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Does anyone flexi school because school isn't enough?

(194 Posts)
RoboJesus Tue 24-Jul-18 17:14:27

How did it work for you? Was it hard to get the teachers onboard? Could you have your child sit out of yer exams in the school? I'm trying to look into whether doing it would be a realistic possibility or not

JustRichmal Wed 25-Jul-18 08:33:15

I looked into the possibility of flexi schooling when dd was in primary, I could not find a school, private or state, which would do it. I eventually home educated for a time and there found one or two people were flexi schooling because of SEN. Where a full week at school was resulting in disruptive behavioural problems at school they would take whole or part days out. It was done with the aim to help the child reach the ability to eventually spend the whole week at school.
You could ask your LEA if you can flexi school for reasons of your child being ahead, but IME it is unlikely.
Our solution was to home educate for a year or so at the end of primary. Dd then returned to secondary.
As for exams. You have to find a school which is an exam centre, so secondary rather than primary, and ask if they will let children of your child's age sit the exam. Find the board they use so you know what exam to teach to. There will be a fee as an outside candidate. The school we found was very good, with the lady who dealt with outside candidates meeting with us and then being there as dd went into the exam room to make sure she was OK.

RoboJesus Wed 25-Jul-18 20:11:07

Why would the schools not let you do it? My child is starting on half days for the first term anyway so I don't see how flexible schooling would be much different?

Twofishfingers Wed 25-Jul-18 20:29:53

You are asking about primary school right?

Have you spoken to your school at all about this? I know that it's not unheard of to have half days for some children when they start Reception but I am sure that schools have good reasons for not letting parents do it long-term. It must be very disruptive for teachers to have a child on half days. The child will not be able to access the full curriculum, ie if PE is in the afternoon every week then the child will miss part of the curriculum. Same with other subjects, or anything really. If they do an art project all the kids will do it together, but one child will not have it. Same with computing, coding, etc.
they might be at the same time very week and your child would be missing it. I can't see how it would benefit the child, especially from a social development perspective. They wouldn't be able to take part in all activities.

If you'd decide to home school completely I think it would be better than half in, half out, but that's just my personal experience with two children who are now aged 11 and 12 (with DS2 being a high achiever and G&T in maths/science and music).

MaisyPops Wed 25-Jul-18 20:38:16

Flexi schooling tends not to be done as thr child ends up counting for all the records and statutory assessments etc but the school doesn't get the full teaching time. Equally, there's issues over content coverage etc.

It can work well. It's not easy. It is an option but there's no legal right to it to my knowledge.

RoboJesus Wed 25-Jul-18 22:04:59

The point of the Flexi schooling would be because there was no learning at school so they would only be at school for the social side of things

MaisyPops Wed 25-Jul-18 22:12:29

I get what you're saying but if you think your child has nothing to learn by the national curriculum then why enroll them in a school?
Schools can't reasonably be expected to have a child on their books and be accountable for pupil progress if they aren't actually teaching the child properly because home are taking the view that school is for socialising and not real learning. School isn't a social group or a part time babysitting facility.

Find social activities and then home school.

In terms of exams, you have to find a school that will allow them to enter as an external candidate. There are also some options of online centres who will be able to help.

Something to consider as well is whether sitting exams early should be thr main focus. There are many ways to stretch and challenge without pushing for lots of early entry too. If the plan is early GCSE then early A Level, what comes next? Are they going to explore if they could university young and only get some of the benefits of the experience?

JustRichmal Wed 25-Jul-18 23:07:35

It was a few years ago that I looked into flexi schooling, so TBH I cannot remember the reasons given for it not being possible, I just remember it was a non starter. Home education does offer a lot of social opportunities. It is important to join groups, etc. However, with home education you are on your own and though there are checks, there is very little to no help from the LEA.
If you think it may be the road for you, contact a local group. Most will let you along to meetings to get an idea of how it is. There is also a HE section on Mumsnet.
Dd did do maths early and is now settled at a secondary which caters well for her. She sits quietly and does her own maths. She would have been happy sitting at the side of the class in primary and doing maths at her own level without doing the exam, but at primary school, their solution was to insist she was not ahead. You could try talking to the school and see if you have more luck in finding a solution.
I think you have to do what you think is best for your child, and often you just sense what this would be.

BertrandRussell Wed 25-Jul-18 23:11:51

Wait and see what happens. School might be enough- who knows?

Twofishfingers Thu 26-Jul-18 11:07:14

The problem is that OP (she has written on other threads as well) is 'profoundly gifted' although she won't say what it is that the child can do.

With that assumption in mind, she will never be happy with how a school will teach her child. I have been on this board for some time (with DS being in year 7) and I have never seen a parent saying that her child 'will learn nothing' at school. With that kind of attitude, no school will be good enough.

OP, I think you should seriously into home schooling.

PatriciaHolm Sat 28-Jul-18 19:35:46

It's at the discretion of the Head, but is very rare. It's generally viewed as a stopgap solution to re-integration into school for children who have not been attending for, say, reasons of illness, or school phobia. It's very disruptive for school and child (and also not good for social relationships in school, which would basically defeat your object).

I really think, as the others, that homeschooling is the only possible way you are going to be happy, OP.

jumbledumble Sat 28-Jul-18 19:40:46

So you think a reception aged child will learn nothing from school? Nothing at all?

