Report comments dilemma - Should we to respond ?(6 Posts)
Firstly Ds is sensitive (a little bit socially/emotionally immature) and generally very good at abiding by the school rules, he is also
easily exceeding targets fine as far as SATS levels "scores on the doors" is concerned.
However, at one point in this academic year I feel that the school let him down more than once as far as his social and emotional needs were concerned. His place in the class pecking order has never recovered from another rather cocky child's version of events being given greater credibility thans ds's in front of a group of other children and even the other child in question's mother several months later later owned up to the fact that she had subsequantly realised that ds was right all along (although the school are I believe still unaware of this as I'm not one for causing a fuss).
Ds has several physical features that will, as the children get older, eventually be a possible source of teasing so I'm exceptionally keen that he fits in and keeps up with his peers socially as much as possible.
I'm annoyed that ds' report states that he "has had difficulties with the social skills side of things with his peers" and specifically refers to the period when the events that I feel were his undoing (socially), took place.
I do as much as I can to ensure that ds has a wide social circle outside of school and he seems to be a confident boy in those other situations but school seem to be highlighting a problem in school that in my mind was actually either caused or made worse by their actions. They say he has matured and overcome this a bit but I realise from what he tells me that breaktimes are now far from his favourite time of the day and he put his name forward for a great many lunchtime clubs so that he can to avoid spending time outside with his classmates as he feels he only has misfits like himself to play with (which has actually led to him being in trouble for going along with the suggestion of one of them and being somewhere they weren't allowed as a result, school were amazed as he is usually a stickler for following rules but he was keen to have a friend) All the cool kids now look down on him and too many others follow suit.
Should I let school have my thoughts on the matter or will I make myself look over protective/silly ?
Sleep on it for a night or two. I did a knee-jerk form fillling in thing and later regretted it at the end of last year. I still stand by the fact I think one of my ds got very little from the year for one reason or another, but it's all fine now and looking back, I think I probably sounded a bit silly. I hope it looked 'knee-jerky' to those reading it!
If it's still bugging you say, tomorrow, do it. Or call in and have a chat to someone, although I know everyone's so busy at this time of year.
I would wait until September and request a meeting with his new teacher to talk about how you and the school can support your ds socially.
I understand how it must rankle to have these comments in his report when you feel it's the school's fault but you can't change what happened now, and I don't think you'll show yourself in the best light if you challenge the comments. Better to put your energies into pushing them to do better in the future.
I think it's worth mentioning something, but not in a defensive or accusatory way. This time last year ds1 had some issues with his peers, which ended in a fight. I have absolutely no idea how school dealt with the other children involved (as long as they told us they were being dealt with, it was none of my business), but after we went in to talk to the head and his teacher about things, school have made a huge effort to help ds deal with such situations.
My ds sounds very much like the child you describe in your first paragraph. The other kids realised he was sensitive and seemed to enjoy winding him up until he 'lost it', as in the episode I mentioned. I think it was a real shame it had to come to that, but like I say he's having help now (school run something called 'ELSA' - emotional literacy support - which has been great for him). I wish wholeheartedly that I'd mentioned to school before that he felt he was being teased/picked on etc., but to my shame I told him it was stuff that happened in school and he needed to deal with it. It's now obvious he simply didn't know how
The support he's had has definitely worked. A few weeks ago he'd told me again that some kids in his year had been 'picking on him'. He'd used the strategies he's learnt so he didn't react with his fists, or burst into tears (so not cool!). And then a few days later they were having a focus group type thing, of things that were good or could be better about the school. He brought up the subject of bullying with the Head, and said he felt it was happening to him, again. The head dealt with it there and then, bringing the culprits in for a discussion and making them apologise. There's been no more.
Sorry, that's a bit jumbled! If you want to say something about how the school support your child (or not!) then go for it, but I don't think i would be appropriate to being the other child into it now, on your son's report.
I suppose the problem is that I have slept on it for 6 nights now and it still bugs me. I have 3 more days of term to offload or let it go, risking it niggling away at me over the long summer break.
It doesn't matter who the other child was, or that it cost me money, it's just that his social standing was undermined in front of other children and he lost a lot of playground credibility (which we worked hard to achieve) with the other boys in his class as a result. A lot of my networking on his behalf, "playdates" etc in the earlier years of school, which are time consuming when you are full-time working parents, was undone in an instant and he was clearly then deemed to have a problem interacting with his peers.
There were other situations created by the school which I felt neglected his emotional well-being and made it look like he can't keep up with his peers as far as maturity goes but he just doesn't kick up a big fuss at the time and we then have tears over things having upset him out of school which we talk through to unpick things to get to the real cause of his upset state. I suppose the teacher takes the route of least resistance in class, (he who shouts loudest and all that) until I have to go in and mention how unhappy he is with something and this adds to the opinion that he is socially immature.
Oh decisions, decisions !
It doesn't help that Dh is very knee-jerk over these things and can't be relied on to consider whether it is worth speaking up or biting one's tongue. He's all for having it out big styleee, forgetting the longer term effect on our reputation as parents and possible impact on dc2 (also at the same school) in the long run.
If you want to say something in response to the report on the comment form, then I would just say that you disagree that he has matured and overcome the social difficulties. There is no point saying too much on there anyway as it is likely to just be stored in your childs file and prompt no real action.
I would get in there early next term and request a meeting with his new teacher, and get some strategies in place to help your ds.
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