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Change schools year 4?

(22 Posts)
Thebeachismyhappyplace Fri 04-Jul-14 06:52:12

DS 1 has had a happy time at primary school, but the years have seen lots of change sadly not for the better. He is coming to the end of year 6.

DS2 is coming to end of Y3, he was a bright determined 4yo but this is changing and he is anxious and suffers a visual tic that started during homework and is now constant. due to 2 form intake he is away from a friendship group every other year . He is young in his year so not yet 8.

He comes out of school in a furious temper, crying, kicking, sometimes to my shame swearing and we have asked many many times for help but told repeatedly he. Is 'fine' in school so must be home problem. This has happened since Easter in FS.

Year 2 was especially bad, big emphasis on HW he hated anything to do with school out of school hours., At end Y2 we found he only got level 1 maths and much lower reading etc than we expected. his teacher was vague and we challenged that we should have been told of his struggles in one of our weekly conversations.

He has hated a target group he has found himself in this year it is noisy, disruptive children and he now refers to himself as stupid and melts down and panics if he doesn't understand something. and now we find he Has only made 1 sub level progress which is far under expectations.

His TA of Y2 told me confidentially that he spent a lot of time out of class last year and despite us asking for this to not happen it is ongoing though. School say not often and DS2 exaggerates. he is friends with a child who has an IEP and is relied on heavily to translate as this child has no speech and my DS is 'so good at calming him down'. He has violent outburst and these can be daily. In short he is v wrapped up in the welfare of this child and anxious if he can't calm him down.

A recent sight test found he has v delayed processing issues and GP is being v helpful to get this assessed. We have met with the - brilliant - school nurse team who are being great to help manage the tic. But teacher and HT very lacklustre and maintain DS just needs to learn to concentrate better.

So.... We have few options but I am applying today to change schools. His report is upsetting to read and I feel current school is failing my DS. I want his esteem to recover during final years at school not slide further.

Looking for advice on managing the change and wondering if he should have been assessed for SEN due to failing KS1 SATs? Also will current HT know we have applied to move?


merlehaggard Fri 04-Jul-14 07:48:16

I don't know much about your situation but I support you in applying to change your son's school. Definitely it sounds like a good move. Hopefully someone will come along who knows about the procedure of it. I expect the head will know nothing until it has been agreed with you and they have a space for your son.

thekitchenfairy Fri 04-Jul-14 07:59:44

Your DS sounds v unhappy .... Surprised school offered no support with anger management and tic... Yes it is late in primary years to move him but have you asked him how he feels? He may not realise he can actually change schoolsgrin

I have no knowledge of current levels and ks1 SATs but I was a governor fairly recently and I am sure a child like yours who was expected to make good progress but didn't would be reviewed and parents offered help.

Have you asked for HT meeting? Do you have this yrs report?

Shocked at your DS doing what is essentially a TAs job... That sounds really wrong and would explain poor progress and anxiety. Hope someone comes along with more practical advice for you.

thekitchenfairy Fri 04-Jul-14 08:27:08

Sorry just re read and see you have this years report... Definitely move. If school have failed to manage the target group situation ie be positive, empower and encourage DS it is not working. IME once that confidence goes it takes a lot of work to build it up again.

Also encourage encourage and big up your DS at home. School is not the whole of him and don't let him think that you agree with school. Champion him and add this positivity into the mix. Celebrate what he is good at and, I think, reward at home for the empathy he shows for his friend.

iseenodust Fri 04-Jul-14 11:24:29

I hope & think you can find a better school. DS changed school at the start of yr5 and making friends has worked out fine.

thekitchenfairy Fri 04-Jul-14 13:26:37

Also OP I think a school has to review every child that only gets level 1 in KS1 SATs. Maybe someone will come along who knows more.

thekitchenfairy Fri 04-Jul-14 13:28:29

Also OP I think a school has to review every child that only gets level 1 in KS1 SATs. Maybe someone will come along who knows more.

We are struggling to get help for our youngest, school has been less than proactive but school nurse team have been amazing. So helpful and got to bottom of it all straight away.

