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Changing from schools within the same catchment area.

(9 Posts)
Maelstrom Wed 05-Jan-11 17:02:16

We live in the catchment of 2 good primary schools and DS attend the one nearest to us.

I have seen many parents raving about DS school, but to be honest, over the last 2 years he has been there he has not advanced one iota. His writing and spelling is far worse than when he started 2 years ago, he has lost interest in reading and despite being still advanced in maths with respect to the other children, he seems to get bored very easily and in general hates the school.

He is also being bullied, and the school do not seem good at doing anything about it. I have mentioned to the teacher about the bruises , about older children not allowing him to eat his lunch, and what DS says, but as the teachers normally do not supervise outside play / lunch times they are not aware of those things happening.

They have many clubs and extra curricular activities, but you only get to know about them if you hang around in the school/volunteer as the communication with the parents is... honestly... unexistent.

Homework is scarce and reading books levels are all mixed up so DS is repeatedly asked to read books in Year 3, he first read in reception in his other school.

Admitedly, the headteacher knows each child by their name, but DS teacher (he has had 4 this year - so far) doesn't even know who he is.

There is another school in the area, whose ofsted looks very good (Ofsted grade 3, 2 years ago but this year has scored "outstanding" in all areas).

How do I approach the other school without looking like a wingey parent? I would anticipate to move DS at the beginning of the next academic year, when he would be starting year 4 but considering how delayed he is and being so young for his class, I would even consider it a blessing if he were allowed to do Year 3 again.

Maelstrom Wed 05-Jan-11 17:03:25

Obviously my grammar is not good either but please cut me some slack, English is my third language wink

CarGirl Wed 05-Jan-11 17:06:59

I would concentrate on the fact that your son is not happy there and isn't a good fit and you feel a fresh start with some input from the new school could make all the difference?

Maelstrom Wed 05-Jan-11 17:23:44

Thank you Cargirl.

I don't want to talk badly of the school, but I don't want it to look as if DS is a little delicate child unable to cope with the school day to day.

I believe that DS needs more structure and discipline, he certainly thrives in environments when he knows what are the rules and what is expected from him. But this school "free range" approach is exactly the one that leaves DS confused and not knowing what to expect.

There are not many rules, the headteacher doesn't consider reading and writing particularly important in KS1, children were even allowed to vote whether they wanted to continue having a school uniform or not. No consultation about this with the parents BTW.

CarGirl Wed 05-Jan-11 17:29:22

Perhaps just say that he doesn't suit the approach to learning that the school has?

First of all you need to ensure that the other school does have a different approach?

you could ask them how would they deal with x y z situation? Is it noticably smaller or larger ie anything that you can pick on as a reason?

Maelstrom Wed 05-Jan-11 17:33:29

No, they are about the same size.

Second school is a faith school, I'm not religious, so I would feel a bit strange about claiming I want DS to be educated under the precepts of our religion, especially if DS starts with his never ending debate against dogmas of faith. [rolls eyes]

Maelstrom Wed 05-Jan-11 17:34:33

Now one big advantage of faith school is that they get automatically accepted to the catholic secondary school which is better than the secondary schools in my catchment.

CarGirl Wed 05-Jan-11 17:36:07

I would find out if they are more structured etc and then explain that is the reason.

admission Wed 05-Jan-11 22:54:43

First thing I would do is check whether infact the school has any places available in the right year group. If it is full and having made what appears to be spectacular progress in the last 2 years it could well be, then there is a reasonable chance that even if you went to appeal you would not get a place at the school.
Though I would have to say that it would be quite a novelty as a panel member to hear that a pupil was struggling to cope with the "free range" approach and needs a more structured approach. It would make a change from the "this is a better school, Ofsted say so" which the panel is likely to hear.
Having said that I would try to get in now, if it really is making such good progress it is for sure that other parents are going to be thinking the same as you and it will be a full school before long.

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