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AIBU to think it is only superstrict school that has problem with our DS

(136 Posts)
tinkerx5 Fri 07-Apr-17 13:25:23

Our DS is a perfectly happy confident and sociable 7 year old. NEVER at any time have after school care, superb childminders or family and friends /grandparents he is left with - or ourselves think/indicated he is a problem in any way. DS is a confident and intelligent lad for his age...he has a wide vocabulary and interests, is advanced for his age in some school subjects, and has an accelerated reading and maths age. His school (a very strict Catholic results driven school) acknowledge this and he has accelerated maths and comprehension tuition at the school more suited to that level. The problem we think is with the school and not our DS ...DS has a mind and opinion of his own teacher expects them (yes a class of 7-8 year olds) to work in silence every day - 1 hour in the morning and afternoon sessions -absolute silence. We know this because they told us our son had a problem during such sessions-fidgeting or completing work during these windows. He is kept in at break and lunch if he doesn't finish his work. Is it me or is this tough on a 7 y/o? DS does his homework at home without any issues. He also doesn't have tantrums, cross his arms in protest or get upset like he does at school, but of course is not expected to work in silence. He does work efficiently and quickly at home, if I ask him to help me at home with anything, he obliges and loves to get involved. AIBU that the school have turned around to say we should take DS to our GP for a referral? I really think they are attempting to force a sqaure peg into a round hole here. We have an older child that went to the same school and is now at university ...even they are shocked by the school's suggestion😯 and freely admit compared to their former school...this in was STRICT. The school is surrounded by very poor schools in our area. AIBU to dismiss the school concerns? If DS went to any of the surrounding schools me - they would think him an angel compared to many. We have to see the head nedt week...this is not over hitting, bullying or lashing out at other kids in any way...AIBU?

VintagePerfumista Fri 07-Apr-17 13:30:12


Because you've already decided it's not your child, it's the school.

In all fairness, there isn't a child on this planet whose parent knows with any certainty how they behave at school.

I put myself in that category. I literally do not recognise dd's teacher's description of her.

Go in and listen, first of all. Then work with the school to solve the problem.

harshbuttrue1980 Fri 07-Apr-17 13:35:48

I work in a private school which takes children from nursery right through to sixth form. In our school, children at the age of 7 are expected to be able to work in silence for similar time periods as you are describing. It is also a strict school, and the children learn to follow the rules. They end up loving their schooldays and often stay right until 18, as the atmosphere which results is one of calm, where each child is able to learn without the bad behaviour seen in some other schools. If this doesn't suit you or your child, then why not just move him to one of the nearby schools where, as you have said, behaviour is poorer? If you aren't prepared to help your son conform to the behaviour in his current good school, then he will end up being asked to leave. Good schools are generally no-nonsense schools.

natwebb79 Fri 07-Apr-17 13:49:59

'Good schools are usually no nonsense schools'. Sorry but I don't agree with that. My son's school recognises that young children learn and behave well when allowed the freedom to be a child. They learn largely through play, drama and games and certainly wouldn't be forced to sit in silence for an hour at a time. Blimey, I'm 37 and struggle with that!

mummytime Fri 07-Apr-17 13:50:11

In my opinion the school and your child don't match - they are probably pushing for you to admit that and move him.

And yes I wouldn't send any of my children with such outdated techniques for class control/teaching. And although I was a very good student I always found absolute silence highly distracting (I would find myself focussing on the sound of pencils scratching on paper or passing cars etc.).

Crunchyside Fri 07-Apr-17 13:54:44

Sounds like an awful environment to be in. It's 2017, not 1950! I think YANBU but I wouldn't just let him continue to get told off as surely he won't thrive in those conditions - unless he's enjoying the rest of his school day and wants to stay, I would be looking for a more positive and adaptive school.

Trifleorbust Fri 07-Apr-17 13:55:32

Have you discussed the expectations with him?

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Fri 07-Apr-17 13:57:17

I wouldn't consider a school described like that for my bright and cheerful 8 year old (or my 11 year old for that matter). I wonder how the conversation with your GP would go:
OP: 'my 7 year old can't sit still and work in silence at school for an hour at a time and he's not allowed to run around burning off energy at break time as a punishment'
GP: 'hmm he's 7....'

