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Yr 4 changing schools? (v. long sorry!)

(15 Posts)
Starmummy Sat 14-May-05 14:40:16

Fellow mumsnetters, I'd really appreciate some help with this.

DS9 will go into year 5 in Sept, he is the oldest child in the class. His current school where he has lots of friends and which he loves, has good ofsted, lots of PE, music and was 7th in the league tables last year OR move to a private school in anticipation of the difficult transition (I predict) to senior school.

He has other friends outside school as we live in a village outside the catchment area of his current school, this also means that at 11 he would go to a different school than his friends from school. My reason for wanting to move him was because he is a "middle of the road" child in everything, academically, sporting etc, this leads to him and other children in his class inadvertenly, being overlooked. I have no issues with his teacher, she is excellent (much better the teachers for his last 3 years).

Conversationally he is very bright,aware and questioning. However his reading is average, his handwriting whilst improving is poor, which has a knock on effect on maths which he is very good at,(ie the columns dont line up so they dont add up). I have arranged a tutor for him, (his old reception teacher, she has now left his school) and he enjoys the lessons and the homework from her. The real problem is that over the last 4 years he seems to have got further and further behind from being top of the class to the middle, sliding inexorably towards the bottom.If I dont move him now I suspect he will find the transition at 11 difficult, accademically with the extra homework, new subjects, as well as new people, this may all just be too much and he would start to flounder.

I feel that if he goes in Sept to the private school with 40 children over 3 classes he should get both the attention and support to help him in prep for senior school, additionally it should help to build his self esteem by acheiving his potential. We went to the open day last week and he absolutly adores the new school and seems happy with the thought of moving schools. DS and I have discussed making new friends, extra homework, stricter rules etc and he is still keen. So why am I worried?

Please help, any advice.


QueenEagle Sat 14-May-05 14:47:46

No advice, sorry but just had to ask was that a mis-print or have you really got 9 sons?? Surely not? I have 4 and that's enough for me!!

Anyway this will bump it up for you!

Starmummy Sat 14-May-05 15:24:15

Big oop's!! No I dont have 9 sons, just one of 9 years old!! LOL

wangle99 Mon 16-May-05 06:56:29

Starmummy we are in a similar situation ourselves, DD is 7 (nearly 8) and in year 3 currently. She always was very good at school (near the top of the class) but has recently been slipping downwards due to lack of attention from teacher.

She is currently in a class with 33 children (3 separate years - Y2, 3 and 4). We have made the decision to move her private and she starts after this half term on the 6th June.

Like you I still have doubts whether we have done the right thing but everyone I speak to (including some Mums at DD's current school) tell me I have done the right thing and after she's been there for a couple of weeks I'll realise this!

DD cannot wait, she wants to work and do well and she sees this as her way to do it.

Good luck

Starmummy Tue 17-May-05 12:18:33

Thanks Wangle. I'm glad its not just me. I havent told any mothers at school yet, I cant face the hypocrisy when they all say I wouldnt go privately, knowing full well that if they had a choice they would IYSWIM.
DS has his assessment next Wednesday, apparently it's very informal (as if!!) so havent told DS yet either. Not sure if thats the right thing or not but I didnt want him to get too upset. I'm hopeful but worried. He knows his handwriting lets him down so he gets all upset and then everything goes to pot. There are only two children visiting on that day so maybe the teacher will be a little sympathetic and understanding? LOL

wangle99 Wed 18-May-05 11:45:39

Starmummy - DD's assessment as very informal, she went into her year group for the day and the teacher gave an impromptu spelling test and set her some maths work and also heard her read. They based her academic work on those few things!

Don't you worry about the other mothers, I have found that it brings out quite a nasty side to some of them, jealousy has been rearing it's ugly head! It's all down to personal choice after all but if you do a search on the internet for independent schools, you will realise how many parents actually make that choice. I was amazed by the pure amount of them throughout the country - we are definately not alone!

Good luck and please come and let me know how it went!

