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Should we change DS's school?

(16 Posts)
CrispsCrispsCrisps Tue 31-Jan-17 13:42:15

Apologies for the long post but feeling worried at the moment and want to explain the situation accurately. DS5 is at a state school which is currently rated as Good and doing what it can to reach outstanding. The teachers are nice and because he's been to after school club he knows children from other years and it's also quite a small school so very inclusive and friendly. We don't have any issues with the teaching but some of the kids and parents do concern us due to the behaviours they display. Parent's kicking off with each other in the playground, coming to school drunk, swearing loudly in front of the kids at the gates and kids using certain language and hitting etc. Catchment has changed so there is an influx of pupils from a notoriously bad area. Not judging but it is what it is. The school clamp down on this behaviour and the Head is encouraging more positive behaviour from everyone. While the behaviour is worrying we stay away from it and DS's isn't as friendly with the troublemakers anyway. The group of friends DS has and the parents we see out of school are lovely and have become good friends.

DS is a bright boy and the teachers have said this and that he's ahead for his current learning level and doing very well. The homework he receives isn't challenging for him and we do extra bits with him because he wants to. The plan was always to send him to private school for secondary because the one in catchment is far and isn't a good school at all. We have found that before then there is a place available from Year 1 at a prep school and are toying with moving him from September. The school is ranked as one of the best in the country and class sizes are small.

The worry we have is he's happy here and is popular and has lots of friends. We don't want him to be the new boy who nobody knows and what if he doesn't fit in? Both DH and I were state schooled and we know DS could change in his ability and it's early days but all we want is the best for our children. The alternative would be to do more learning at home and possibly get a tutor in a couple of years time and stick to moving at age 11.

Would you move your child to a new school at this point? Really torn about that to do

littledinaco Tue 31-Jan-17 14:26:36

I would say at this age being happy is the most important thing. Imagine if you moved him and he hated his new school.

Have you looked round the prep school?

What is the reason for looking at a tutor for him in a couple of years?
I would have thought that would only be necessary if he was struggling.

Usually bright kids tend do well whatever school they go to.

What's your financial situation? Would paying for the prep school be a significant part of your income? Have you/are you planning more children? Financially, could you afford to send more children to private school?

My feeling would be to keep him where he is and then when he comes to secondary age you can look round the available schools with him and decide then. Remember at that age, your DS will probably have a strong opinion on which school he wants to go to.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 31-Jan-17 16:48:59

The school does sound lovely and he's happy and doing well. Having said all that, if you can, I'd move him now, just so that he has chance to settle and make friends at a young age.

You might want to ask MNHQ to move this to Primary Education. You should get a few more posts on there smile

CrispsCrispsCrisps Tue 31-Jan-17 17:12:06

Thanks littledinaco.

We've looked around the prep school when they had an open day and it did seem really good. The tutor would be to prep for the 11+ so he can get into the private school because the catchment one is awful.

I guess the concerns are more about the other kids and some stuff that goes on at the school.

We had budgeted for secondary private but not junior or infants so would need to spend carefully if we sent him there but could manage with some changes. Then of course there is DD2 who is only 7 months but of course you can't do it for one and not the other!

CrispsCrispsCrisps Tue 31-Jan-17 18:22:30

Thanks. Not sure how I get the thread moved

MissBeehiving Tue 31-Jan-17 18:28:56

We moved DS1 when he was 11 from state to an independent secondary, which has been good from an achievement perspective but more difficult socially because many friendships were formed at the lower school. If the prep you are looking at isn't attached to the secondary then that would probably matter less. Also if you go to the non selective lower school you are pretty much guarantee a place at the selective secondary.

Having said that, about a third of the year 6 class at DS2s state primary transferred to the private sector this year and they seem to be fined do we haven't decided whether we move DS 2 at year 5 or 6 yet.

littledinaco Tue 31-Jan-17 18:38:34

Do many children from state primaries go to the private secondary or is it mainly prep school children who go?

Maybe have a serious look at finances, would it mean fewer holidays for example? Having to budget can be really stressful and you could have a lovely few years going on lots of fantastic holidays, having no financial worries. Not saying this is the best thing, just something to consider.

I understand your concerns regarding some of the parents but it can be a good thing for your DC to mix with people from all walks of life, learning how to cope in different situations etc.

Is your DS the type of child who could change schools easily? How would you feel if you made the move and he was unhappy?

Cherryskypie Tue 31-Jan-17 18:42:28

'Parent's kicking off with each other in the playground, coming to school drunk, swearing loudly in front of the kids at the gates and kids using certain language and hitting etc'

That s horrible. I'd look at moving a child to get them away from that environment.

CrispsCrispsCrisps Tue 31-Jan-17 18:59:44

The prep isn't attached to a secondary. Would it be worth speaking to the Head here to see if she will push DS's development in prep for age 11 private and we keep him where he is?

CrispsCrispsCrisps Tue 31-Jan-17 19:03:13

The private secondary has a mix of private and state intake but I would say more private. DS is a confident boy and would make friends but it's the worry of if he doesn't for some reason.

For context, one child had left to go to another excellent state school and that wasn't because of an issue with the teaching but more the unsavoury characters and the fact the new school would feed into a much better state.

FlouncingInAWinterWonderland Tue 31-Jan-17 19:12:55

Happiness does come high on the list of things to consider. We're in a not disimilar dilema with our youngest, a year older than yous DS. She's happy at school and has people to play with but there are so many family problems at the school. The open swearing, parents being physical with their children and openly calling them 'little shits'. Theres a high number of children with external agencies involved.

We can move her to a feeder school (not that they exist any more) to the secondary her brothers attend in a more affluent area where I'd guess its a more pleasant playground, no doubt some other issues but it'd be a nicer environment and more academically challenging. I fear that she would take time to settle and life is full of people from a whole host of backgrounds. Being able to get on with all of them is another life skill.

MissBeehiving Tue 31-Jan-17 19:55:36

Another option is to see how it goes and then look at transferring at the end of year 3 which is what a number of parents do here.

MadameJosephine Tue 31-Jan-17 20:04:22

If you can afford it then I would definitely move to the new school. He's only 5 and will soon adapt to a new school, my fear would be the longer you leave him in this school the more difficult he may find the change

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 31-Jan-17 20:04:23

Must admit Cherry that was like the primary school I attended and I've moved to ensure my children don't.

CrispsCrispsCrisps Tue 31-Jan-17 21:39:44

Oh yes Year 3 is an option actually

Cherryskypie Tue 31-Jan-17 22:03:42

'life is full of people from a whole host of backgrounds. Being able to get on with all of them is another life skill.'

Well it's an argument for allowing a 5 year old to witness drunken adults being violent to each other but not a particularly sound one.

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