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Move a shy child from a 3 x form 30 class school to a private 1 x form 10 in a class

(45 Posts)
Piggychunk Wed 26-Jun-13 13:54:36


I cannot decide if I am about to make a massive cockup.

My DS (reception age ) is very shy . It has taken him all year to be at a normal level and play happily with his peers. He is doing well academically ( just above average I expect ) I am happy with this side of school.

He tells me he sometimes has no one to play with at break but then I usually find out he does find someone at the end.

My dilemma is due to DH working in an independent school we can get DS fees massively reduced and he could go to the same school with a single class of 10.

DS has had a trial day and as he was so shy ( didn't speak or look at anyone ) came home and basically said he really doesn't want to leave current school.

He is 5 and I know cannot make informed decisions but I am stressing that will he have enough of a social mix with 10 kids , will it bring him out of his shyness or will it make it worse?

The main reason to move him would be so he doesn't get lost in a crowd , will be more confident to talk with only 9 others listening and not 21 etc etc

Sorry for long post as you can feel I am stressed and have days to make our decision

mam29 Wed 26-Jun-13 14:03:37

Ok sometimes they very different around others .

my eldest used to say mumy I not got many freinds.

I used to go sw class in hall next to school and saw her in playground all by herself upset me.

I think receptions hard year. I know mix in rception was very girl heavy felt sorry for boys.

It was 1half intake so 45 and dd knew most of them from attached preschool so transition was easier.

shes since moved to 20per year school but mixed classes so 30 still and has quite a few year 1 freind shes in year 2 now year 3 next year.

My husband was worried about small pool freinds but seems like shes has more freinds.

But her freind moved to small indepedent school with class /year group of 9.

Although her parents say its gone well have my doubts.

she as always bit loner at old school and had few freinds.

shes started having meltdowns and panic attacks crying at school and think as they go swimming every week, lots trips, more homework shes worn out.

Shes found the change very hard.

but know another little boy who moved same school half way through reception and hes getting on well but hes more socialble depends on personality.
I say if you happy with school give it bit more time.

They often mix classes around for year 1 and 2 anyway.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 26-Jun-13 14:05:00

Ds is currently in a class of 15 (although mixed year group) and I'm currently deciding whether or not to apply for a larger school!

There are only 7 boys in his year and sometimes I feel ds would much better suit a larger school as there would be a much bigger friendship opportunity, he's the opposite to shy, outgoing by sensitive. He is however thriving academically.

Out of the class of 10 how many boys are there?

I think as they get older having a larger mix of friendships prepares them better for Secondary School but that's just how I feel about ds school atm. It may change.

It's hard isn't it.

Looksgoodingravy Wed 26-Jun-13 14:06:27

by* but

notverymaternal Wed 26-Jun-13 14:11:26

So there are 2 things to look at here. The educational side - which is probably better in the private school, not necessarily because it is private, but because it is easier for a teacher to provide for individual needs in a class that size.
however, socially there could be a problem. The reason for this is because there are many different type of souls out there, and if your child is shy/introverted, they will need very sensitive peers, who will understand them even if they dont make a huge noise about things. Statistically, in a class of 10, you are less likely to find that... HOwever, being in a small class may allow him to become more confident, which will wipe out the problem above.... I would find out if the school you are looking into ever mingles with other classes, what opportunities for public speaking/drama etc there are and the likes.

NB. I'm not sure a 5 year old of any personality would want to leave a place they r comfortable with, for a brand new "scary" school

Piggychunk Wed 26-Jun-13 14:12:43

There will be 7 boys including him and 3 girls . So boy heavy which will be good for him but still very small pickings

OldBeanbagz Wed 26-Jun-13 14:23:15

I'm not sure you can change a shy boy whether they're in a class of 10 or a class of 20+. It's just not in their nature.

My 8yo DS is just the same, took months before he spoke at school and sticks to his close group of friends. Over the years he's got slightly more confident around the others in his class but still won't enter into converstaions with adults or children in new groups.

We have the opportunity to move him in September as the senior school his big sister is going to has a prep school attached. While i can see the benefits (slightly smaller class than where he is now, better sports facilities and having 2 kids at the same school), i also realise that we'd be going right back to square one. With this in mind we're keeping him where he is.

If your DS is doing well academically then i'd leave him where he is for now, especially since he's said he doesn't want to move.

rabbitstew Wed 26-Jun-13 14:23:22

It does seem like extremely small pickings. However, it depends on the children! If it's a class of 6 outgoing boys and one shy boy, I wouldn't want to be the shy boy at all.

tumbletumble Wed 26-Jun-13 14:30:34

This may sound like a silly question, but does he like football? In my experience, from year 1 onwards, the boys seem to be divided into those who like football (which tends to be the majority) and those who don't. So if he doesn't like football, at the bigger school there will be other boys who don't like football, whereas at the smaller school there may not - or alternatively they may be less into football there in general, because there aren't enough of them to have a proper game at playtime. If he does like football, IME that will make the social side of things easier for him (at either school).

singinggirl Wed 26-Jun-13 14:32:18

Having taught classes of twelve I would be wary of the social issues. Private schools will often have changes in the classes as parental circumstance change, as well as people moving etc. How would you feel if four of the other boys left in a years' time? Even one child leaving will have a major effect on a class of that size.