Toomanyhouseguests Fri 04-Jul-14 14:50:45

What are your options like? How would your sin feel about a move? When can you expect a proper assessment of why your son has made such slow progress?

Without having those details, my gut would say: move him if you can. It sounds like the present school is treating him as a means to an end rather than an end himself. Always a red flag! Meanwhile, are there any extra curricular activities your son enjoys, where he can shine? This helped my dd quite a lot in infants.

ShellingPeasAgain Fri 04-Jul-14 15:30:22

I was in the same position with my younger DC. Bullying issues, disruptive children, on an IEP being assessed for dyslexia and dyscalcula, small friendship group, mixed year groups ... When older one left year 6 a place came up in our local village school (long story why we weren't attending already) so we moved her for the start of year 4. The change was remarkable - by the time she left in year 6 she'd progressed enough to meet level 4 in all subjects with a couple of 5b's thrown in. Now in the top stream of a good comprehensive and no longer struggling, or angry, or withdrawn. I'd go for the move.

BTW DD initially wasn't keen on moving but a couple of full days as tasters and some confidence boosting worked wonders.

Schmedz Fri 04-Jul-14 23:39:50

Please, please, please move your child! Own DD in similar situation in saying she was 'fine' and confidence was plummeting, tics developing, bullying and friendship issues abounding. Kept her there for Y4 but should not have done so.
Moving her in Y5 was best thing we ever did for her. She was also diagnosed with AS and current school, although not particularly experienced with helping children with ASD are unbelievably supportive and willing to learn how best to help.
It is not worth keeping your child in an unhappy situation if there is something you can do to help.

I do hope you find a suitable place for your DS.

Thebeachismyhappyplace Sat 05-Jul-14 09:21:48

Fab replies thank you. I applied yesterday, there is only one option for us due to transport and work it has to be a town school not out in one of the villages as I don't drive. Good news is no waiting list so we are at the top, but bad news is new school is the other side of town so someone who lives closer would get the place.

Yesterday we asked DS how he felt about a new school he actually seemed quite relieved. Worried to leave friends but current school friends are neighbours so we can see them daily. This school has big outside space, which he will love and he will already know 4 or so children in his year. School summer fair today so we will pop along.

DS loves art and attends a club he has been picked to exhibit and this will boost esteem. He plays football and tennis and just loves being outdoors, we live in a rural part of the country and wewillbe able to spend time at the beach doing the things he loves.

I am sacking off the homework he is stressed by- maths and spellings aside - it is never checked, reviewed or commented on anyway i think I will do Bitesize work. Any recommendations for a book or another website to help fill gaps in maths learning?

I have emailed HT to askfor him to be taken out of the target group and back to class as he has not made the expected progress and hates the isolation. School say no... Not sure if I can insist?

Woke up this morning feeling like a big weight ha gone from my shoulders. After trusting school for too long and being fobbed off at last I feel like I am doing something to help DS.

Thebeachismyhappyplace Sat 05-Jul-14 09:37:25

Schmedz keen to know what you did to help the tic? And so pleased to hear a positive story.

I think I just realised this week that we have nearly half his primary years left... It is a long time to make a difference and if things have got so bad over 4 years ... Well, I hate to think of how he will be if we don't move.

Thebeachismyhappyplace Sat 05-Jul-14 09:39:50

-*Too many* what assessment did you have? HT says repeatedly nothing is needed but GP wants us to see paed consultant to look at why visual processing is so distorted and delayed. He suspects dyslexia but DS is reading way above his age and with good comprehension. The problem is with his writing and he routinely fails spelling tests... Confused...

Badvoc2 Sat 05-Jul-14 09:54:34

Oh god yes, move him!
I moved my ds1 in year 2 and it had got so bad I had to home school him for some months before he was ready to go back.
I moved him to a smaller village school, 1 form entry.
His class had 23 kids in.
We did a lot of stuff ourselves though tbh...schools ime are really not great with sen at primary sad
And often by secondary it is too late a the child's self esteem has plumetted sad
Please check out bear neccessities and apple as pears by sound foundations which is are the best resource for teaching reading and writing can do these at home with him.
Also, check our - most kids with reading issues have convergence and tracking issues. Ditto can be done at home.
Don't despair...there is lots you can do to help him x

Badvoc2 Sat 05-Jul-14 09:55:10

Oh....and homework is utterly pointless til end of ks2 IMO.