CauliflowerSqueeze Fri 07-Apr-17 14:01:30

Either support the school or find another. They are not going to change their expectations to fit in with your child.

harshbuttrue1980 Fri 07-Apr-17 14:02:03

Making him sit still and quietly for an hour isn't bad teaching. At my school, this is part of the school day. They also have plenty of time to work in groups, do sport and play. But learning to sit still and focus is a very important skill to learn, and one that British children don't seem to be good at

catscurledupbythefire Fri 07-Apr-17 14:03:19

Many children work best in silence.

Why do you want them to be talking?

CecilyP Fri 07-Apr-17 14:03:29

Yes, I was also wondering what the GP would make of it! While schools may vary in terms of strictness and expectations and DC may vary as to whether they fit in with it or not - it certainly doesn't sound like a medical problem. What do they expect the doctor to do? Regardless of the ethos of the school, that suggestion really sounds like it is overstepping the mark.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 07-Apr-17 14:03:46

Do you have any thoughts on the children who do work better and make more progress by being given the chance to work in silence? Should they not have their chance too? Or should they all have to work in an environment that suits your son.

You said in your OP it's not all day so it sounds like they are catering for all types which is not a bad thing.

derxa Fri 07-Apr-17 14:05:17

How come the rest manage it?

Floggingmolly Fri 07-Apr-17 14:06:17

I love the ds has a mind and opinion of his own... Spirited, is he? All the other members of the class will have opinions of their own, too; there'll be a time and a place for airing it at school for all of them.
Is he the only one having problems?

CecilyP Fri 07-Apr-17 14:07:01

How would you know whether the rest of them do or not, Derxa. Maybe they suggest similar to other parents as well.

CrumpettyTree Fri 07-Apr-17 14:07:04

He sounds extremely bright and obviously there aren't any distractions if they are in silence, so why isn't he able to get his work done resulting in him being kept in? Hopefully the meeting will shed some light on what's going on.

Increasinglymiddleaged Fri 07-Apr-17 14:10:01

Silence is a good thing I think if DC need to concentrate on individual work. YABU.

DianaMitford Fri 07-Apr-17 14:10:32

Just me who's thinking "opinions" and "a mind of his own" ring warning bells? Neither of those things should feature in a calm, quiet, academic situation.

SootSprite Fri 07-Apr-17 14:12:56

You do seem to have made up your mind that the problem is the school rather than your ds. It does seem to me that your darling boy might actually be erm....well....'spirited' sums it up.

Thegiantofillinois Fri 07-Apr-17 14:13:57

My ds is 7 and bright (probably not mumsnet bright, but bright enough). He's also v compliant and well behaved.He sometimes loses his break if he doesn't finish his work. He finds this incredibly unfair but I feel that if can cope in school, then he should finish his work on time before he becomes a lazy sod who realises that if he dawdles, he doesn't have to do all his work.

Increasinglymiddleaged Fri 07-Apr-17 14:14:23

Just me who's thinking "opinions" and "a mind of his own" ring warning bells? Neither of those things should feature in a calm, quiet, academic situation.

Opinions and a mind of your own are important. But it has a time and a place in academic situations, in this one maybe channel it into his writing rather than through his mouth

derxa Fri 07-Apr-17 14:17:46

I don't buy the whole hour of silence thing either.

EpoxyResin Fri 07-Apr-17 14:23:35

Prepared to be corrected, but isn't it the case that schools tend to have a good reason if they're going to suggest a referral to a doctor? They see a lot of children, and they spend a lot of time with your child, and yet on the face of things there seems to be no call for it here... and that just doesn't ring true. I wonder if what they're trying to tell you about your son's "fidgeting" is not what would come to mind when you or I imagine fidgeting, rather something more concerning from their point of view.

Obviously that doesn't mean there is cause for concern, just that there must be something they're seeing that we're not hearing about.

It's worth remembering how different behaviours can be in the relaxed and comfortable environment of your own home and in the more stressful environments of basically anywhere else.

ScarlettFreestone Fri 07-Apr-17 14:23:54

Assuming your child is very bright and the rest of the class is quiet why is he struggling to complete his work?

It does sound like a strict school but to be honest I would expect that it was fairly normal for 7 year olds to be expected to sit quietly for an hour to do their work.

Go in and find out more from the teaching staff. There must be more to it.,

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