Starmummy Fri 20-May-05 11:37:00

Thanks for those words of comfort Wangle. However I think I'm in trouble again! The potential new school have already contacted DS current school for a report. Now I knew this was going to happen but not till after the trial day surely? Anyway bottom line is I'd hadnt yet informed the school, I was going to do it on Tuesday the day before we visit the new school. Oh well I'll just have to 'fess up tonight when I collect DS.
Incidentally why did you chose for your DD to start after half term and not September, if you dont mind me asking

Starmummy Fri 20-May-05 11:41:14

Sorry forgot to add the important bit! The new school contacted the current school to find out what level to test DS at! How do I know this? Because DS teacher whispered to him yesterday that she needed to do an extra report for him! She does know we are looking at this school (her son goes to the senior school there)so I guess its not too much of a problem. Ho hum....

wangle99 Fri 20-May-05 21:32:16

I wouldn't worry about it Starmummy, I think schools are used to these kind of things, you don't have to tell them until you are ready and they shouldn't question you on what you are doing.

I wasn't planning on telling DD's current school as soon as I had to but DD told someone and it came out that way so I had to go in to the headmistress and explain. She was very good about it though.

DD has some 'unsavoury' friends and we felt that moving her sooner rather than later would be the best idea plus a friend of mine who also moved one of her children privately said that the summer term was a wonderful term to change schools as they do so much outside. Plus DD is so excited and I felt it would be long for her to wait, hopefully she will have made friends she can meet up with over the summer holidays.

Not long till DS's assessment now....

Starmummy Sat 21-May-05 07:58:51

Thanks Wrangle for this support. I feel I need to keep calm, things seem to be escalating out of my control! Last night I spoke to his form teacher who told me the head had seen the fax requesting information. She thought the head would be calling me very soon, however he didnt last night and I'm working on Monday so Tuesday, my orginal day looks like it will be crunch day. Hope he doesnt speak to DS and upset him. I cant ever remember a child from our school leaving to go privately part way thru KS1 and KS2.

Anyway DS is stil very excited, he has spoken to his friend at the new school and they are both looking forward to his visit. DS says he isnt bothered by the tests, which is good news although I have since been told they do the entrance exam he would have done in January... hmm well we've not done any work for that.
Oh well I must just have faith in DS and that his potential will shine through.

It sounds like an excellent idea to move DD in June. Making new friends before the summer and all the fun activities wow, she couldnt ask for more (and neither could you!)

Will catch up next week fingers crossed!

wangle99 Wed 25-May-05 12:23:26

Starmummy - thinking of DS today and his assessment.

Starmummy Thu 26-May-05 16:23:06

Thanks for that Wangle. Gosh I dont know who was most worn out DS or me. I felt emotionally exhausted, my Ds being judeged and maybe found to be wanting by people who wont love him unconditionally as I do.. Anyway I feel better today and the good news is they offered him a place there and then (they already had his school report).

The head said he was exactly where they would expect, not "sparkling" at the top and not at the bottom. They enjoyed his exteded writing, he used some very exceptional words apparently! On the other hand, they could barely read it, so they have advised work with his handwriting will be in order. They're welcome, I have tried and failed when it comes to handwriting.

DS really enjoyed the day, I wonder if thats because he played cricket and had double art??? Anyway he is still adamant that this is the school for him. So I guess thats where we will be in September.

Thanks for your support.

Good luck to you and your DD, not long now. All that new uniform, how exciting ( not to say expensive!!)


koo Thu 26-May-05 19:06:49

Message withdrawn

wangle99 Thu 26-May-05 21:48:15

Starmummy - that is brilliant. I'm so glad DS had a wonderful day and of course it's great he was offered a place there and then! It is emotionally draining I'm with you on that one.

We had another falling out with DD's school earlier this week and I am lodging an official complaint tomorrow with the headteacher. We have bought all her uniform now and tomorrow is her last day and I am so ready for it.

Good luck for September!

Starmummy Fri 27-May-05 11:50:43

Thank you both so much for your support.

The formal offer came in the post this morning and I was very excited!! Havent told DS yet, but he was hopping around on one leg waiting for the postman. (tee hee).

Koo, Congratulations to DS for Best Boy (it brought tears to my eyes for you IYKWIM?). It sounds like you made the very best of a fantastic opportunity last year and that both your DS's have come out ahead.

Wangle. Hope all goes well the complaint and you get the better of them! What ever happens though just look to the future, your DD has you on her side, a fab new school that serves her needs and that will challenge her. And she starts in just a few days. have a great half term and let us know how it goes for her.

I know now that this is the right decision and September cant come soon enough. Mustnt start wishing the time away though, it goes so quickly as it is.

Good luck to both of you and your Dchildren!


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