Would a prep school be any different?(9 Posts)
Ds will be 6 in March. He is a bright boy and is also not particularly mainstream in his interests (no superheroes etc). He spent two years at a fabulous Montessori nursery where he made friends, including a really good pal with similar interests and level of brightness. Unfortunately we had to move out of where we were due to.primary school allocations and moved to a small market town within commuting distance where Ds started school last January. Last year he was happy enough, lovely teacher who involved and challenged him and while he didn't make any particular friends I thought this year would be different as they mixed the classes up. However his teacher this year is a different character (although she LOVES ds, who is both bright and self motivated to do well) she doesn't appear to challenge him. He also hasn't made a particular friend, he does have friends, but I watched one of them semi wrestling with him this morning, and another two flicking rubbers at each other, and I just felt really depressed. Would it be any different at a prep? Or is this just teaching and kids?
It might be worth thinking about what you would have liked to have seen? Would you have felt better if your DS was wrestling/flicking rubbers - is it the friendship side you mind about? Or the content of what he's learning?
It might be, at a good one, or it might be at a better state school, or you might just be reacting to things that are normal. Hard to say about the wrestling and rubber-flicking, but your DS should be being challenged. Why don't you go and visit whichever schools are realistic options? Nothing to lose...
Wrestling and rubber flicking sounds fairly normal to me. What did he think of it? Is he happy at the school?
I would speak to the teacher about lack of challenging work and develop his interests outside of school before looking at a prep. He's already had one major move.
He and his friends are 5. How do you think they should be playing together before school?
I know exactly what you mean. Finding a peer group for DD has been as much of an issue for us as keeping her challenged.
But prep schools vary even more than state schools, so as PP said, you need to go and see as many as you can to get a feel for them. You can tell from their responses which ones 'get' him and which don't.
FWIW, we made the move, after seeing every school, state and private, within reach. Challenge was much improved, and it's wonderful being in a school that is ready to add something new in every time she's starting to coast. But while she has two good friends, the social side could still be better. I think a more selective school would have suited her more, but they were too far away.
It's both the social side and the not being challenged that's worrying me. I did speak to the teacher at parents' evening and she was supposed to be offering him some chapter books to read instead of the reading scheme books (as an example) but that hasn't happened. I'm not that bothered as he has plenty of reading material at home but I would like him to be challenged a bit more during the school day, largely because I don't want him to think school is a doss and he doesn't have to work! He does extend and challenge himself but there are times when he comes home his mind races at 100mph and it just melts my head!
I would say he is not entirely happy this year which is what has got me thinking. He was teary when he started back in September and teary back after January which just wasn't an issue either last year or at pre school (after the initial first few weeks at least.)
Current school is an infant school so there is a natural end at Y2 and we wouldn't move him before then due to obviously having already had one major move.
To the pp who asked how I thought they should be playing - this was in the classroom when they were supposed to be doing their morning work. Ds had gone to say something to his friend and friend grabbed him round the neck. Ds is not a rough and tumble type and seemed irritated.
Prep school will necessitate me going back to work early than anticipated (also have younger dd) which is why am trying to get an idea.
I've just asked 8yo DS and he is horrified at the rough and tumble in the classroom. He goes to a very ordinary state primary and that behaviour wouldn't be acceptable at all during classtime. TBH your second post makes me think that the teacher is a bit ineffectual.
Yes that's what I'm thinking too. The friend did eventually get told to sit down and get on with his work, but by the TA who is there to help with another disruptive child not the teacher. I get the feeling so long as the parents are there the teacher can't really be bothered to intervene. I have to stop myself sometimes
Last year the teacher was so lovely they all wanted to please her so there was a real sense of shame to being told off but this year it's more of a joke. I think because Ds is very conscientious the teacher thinks she can more or less leave him alone. I do understand she can't sit and extend with him individually. Added into the prep /state mix is the fact that we'll be moving house at the same time as ds finished infant school so the thought of taking a gamble on the state school system again is making me feel slightly ill.
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