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AIBU to move schools..

(40 Posts)
Hana101 Sun 23-Apr-17 22:59:20

Wondered about other people's perspectives on this scenario. DS1 is currently in year 4 and deemed "bright" by his teacher, always get glowing reports at parents evening- always scores high in tests e.g. He is 8y 11m and has a readingage of 11y 3m. The school he currently attends doesn't have the greatest reputation, it failed its last ofsted and consistently has the same same feedback along the lines of "doesn't push pupils". This year not a single child passed there 11 plus. I know 11 plus pass rates are not the be all and end all as I've been reminded by a teacher friend however it's another down mark against the school. I have always been of the thinking that bright and able children will do well wherever however I was speaking to another parent who's DS was in same clas and has this week started at a new school, she was full of praise for the new school and said it's really opened her eyes at to what is out there. After this conversation I googled a few surrounding schools and was shocked by the attainment of those schools compared to my DS. One particular school 100% of pupils was achieving level 4 in ready at KS2!
This has really got me thinking about putting DS name down as I'm sure there would be a waiting list. DS was not too keen on the idea as the school he attends is very local to us and all his freinds live with a few streets distance of us. Apologies for the essay but AIBU?

OfficerVanHalen Sun 23-Apr-17 23:07:02

Honestly, since your ds says he's not bothered, I wouldn't. My feeling is that primary school should be about having fun and any learning should be to do with making/navigating friendships and generally dealing with other humans. Moving him from a school where he has friends and is happy would possibly be counter productive - if he becomes unhappy at school he may well start to disengage, and this will impact his achievement. If you want him hot housing for the 11 plus, you can do it at home - I guarantee you that other parents will be, yes, even the ones whose kids go to the outstanding school. In fact, especially them.

BackforGood Sun 23-Apr-17 23:22:50

I wouldn't either.
Like Officer, I'd put a lot of weight on the fact he is happy and enjoying school. The fact it's local and he has lots of friends.
You've also said how well he is doing there, so not sure what the issue is.

Hana101 Sun 23-Apr-17 23:38:55

Thanks for your input. No major issue really with current school small niggles I.e they don't believe in giving spelling which really irks me, homework is free set and children can choose what they do hmm which I'm not really a big fan of but apart from those small niggles DS is happy. Just playing devils advocate really as thinking how would he fair at a school which really pushes children.

Hana101 Sun 23-Apr-17 23:39:39

Reading my posts back looks like I could do with going back to school spelling and grammar is shocking blush!

OfficerVanHalen Sun 23-Apr-17 23:43:00

Well, i am happy with my dcs' school but i have friends who would kill for their school to have the attitude yours does to spellings and homework, if it's any comfort grin

Pushing children doesn't always mean teaching to the test. And homework in primary school is a complete waste of time imo and has been shown to have no real benefit.

Let kids be kids, honestly.

Hotheadwheresthecoldbath Sun 23-Apr-17 23:45:41

If he's doing well and enjoys it there then leave him.At primary age making friends,playing and learning to be confident is more important.Ignore the working to SATS,as soon as he hits secondary school they retest anyway.

SaladDressing Sun 23-Apr-17 23:46:19

I'm not sure that you can make a decision by Googling schools.

Go and visit them, have a look round, see how they feel. Do they genuinely offer more than your DS currently gets? How realistic is the possibility of a place (if you do decide to move DS)? What are your options for Y7? Is the 11+ important?

Hana101 Mon 24-Apr-17 01:02:33

salad by googling I mean looking at test scores on there website. I have emailed them asking whether there are spaces so hopefully they will get back to me soon.

Think I have made the 11 plus a major issue it's definitely not but just wanted to use it as an example.
I would be ecstatic if DS1 passed the 11 plus however if he didn't it would be no issue at all I would rather he passed on his own merits and brains rather then me hot housing him and then him struggling when he got to grammar school.
The friendship thing would be a massive issue I feel as the prospective school is a small village school and he would not get to see freinds he makes there out of school whereas the freinds he has now at current school are all very local. I also do not have any family nearby which could compensate for the lack of freinds ( although we have a massive mass of cousins who all live between 2-4 hour drive away).
I fear I just have too much time on my hands after becoming a SAHM and looking into things too much!

