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Very Unbalanced Class

(19 Posts)
NK6e17db7aX1264c0798a0 Sun 03-Jul-11 06:38:28

In September my daughter is about is start reception at a very local private school. I went to the school with my daughter last week to meet the teachers, other parents and her new friends and discovered that the ratio of boys to girls is 15:5. This was a complete surprise and I am really concerned about it. It is a mixed prep school and the children leave at the end of yr 2. Although my daughter is lively, confident and used to having boys around, she does prefer playing with girls and all her friends at her nursery are girls. I am concerned that there is such a small pool of girl friends. I am also worried that the class size will certainly reduce in size over the next 3 yrs- as was the case when my son went to the same school when they ended up with 8 children by the end of yr 2. So she may well end up with an even smaller pool of girl friends.
Should I be worried from the social and academic perspective and do you think the school should have let me know earlier?

wordsonapage Sun 03-Jul-11 06:52:45

I honestly don't know.
In my limited experience (previously a TA at a small primary) the boy heavy classes were far more ahem lively. But these were classes with 30 pupils.The reducing numbers over the years actually sounds like a bonus to me.

Five girls leaves girl out when it comes to pairing up. Is it just the one class intake?

Will the class have a TA ?

And TBH with private schools they want your cash they won't tell you anything to their disadvantage until the very last moment !

muminsouthlondon Sun 03-Jul-11 07:00:06

Thank you for your reply. Yes, it is just one class intake and I agree with you that a girl could get left out of pairings - and that could be my daughter! Yes the class will have a TA who is a lovely woman who knows my family and daughter well.

Rosebud05 Sun 03-Jul-11 07:00:56

It sounds like a single form entry, otherwise the classes would be more equally mixed.

At this young age, it could be great or it could be far from ideal - it will depend on the mix of personalities and how the dynamics are handled by the teachers.

Based on what you've said, the class numbers probably will decline, but I guess you need to decide now whether you're happy with that or not.

To be fair, I don't know at what point the school could have told you (are they still enrolling for example). Though of course they also wouldn't want to jeopardise any committed customers in time for them to go elsewhere.

wordsonapage Sun 03-Jul-11 07:11:30

Hmm TBH I don't really think theres anything you can do.

When ds started school there were 20 boys to 10 girls.
Equally when dd started there were 18 girls to 6 boys

(perhaps theres something in the water round my way !)

If you moved to a different school you may well find the gender balance similar.

Other than the usual squabbles I don't seem to remember there being any huge problems with the smaller gender groups they tended to play a lot of playground games such as tag and skipping for both sexes is very popular.

I do personally find girls are quieter and slightly more amenable (sweeping generalisation obviously) so in the classroom are more inclined to settle down to work and not rattle around.

Sorry am rambling (rather too much coffee) much better name BTW op !

muminsouthlondon Sun 03-Jul-11 07:15:16

Thank you both for your message. I think I will have a chat to the Head and find out what there strategy is to deal with the imbalance. I will also check availability in a couple of other schools in case I am still not happy.

nooka Sun 03-Jul-11 07:35:37

I'd worry about a school that bled children like that, as it's not exactly a vote of confidence. However I see that you sent your son there and were presumably happy, so perhaps that's not an issue. It does seem a very small group of girls, I'd be concerned about that too, just because it may limit her potential friendships, and if there is a falling out it could be disastrous.

muminsouthlondon Sun 03-Jul-11 09:00:54

Thank you Nooka, you are right I was very happy with the school for my son and but I also agree with you that for my daughter the pool is too small. Mmmm will have to think about this- even if I manage to find space at another school I imagine I will lose my (very substantial) deposit which would be so unfair.

TheOriginalFAB Sun 03-Jul-11 09:07:52

Last year one year R class had 19 boys and 6 girls. This September it will be 4 boys and the rest girls. It worked out fine.

crazygracieuk Sun 03-Jul-11 09:08:21

My dd is in a state school class 22 boys to 8 girls and there have been girls who have left because the lack of girls. At the lowest it was 22 boys and 6 girls. The girls are very close and seem to rotate best friends which keeps the friendships healthy. If my dd was one of the girls without a best friend then I would have changed her school.

Her teachers have admitted that they have to be creative when dealing with the boys but their honesty and solution has reassured me. The school is mainstream with a Special Meeds unit so the teachers are good at using unusual stategies.

TheOriginalFAB Sun 03-Jul-11 09:09:58

I really don't see that the school had to tell you to be honest, whether private or state.

meditrina Sun 03-Jul-11 09:16:00

I don't see that the school could have told you - or at least not before everyone who was joining reception had accepted their places.

You know this school well - you didn't expect a year with so few girls. No reason to think they expected it either back at the time of taking deposits.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 03-Jul-11 09:19:57

In DD's class all the way through primary they were very boy heavy, the whole year was, yet the year above was girl heavy. DD had 6 girls and 24 boys. There was nothing anyone could do, it was how it was.

muminsouthlondon Sun 03-Jul-11 09:31:56

Wow, that is boy heavy. Do you think it affected your DD's social or academic experience?

muminsouthlondon Sun 03-Jul-11 09:34:51

You may be correct- I guess I thought the school had more control over the intake as they make out there are more applicants than places.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 03-Jul-11 10:06:08

I don't think it did affect her in either way, in many ways it suited her.

She found girl Queen bee type behaviour very trying and found the boys a lot more straightforward.. There were other girls across the year to link up with a break times, she did Brownies too, gym club which was girl heavy and also dancing, so plenty of opportunities for female socialising!

A good class teacher will ensure equal opportunities in all areas, and if you are worried about behaviour, if the school is good and imbalanced class should never be an issue.

muminsouthlondon Sun 03-Jul-11 10:10:28

Thanks for your help!

meditrina Sun 03-Jul-11 10:19:47

If your user name is a clue to your location, the at least there is a lot of churn in the schools there.

You said you have to move her at the end of year 2 anyway. Perhaps you could start thinking about her destination school now, and if you like one that has a pre-prep you could explore the option of moving her early if she does not thrive. Knowing you have an escape plan might make it easier to give this arrangement a fair go. And if you move at end of reception, you won't lose your deposit.

But I hope it works out - you like this school, and the imbalance isn't necessarily a problem.

shellye Sun 03-Jul-11 11:19:05

I think every child is different and has different needs especially with friendships. My DD is coming to the end of year 2 and we are moving her to another school. Her new class for September would have been 12 boys and 4 girls. Although that has suited my daughter as she has struggled somewhat with the very "girly" girls we were having concerns. Balanced sport lessons being one of them. She is a very competitive sporty girl and currently has no competition. The class is also quite rowdy and for her who already has concentration issues this was not helping from an academic point of view. Hence the move to a school who has the total opposite, 3 year 3 classes full of girls! Average of 12 girls to 4 or 5 boys! And a group of sporty girls too!

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