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Reception to Year 1 concerns :) advice would be good

(11 Posts)
Tattoos29 Sun 19-Jun-11 22:58:49

My amazing DS is currently in reception. His school used to have an extremely poor reputation but due to a new head and some great motivated teachers (not all I may add) it is improving all the time. Due to the poularity of the reception classes they currently have two receptions classes each holding about 17 kids, I must admit the reception teachers are wonderful and have done wonders with my DS. As the school year is coming to a close I was concerned last week that parents still had not been informed of the processes of thier kids moving up a year, so my friend and I attended the weekly school coffee morning to ask some questions. We were told that the reception classes were going to be split into a year 1 class and a year1/2 class. As we were totally unaware of this we asked the following:

1. When would we be told?
2. are they split on age or ability?
3. Could the decision be changed?

We received very little answers to our questions which then bought on new concerns. I feel concered that my DS may be separated from his friends because of his age and end up being stuck with the naughtier children in his class that he doesn't like to mix with. My DS is one of the youngest in his year but very bright for his age and quite mature (when he wants to be) but I am so frightened that he's gonna get stuck with little buggers that are going to drag him down!!! My main concern is that he is separated from his BFF who is about 8 months older than him and a very bright lad himself. At least when my DS and his BFF are together they can stick together and help each other!!!

Another concern is if it is done on ability doesn't this almost promote segregation and the possibility of new bullying??
It only takes one child to find out from someone (normally the parents bragging) that they are in a higher set so then pick on a child in the lower set, a child the previous year they played with happily. Is 5 too young to start this kinda thing??

Have any other parent had experience in this? Am I just being an overprotective parent? Any advice would be great


BillyJoel Sun 19-Jun-11 23:08:01

My kids (12 & 10 so a bit older) are in a school with a single class for each year. They are split into separate classes for some lessons so that they can be with a group at their level. I was not aware until recently which group my kids were in for each lesson and the school certainly don't make a big deal of it, neither do the parents, as far as I can tell. I think they call it "stage not age" teaching and it works for my children.

I also have a DD in reception and Idon't know if they will be operating this system for year 1. I am not bothered either way . It seems to work, and there are children of different abilities and at different stages. The children seem to be very accepting of differences (one little child at preschool was quite autistic and made a lot of screaming noises - my daughter, when asked, told me that this was her language, and did not see it as a big deal at all.)

It can work and does for my children and their school. So I guess it is not automatically a problem.

LawrieMarlow Sun 19-Jun-11 23:18:38

At my DC's school sometimes there are split classes and sometimes just one per year. It depends on the exact numbers in each year - this year DS has been in one of two year 2 classes with only 17 in each class but next year will be in one year 3 class.

DD is currently in reception and will be in a mixed year 1/reception class next year. We have been asked to give the names of five children she would be happy to be in a class with and the school will try very hard to make sure she is with at least one of those people. From what I have seen of the school, they always do this for new class groupings.

I think it will be done on a mixture - not totally ability or age. I also think that children in reception quite often have an idea about who is doing what sort of work and I don't think it tends to be a problem for them in the way we might imagine it to be.

I would ask about when you will find out about the new classes and whether there is a time when the children get to meet their new teachers.

Hope there is a good outcome for your son (and for you smile)

Tattoos29 Sun 19-Jun-11 23:21:41

Thank you very much. Its nice to read other people's experiences. Only have one DS so its all very new smile

waiting2exhale Sun 19-Jun-11 23:35:12

Am in the same position. Really don't want to deal with an upset child at the beginning of year 1 if he isn't with his best mate. Not particularly happy with why a mix up has to occur. To date, the kids have been placed on different tables within the class to facilitate the range of abilities within a class.... Why can't this just continue hmm

vnmum Sun 19-Jun-11 23:36:05

HI tattoos, I will be watching this thread with interest as I have similar concerns for my DS going into yr 1. He is my first DC at school so it is all new to me too. smile

LawrieMarlow Sun 19-Jun-11 23:44:02

Moving children into different classes can happen due to the number of children per year ie 75 per year is quite a common number but doesn't fit in with the maximum of 30 in infant classes. So schools will sometimes have three reception classes of 25, then a year 1 class of 30, a mixed year 1 and year 2 class of 30 and a year 2 class of 30.

Other schools feel that mixing classes up each year is good for promoting different friendships.

Sometimes there will be much smaller schools with mixed age classes all the way through.

I do think schools should communicate about how they are mixing the classes and children should know about their new class before the end of term.

Tattoos29 Mon 20-Jun-11 12:10:33

Many thanks for the comments. I'm probably just being paranoid and over protective ;( a whole new experience for me and feel slightly let down by the lack of information given out to children and parents!! I understand that my DS will be surrounded with "naughtier" children but in my perfect world I want him around others kids that behave like him and his BFF.... Welcome to my "rose tinted" wish list lol. ;)

redskyatnight Mon 20-Jun-11 12:15:35

If this is an English state school there is still plenty of time - DC's school usually advise about plans for next year in July.

Also to reassure you:

6 year old DS's response from being split itno a different class from his best friend - "we can still play together at playtime, and it's not fun being in lessons together anyway"

5 year old DD's response to her best friend moving 4 hours away - "I will really miss her but I can send her notes so she doesn't forget me. And I can play with my other friends at school"

I think we worry about friendships more than they do at this age ...

simpson Mon 20-Jun-11 12:23:35

My DS (in yr1) is the youngest in the year and when he was in reception I was worried when I found out he was going to be seperated from all his friends in reception.

But tbh I think I was more worried than he was grin blush

They still see each other at play/lunch times etc...and it did not take him long to make new friends. Now in yr1 he has a whole different set of friends from last year (apart from his best friend who is in the other class) and come sept they will all be mixed up again..

My Ds is very quiet, sensitive etc too and he has coped fine grin

mummy1973 Mon 20-Jun-11 15:10:21

I know it is a worry. I felt like this when I knew my DD would be in mixed YR1&2 classes and separated from her 2 best friends. She has coped absolutely fine. The teachers have been excellent at setting work for different abilities and she has remained friends with those in the other class. In our school they do it on ability not age and it works very well.

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