FairytalesAreBullshit Mon 24-Apr-17 01:40:36

When I was at school I was somewhat of an anomaly as I came from a background where you wouldn't really expect achievement. I think it was by Y4 they didn't have any spelling tests left, so we'd play a game where you got a long word and had to make as many words you could out of it. Either Y4/Y5 it was deemed I was at GCSE level. On entering secondary education I was put forward for all these psychometric tests, they all said I'd achieve A* at exams in years to come, in fact I sat some exams early as a test and got good grades. They felt that as the primary school did, my parents should be pushing for a scholarship to a private school. As they would push me and keep me engaged and there was talk of future Oxford/Cambridge alumni.

My teachers at Primary school got the test for this really well renowned school. I came out being offered a scholarship, my parents said it would be unfair to my siblings. Oh how I hated them that they were willing to pay for everything, I think my parents said we couldn't afford the uniform, the trips, they said don't worry we'll cover it all. But the offer was turned down. Even school friends said my parents were stupid for not affording me such an opportunity. Boarding in our crazy house would have been bliss, plus I cry (not literally) when I think about the library I would have had access to.

All you can do really is hope that he passes his 11 plus. You don't need to sit him down and say ok now we're learning Pythagoras. But get some test papers and see how he does.

Does he enjoy attaining, or is he a bit of a Jack the lad? One thing I found at secondary school was you can have pretty bright kids, but they have to want to engage.

If he's getting bored and messing about, maybe advocate he takes a book to read. If you were going to get him pushed forward a year, you would have been better doing that last year maybe. Consider volunteering for the PTA as the Ofsted issues can be a management failing. So with all the will in the world nothing changes till leadership is put right.

Most importantly find out if your son wants to go to Grammar school, or if he wants to stay with his friends. But say to him that Secondary school pretty much determines your future, which I'm sure many would disagree with. But for University if that's an ambition, he's got a better chance of going better than normal from a Grammar School.

I guess it's a lot to take in when you're 11, but you have a vague idea of where you want to be.

Jellymuffin Mon 24-Apr-17 07:16:07

If not many children are passing the 11 plus then it will be because they are not being tutored - is it not a wealthy area? In my school if you think your child has a chance of passing the 11 plus you tutor from year 4 upwards. It is what all the other parents will be doing who want their child in the grammar. It really has nothing to do with SATs, it's more the way you think. We have a high pass rate at our school but we still have some children achieve well in SATS but don't get in and children who don't perform well that do,

My children all went to the local school which was walking distance and community orientated. It had a lot going for it but I discovered that there were leadership failings which were the reason why children were not stretched. By this time we were committed and the children had friendship groups and other schools were oversubscribed. Our solution was a local tutor who was as far as the school was concerned tutoring for the 11+. She was a very elderly but vastly experienced teacher who quietly went through the curriculum picking out the bits the school had either neglected or the children had not really grasped. Of the two of mine she tutored one got in and thrived at the grammar and is now doing a masters, the other didn't and went to a comprehensive in the next borough which recognised his dyslexia. We ended up with the best of both worlds and if there is 11+ in your area it is a very useful flag to hide some stealth tutoring whilst staying local.

I did become a governor but that is another story.

RedSkyAtNight Mon 24-Apr-17 07:52:35

Passing the 11+ is mostly down to tutoring out of school though. And results are down to intake. A school near us used to get 100% Level 4 i n KS2 SATS every year. Which was hardly surprising as the DC all came from professional educated middle class families and many had tutors out of school. It's quite probably they could have played in mud all day at school and still got those results.

I'd love no spelling and free choice homework smile

Your mention your DC's reading age as being good - does the school not get any credit for that?

LadyPenelope68 Mon 24-Apr-17 08:01:46

As a primary teacher I don't feel you can even factor the 11+ pass rates into your equation whatsoever, as all the schools I've worked at, and most I know, don't do any work towards the 11+, it's up to parents and private tuition. So a low rate has no bearing on the school whatsoever.

thedcbrokemybank Mon 24-Apr-17 08:03:22

Attainment tests in Y4 are not what a whole education should be about. You say your ds is scorn highly anyway and is happy at school. The fact he is doing well and is happy should count for a lot. It may be that by being at a less pushy school your ds is getting opportunities in education from different areas.

