37

I agree I'm not keen on that policy OP, although I'm not sure there's an awful lot you can do about it if it is school policy. Seems a pity though.

MidnightAura Thu 23-Jun-16 17:20:31

I don't think you are being unreasonable. I think the schools policy is crazy and would be quite unsettling for some children.

TheHiphopopotamus Thu 23-Jun-16 17:20:54

What will you do when they go to senior school and aren't in the same class?

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Thu 23-Jun-16 17:23:14

Maybe the other parent has requested it?

TealLove Thu 23-Jun-16 17:23:34

It's tough as hell but honestly it's such a good lesson for them in the long term. DD was split with all her friends and she adjusted - we helped her with coping strategies for friendships and she learnt a lot.

Hoppinggreen Thu 23-Jun-16 17:24:03

DD had a best friend since preschool. They were in the same class in Reception and were split up in year 3. They were both very very upset ( as was I) but they both have new friendship groups now and barely speak.
If you had told me it would be ok I wouldn't have believed you but it was.
The classes were rearranged again in year 5 and they are all off to Highschool in September and I think moving the classes around had been good for the transition as a lot of them will be at different schools in different classes anyway.
It is upsetting and it might be hard for a bit but it really will be ok.

Pagwatch Thu 23-Jun-16 17:24:56

I understand the policy actually.
For every couple of kids who get on great there are children who have arrived late or have arrived from a different nursery.
If the two are friends it will continue at break times and after school.
Being totally dependent on one other child right the way through primary isn't a great idea. They should be learning how to make new friends and manage friendships.

Personally I would be focusing my energy on assuring my child that it will be fine rather than validating their fears.

seasidesally Thu 23-Jun-16 17:27:42

YABU stop being so precious

it happens to all kids in state schools

im guessing this is your first,if so you will have alot of things happening at school that you wont like

the school is not there for you to arrange your dc's own personal friendship group

and a meeting about it,im sure the teachers could spend their time with more important things shock

SuburbanRhonda Thu 23-Jun-16 17:27:59

The same thing happened to my DS when he moved from year 2 to year 3.

The worst thing was that in "class shuffle" day, they took all the children into the hall called each child up one by one, to stand with the children they would be in the same class as. DS was sitting there watching all his friends go up one by one until he realised that only he was left behind and all his friends were together. I was working at the school at the time and was in the hall with another class. It was so upsetting I could barely look him in the eye.

Funnily enough it turned out to be for the best. He made friends really easily and was fine starting from scratch with his friendships. I just thought it was a really shit way of doing it (and I shared my view with the teacher about that!).

HanYOLO Thu 23-Jun-16 17:28:11

"they both have new friendship groups now and barely speak."

That's sad.

I think it very much depends on the child . DS1 would have been totally cool with it. DD would have struggled for a long time and it would possibly have affected her educational attainment.

I think it is unneccesary and I probably would raise the issue, though not sure if it would do any good. Jsu t because they (probably) will be split up in High School doesn't mean they have to be now.

sadnortherner Thu 23-Jun-16 17:32:52

The other parent doesn't want it either.

Fully understand about it becoming part of normal life at secondary school and perhaps a change when they are 10 would be more reasonable to help them adapt when they are older

I just feel that at barely 8, it seems a bit harsh

I do fully get the importance of not relying on one friend and he does actually play well with other boys in the class he's in now. There's none of his friends at all in the new class and the boys in that are very different from him.

It's just that he is very settled, loves school and being creative in class but it's taken a long time to get him to this point and I worry that being switched into a class of other children that he doesn't really know very well is going to set him back.

MrsDoylesTeaParty Thu 23-Jun-16 17:33:46

YABU. Your child has a nice friend which is great but there are many more children who would benefit from being around new classmates. I think one of the reasons there is a lot of bullying in the last few years of primary is because kids have been together too long. There are children who aren't part of any friendship groups and it'll give them a chance to find new friends who they might gel with more.
I found the last two years of primary really hard because of a group of bitchy girls in my class. I would have loved for the group to be separated!

That1950sMum Thu 23-Jun-16 17:34:27

It seems tough now, but they will both adjust very quickly once the new year starts. Schools have policies like this to help children expand their friendship groups and it sounds as if your DS could benefit from this. Children are often far more adaptable than we give them credit for.

Please focus your energy on being positive and supportive with your son rather than fighting the school over this. They will have thought long and hard about who to keep together and who to split and it is highly unlikely they will change anything now.

seasidesally Thu 23-Jun-16 17:35:12

also as you said they do everything together maybe the class teacher feels that as a pair they exclude others in the class so a seperation would benefit everybody

the head of year has to think of all children not jut two

Brownfiesta Thu 23-Jun-16 17:35:55

The schools I have worked in always put a lot of thought in to how classes are split taking into account friendshipsas well as trying to ensure a balance of gender, personalities and abilities. IME they will not alter the classes once published.

FuriousFate Thu 23-Jun-16 17:37:16

I could understand if it was for staffing reasons, but to split friends up just for the sake of it seems very harsh. I wouldn't be happy either, OP. DD and her best friend will be in the same class next year. There was a chance they wouldn't be as their current class was being split into two but both we and feiend's parents requested they stay together and the teachers agreed it would be in their best interests.

FuriousFate Thu 23-Jun-16 17:39:02

seaside - the separation wouldn't benefit everybody though, would it? It's not going to benefit these two friends for a start. Just because they're happy and others are not, doesn't mean they're doing anything wrong!

WorraLiberty Thu 23-Jun-16 17:39:49

It's tough and I really feel for him but, it's not all about making new friends.

It's also about kids learning not to use really close friends as a crutch in class. From what you've said, it does sound as though your DS has come to rely a little too much on his friend, and probably vice versa.

They should be able to work completely independently from one another, just as they would if one of them had to move schools for example.

I'm sure he'll be fine come September, but he has my sympathy.

Tummyclutter Thu 23-Jun-16 17:42:42

He will be ok.
They can still meet up at play and lunch, and hopefully there will be a few others they meet from their new classes who might join in. Then before you know it they will have a larger circle of friends. It's how it works in the adult world too!

Brightnorthernlights Thu 23-Jun-16 17:43:49

It sounds like the right thing to do. You say they do everything together, playtime, work & eat. Wouldn't you rather his friendship group widens and becomes more inclusive?

BackforGood Thu 23-Jun-16 17:44:22

YABU. My dd's class was split twice - at end of Yr1 and at end of Yr4.
whereas nobody liked the idea of being split from friends, it actually does wonders for their confidence . I've spoken to secondary teachers who say the dc from that school tend to cope much better with transition to secondary, as they are used to being with different people at different times (they also 'set' for maths and English), and that often dc who have gone through Primary with just one group of children, can struggle.

He can still see his friend before school, at playtime and lunchtime , and after school every single day, so they will both cope in lessons. Never a good thing to rely so much on just one person.

Wolfiefan Thu 23-Jun-16 17:44:34

Surely in the class they wouldn't necessarily be together anyway? And this won't stop them playing together at break or lunch?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HanYOLO Thu 23-Jun-16 17:46:54

I would go and discuss it with the school to understand what their thinking is. It depends a bit whether they feel it is genuinely in the boys best interests or if their friendship is collaterol damage to trying to achieve balance of abilities or something. And also if you really feel it will have a long-lasting negative effect on his confidence and happiness.

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