Piggychunk Wed 26-Jun-13 14:32:50

Yes he loves football, plays u 6's on a saturday but he is a little dink ( gets called messi at football) so tends to be the one pushed /knocked over everytime at school

BrianTheMole Wed 26-Jun-13 14:33:03

Could you go back for another trial to see if its any easier as it will be a little more familiar?

Somanychanges Wed 26-Jun-13 14:40:39

I hope you don't mind me adding my opinion. Obviously I am only basing this on what you have written and my own experience.

Our daughter is a few years older than your son. But she also has always been sensitive and never really been 100% happy at school. She was always saying she had no one to play with, this has been going on since Reception and she is now in year 3.

We finally decided to move her to an independent school which will have 8 in a class, she is also coming from a 3 form entry school. And honestly speaking I cannot wait. She has become more sensitive as the years have gone on in her school. I think it's all just a bit to chaotic for her. Of course she has said she doesn't want to leave current school. But that is normal and I am sure your son is just scared about making friends.

I went to a really small school myself there were only 3 in my year group and about 30 in the whole school. It was fantastic, really nurturing and I just played with children of all ages.

My feeling is that a small school is exactly what my daughter needs. I am hoping she will flourish there and that the calm and nurturing environment will allow her to come out of her shell. It's been horrible watching our daughter become more and more unhappy as the years go on.

I would choose small classes over large ones any day. I hope you get some reassurance but ultimately just go with what your instinct tells you to do. We definitely still have some concerns about the whole move but if we don't try we will never know.

Good luck

Laura0806 Wed 26-Jun-13 15:54:27

Oh I did the opposite, I moved my dd from a class of 12 girls (independent) to a large mixed state school and she is becmoning more confident by the day. She was stifled in her small class and found a skewed group of children( and parents!) that just bossed her around. In the larger school, she is able to mix with a wider group socially and it is helping her grow as an individual. Obviously every situation is different. I would be inclined to leave it a little longer if I were you, say till year 3? and see how it goes

CecilyP Wed 26-Jun-13 16:26:38

Would you think that the place in the independent school would be a great opportunity even if he wasn't shy, or would you leave him where he was? What age does the private school go up to? Do boys stay at the school till they are 11, or do they move on at 8?

If he is shy and starting in Y1, he might find it hard to break in to established friendship groups. I know this happened with a friend's DC when they went to a tiny village school. One thing about a larger school is that even if you don't have close friends to play with, there are often things going on (like football or skipping) that involve a lot of children that anyone can join in.

LIZS Wed 26-Jun-13 16:29:32

tbh 9 is a very small social group , too few to make sports teams etc. He may , ironically, end up feeling more isolated unless he has something in common with a reasonable number of potential friends.

Piggychunk Wed 26-Jun-13 16:41:49

The school is 3-16 ,,, I just spoke to his teacher who thinks he is very able and would thrive in a small environment but I am thinking more like most of you that the social side may just be too small

Piggychunk Wed 26-Jun-13 16:42:11

( current teacher )

LIZS Wed 26-Jun-13 16:56:02

do they share many activities with other year groups and perhaps expand at year 3 ?

celestialsquirrels Wed 26-Jun-13 16:56:44

Many prep schools have an influx of boys later on - mainly in year 3 but also year 2. A small year group might suit him for the first couple of years as he gets his confidence, with more people joining later to deal with the social issues? Or you could keep him where he is for another year and move him when there is a bigger intake?

One of my children was v shy and started in a v small reception class of 10 and it was a great thing for her. But it all depends on the peer group really and that isn't something you can control or know about unless you try.

If you put him in the prep school would you get your place back at the state school if it was all a horrible mistake?

curlew Wed 26-Jun-13 16:58:16

I think it's just too small. And if you're very shy it can be agony not having anywhere to hide- which you won't in a class of 10. It he's happy(ish) and achieving, leave him where he is. Making him start over again might well be really hard for bim- he's started to make friends at his current school.

And looking ahead- you say this new school goes to 16- that's far too small for a secondary school. Subject choices will be limited. So will sport and drama and music. I'm afraid it sounds like a disaster to me sad

Piggychunk Wed 26-Jun-13 17:02:12

The numbers do seem to jump.. The secondary part seems to average 3 x 20 per class per year . So numbers do really jump so maybe I am fretting over nothing confused

Iwaswatchingthat Wed 26-Jun-13 17:08:30

He is doing well academically and has told you he really does not want to leave his school. I think 5 is old enough to know what you basically want and where you want to be. To me that would make moving him a non starter and possibly detrimental to his confidence. Shy does not automatically mean lonely.

Good luck OP with a hard decision.

wonderingagain Wed 26-Jun-13 17:14:30

The softie in me says go with the private school, but the reality is that growing up takes a long time and he will go through phases and grow out of this shyness. Someone will come along and be his friend and things will change. That is less likely to happen if there are only 7 boys in the class.

Brace yourself and have faity in his teachers.

wonderingagain Wed 26-Jun-13 17:14:36


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