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Would really love some advice about whether to move my dd to another school.

(38 Posts)
karensb Wed 10-Apr-13 21:19:42

My dd is currently at a private all girls school in yr 2. We are in Bucks so have the 11+ and grammar schools. So my parents are paying for her to go to private school as we got a poor school in reception.

Anyway, my problem is that although her school is great, weare wondering if it would be better for her to go to a co ed private primary. I really can't decide what to do as she is happy at her current school so thought I could list the pros and cons of each school and would welcome your advice.

Current school
All girls so may get bitchy
Very wealthy parents who are quite cliquey.
She is very happy
Doing well academically
Has a senior school attached so lots of children go onto that
She would be one of only a few to leave to go to grammar
She is a tomboy so a lot of the girls annoy her as she doesn't like their games
She is popular
Has a close friend
Small class sizes

New school
Co ed
Great 11+results and everyone moves on together
Great sports
Larger class size
Less girl friends to choose from

She is happy, I just feel like there could be better for her. Se likes playing with boys but is this worth uprooting her?

She does lots of outside activities with boys, but I just feel the atmosphere at the new school could be more relaxed.

Don't know what to do!

Please chuck your advice at me. It helps to think things through.

jrrtolkien Wed 10-Apr-13 21:32:06

Very soon, the boys will not want to play with girls (and vice versa). At least that has been my experience.

Changing schools is really disruptive and I would want to have a very strong motivation in your shoes.

My last thought is that you may be quite surprised by state schools if you have become accustomed to private school.

karensb Wed 10-Apr-13 21:40:51

The new school is private too. We have tried to get into state schools but over subscribed.

I know what you mean about boys not playing what girls which is why I didn't worry initially about all girls.

Bt I think it changes the dynamics in the classroom and playground even if children play in mainly single sex groups. She loves playing with the boys at all the groups she does.

I agree that changing schools can be disruptive which is why can't make my mind up! Bt children are adaptable and I see that a lotin the school I work in which has a high turnover.

Wish I had a crystal ball!!

freetrait Wed 10-Apr-13 22:28:06

No, don't move her unless she is unhappy/there are better reasons than you have suggested. There is a big change around at 11 anyway and if she goes to grammar there will be lots all starting together needing to make new friends. I would only move if there were academic/personal (eg child unhappy) reasons.

karensb Thu 11-Apr-13 07:49:44

Thank you for replying.

I agree with your thoughts.

How every the thing I keep coming back to is that is it worth a terms disruption to settle into the new school if she would have a better primary education. In terms of boys etc. I worry about her spending her whole primary ages in a single sex environments and then on to potentially single sex grammar. A terms disruption could allow her to have a more relaxed childhood with far better chance of passing the 11+.

I just go round in circles!!

Periwinkle007 Thu 11-Apr-13 09:07:38

I think all children are different so it is hard to know what is best for her. BUT I went to a mixed state school for 2 terms when I was just turning 5 as you could start mid year then and then I went to a private all girls school. I stayed at this school right through to being 18.

from the point of view of it being only girls I found that a great bonus to be honest. Our class sizes were no different to state schools then, it was just one form entry as was the alternative state school and number of pupils was the same but it meant I had more girls to choose from for friends rather than potentially very few girls and more boys (the private school near us has class sizes of 18 and quite often there are 6 or fewer girls per class which can be very hard for the girls). Yes girls can be bitchy but not normally at such a young age and actually an all girl environment can give them even more opportunity to develop their own personality as there doesn't seem to end up the whole boys versus girls thing, you just get every type of girl personality. We had tomboys, they fitted in, they made friends with the other tomboys.

did it cause me any problems being at single sex school up to 18. no, we still mixed with boys schools when we were teenagers, we still had boyfriends, we still experienced life, I went off to uni and I wasn't scared to be in mixed groups or anything like many people imagine. When we got to 16 some people wanted mixed sixth form which is fair enough but a larger number of us stayed on, especially if wanting to do sciences or traditional male subjects as we could just get on with our studying without feeling any sort of male/female divide in the classroom.

If she was unhappy then yes I would consider moving her, but if she is happy and it is just you worrying about what she might feel in the future then I wouldn't do anything. She can change school at 11 to mixed if she wants.

jrrtolkien Thu 11-Apr-13 09:12:54

my children changed primary school mid-way. You are right that on the surface it only takes a few weeks for them to settle.

However I notice that DS1 only makes friends with whichever child is assigned to look after him in the first week, and that boy's friends.
There are other boys in the class. who share his interests but he won't stick his neck out to try to play with them even though things are not working out with his current set.

DS2 has made goes friends at both schools and sees it as adding to his friends. However, he doesn't like change to the extent that he won't let me throw away old toys and I have to remove his too-small clothes without his knowledge because he hates change.
They've both had a lot of change in their lives, and even though I am a SAHM and their dad and I are still married, I think the disruption has had its effect on them.

karensb Thu 11-Apr-13 09:20:46


jrrtolkeinthats interesting about what you say about change and how it affects them. That's one of the things I am worried about as although dd has a stable home life she has been exposed to some traumatic times outside of the family so is a little vulnerable in times of stress.
Day to day she is confident but if exposed to stress and change she can suddenly get quite emotional.

I feel the new school would be a better environment for her in an ideal world but its balancing that against the disruption and emotional stress of the move.

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Thu 11-Apr-13 09:23:30

I would not move a child who was very happy at school for the reasons you have listed.

karensb Thu 11-Apr-13 09:58:51

Even if you think their happiness is not as it could be?

Although she has plenty of friends, she doesn't really have much in common with the girls and never asks to see them in the holidays. She has one very good friend but isn't bothered about the rest!

