Considering changing DDs school talk me down?

(114 Posts)
TheLonelyCup Tue 04-May-21 16:43:10

DD is 6, year 2, I’d be looking to move her ready for year 3 so September.

But I think I might be UR. This is a mainstream state primary.

In terms of academically, I’m happy. She’s behind in all areas but school have put things in place and she’s making slow and steady progress, she’s suspected to have dyslexia and/or dyspraxia. She has joint hypermobility syndrome and this is particularly bad in her feet and hips, but is also in her wrists, jaw, eyes and fingers. She also has some mild hearing loss on one side – she was treated with grommets which solved most of her hearing problems but not all. The JHS and hearing issues causes her speech to be slightly delayed, so she sounds like a 3 or 4 year old rather than a nearly 7 year old which may also be adding to her issues.

She is generally happy at school, but there seems to be more and more issues socially. I don’t know whether it’s just a covid thing or to do with the hearing loss that she’s missing the intent from her friends but I will list the issues here.

Will add here, DD knows her own mind and can be very stubborn, the issues are not entirely all the schools/classes fault, I know DD is no angel.

1. She struggles to lift most bottles and cups as once they have water in them they’re too heavy, so she either drops them and they smash or she can’t lift them. She also has a habit of chewing the tops if the sports lid is too soft. So I bought her the cup pictured (school insist that bottles are clear so you can see the liquid inside, it can’t have a straw and the child must be able to fill it themselves which rules out most bottles for DD). She’s now refusing to take the bottle to school because some of her classmates say it’s a babies bottle. I let this one slide and just gave her a big drink before school and when she gets home, but it is annoying especially on days when she’s at ASC.

2. She refuses to eat her school dinner. A lot of the other children are on packed lunches. She has packed lunches 2 days a week when I’m not at work, the other days she’s at ASC so has the hot lunch at school but she refuses to eat it. Teacher has discussed this with me and they are working on it with the class as a whole but individually they’re a bit stumped.

3. On the above she will often not eat her packed lunch anyway as I try and make it healthy a typical lunch will be a slice of ham, some cubed cheese (she doesn’t like bread), cucumber sticks, sliced strawberries or sliced apple and a chocolate bar. She’ll often eat just the chocolate bar. According to her her friends lunches are just chocolate and sweets (I don’t actually believe this, I think she’s chatting away which she doesn’t get the chance to do when on hot dinners as she sits in a different place to them) teacher tries to encourage her to eat her lunch but she often refuses

4. She won’t eat fruit unless it’s cut up, so for morning playtime I send in a box with her fruit cut up, but now she refuses to eat it because her classmates say only babies eat cut up fruit. Again teacher is working on this with the class.

5. She will often say a particular child won’t play with her because her (the other child) mum says she’s not allowed to play with DD. I’m fine with this and tell DD to find someone else to play with but it seems to bother her a lot and she gets upset. It also seems the other children she wants to play with play with this girl but DD isn’t included. This has been mentioned by the teacher but I’ve told the teacher not to force the issue as I don’t know exactly why this girl can’t play with DD (it could be that DD has said something mean or upset her and that’s why, which I understand like I said DD is not an angel or perfect)

She’s in the same class as she started in in Reception (2 form entry) as they usually mix the classes at the end of year 1 then again end of year 2 or 3, then again end of 4 but due to covid they’ve kept them the same, they don’t know if they’ll be mixing the classes or keeping them the same for year 3 which also adds to my worry over it as if she’s got another year with these people. Until March of year 1 she spent some time with the other class as they have the same PE and Music lessons plus spent playtimes and lunchtimes together so she had a few friends in that class, now however they don’t spend anytime with them apart from having the same playtimes, but they’re kept apart and play on different playgrounds so no chance to mix, she doesn’t remember the names of anyone in the other class anymore, so I don’t know whether a move to the other class if they don’t mix them might be a good move? Although that causes issues for the class she’s in as it takes numbers under 20 in her class (25 currently in other class).

Teacher says DD is fine in class, behind but there’s no issues with her behaviour bar the usual talking when the teacher is. She’s a late july born. We don’t think it’s bullying and it could be DD taking the comments wrong but I am stuck on how to help her.

I also know we could get the same problems in a new school/class. There are spaces at the 2 other nearest schools to us, but they are a further walk away which is something to consider given DDs diagnosises.

So AIBU and WWYD? Is there anything more school could be doing?

