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Is this fairly common in schools?

(19 Posts)
youngwomanwholivesathogwarts Mon 18-Jul-11 20:26:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AbigailS Mon 18-Jul-11 20:30:06

Might not be "randomly assigned to a class" - and yes schools do mix up classes. Some do it every year, so just when needed.

AbigailS Mon 18-Jul-11 20:31:27

Some do it every year, some just when needed. blush
The issue might not be your DC it might be balancing other issues and other children. If you are concerned speak to the head.

Dumbledoresgirl Mon 18-Jul-11 20:35:49

If I understand you correctly, the way the classes were split before would have necessitated some children being moved classes from time to time eg a child in the Year 1/2 class would have had to have changed classmates when they moved into the year 3 class, or the year 3/4 class. So the fact that everyone is being put into different classes next year is not really that different.

That said, I understand how upsetting it can be for individual children to find themselves with unfamiliar faces. Was there no consultation with the parents?

IamtheSnorkMaiden Mon 18-Jul-11 20:38:34

I would ask to speak to the head about this. Find out why it's being done - what they hope to achieve. Also mention that your child has not been placed with any friends at all. Usually when groups/classes are decided it's not done totally arbitrarily (sp?) but efforts are made to make sure all children are with some others that they're familiar with. It does sound a bit like the head is just trying to put his/her stamp on the school - s/he may also have other changes s/he wishes to implement...

At the primary school my twins attend (also just about to enter Year One in September) it is routine policy to split twins and put them in different classes unless parents object. I was happy for my two to be apart as they are boy/girl, don't rely on each other even though they have a good bond/relationship and I felt that they would both thrive given their own arena to do so.

I would certainly hope that if they did mix up the classes in future, there would be some kind of consultation with the option of pupils naming a couple of friends they'd like to stay with. Otherwise, like you have highlighted, it could end up being very unfair to some children who end up feeling singled out and isolated.

youngwomanwholivesathogwarts Mon 18-Jul-11 20:41:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jugglingmug Mon 18-Jul-11 20:54:29

How old is DS? I think it's fairly unusual for kids to be split from all their friends. However, I think it's fairly common for parents to have different ideas about who their DC's friends are to their teachers IYSWIM.

It seems fairer to mix everyone IMO. Otherwise presumably 15 children out of each year get mixed with a different group of other children (if that makes sense).

Oblomov Mon 18-Jul-11 21:40:55

Ds1(7) , now Year 2, was mixed after reception. And has not been mixed since. Will not be mixed, going into Year 3, we were told yesterday.
At our school they do it when they decide they need it. So one year could be mixed every single year, and another not at all, all the way through school.

In reception, parents were told. Child was asked to chose up to 4 or 5 friends I think. They were guaranteed to be with 2. But maybe not their favourite friend. so one mum could have requested that her son was seperated from little johnny. so your son could be upset that he wasn't with johnny anymore. or maybe the teacher thought they needed to be seperated. But atleast your child would be with atleast 2 out of the 5, even if it wasn't with little johnny anymore.

Your system seems much more barbaric than ours.
but i wonder if your head, like you said wants to make a point. and if that is the cause, i wonder what can be done.

MM5 Tue 19-Jul-11 06:05:53

I am confused why you think parents should have been consulted. This is definitely a school decision and parents don't have to be consulted. I am sure there are reasons and I can think of a long list. However, the idea of setting up an appointment for the HT to explain WHY he/she has done something that is very acceptable in education is time wasting, IMHO.

Children are far more resilient than adults. The HT wants you to wait until December before even considering moving a child due to the fact that a vast majority if not all will settle into class with little or no trouble, make new friends and progress nicely.

BTW, very few HTs will consider moving children after the final lists are made unless there are VERY extreme circumstances. Classes are usually really thought and worked on carefully. What YOU consider as random is not really random and, honestly, the HT doesn't have to tell you all the considerations for making up the classes. Would you like to have other parents told that your little darling in class X and not with his/her "friends" due to the disruptive nature of their friendship during lessons?

youngwomanwholivesathogwarts Tue 19-Jul-11 06:12:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

youngwomanwholivesathogwarts Tue 19-Jul-11 06:14:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oblomov Tue 19-Jul-11 07:54:25

Just becasue they are not naughty doesn't mean to sat they shouldn't be seperated. Maybe they are TOO reliant on eachother. Maybe they are quite insular and exclude others and/or a decsion has been made to try and broaden their freindship groups. Maybe they are such good freinds that they dfistract each other acdemically and you son could actually flourusah more4 acdemically if seperated form his freind. Who knows. But beleive me, there are hundreds and hundred of such threads on mn over the years. And beleive it or not, in hindsight, these things often work out.

singinggirl Tue 19-Jul-11 08:04:31

My DS1 was split up from his best friend after reception, which at the time was a huge upset for them both. The original reason for splitting them up was that the best friend relied on DS too much, and they were not willing to work independently. Both made a wider circle of friends from the split, and their work was not harmed either. Reasons for changing classes are many and varied - boy/girl balance, needing more independence, bullies being seperated from victims, potential troublemakers separated....the list could go on forever.

clam Tue 19-Jul-11 08:58:44

Just because the teacher said it was random does not in fact mean that that is the case. That's an easy "fobbing off" explanation when perhaps she was not prepared to go into the detail of why so-and-so was separated from thingy. If parents believe it was random, it glosses over the possibility of their child being "victimised" and separated from their mates.

Just a thought...

WriterofDreams Tue 19-Jul-11 09:11:51

I'm a teacher and I've known this to happen quite a lot. It's usually done to balance out classes better so that each teacher gets a manageable amount of the more difficult children. It's done very carefully to try to ensure that every class has the best chance of working well and it's done to benefit the children. Believe me it takes absolutely ages to work something like this out and any requests for changes can't be entertained as if you move one child you have to move everyone. Do you really think that, as someone who has never worked in the school, you know better how to manage it? You say the old system worked fine, did you attend a staff meeting where this was said to be the case?

The HT was very clever to say s/he won't change anything till December - by then it'll all have blown over and chance are most children won't want to move.

Oblomov Tue 19-Jul-11 10:05:04

I agree with writer. As a parent, we have NO IDEA, of the dynamics of a class. And what a difference it can make if you take 2 children out of one class and put them in the ohter, you COULD well find total harmony instead of total dysfunction.
I bet that does happen, quite a bit actually.

yellowvan Tue 19-Jul-11 10:26:18

It absolutely won't have been random, thats a fob off. Classes have to be balanced by all sorts of factors: age, personality mix, ability, spread of sn (so the workload in this regard is spread), then there's teacher and support staff needs (ie newly qualified or 'weaker' staff get the less tricksy characters ad character combinations, 'stronger'/ more experienced staff get the chn who need most managing and lots of outside liasing eg with SALT, OT, SS etc). Its a bloody nightmare task to get this stuff right. random? no way!

clam Tue 19-Jul-11 10:28:15

I am puzzled as to why people think parents should be consulted about matters like this. Why? Parents are likely to be mainly concerned for the preferences of their own child with regard to current friendships. The school will be looking at the bigger picture and operational reasons.
And why is it such a "massive change" to the way the school is run? 3 vertically-grouped classes instead of one in the middle of two straight year-groups. Makes sense to me.

youngwomanwholivesathogwarts Tue 19-Jul-11 10:46:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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