GaladrielsRing Mon 24-Apr-17 08:03:59

From a different perspective, my mum made me go to a comprehensive school in a different town that had a better reputation and higher GCsE pass rates. I hated it. I found it really hard to settle in as I knew no one and although I wasn't bullied, I didn't have a proper friend until year 10 as the other kids were all in established friendship groups from their primary school. It was the loneliest period in my life and, yes, I excelled in my exams but it came at a cost to my mental health when I was a teen.

She let my sisters go to the local secondary but never let me change, which I begged to every week, as I was doing so well.

LadyPenelope68 Mon 24-Apr-17 08:04:19

As for SATS results they can vary so much dependent on the cohort. My class SATs results this year will show a dramatic drop, but that's not to do with my teaching or anything in school, but down to a number of children in the cohort who would not reach that level, no matter what extra support was put in, but work their absolute socks off!

PurpleMinionMummy Mon 24-Apr-17 08:26:20

Do you mean the 11+ or SATs?

PatriciaHolm Mon 24-Apr-17 08:32:18

Our school doesn't give spellings (there is no evidence that rote learning of spelling like that improves learning) and allows kids to choose homework from a list and we are Outstanding, with fantastic SATS results!

If you think he is happy and learning, and you can support out of school with the normal encouraging to read etc, then I would leave him.

Hana101 Mon 24-Apr-17 09:15:29

The school is not in a wealthy area so I'm assuming therr was not many parents who used tutors (I could be wrong!)

Yes leadership is definitely a problem as the current head left last week and they no have an interim head until a new one is appointed in September. IMO she was not right for the job as this was her first headship.

DS is definitely the type that needs to be pushed, he likes to coast along doing the bare minimum if he could get away with it. Incentives/ competition also works as he is very diligent with homework just so he can do better then another child in his class who he competes with for points. ( they are awarded points for homework, prizes are given at the end of term for 1/2/3 places).

It's interesting to see some many people mention tuition I honestly did not know that was the done thing for 11plus.

BarbarianMum Mon 24-Apr-17 09:38:39

A bright child should be able to pass the 11 plus no problem, but would still need to be tutored to cover all the maths content (school won't do this) and to be introduced to the style of the tests.

Aside from which, are you happy with the education he's getting? Is it diverse and creative and challenging/thought provoking? Is it giving him a good grounding in the basics? A love of learning? Self discipline and application to achieve (which is the point of stretching the brighter ones, not the content they cover)?

I personally believe the "bright child will do well anywhere" thing to be a bit of a myth. Maybe for some children who are extremely personally motivated but even then there is usually a supportive parent or mentor in the background.

Ultimately I think you should trust your instincts. You do sound a bit passive about his education, as though it's something others give to him and you just keep your fingers crossed and hope it just works out - but that may just be because your post is about being uncertain. smile

Hana101 Mon 24-Apr-17 09:45:34

Barbarian definitely not passive about the education think I'm more unsure. I do make sure I am in the loop with what he is doing at school plenty of books/ workbooks at home to encourage him.

BarbarianMum Mon 24-Apr-17 09:48:23

Accepted. Why not visit some other schools and see what you think of them? You don't need to involve him at this stage. What does his dad think?

Dishwashersaurous Mon 24-Apr-17 09:59:10

It is very rare around here to pass the eleven plus without tutoring, lots extra out of school. If you are sahm then can do tutoring yourself, past papers reasoning etc

If other schools are doing better then more likely to be oversubscribed. And if you are already at closest school then probably very unlikely to get place at another school anyway.

The local council are normally best placed to tell you where you would be on waiting list and how likely to get in. Seems little point raising it with your child as a possibility until you have been actually offered a place somewhere else.

So you can put him on waiting lists for loads of schools and if you ever get offered a place then can decide whether to take it or stay where he is.

Hana101 Mon 24-Apr-17 10:14:38

Barbarian DH thinks that we should leave him where he is, as much as he wants him to well he thinks taking him out of the current community would be detrimental as the local kids will see him as an outsider.

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