Laura0806 Thu 11-Apr-13 10:02:46

I moved my dd2 who is very shy out of a private all girls schools at year 2 because of the parents and the influence on the girls who in a small class were very precious and didn't live in the real world. I didn't want my daughter growing up with those peer influences and I wanted her to learn to mix with boys and a range of different children. I was very very worried about moving her as she is extremely shy, was very popular and happy in her class and at the top academically. We moved her into a mixed state school and she is really happy. She says it is more fun as she plays with a lot of boys and a lot more interesting. I also feel she is more stimulated as there is a lot more going on. Obviously she doesn't get the one to one attention that she got in her small private school but to be honest because she is bright I think she has improved just as much, if not more than she would have done if I had left her where she was. I think in your shoes the only thing I would consider would be how many girls are in her year at the co ed school. If there was only 4 or 5 that would probably stop me moving her. 8 or more and I would def do it as it sounds to me that that is really what you want to do. The end of year 2 is a perfect time too as there is a ntural break point before junior school .

lljkk Thu 11-Apr-13 10:25:30

Happy where she is = Do Not Move.

iseenodust Thu 11-Apr-13 11:03:35

You could leave her where she is happy and then let her look with you at the options of staying/doing 11+ in a couple of years.

karensb Thu 11-Apr-13 11:10:30

laura0806thats exactly what I am finding.

In ideal world I would move her to a state primary but are on loads of waiting lists and no luck .

The coed private feels like halfway between as have boysand slightly less precious parents!
It is quite a small school with one form of 24 in each year so about 12 girls to choose from.

It caters far more for passing 11+ and both schools in my opinion give far too much hwk which I think is unnecessary at primary level.

There is a wider variety of sports As coed and dd is very sporty.

freetrait Thu 11-Apr-13 11:53:20

Have you phoned the state schools recently to see likelihood of place for September?

redskyatnight Thu 11-Apr-13 12:02:30

I moved schools a lot as a child and I'd be very wary of doing it unless you have very good reasons. I personally would not find your reasons good enough. I think a lot of your worries can be mitigated by ensuring she socialises out of school e.g. joins cubs, drama groups, whatever she's interested in. Does she have local friends?

I wouldn't worry about the move to secondary as lots of children will be new.

From a practical point of view, are you not late in the year to be thinking about Y3 entry - would expect private schools to be full for next year now?

karensb Thu 11-Apr-13 12:22:59

I have phoned every state school and am on every list!

There is a place at the coed school as someone is leaving that I know.

I moved schools a lot a s a child too and had no trouble. In fact I found it quite easy and enjoyed new friends.

She does beavers etc so meets lots of boys.

The schools are close together and both walking distance from out house so can see friends from either if we moved.

jamtoast12 Fri 12-Apr-13 07:09:14

Given shes in year 2 and already on her second school there is no way I'd move her again sorry

karensb Fri 12-Apr-13 07:14:54

She isn't on her second school. She has been there since pre school.

RosemaryandThyme Fri 12-Apr-13 09:53:25

I think your seeing mixed schooling as a better option which will make your child happier.

Pop along and stand in any school playground of 7 year old girls and boys, you'll find girls that only play with girls, boys that only play with boys, and the occasional mixed group knocking about together.

There is no reason to think your child will make a group of frineds who are boys, if you want her to be comfortable around boys and she doesn't have brothers give her a try at some boy clubs or sports - until 8she'd be more than welcome at football and 7 and unders for rugby - really is this her sort of thing ? Is she a lego feind, chess playing, BMX biking type of girl it would have shone out by now, if she's after ballet classes instead of taekwondo, being in a class of boys really wont make the slightest difference.

pinkdelight Fri 12-Apr-13 09:53:44

"Even if you think their happiness is not as it could be?"

I think this is an impossible issue to grapple with. You say she is happy, but not the right kind of happy. If you move her, she could be happy, she could be happier, but she could also be unhappier. Nobody knows. Lots of people have said, if she's happy don't move her, but you still seem to want to, for the boys, for the 11+, for nicer parents. Maybe you're right, you know your dd and the situation best, but to me she sounds fine where she is and like the sort of girl who could be just as fine somewhere else, and still you might be wondering if her happiness could be just that bit better, if you hadn't moved her.

Sorry if that's not helpful. I'm just not sure that anyone can help you! But I don't think it sounds like it'll be disastrous either way.

RosemaryandThyme Fri 12-Apr-13 09:57:15

Also there is a lot to be said for NOT having kids round during the summer holidays.
Book her into a few days of summer camp and tick off the "socialising" box.
Your house will be tidier, you'll enjoy seeing her at the end of each day and you wont become the dumping ground for other parents who are always too busy (booking up the summer camps places) to recipricate.

seeker Fri 12-Apr-13 09:59:59

I have no advice- except really, really, don't rely on passing then11+. Have a plan B.

seeker Fri 12-Apr-13 10:00:44

"so there is a lot to be said for NOT having kids round during the summer holidays."

simpson Fri 12-Apr-13 10:02:43

I agree with the others on this thread. I personally would not move schools if I were in your situation.

My DS is in yr3 and never mentions girls at playtime. He gets on well with a few in class but at playtime they stick to their own group (boys separate from girls). I wonder what is going to happen with DD (reception)as her best friend is a boy ...

Some of the points in your OP don't really affect your DD directly an awful lot imo (wealth/cliquey ness of parents) and you mentioned grammar school, but you don't know if she will go yet as she is only in yr2 confused

I think you have done the best you can to redress the situation by your DD joining beavers etc...

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