For added context I’m a single parent. Left ExH when DD was a toddler due to his violence and control, he sees DD EOW for 1 night for court ordered contact. He doesn’t mind where she goes to school as long as he knows where she is. DD is an only child, has no cousins and is unlikely to have them.

OP’s posts: |
ghostyslovesheets Tue 04-May-21 16:53:01

I'm not sure - all of the things you have posted seem a bit non issue when you pick them apart:

1) you say you are happy with her not drinking out of the bottle - so leave it
2) send a packed lunch every day
3) If she's hungry she will eat
4) ditto
5) friendships are difficult but she will learn to navigate them - maybe ask school to do some work with them on friendships and social stuff but in my experience it will be like this for a while - it seems to be part of growing up

I wouldn't change schools for any of those reasons - especially as it will probably make her anxious and she will be the new kid and have to fit in all over again - from what you have posted she seems fairly happy and settled.

TheLonelyCup Tue 04-May-21 16:55:26

ghostyslovesheets

I'm not sure - all of the things you have posted seem a bit non issue when you pick them apart:

1) you say you are happy with her not drinking out of the bottle - so leave it
2) send a packed lunch every day
3) If she's hungry she will eat
4) ditto
5) friendships are difficult but she will learn to navigate them - maybe ask school to do some work with them on friendships and social stuff but in my experience it will be like this for a while - it seems to be part of growing up

I wouldn't change schools for any of those reasons - especially as it will probably make her anxious and she will be the new kid and have to fit in all over again - from what you have posted she seems fairly happy and settled.

If I send a packed lunch everyday on the days I'm working she won't get a substantial meal as I work until 5 so pick her up at 5.30-5.45ish, then it's home for a quick snacky tea and bed, her JHS makes her exhausted so shes in bed by 6.45pm she can't manage much past that.

OP’s posts: |
Leafy12 Tue 04-May-21 16:56:14

That is a tricky one. My instinct as I read is to keep her in the familiar school as you seem to be communicating well with them and she seems to be able to state her needs there. It is so hard though, only you really know. Transitioning would be hard at her age though I would imagine so unless an alternative school has something out standing to offer I wouldn't change anything.

TheLonelyCup Tue 04-May-21 16:58:49

Leafy12

That is a tricky one. My instinct as I read is to keep her in the familiar school as you seem to be communicating well with them and she seems to be able to state her needs there. It is so hard though, only you really know. Transitioning would be hard at her age though I would imagine so unless an alternative school has something out standing to offer I wouldn't change anything.

Thats my problem I think, the other local schools are the same in terms of quality so it's hard to know.

OP’s posts: |
UCOinanOCG Tue 04-May-21 17:00:24

If she refuses to eat the school lunch she isn't getting a substantial meals anyway so best send her with a packed lunch with things she will eat. Some of the other things like the lunch issue and the water bottle issue are unlikely to change at another school. I would leave her where she is and let the teacher continue to work on ironing out the issues. If you move her and these issues arise again you may not have such an understanding teacher wiling to sort things out. Moving schools should be a very last resort. It sounds like your DD is doing fine in this school and to move her would be very disruptive for her.

TheLonelyCup Tue 04-May-21 17:12:40

UCOinanOCG

If she refuses to eat the school lunch she isn't getting a substantial meals anyway so best send her with a packed lunch with things she will eat. Some of the other things like the lunch issue and the water bottle issue are unlikely to change at another school. I would leave her where she is and let the teacher continue to work on ironing out the issues. If you move her and these issues arise again you may not have such an understanding teacher wiling to sort things out. Moving schools should be a very last resort. It sounds like your DD is doing fine in this school and to move her would be very disruptive for her.

True, her teacher is very good and these issues have only come up since the end of the most recent lockdown, she seemed fine at school before Christmas.

OP’s posts: |

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Powerof4 Tue 04-May-21 17:13:04

I read this as she is not eating and drinking at school due to comments by these kids and she might be stuck with them for another year. She has hyper mobility and hearing issues - what are the school putting in place to support her needs? I’d be really worried about a child going all day without a drink. And are they helping with the social issues? If so, how?

