Year 3 worries, to move or not to move?(9 Posts)
My DS is in year 3 in a selective private school, he doesn't find the work easy and probably not naturally academic. We have been having meetings with his teacher who has been working closely with him and has seen some improvement. Looking at his work and what I can gather from work on the walls etc his looks a long way off the rest of the class.
We are considering moving schools but don't know which way to go. The local state school is 'outstanding' and I'm happy with it the only issue is 30 in a class. My concern is will he get lost in the system if he's struggling in a class of 23.
The other option is a non selective private school with only 11 in the class my concern here is social development and if they would be on his back all the time and turn him off learning.
He is very bright in other ways has more of an entrepreneurial (sp) brain.
Any advice welcome as driving myself mad.
Has he only been there just a term or since pre prep. If the latter then the school should have a fair idea of how he will progress and cope . I would give it another term but definitely resolve during year 4 as with all the confusing 11 plus and 13 plus pretesting malarkey you need to be in the correct system for year 5.
Where do the children from the non-selective prep go when they leave? If they are all off to academic secondaries then I guess they will be on your boy's back all the time. If they are off to overpriced finishing schools he will be left in peace.
A couple of other thoughts.... My DS did not want to learn to read and was hassled by the school till he did. Now I am going upstairs at bedtime to confiscate books so that he will go to sleep. You might find your child likes learning more than you or he expect, at least some aspects of it anyway.
The other is for you to think about whether your boy is a boisterous child who will be happy in a class of 30 or a shy kid who will find his feet more easily in the smaller class. I think that is more important than whether you pay for the schooling, if you have the luxury of choice.
How closely have you looked at the alternative schools? If I were you I'd arrange detailed visits to them, talk to head and class teachers about the things that matter to you and your son. Your son doesn't need to know about those visits unless and until you're getting close to a decision that a move is appropriate.
I've been in a similar position though different, becoming steadily more and more unhappy with my daughter's school through year 3; looked at main alternative that year and decided it didn't seem sufficiently different to be worth a switch. By Christmas in year 4 I'd essentially got 3 more "longshot" plans in place that I was going to work through the following term as necessary, actually the first one came off and we were so much happier rather soon after moving her.
When you are assessing alternatives, go on both your rational assessment and your gut feelings - don't ignore the latter as they can contain a lot of truth sometimes. The first alternative school I thought about, I've heard interesting things from other parents subsequently that confirm we'd probably have just been unhappy in slightly different ways there.
Good luck steering the right path through the next couple of years!
Is the Outstanding state school actually an option (i.e. is he already down on the waiting list with good chance of getting a place?)? If it's very oversubscribed with no chance of getting in, at least you can scrub it from your list.
For me it comes down to is he happy at the current school? Does he have good friends & fit in with the sporty/music/art side? Year 3 is early to label him not academic especially if he is making progress with help. You say he's bright in other ways which may not be nurtured in a state primary in year 6 with the relentless focus on SATs ?
You need to visit the state school and have a good chat with them. Just because there is 30 in a class doesn't mean all their learning is that way. For starters, do they have TAs in the KS2 classrooms? Do they break into smaller tutorial groups?
Has the school looked at any difficulties he might have? Has he had an assessment?
It could be that he is not academic, or it could be that s
Something like Irlens, Dyslexia or Dyspraxia is providing a barrier making it so much harder for him to learn.
He has been there since reception and it goes through to 18 but they still have to sit the 11+. The non selective private school goes through to 16 and they get automatic entry into the seniors but the classes in the seniors are very small only 130 children in the whole school 4-16.
He would love the state primary knows children there etc and there is a place but I'm worried his education may suffer. He has been assessed for dyslexia which was fine. The only problem with the state option is his brother is in reception and there is no place for him, a place is coming available in April but we are just out of catchment ( wrong side of the road!) his brother is also struggling. We know a move is probabley best but as they are both happy it's so hard.
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