Oakmaiden Sat 05-Jul-14 10:07:15

Fairly certain that you can insist he remains in class. Every school I have worked in has asked for parental permission to withdraw children from class. However, I do wonder if this "target group" is supposed to be dealing with his lack of progress???

Thebeachismyhappyplace Sat 05-Jul-14 13:10:38

Thank you Badvok that's some good stuff to check out. HT say school cannot support him until the diagnosis is complete. He does not think there will be a diagnosis as he says in all his teaching years he has never come across a child with visual processing issues who read well - as DS does.

Yes Oakmaiden target group was for maths... but rather than empower him he feels he is dumb and incapable of learning. teacher of this group told me he was impossible to teach so i wonder if DS has picked up on this. she also assumed he struggled in all areas and to,d me very publicly in front of parents and children she wanted to see an ADHD assessment made.

I was not asked to give permission to withdraw him from class but the hoped for progress has not happened, he is miserable, feels isolated and is alongside some very disruptive children. If it hasn't worked I would like to see him return to his peers but this has been refused.

Thebeachismyhappyplace Sat 05-Jul-14 13:12:01

Our school does soooo much homework, from FS... I hate it. And the teacher that acknowledges it, looks at it and feeds back is rare so to be frank I gave up pushing it at home this year for both my DS.

Badvoc2 Sat 05-Jul-14 17:44:51

Well...that's just bollocks smile
What he means is in all his years of teaching He has been unable to help a child with visual processing difficulties.
Please,don't wait for school to help,your child.
It won't happen sad

Toomanyhouseguests Sat 05-Jul-14 19:06:08

Oh, my neither of my girls ever fell behind in school, thebeach, so there wasn't any assessment. My dd1's self esteem took a real knock in reception, though. She was put into an existing class of older children when she started in January as a "spring-born" child. They were all already friends and ahead of her by a term, she found it tough; and we found outside activities really bolstered her sense of being able to succeed. It's lovely that your sons work will be exhibited, that is just the sort of encouragement he needs.

I just had the impression that students were assessed, when they fell behind in KS1 in order to see if there were underlying issues, based on what other parents at my dc's school have told me about their experiences. Sorry if I sounded like I knew what I was talking about on that one! blush

I am glad that you have a good lead on another possible school for your dear son. You cannot know what will happen, but what you've been doing isn't working, so it seems logical to make a change.

If the GP will give you an NHS referral to a paediatrician to look further into any visual/processing problems your son may have, that seems like a good step. Parents in my area complain that these are very hard to get.

Schmedz Sat 05-Jul-14 23:57:54

Beach..DDs tics kind of settled down over time. Still reappear when she is very tired or anxious about something but generally have gone to almost nonexistent levels most weeks.
Her self esteem is also so much improved, she has come to accept and understand that sometimes her body does things she can't least she is not blatantly teased and ridiculed for them anymore.
Wish your precious one all the best at dealing with the difficulties of primary school (and life). He is lucky to have such a loving and supportive family.

rabbitstew Sun 06-Jul-14 16:03:13

Get a proper Ed Psych report done - don't listen to the uneducated opinions of a mainstream classroom teacher on whether it's possible to read well and have visual processing issues... An IQ test might be very helpful to highlight where the difficulties lie - eg a huge discrepancy between verbal IQ and performance IQ, or specific issues with memory or processing speeds. Seeing a community paediatrician via the GP is also good, if you think there might be any physical or genetic causes of his difficulties, or that he might be on the autistic spectrum, as their links tend to be more on the clinical psychology side than the education side (all types of psychologist use IQ tests as part of their assessment), so OK with diagnosis but possibly less helpful with suggestions for effective intervention at school.

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