Cancellingadvice Tue 04-May-21 17:13:24

To be honest, I wouldn’t expect any of the things you have listed to be better at a different school

TheLonelyCup Tue 04-May-21 17:16:10

Powerof4

I read this as she is not eating and drinking at school due to comments by these kids and she might be stuck with them for another year. She has hyper mobility and hearing issues - what are the school putting in place to support her needs? I’d be really worried about a child going all day without a drink. And are they helping with the social issues? If so, how?

They've had class chats about being kind and respecting each others choices, they won't tell me if they've talked to any of the other children individually about comments.

OP’s posts: |
Coronawireless Tue 04-May-21 17:16:17

6:45 is very early for bed especially as she doesn’t get to see you all day. Much better if she had a proper dinner and evening with you.

Coronawireless Tue 04-May-21 17:18:54

Btw I can understand that as a lone parent you probably need a break in the evenings. But maybe she needs more input from you right now.

TheLonelyCup Tue 04-May-21 17:19:54

Coronawireless

Btw I can understand that as a lone parent you probably need a break in the evenings. But maybe she needs more input from you right now.

She honestly can't stay awake, her JHS causes tiredness, she drops off on the sofa if I don't put her to bed.

OP’s posts: |
lanthanum Tue 04-May-21 17:21:59

None of the issues sound like they're the school's fault, and it sounds as if the school are trying to work together with you to solve some of the problems. I'm not convinced changing school will solve anything.

1) Try an Aladdin water bottle - hard spout, clear, screw top, dishwashable.
2/3) Go for the packed lunch as most likely to be eaten. School might be able to help by not allowing her out to play until she's eaten most.
Would ASC encourage her to finish what's left when she gets there, by which time she might be hungrier?
4) She'll have to decide - cut-up fruit, not cut-up fruit, or no breaktime snack.
5) Don't discourage the school from tackling this - if this particular child is preventing DD being part of any game she's involved in, then that's getting into bullying territory, and the parents need to be told that. If the school are aware of what's going on, then they may well consider shuffling things so that your daughter and this child are not in the same class next year. If the classes are different sizes, they may well want to do a shuffle. They probably won't want any mid-year moves this year because of bubbles.

TheLonelyCup Tue 04-May-21 17:26:24

lanthanum

None of the issues sound like they're the school's fault, and it sounds as if the school are trying to work together with you to solve some of the problems. I'm not convinced changing school will solve anything.

1) Try an Aladdin water bottle - hard spout, clear, screw top, dishwashable.
2/3) Go for the packed lunch as most likely to be eaten. School might be able to help by not allowing her out to play until she's eaten most.
Would ASC encourage her to finish what's left when she gets there, by which time she might be hungrier?
4) She'll have to decide - cut-up fruit, not cut-up fruit, or no breaktime snack.
5) Don't discourage the school from tackling this - if this particular child is preventing DD being part of any game she's involved in, then that's getting into bullying territory, and the parents need to be told that. If the school are aware of what's going on, then they may well consider shuffling things so that your daughter and this child are not in the same class next year. If the classes are different sizes, they may well want to do a shuffle. They probably won't want any mid-year moves this year because of bubbles.

Will have a look at the bottle thank you

ASC will encourage her to finish off her lunch if I ask them I never thought of that option thank you.

I'm not too worried about the fruit if we can tackle the food issue

They're undecided if they're mixing the classes. There's 20 in DDs class which is enough to run as a class, when they started there was 22. There's 25 in the other class so again enough to run as a class so they may not mix them due to covid and the amount of time they've missed. I didn't want the issue tackling as I don't want to get the girl in trouble with her mum for playing with DD and there are others DD can play with not in that group but I see your point about bullying.

OP’s posts: |
Knackered1986 Tue 04-May-21 17:26:31

what about this drink bottle?

www.amazon.co.uk/Sistema-Twist-Sip-Bottle-330/dp/B003BZ9RPA/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=systema+drink+bottles+330ml&sprefix=systema+dr&tag=mumsnetforu03-21&qid=1620145532&sr=8-1

Dithercats Tue 04-May-21 17:28:16

Find a better cup she can drink from....they do exist for SEN kids, if you can't then school have to adapt their rules around her. Not being able to pick up a cup means she needs a cup she can pick up, not a baby picture on it, school should understand that.
School need to accept that she has additional needs and needs small adaptions that her peers do not hmm.

But changing schools usually means the problems go with them. Stay and sort the problems. Find the solution in her familiar environment.

