Kind school for very anxious 8yo(21 Posts)
My Y3 boy has never really settled at his school, either before or after being bullied, and it seems to have got to the point when he just accepts that he doesn't have any friends, and accepts comments from other children that he's stupid, and just doesn't seem motivated to learn or take part in any activities.
Although he panics at the very idea of moving schools, and although the bullying issue was supposedly addressed, as I mentioned above, it seems to have left a lasting impression – on him and on his classmates – and we'd really like to try a fresh start. The forms are due to be mixed next year, but we don't think that's going to be enough to snap him out of his funk.
Can anyone recommend a school which is very kind, where there is lots of in-classroom support, where there are a lot of extra-curricular activities (e.g. art – he loves drawing and photography)? We live in Orpington, but can drive. We understand that, catchments being what they are, this all probably means a private school.
Also: ideally a co-ed school, since he has a little sister.
Thanks very much for any tips you may be able to offer.
Hi Reluctant sorry to hear about your DS. Most places come up at reception or for Y3 so moving for Y4 will be an odd time to move but not unheard of.
Farringtons is a very caring school. Lovely grounds small classes and the fees are at the cheaper end. If you look at league tables it won't be up there as it tends to take those who don't go to the selectives of Eltham, Dulwich, Bromley High, JAGS etc. It starts at 3 and goes upto 18. They have school buses that pick up and drop off. Co-ed. Bickley Park goes upto 13 and has a good reputation but perhaps more academic and geared upto Common Entrance but that is boys only. Braeside is also a good co-ed school but finishes at 11, but it sells itself on preparing for 11+ entrance. You may find that one school that suits your son doesn't also suit subsequent children. I have just the one so can only comment based on friends but at DD's private prep there are a number of parents with three children in three different schools - more down to best fit than anything else.
Bishop challoner is a nice small school. Has a family feel to it and the teachers know everybody. My dd went nursery there and have a son there in the seniors. They start from 2 1/2 to sixth form and the fees are quite low compared to other independent schools.
Many stare schools that I have heard good things about but if your looking for state your better of seeing which schools have spaces first then taking it from there .
Good luck with your search
I'm really sorry about your son. It sounds so sad and just the kind of thing I really worry about - more than educational achievement.
I have a friend whose son goes to Tubbenden and she's very happy with that school. That shouldn't be too far.
Some kids go from Orpingon to St George's in Bickley. In the last years the headteacher has turned the school totally around - I believe including bullying making behaviour very good there but you could ask the head.
Raglan is a school I know a bit although none of mine are in school yet. Even though they went through lots of leadership changes in the last couple of years and that had an impact on educational achievement I have never heard of anyone complaining about bullying there. Everyone says it's a real community school where everyone is lovely. But again, you could speak to the new head?
I have friends in Braeside and I hear it's a very nice school. I think it's quite good in educational achievement. I don't know what their bullying policies are but I suppose they would be happy to speak to you about it.
I have heard god things about Bishop Challoner too and it isn't very expensive.
Good luck. I hope you find the right school for your son and he thrives and grows to be a confident happy boy.
St David's College in West Wickham is a lovely private primary school.
The school is small, the children are very secure and the whole feeling is one of a big family. My three have been through, my son is in year 6 now and will be doing tours at the Open Day on Saturday.
Pop down on Saturday 19th for a tour and see how it feels?
Thank you all, so much, for being so kind. I haven't really "settled" at his current school as a parent, either, possibly because many of the parents as well as kids don't seem very interested in any of us, so it's a shock to have people being sympathetic about him!
DH rang Babington House and we're going to see it after Easter, but that was a recommendation from someone whose nieces went there years ago, and remembered it as very nice, but warned it's best to get up to date info!
We'll have a look at those others, too, and might see your DS on Saturday, hornetgirl!
WRT Bishop Challoner, may I ask: is it very Catholic? DH has seen sectarianism in his time and is just a bit twitchy about it. He doesn't object to the Christian ethos of amy of the others.
DD has some friend's brothers who started at Babington and then moved onto Eltham or Dulwich at Y3. They really loved it and only left for a more academic and boys only environment. I think as Babington was historically a girls only school its transition to co-ed means there are not even numbers of girls and boys so check your DS won't have too small a set of boys as that may cause friendship issues. I appreciate boys and girls can be friends with each other but in the playground tend to gravitate to their same sex. I do also like the Babington uniform - not that you should judge a school on its uniform of course!
Thanks for the extra info, PettsWoodMum!
As second for Babington House. I don't think Breaside fits your description at all op.
If you're not anti-Catholic, Holy Innocents in Orpington is a lovely small school. Friendly staff, a good PFA team, lots of activities going on although I don't know about the art side of things. Worth a look. I know a few people who go there.
Oh, just seen this is a bit old, did you find somewhere you liked??
Thank you, AureliaViolet, and everyone else, too. We found a school and he's starting soon.
P.S. We also have friends at Holy Innocents, and they are very nice, but we're not Catholic.
Reluctant I am so pleased for you. Good luck to your DS on his first day.
Just for the record, Babington House School is only co-ed to year 2, after which it is girls only.
I'm pleased you found a school you are happy with, OP.
Hi Mulberry it used to be that way but changed about four years ago and is co-ed to 11 now. Then girls only to 11 to 16 then co-ed sixth form.
How is Bishop Challoners school ? I am looking for more info.
Thanks in advance
How about Pratts Bottom school. It's very small - only about 60 pupils inclusive from reception to year 6 - so very small and friendly.
Oops - I see I was a bit late to say the least!
Sorry to bring a different opinion but I hav a friend who is moving her daughter from Babington to a comprehensive. The teaching was fine but she found the families weren't inclusive/ friendly towards them at all. This is of course the opinion of just one person.
By the way, I second Pratts Bottom. I have a friend who's had two children there and sounds like an ideal school for an anxious child.
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