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Joining a class mid term - how to settle in, does the school normally help?

(9 Posts)
gilmoregirl Fri 28-Sep-12 15:02:32


DS was finally offered a place at our catchment school and started in the middle of term, which was not ideal but we had waited so long for a place that I decided to go for it.

I am a bit disappointed in the lack of support for him to settle in. Obviously he missed the first few weeks when a lot of important information was handed out and the children settled in.

He has been there for two weeks now and has not been allocated a reading group, did not get the form for parent's evening, no "timetable" to let us know which days are PE / library and so on.

I sent a note to the teacher on monday saying that I would like some clarification about the homework and reading. I didn't get a response and again this week no reading (apparently all the other children went to read in their groups but as he is not in a group he did not).

Am I being unrealistic in expecting the teacher to respond to my note? I am concerned that he feels unsettled and not really a part of things sad

alcofrolic Fri 28-Sep-12 20:23:53

shock I work in a school with a transient population. A child joined my class a week after the start of term, and she was benchmarked for reading level, and allocated a reading group, maths group and RWI group within a day. There are buddies in class, and a liaison TA who produces a 'joining passport', explains the behaviour rules and listens to the child's worries. Obviously our school has to address problems of transition so we have to do more than most, but I would expect any school to assess new pupils within a couple of days. (It's not rocket science!)

Your ds must be feeling very insecure if the school haven't helped him settle in at all.

Is it possible for you to get an appointment with the teacher, to talk face-to-face?

gilmoregirl Mon 01-Oct-12 16:49:17

Thank you for responding.

Hmmm I get the impression that this school is not used to children coming and going (judging by how long DS was on the waiting list) so that may be the problem.

I had expected some extra support just to help him settle in as moving schools is such a big thing but we just seem to have been left to get on with it. sad

There is a parent consultation evening coming up so I will speak to the teacher then but not great first two weeks for DS.

NK2b1f2 Mon 01-Oct-12 20:43:00

OP, reading your first post made me feel really quite cross on our ds behalf! He deserves better than that. We may be moving and facing a similar situation of our dd having to start mid-year, and if she was made to feel so unwelcome I would be going in all guns blazing to speak to teacher and headteacher at the same time to demand a proper plan of how my dd is going to be integrated as quickly as possible and who is looking out for her and giving feedback to me. I think it's shocking how your ds has been treated so far. sad In your shoes I wouldn't wait to parents evening because there will be only a few minutes to discuss your concerns. Ask for a proper appointment now! angry

gilmoregirl Fri 05-Oct-12 12:56:29

thanks NK. I was worried that I was being unreasonable in expecting a bit of effort to be made to help him settle in...

I have now been to parent's evening and expressed my concerns - the teachers did not seem to feel their was an issue.

I explained that there were a lot of things that we had not heard about due to starting mid-term and they just gave a v vague verbal explanation which didn;t really help much.

For example DS came home with a laminated picture of a microphone with the words "roving reporter science" on it. Of course I had no idea what this meant as clearly was something that had been explained at the start of the year. The teachers explained that he needed to make a presentation on a science topic. How on earth I was meant to have picked that up from the picture of a microphone is beyond me confused

I mentioned that at his previous school we had a weekly time table showing which days PE, library and so on were on (so that DS knew what to expect that day and to bring library book / not wear shirt and tie that day) apparently they do no have this - so not sure how everyone else seems to know what is going on.

I did find out that there was a welcome leaflet available which had some information in it. I emailed to ask for a copy - no reply from school. So I went in yesterday and they had all of these booklets available at reception. IMO it woudl have been a nice thing to give a new child a wee welcome pack with things like that booklet, the school handbook and other information we woudl find useful in it.

As it was I had emailed the school the week before he started asking if there was any other information we needed or anything I should do and was told that there wasn;t.

DS is finding it hard to settle in so I just want to do everything I can to reassue him and simply things like being able to talk about what the day holds for him (as I did on the way to school before) seem to help.

Anyway I hope that your experience is better smile

dikkertjedap Fri 05-Oct-12 16:31:23

What is wrong with just asking the teacher right at the start about PE days etc. or other parents in the playground?

What year is he in? Normally, I would expect assessments to take place pretty swiftly, although if he is in reception it may take a bit longer. Also, are your sure that he has not been allocated to any group, did you ask the teachers (children are not always totally reliable re these things)?

I would not worry too much. They will all be settling in still and they will keep moving from one ability group to another.

KTK9 Sat 06-Oct-12 11:22:08

To be honest, I don't think most schools do much to help children settle in, maybe give them a 'buddy' for the first few weeks, someone who will show them around and explain how things work - i.e. lunchtimes, playtimes etc. Most state schools don't have a timetable as such, except from knowing that PE is on a Friday or whatever day!!

When our dd started her school we weren't given anything to explain how things work. Not having had a child before, I didn't know we had to write in the reading book! (felt a bit silly about it afterwards!).

You have only been there for two weeks - hardly the middle of term - I expect the teacher will be doing a lot of assessing generally and starting to think about where the kids are.

mummytime Sat 06-Oct-12 13:07:37

Are you in Scotland?
I would be far more to-active in demanding the information you need. My DC's school has a meet the parent evening at the beginning of term at which most things are explained, and an email is sent to parents who can't attend.

gilmoregirl Mon 08-Oct-12 10:26:08

yes, we are in scotland. I have asked for more information but the problem is that a lot of the time I don't know what to ask for as I don't know what is coming up that I do not know about!

I don't even know which days they have PE on. I did ask but didn't get a clear answer - as far as I can see they have it more than once a week.

It is hard for him (and for me) as he seems to be the only new one in the year - the others have been there for two full years and half a term already - so they know the routine and so on.

One of the other mums that I spoke did said that communication was not the school's strong point so at least it is not just me!

I am sure he will settle in and I will get a handle on what is going on somehow : )

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