TeenMinusTests Tue 04-May-21 17:28:53

My DD2 also had motor skills and speech problems, was young for her age and small. She was also called babyish. I think it is likely to happen at any school sadly. Children may say it to be mean, to make themselves feel better, or just state it as a fact.

I'd go with packed lunch every day better she eats something than nothing. What does she eat at home? I wonder whether manipulating school cutlery is the issue, possibly again receiving comments.

If she can't refill a water bottle, can you send her in with 2 instead, similarly half filling them? I presume the sistema ones don't work for her?

My DD has also always needed much more sleep due to finding daytime life such a struggle. better to go to bed earlier than be exhausted the next day.

I never solved this for mine leading to big problems in the last year, but watch out for your DD's self esteem. These regular little digs from other children can have a massive cumulative effect. Anything you can find out of school that can be 'her' thing could be really valuable. Also anything mixed age where her differences won't be so obvious.

alloverthecarpetagain Tue 04-May-21 17:28:58

You and the school sound as if you are doing everything you can and also communicating well. It sounds as if some recent problems are because of being post-lockdown, so they might in time get better. I think stay with the familiar school and keep chipping away at the issues there are. Moving school can be so disruptive all round and the one at the moment is convenient and sounds a good school.

Exhausted4ever Tue 04-May-21 17:31:40

I think the issues aren't big enough to warrant moving schools and may just occur again anyways
Can the water bottle be a coloured one that's still see through such as that attached? Those are very light.
If she's not eating the school dinner anyways you'd be best off switching to packed lunches and providing things she does eat. What about pasta or crackers in it? Fruit, cheese and ham on its own isn't very filling. It is better than not eating at all mind.
Unfortunately you can't control kids friendships. It must be hard hearing her say that the girl won't /isn't allowed to play with her but again that could happen with a change of school or class. Help her learn resilience (something changing schools really won't help her with) and to focus on the friends she does have

Exhausted4ever Tue 04-May-21 17:32:03

Forgot the image

Exhausted4ever Tue 04-May-21 17:32:57

Not sure it uploaded there either? It's the sistema ones if that helps

ElphabaTWitch Tue 04-May-21 17:35:49

Can’t you send her in with chicken nuggets ( cooked night before) or cooked chicken, sausage rolls, maybe wraps if she would eat a wrap instead of bread? Instead of cutting up her fruit maybe buy different smaller varieties , blueberries , raspberries etc? Make small melon or kiwi balls with a scoop instead of cutting it up??

TeenMinusTests Tue 04-May-21 17:36:16

Actually things like filling the water bottle school should try to make reasonable adjustments for.

And teacher definitely needs to be jumping on 'for babies' remarks. I wonder whether anything can be done to turn it around. e.g a special talk where you explain her medical needs and then each child takes it in turn to be assistor for the day to help with refilling bottles, carrying heavy things, coat zips etc? With lots of praise and eg to sit on special bench for circle time rather than floor (especially if floor is an issue for your DD).

TheLonelyCup Tue 04-May-21 17:36:47

TeenMinusTests

My DD2 also had motor skills and speech problems, was young for her age and small. She was also called babyish. I think it is likely to happen at any school sadly. Children may say it to be mean, to make themselves feel better, or just state it as a fact.

I'd go with packed lunch every day better she eats something than nothing. What does she eat at home? I wonder whether manipulating school cutlery is the issue, possibly again receiving comments.

If she can't refill a water bottle, can you send her in with 2 instead, similarly half filling them? I presume the sistema ones don't work for her?

My DD has also always needed much more sleep due to finding daytime life such a struggle. better to go to bed earlier than be exhausted the next day.

I never solved this for mine leading to big problems in the last year, but watch out for your DD's self esteem. These regular little digs from other children can have a massive cumulative effect. Anything you can find out of school that can be 'her' thing could be really valuable. Also anything mixed age where her differences won't be so obvious.

Home she's pretty good foodwise but can be picky if it's a bit too wet, but I work round that. I will ask about the comments at lunch, I never thought about that.

The problem with 2 bottles is she only has a small bookbag, she already has to carry a full change of clothes, plus lunchbox on packed lunch days. The sistema ones she couldn't unscrew the lid to refill.

She does swimming out of school but is still in the lowest band class, where her school friends are 2-3 stages ahead so gets comments about that too. She did Rainbows pre-covid but never coped with the online, she's not been invited to join Brownies so I assume she won't be going there. I will look for something else for her though.

OP’s posts: |

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