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DS, 10 yrs, Y6, newish school, not settling; Who to seek help from?... long alert!

(3 Posts)
ampere Sun 01-Nov-09 22:24:56

We moved the DSs from a school they'd been at for 6 years (in DS1's case) to the new local school when we moved: that was half a term before the end of his Y5. It's been OK- quite similar schools and he has retained 2 friends from the previous school, 4 miles away.

Thing is, I would have hoped that after what amounts to a term (with the summer in between!) he would be getting into the groove more. He's OK and I KNOW that of course the kids in the new school have been together for 6 years, too, but he really isn't making friends very easily. His 'limited' school report (bearing in mind he'd only BEEN there 6 weeks!) before the summer said he 'hadn't yet managed to find the right group of friends in the playground'. This is true: he says that in class is OK though he DOES find problems when they group up or pair off, but as he isn't a footballer, he is finding he feels he HAS to fit in with a specific gang in his class but they do seem to be verbally- well, almost bullying him. 2 Y6 boys appeared at our door yesterday asking if he could come out. Hooray! I thought. He came back and seemed OK BUT when I mentioned it to his gran later, DS butted in- no it hadn't gone well, they'd barred the playground gate and wouldn't let him leave and were teasing him. Teasing does seem to be the theme of the 'bullying', a word I use in its mildest meaning, I must add!

Now, DS1 has never made friends easily- I cringe a bit when we walk home and a couple of lads from his class race past joshing each other and DS1 sort of makes an attempt to 'join in' or yells a 'witty remark' after them- they turn, look him up and down, perhaps sort of acknowledge him- and run off, leaving him feeling a bit silly: to me I would have said the signs were obvious that THAT wasn't the time or place- BUT if a lad actually comes UP to him and engages him in conversation, DS can be a bit dismissive and certainly practically never picks up the implied 'offer' of friendship. Of course, I don't know if this DC is 'a problem' in class and is generally unpopular hence is trying to latch onto the 'new boy'.

I am going to have a casual chat with his young, male teacher this week who possibly doesn't realise that DS IS effectively 'the new boy' with the hope the teacher might be able to engineer coupling or grouping up a bit towards perhaps less boisterous and hierarchical. I mean, this bloke SEES my DS 6 hours a day thus must have SOME idea of personalities!

Now, is there also another school-based person I can perhaps arrange an appointment for DS to meet who might be able to help DS a bit with making friends? Or perhaps to help him develop a bit more of a positive attitude? There is no doubt about it DS1 IS a bit of a 'cup half empty' person! But I don't know how much he tells me is attention grabbing and for effect rather than the absolute truth. However, god knows I don't want to be the ''snap out of it and get on with it' parent who sends an increasingly isolated and depressed DC into the maw of a hostile school yard every day! IF that is what's happening!

It IS true that the classroom is a limited, controlled and disciplined environment overseen by trained professionals to spot bullying, depression etc etc- then the kids are let loose for an hour and a quarter into the potential Lord of the Flies environment of the playground, 300 of them overseen by 4 people with a basic food hygiene handling certificate as their qualification!

bigTillyMint Mon 02-Nov-09 06:44:54

Definitely go and talk to the teacher - if he is a new teacher? he will probably have other things on his mind and may not have noticed your DS. Anyway he's a man and needs to have these things pointed out to himwink

At my DC's school there is Learning Mentor who would get involved with this sort of thing, as well as loads of TA's - does his class have a TA?

What is your DS into? I guess he isn't a footballer or he'd be straight into the playground games, but maybe there are other kids who like the same things?
Could he invite a friend or two round for tea / to the cinema / swimming, etc to get to know them better?

ampere Mon 02-Nov-09 18:48:27

Yes, I suspect the 'man' thing is a bit of an issue! Unless it's pointed out to him I don't suppose he'd even notice that DS wasn't anywhere near being 'in the thick of things'!

I will definitely go and talk to him, though, and the Learning Mentor idea sounds like just what we're looking for. It'd be good if someone who knows the class over the past few years could give us some pointers about which DCs might be more on DS's wavelength. I know that DS's YR and Y2 teachers were right on the money with their suggestions for who to 'encourage' friendships with!

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