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School problems :(

(5 Posts)
Ixia Fri 11-Jan-13 12:12:15

DD started a new school (yr3) in sept, due to OH's relocation. She loved it at first, but now says she doesn't want to go, she has no friends, the girl who was her friend seems to criticise her a lot. There are kids she likes, but they are in twos and won't share, one boy frequently tells DD to get lost. DD has started saying she is no good at things such at maths (she's on the 2nd to top table in a mixed yr3/4 class, only yr4s go on the top table ). She's actually good at maths.

The table she sits on seats 6, she is the seventh and she says she doesn't have room to work. She's hypermobile and had a slope, cushion and pencil grip in her last school, no slopes or cushions in this school, also her teacher spent a lot of time on her pencil grip, it's now gone back to square one. The girls tell her she is doing stuff wrong all the time (maths, because she's been taught differently, or isn't wearing clothes they consider to be right). She has to share her group reading book with a girl who reads faster than her, so she is missing some of the story and then can't answer questions.

DD says she is bored and the days are too long, her teacher implies she is finishing her work too fast. The head teacher shouts and DD has started to become anxious about getting things wrong all the time. They get homework at short notice (she was up late last night, trying to research and write 20 facts about the sun) for the next day, she had Brownies till 7-15pm last night, so couldn't start it earlier. Homework isn't marked, she did a big 9 item homework last term, all the kids got a printed certificate, but no actual feedback on the work, not even a tick or a smiley face.

I don't really know what is normal in an English school, we've moved from a different system, where the schools are very well funded and have no SAtS/ofsted pressures (but do teach the UK curriculum). DD's teacher implies we are unrealistic as we have moved from a class of 17 to one of 29, but DD's previous teacher managed the 17 on her own, whereas new teacher has two TAS.

Sorry for rambling, DD's behaviour at home has been terrible, but she was her old sunny self after she'd wound down in the holidays.

Ixia Fri 11-Jan-13 12:14:48

Also meant to say, she loved her last school, didn't even want to break up for the holidays as she loved school so much. She had friends and a much missed best friend.

learnandsay Fri 11-Jan-13 12:57:51

School moves and making new friends can often be difficult. Speak to the teacher about the pencil grip and supply cushions and pads or whatever yourself if necessary. There's not much you can do about how the girls speak to each other and criticise each other. Buy clothes as you think they are required. If sharing a reading book is detrimental to your daughter's reading then ask the teacher for a separate book. To be honest, (and sorry if this seems a little harsh,) although the effect on your daughter might be great, the things that you are complaining about do seem a little on the trivial side and easily rectified. There are many threads on mumsnet about making school friends, inviting other mums round for tea and so on. I could be reading your post wrong, but (apart from the hypermobility issue) most of what I can see simply sounds like troubles settling into a new school. They will pass. But you can help.

Ilovesunflowers Fri 11-Jan-13 13:44:07

The school should be able to get you the pencil grip, slope etc.

Pencil grips in particular are only a couple of quid. You can probably pick them up yourself at staples.

Talk to the teacher about her unhappiness. Moving schools can be difficult.

RaisinBoys Fri 11-Jan-13 14:17:24

Oh, I feel for her!

Starting a new school can be really tough.

Talk to the teacher about the issues. Some are practical and easily sorted (pencil grip and slope, and making sure that DD has enough space to work comfortably).

Other issues (friendship, homework, low level bullying etc) also need to be addressed.

Make an appointment to see the Teacher. Make a list so you are clear on the key issues. Ask about what the school and you can do to alleviate your DD's unhappiness. They should have some strategies they can employ; buddying, 'circle time' work on friendship, kindness and anti bullying, etc.

Don't be fobbed off.

Perhaps your daughter can have a few playdates to get to know the others outside the school environment (which can be really hard to navigate).

Good luck! Many, many of us have been there. Hope it gets better for your DD soon.

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