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To move daughter in reception year

(17 Posts)
toastedbeagle Fri 06-Oct-17 11:26:34

My daughter is 5 and started reception 4 weeks ago (already done 12m nursery there). She's at a mixed sex private school, which goes from 3-18 years, so had thought we were sorted. Our issue is with the class mix - out of 19 children, 13 are boys and 6 are girls. There's 2 classes in her year and that is the same.

My daughter has always made friends at a drop of a hat, will easily in minutes make friends on holiday / play centre but will naturally gravitate towards girls. Its been a bit of a surprise that in 12m she's not really made any good friends, and asks a lot for us to arrange weekend meetings with her family friends (who don't live particularly near). Obviously being so few girls around will impact this. My husband is also worried academically that being in such a boy heavy enviroment will affect her too later on down the line.

We did meet with the headmaster last year to discuss the imbalance, and he said "they were doing all they could" and would not admit any more boys into reception year (increase in pupils from 27 to 38) ... at least 8 more boys have come in, so the 2:1 balance from nursery has got even worse.

We've been looking at other schools, there is another one locally with a 50:50 split, but only goes to age 13, so poss she'd have to move back to the original school later (although most from that school feed into single sex schools in Manchester, another discussion for later). A place has come up today to start ASAP, and by April at the latest.

My daughter doesn't seem unhappy at school, just not overly excited by it. Perhaps that's normal??

I suppose my questions is, should we leave her be? Would you be bothered by the unequal split (my friend is at local primary and its 2:1 the other way and her son doesn't seem affected overly much). Is it better to move her sooner or wait a term?

I'm overthinking it I'm sure, the thought of doing the wrong thing is making me really stressed and anxious, but the thought of "change" always does. Stupidly I feel guilty about moving her from the school she's in, in case I "hurt their feelings" and of course i will make the lack of girls problem worse.

MrsOverTheRoad Fri 06-Oct-17 11:30:20

Move her it's fine. I moved my DD from a small prep with only 4 girls when she'd just completed year 2. She went to an outstanding state primary and did just fine.

The class remained boy heavy for the whole of their journey through the school!

She's tiny still...she won't be affected.

ThursdayLastWeek Fri 06-Oct-17 11:34:52

It seems a bit of a strange reason to move to me. If you thought she was really suffering I’d say move her, whatever, she’s not young enough to tell.

But an imbalance of the sexes wouldn’t rank in my top reasons to make such a big change.

Dippingmytoesin Fri 06-Oct-17 11:37:54

I'm confused sorry you want to move her because there's more boys than girls?

cricketqueen Fri 06-Oct-17 11:40:07

I was one of 5 girls in my primary school class. It didn't harm me as far as I know. But i played with boys more than girls so maybe thats why i didnt notice it. If she seems happy I wouldn't move her but if you think she is really struggling then I suppose a new school might help.

MrsOverTheRoad Fri 06-Oct-17 11:40:50

I don't think it's strange at all! With only a few playmates to choose from...and let's face it MOST little girls want to play with other little girls, then her DD won't be having a fully rounded experience.

My DD was friends with girls she'd never normally have chosen to be friends with because there were so few to choose from!

When she moved, there were suddenly 15 other girls to make friends with and she made some real friends with children who she had things in common with.

lookingbeyond40 Fri 06-Oct-17 11:47:14

Your husband is worried that because it’s more boy heavy it will effect her academically down the line?


What is he saying here- boys are less academic than girls? If I’m wrong by my interpretation, I apologise. Perhaps you could clarify?

JonSnowsWife Fri 06-Oct-17 11:47:23

My DSs best friend is a girl confused it's quite common. Class is 50:50 so no more of one than the other anyway. It does seem a bit of a strange reason.

FortunatelyUnfortunately Fri 06-Oct-17 11:55:54

Mixed sex school cannot legally enforce a policy of temporarily accepting either boys or girls. It would be discrimination.

I moved my kids at that age for similar reasons. it was absolutely fine.

On an aside, my kids' prep school goes to 13. I always planned on keeping them there until the end but moved at year 7 despite loving the school. Going to a new environment has been a positive thing for them. New friends, no preconception about ability and just generally wiping the slate clean.

MrsOverTheRoad Fri 06-Oct-17 11:56:06

Looking it's often thought that girls are more easily cowed when there are more boys in a class.

Jon fine for your DS but not all girls like playing with boys.

MrsOverTheRoad Fri 06-Oct-17 11:56:31

Fortunately private schools can and do!

FortunatelyUnfortunately Fri 06-Oct-17 11:57:38

I think that in schools like the OPs it makes a difference because if there is a large difference in sex ratios then it can make it hard to do things like form a netball or football team for that year. It's not all about academics.

FortunatelyUnfortunately Fri 06-Oct-17 11:59:40

Really, Mrs? Interesting. We brought it up with the school and they quoted some legislation stating they couldn't. There was an email with a link to the legal thing on it. Will see if I can find it.

RedSkyAtNight Fri 06-Oct-17 12:32:05

I'd worry about it from a social point of view (not academic). But I would be surprised if that was an issue for the moment.

Assuming she's happy, I'd maybe look at moving her at age 7 (for Year 3) which is a natural transfer point anyway.

I personally don't think being in the same school from 3-18 is at all a plus point!

PolkaDottyOvenGlove Fri 06-Oct-17 12:35:12

Some years just happen to have a higher birthrate of boys or girls than others, so there may still be a lower girl ratio even if you move her.

My DS is 8 (year 4) and his year is extremely boy heavy; 80% boys, 20% girls roughly. The school year above him is the same.

toastedbeagle Fri 06-Oct-17 12:58:47

Thanks for the replies. I suppose my main concern isn't too many boys, but not enough girls if that makes sense. E.g. Harder to field a strong sports team if only 12 girls in a year, when there "should" be 20. - the headmaster made this point himself . (The school has previously won national level sports stuff, so was one of the reason we chose etc).

Ionacat Fri 06-Oct-17 12:59:05

My DD is in the same situation but in a state school. There are 7 girls in a class of 21 and it is the same in the other class. It was worse in reception when there were only 6 in each class! However it doesn't seem to have affected her or the other girls at all, they have their friendship groups which are fairly fluid and make sure that no one is left out, they are also happy to play with the boys. Academically she is flying (now in year 2.) To be honest, it never even crossed my mind to worry about it now or later.

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