Thoughts on transferring schools(15 Posts)
I've namechanged but am a regular on here btw.
Ds is in year 1 and is nearly 6. He is a lovely boy and very bright. We have always been out and about loads etc and he is really sociable and all my friends and their children adore him. However for the last year at school he has been very different. At least 2 or 3 days a week last year i was called in and told about some awful fight he had started at lunchtime or similar stories.
Evidently he is fine in class but lunchtimes have always been bad. I am sure he is not being bullied and normally the people he has hit (or bitten on occasion) are his close friends.
I really cannot understand this and neither can any or my pre school friends, family or his old nursery teachers as it is so out of character so i wondered if anyone had any insight into what is going wrong at lunchtime.
I feel sick dread taking him to school and collecting him and know some of the parents are avoiding us etc. and i am now considering a "new start" and transfering him but have a few questions about this:-
1 - technically the school he is at is "better" than any nearby schools that have space (but one school is a lot smaller so i now think may suit him) - would you be put off by reputation and ofsted or go with gut feling?
2 - This year's form teacher only mentioned his bad behaviour as i asked her outright last week. I have spent the last month assuming all was well and he had made a fresh start this year but when i casually asked if he was behaving himself she proceeded to list literally about 14 cases where he had been "very physical" at lunchtime. Do you think i should have been told weeks ago?
3. Any experience of a new school solving this or would i just be jumping as i personally feel very uncomfortable having a child who is "labelled" as naughty and am now avoiding chatting to other mums etc?
Thanks for reading my long ramble and look forward to a few opinions
This may sound a little harsh but are you considering moving for your son's sake or for yours? It sounds a little as if you are worrying about the parents avoiding you and having a child labelled as naughty. Are you sure that changing schools will aleviate the problems? Unless you know what the problems are, you cannot hope to begin solving them, you may just take them with you. I would try to work with the current school to get to the bottom of the behaviour with the aim of resolving the issues rather than hoping to avoid them.
Can I suggest something else - have you considered enrolling him for martial arts classes? He'd learn to get a handle on his emotions, get physical confidence, improve his coordination etc. I've seen a lot of small children turned round this way.
Are the other boys goading him because they know he will react? What do the school say is happening?
I wonder if these friends really are friends, sounds like a bad dynamic of the group tbh.
whomoved - he had a martial arts trial about a year ago but although he loved the idea of it in reality he had so little concentration it all seemed a bit hopeless! But yes it's a good idea that i should maybe try again now he is a bit older
randonmess - when he 1st started Reception he somehow got mixed up with older boys (only about 7 yo's as it's solely an infant school) who evidently goaded him to hit them etc but quickly once he established friendships in his class he now plays with his own age group and they really are kind sensible boys (Well i am 99% sure anyway)
A year is a long time in a little person's life. Try it again
Also consider trying anything which is physically hard - athletics etc - he may have a lot of energy and be getting frustrated.
I would ask for a meeting with the teacher (and then maybe the head) and say you are concerned about it - what strategies are they putting in place, and have they any suggestions for the way you could support your ds and the school in managing his behaviour? I wouldn't be thinking of moving at this stage - not unless you are sure that a different school would manage him differently.
Think the martial arts idea is a great one.
It seems the teacher hasn't been helping, I would have thought she would have let you know before now? I wouldn't suggest martial arts yet, lots in ds's class (yr 1) do it and it comes into playtimes a lot, I'm not sure they have the maturity to understand it should be kept out of the playground. I think you need to make a plan with the teacher that will support him. Have moving schools as a last resort.
Thanks all for your answers. I just don't know what to do as this is so out of character. We talked all weekend about his behaviour, and then monday was such a bad day at school that he is now indoors at lunchtime. At the moment he is staying indoors at lunchtime and then walking round the playground for about 10mins holding a lunchtime persons hand presumably either to humiliate him or to get some fresh air but i am not sure how long this "strategy" is for.
You are right tho - i need to make an appointment with his teacher thanks
Why does he do it? What has he told you so far?
You really need a meeting with the school, I'm surprised they haven't called you in tbh. Keeping a child in every lunchtime and only letting him in the playground holding someone's hand is pretty extreme in my opinion. Apart from anything else most lively little boys NEED a chance to run around and let off some steam if they are to be any use in the afternoon.
There is clearly a problem, you need to have a part in working out a solution. I am never against transferring schools if necessary but I think in your case you need to try and deal with this where you are first.
Does your son have any siblings or is he a lone child?
If he has siblings, does he play fight with them all the time and do they get rough?
Quite often, children with siblings are just playing, but when they are playing with single children it often is misinterpreted as violent, rough, harsh, aggressive, because single children dont know how to deal with this kind of behaviour (unless they have a good group of friends.)
You need to have a meeting with the school anyway to establish why his behaviour is so different to that at home, or is it a case of you dont notice it at home (Im not getting at you but I know some parents dont notice that their kids can play very rough and get shocked when pulled up on it).
You need to understand what the problems are, what the triggers are, who the triggers are, and then have an agreed plan for school and home to deal with these issues.
If he is having to stay in, this wont help get rid of the aggression, tension so he needs to understand that he needs to behave in order to play outside.
It is better to try and resolve the problems before changing schools, especially if in general you are happy with the school. Some families end up moving their children from school to school and this does not help the child, so I would try and get to the bottom of it and sort out the problems now while he is still young enough to adapt.
Also, are his unfriends teasing him for being clever, bright, etc? This can quite often trigger tension and aggro if he is being teased or picked on.
The school should also be able to give him toys/sports equipment to play with to vent out his anger, they should be working with your child to help and support him, not humiliate him
Does he have a packed lunch or school dinner? Could something eaten at lunch affect his behaviour? (aspartame, artificial colours..)
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