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Is changing school at end of Y8 most likely to be a disaster?

(25 Posts)
losingtrust Fri 28-Dec-12 08:16:46

There were no mixed ability classes apart from art and drama at my ds' school or at my first secondary apart from art and drama as streamed from Day One with some movement in between. All schools are different. I moved schools at the end of year 7 and my sister in year 9 and we both settled in well and it was quite nice to make a new lot of friends,

ImperialSantaKnickers Fri 28-Dec-12 07:40:43

About half the ddtwins cohort went to private schools when they all finished primary, and of those half have now reappeared for year 9 - they've all settled in well, and the parents are happy that they skipped the somewhat chaotic first two years when there's a lot of mixed ability classes.

losingtrust Fri 28-Dec-12 07:31:47

My dd also is very bright and great at science but struggles with writing as moldy dyslexic and the state school she is at do offer some help but not enough so am considering either the private route but only to a school with good dyslexic help which is near my work or a local state secondary that is better for their facilities but that would involve a house move. She prefers the idea of the state particularly as it is a performing arts college which she loves. I can then also pay for tutors. It is very hard to choose the right school and my dd also struggles with friends. Much easier with ds who is just a good all rounder who suits the good state school he is at and is being pushed but nothing he can't handle.

Startail Fri 28-Dec-12 00:13:24

That is to say all schools want DD2.
beautifully behaved, above averagely bright, but not so much as they have to do anything special and reasonably good at sport.

Dyslexic, quirky, in your face DD2, who finds making friends hard and producing decent written work impossible doesn't necessarily fit schools standard box. Especially as she is actually at least as bright as DD2, which ruins the SEN departments reading help which sent her to sleep.

I think OP we have to accept that school can only be part of the answer, DD1 gets far more confidence from singing and doing a technical sociable hobby than from school. A DFs DD who is dyspractic (sp) found learning to ride helped her.

happygardening Thu 27-Dec-12 16:08:14

Start is right definitely a tutor we pay for both maths and English (significantly cheaper than boarding fees). We also waste hours pointlessly nagging both in writing and face to face regularly talk to his school God knows what would happen if we didn't. Basically all schools have a box some big some small this is the sort of child they are geared up to cater for. My DS2 school (super selective full boarding) wants highly motivated articulate very organised and very bright and will cater for mild SEN, DS1 comp want above average to bright compliant no significant SEN, the old prep cricket loving compliant, quaint village primary many many moons ago just above average and compliant, pushy little crammer for the grammar again many moons ago again above average to bright compliant, I could go on and as you will see SEN that interferes with a child's ability to fit that box will be either not tolerated, ignored, and or the child blamed but the teachers are never ever at fault.
Where's the bitter and twisted smiley??

Startail Thu 27-Dec-12 14:59:19

If you are finding paying school fees for DS difficult, I assume you won't want your DDs to go private.

If DD's school isn't great for him, it would surely better to have them all in state schools and enjoy holidays and extra curricular activities.

IME state school dyslexic provision isn't great and you have to nag. However, ours doesn't take offence at being nagged.

My suspicion is that state school and a good motivation tutor might be best for your DS and your family' s happiness.

happygardening Thu 27-Dec-12 14:39:43

Oh should have added angry

happygardening Thu 27-Dec-12 14:39:10

For many children in prep schools moving for yr 9 is the norm. In my now extensive experience of a DS with a very similar profile to your DS now in the countries top performing state comp but 9yrs in the independent sector prior to this neither are any good and meeting the needs of children with this kind of profile. In fact although initially the state sector seemed better (my DS entered it at yr 9) as he's entered yr 11 and thus the requirements of he curriculum became more complex they've have completely failed to meet the needs of my high IQ DS (but a very significant processing disorder). But frankly I doubt the independent sector would have been any better they would have made lots of promises they have not intention of keeping/following through whereas the state sector just says they no wont do it and at least and Im not paying for rubbish/non existent support teaching.

losingtrust Wed 26-Dec-12 23:44:33

I would be concerned about paying for a school that died not appear to be suiting your son's needs and look for a school that has better provision. As many have said this is not a private/state issue. I know of one ver high performing state school near me that does not offer much Sen facilities deliberately to keep standards high. The school next door is then chosen for the less academic or sen child as they have much better facilities but lower overall results. I would look at all schools before year 9 when things really seem to start becoming more pressured and be open-minded about the type of school. Some private and state schools just want the cream to keep their results high.

trinity0097 Mon 24-Dec-12 20:16:31

We have children who leave our prep school at the end of yr 8 to go onto state schools, that started in yr7, they all fit in quickly and soon make friends. No exam courses have started by that point, so other than social things it's not disruptive educationally.

kissmyheathenass Sun 23-Dec-12 21:54:35

Thanks so much for all your responses - first time I have had a chance to sit down and read them. I am immensely cheered to read of successful moves around age 12.

lljkk, ds is dyslexic with various non-specific SEN issues surrounding organisation, concentration and processing. He is currently being assessed for dyspraxia/dysgraphia.