What about stuff like how to get along with others, how to share, compromise, take turns, how to function to normal social rules? Or won't your child have to do any of that?

And honestly, having seen kids right through to almost finished, there is tons they learn that isn't just maths, english and science type national curriculum stuff. Trips to different places with their mates, not just educational with mum and dad (it's a different environment).

How bright exactly are we talking? And how can you possibly assess that at age 4? Because they might be ahead at 4 and other kids might catch up, or they might be always ahead - the point is that at 4, you don't know - you can't predict the future.

RoboJesus Sat 28-Jul-18 22:23:13

I guess I will have to see how it goes. I think homeschooling would be good, I just want my kid to have a "normal" school experience. So Flexi schooling would be a good middle ground

jumbledumble Sat 28-Jul-18 22:23:57

In what areas has your child been assessed to be so bright?

RoboJesus Sat 28-Jul-18 22:48:28

Everything except PE

jumbledumble Sat 28-Jul-18 22:51:29

How many years ahead?

RoboJesus Sat 28-Jul-18 23:25:21

6-10 ish

irvineoneohone Sun 29-Jul-18 08:58:21

Does that really means your dc is capable of all the work at 10-14 years old level in all the subject?
My ds had reading age of mid teens and can do some GCSE work for maths when he started school. That didn't mean he was capable of writing structured essay or story, or doing complicated problem solving questions in maths.
How about all the practical things they do for science learning or research for history or geography? Can he be able to present work at the level of end of primary or secondary children?
Can he not learn anything from school trips with his friends?
Can you give him the chance to experience making music, singing with others, or using a lot of different materials, technique or ideas for art, all those stuff?

JustRichmal Sun 29-Jul-18 09:11:47

Lots of people, like myself, dip in and out of home schooling. Rather than asking whether to home school or send a child to school, it would be better to ask what years you want to home school for and when do you want dc to go to school.
There is an assumption that home schooling is not social. This is not true. It is just different, where they mix with children from different ages. There are social times when children meet just to play while the adults sit round chatting as well as classes or outing to museums with children of different ages. It depends what you can find in your area or are prepared to set up yourself.
You could always go and visit a home education group with your child. Most people appreciate home education is a big decision to make and are happy to let you go along to a meeting or two.

jumbledumble Sun 29-Jul-18 10:54:18

10 years ahead in every area? So, they're capable of GCSE chemistry, physics, maths? As well as capable of complex essay writing skills required in English Lit, RE and History? Capable of the engineering skills needed in technology, and of the abstract thought needed for art? All at GCSE level or thereabouts?

Seriously?

MaisyPops Sun 29-Jul-18 15:45:33

jumble
I highly doubt a child of early primary is anywhere near advanced enough to do the English Literature or Language GCSE course as thr former requires a huge range of knowledge and maturity to deal with many of the themes and the latter requires them to control their language use to match a range of genres and audiences. Both require an ability to analyse how writers use language over a couple of centuries to achieve specific effects and GCSE students also have to do speaking and listening work and respond to detailed questioning.

I'm calling bullshit at worst and hyperbole at bestn

Caroian Sun 29-Jul-18 19:58:59

Quite aside from the sort of reasoning, analytical and writing skills required to be working 10 years ahead, there is surely no way that any 4 year old will "learn nothing" from primary school. I find it very hard to believe that any 4 year old will have covered, in depth, every topic in the curriculum in subjects like History, Geography, RE etc. British history alone is a massive topic that can easily be extended - yes, even by Primary teachers - as knowledge and interest allow (which is the true beauty of being highly intelligent - the ability to extend yourself and learn about things more deeply with relative ease). The reality is that no matter how gifted you are, facts take time to find out and learn.

Also, if they are that gifted in music, I take it they are already playing at least one instrument to at least grade 3-4 standard? Signing your child up to instrumental lessons for instruments they have not yet mastered may be a good idea though. It will take them out of the classroom for 20-30 minutes and will teach them something they do not currently know.

MyOtherProfile Mon 30-Jul-18 00:59:48

Threads by Robo always go the same way.

R: How can I juggle this aspect of g and t for my child?
Posters: sensible answers and some questions for clarity
R: But my child is super dooper doubly g and t
Posters: more questions for clarity eg who assessed? What areas? How bright?
R: But my child is super dooper doubly g and t

RoboJesus Mon 30-Jul-18 02:35:05

6-10 would put them into just about to start year 6 to just finished KS3. I may choose to homeschool after the first year or school plus tutors but that seems a lot.

irvineoneohone Mon 30-Jul-18 06:37:10

OP, my ds is just about to start Yr6 in Sept, and what he was able to do at 4, and what he can do now is miles apart.
He is still miles ahead in certain subject, he is capable of doing some ks4 easily work now.

I think homeschool can be a answer to some children, but not for my ds. He has benefited so much from attending school, not just for social side, but introducing something new and exciting which he would never had, if he was homeschooled by me.

By all means you should fight for your dc to have appropriate education at school for him. But just going forward and skipping years is not the answer, sometimes. I don't think English education system is always great for super intelligent kids, but have some benefits too, imo.
And there are many great teachers here who can guide you, like Noble, the secondary maths teacher and others who can give you a insightful suggestions and information.

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