Change school for Y5 - dilemma(3 Posts)
So: DS1, summer-born, finishing up Y4. He seems happy enough at school (though not sure I'd know if he wasn't as he isn't v. communicative about it).
School has never stretched him academically, but he had lots of things to learn (social / emotional) so up to now have felt the overall situation was positive.
They have, since Y3 / Y4 attempted to stretch him a little with maths -- not sure how successfully, but I appreciate their efforts (half-hour 1:1 lesssons every fortnight; stretching work sheets; being asked to teach other children; sending him on day-long maths and science courses once a term).
They certainly don't stretch him in other areas and don't set expectations high enough for him, IMO, but equally he's happy enough, he's learning ... I can live with it.
School is small, and Y5/Y6 is taught together, and focus A LOT on SATs. So a Y5 and a Y6 sort of look the same, and focus on doing well in the SATs and not much else. Their teacher used be identified as one of the better ones in the school; but she has failing health and it significantly affects her mobility and enthusiasm for the job (entirely understandably, but that's not my problem atm).
DS has concentration issues, and is easily bored and/or distracted, and cannot see the point of "busy" work. He doesn't misbehave, but he does look out of the window and doesn't really see the point of making an effort once he's proved he understands a concept and/or it's about something he already knows (prolific reader of nonfiction).
I'm looking at moving him to a bigger school where they split up Y5 and Y6 with a view to at least hoping that his Y5 will be more interesting because it will focus on a wider range of subjects and will not be all about SATs. There's a hope in there a bigger school might be able to interest him more. (Ridiculous hope?)
We can't afford to privately educate, and have two more DCs younger than DS1.
He is quite awkward socially: he isn't shy but he is quite a sensitive and delicate soul and has fitted in quite well with his year group and is as happy as he can be socially, I think. DH has bigger concerns about disrupting this than I do.
I think the question is: would you move a child who was socially doing OK because you fear that Y5 and Y6 might beat the joy of learning out of him?
It's so hard -- and I know no-one will have the answer but any thoughts or insights or experience would be most welcome.
(As an aside for context: DD1 and DD2 are just about to start Y3, and I think would benefit from a school move for entirely different reasons, but they are easier socially than DS so am less worried about them and am thinking about them as a separate problem).
Apologies for the length ...
I wouldn't move him, if I was in your position. If he is doing socially well and have good friends and happy, it's more important to me than academic success.
What does he want to do?
It's easy to give children some academic stimulation at home, but us parents can't really help with social issues at school.
Have you considered home educating? I realise not everyone is in a position to do this, but I was lucky enough to be able to and really enjoyed it.
Your school seems more helpful than dd's school. I took dd out in year 5 because she had stopped learning maths. Teaching 1;1 is a lot quicker than teaching in school. Socially, because there is more diversity in age and background with home education, it broadened her view and social ability.
To be fair, she is quite good socially anyway, but she had no problems going back into secondary in year 7.
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