A move to another private school is a possibility. We did our sums carefully a few years ago and wouldnt have chosen the independent option if we thought we couldnt see it though. Our issue is that we are paying an awful lot for seemingly little return. Some friends have suggested state school might have better SEN provision and if this was the case, I would be delighted to lose the pressure of school fees. However, if we can find an independent that can cater more for ds, we would certainly find the money. The thing is, the school ds currently attends seems very ill-prepared for SEN and ds is at the bottom of everything which is doing his confidence no good at all sad. Regardless of whether ds moves to a state or another independent school, my main concern is that moving him at 12/13 will be horribly disruptive for him.

brighthair Sun 23-Dec-12 17:41:02

I moved at the end of year 8 and it was the best thing I ever did. Although in total I have been to 2 nurseries, 4 primary schools, 2 secondary schools, 2 colleges and 1 Uni gringrin

lljkk Sun 23-Dec-12 17:35:21

What is nature of his SEN, OP?

SuffolkNWhat Sun 23-Dec-12 17:24:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5madthings Sun 23-Dec-12 17:23:19

Well i moved my ds1 (13) this yr, he was half a term.into yr 9 and moved after the oct half term. It was from one state school to another state school. I was an ok time to move him and it has worked well.

It sounds like you need to research schools carefully for ds.

It sounds like the school fees are really stretching you, were you planning on sending your dd's to private school for high school?

It may be good to find a good high school yoi would be happy sending all the children to.

JoanByers Sun 23-Dec-12 17:15:42

If you are going to move house it makes sense to move to another school, be it state or pirvate.

Xenia Sun 23-Dec-12 17:13:53

Can you not both take second jobs (or you take a job if you don't have a full time job) and then ensure all 3 children stay in private schools?
Certainly in the private system end of Year 8 is when children move schools and no other year in many boys' schools.

lljkk Sun 23-Dec-12 17:09:43

Why would it be a problem?
I moved DS from private to state for start of y8, all good, no regrets.
DS had a few friends from Scouts in the state school, so ended up with a ready-made social circle.

noblegiraffe Sun 23-Dec-12 16:27:51

Moving schools at the end of Y8 shouldn't be a problem academically; much better to do it then than any time later as options and GCSE choices start to kick in. I can't speak for the relative merits of SEN provision in state versus independent, you would need to research your school carefully. Class sizes are also likely to be much bigger, unless your DS ends up in bottom sets where, tbh, behaviour is likely to be an issue.

difficultpickle Sat 22-Dec-12 21:28:34

Sounds a bit as if you think the grass is greener in the state sector. Not all independent schools are the same so you also need to consider whether you move him to another independent school or to a state school. In both cases you need to investigate what options you have.

Ds moved from one school to another to take up a scholarship. The class size increased from 14 to 22. I was concerned about the move but it gave ds the opportunity to do something (non-academic) that he loved.

The change in him has been transforming. He is inspired by his teachers and keen to do well. I had no expectation of such a huge change and ds himself said that is life has been turned upside down (in a good way).

exexpat Sat 22-Dec-12 21:27:18

Quite a few boys joined DS's school in year 9, and they all seem to have settled down and fitted in fine (he's now in year 10). I think it's quite a normal stage to switch schools, before the formal GCSE courses get going.

So the big question is whether the other school you are considering would suit him, offer the right kind of support for his SEN etc. I think you just need to do lots of homework, ie look round the school, talk to the head and if possible the SEN coordinator, read the Ofsted, find parents to talk to - do you know anyone with children at the school?

I don't think the private v state thing is really a very important issue, it's all about the individual school. But if fees are a burden and are affecting other things you want to do, then obviously that is something to factor in as well.

kissmyheathenass Sat 22-Dec-12 21:17:44

We dont have a school in mind at the moment. Choosing one suitable for ds would be key in any decision making. We are disappointed with his lack of progress in the independent school and question the sense in paying for it. We chose the school because we thought small class size would be of huge benefit to ds but it hasnt really made a big difference. He just isnt motivated. But he has made friends and is basically happy in the school. Is this enough to justify paying school fees for another 3 or 4 years?

difficultpickle Sat 22-Dec-12 21:11:07

You need to speak to the school you want to move your ds to and see exactly what their SEN provision is and whether it would help your ds. There is no guarantee it will be better but, depending on the nature of the SEN, you may get access to support that you don't get in the independent sector without paying for it.

kissmyheathenass Sat 22-Dec-12 21:07:47


kissmyheathenass Sat 22-Dec-12 21:00:36

Very briefly, ds, 12, is in an independent school. He enjoys it and doesnt want to leave. However he is lazy and cant be motivated to do any more than the minimum to get by. He has some SEN and although I like his teachers very much, they dont seem particularly well-equipped to deal with SEN. Dh thinks a state school with a good SEN dept will suit ds much better. The academic demands of the school are high and ds is pretty much underachieving in every subject.

We are thinking of moving to a different area and our only hesitation is because ds is happy at school. His sisters are in state primaries and I am not worried about moving them.

We run a business and Dh works very long hours in order to pay the fees. We make many sacrifices and the dds miss out. I have been doing lots of soul-searching since I lost my Dad earleir this year. I realise life is short and dont want us to miss out on precious experiences. I want us to be able to enjoy holidays and a good quality of life as a family but this is all compromised because of the cost of the school.

Please tell me ds will be ok if we move to another area and another school.

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