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Potential school change disaster - what to do!

(24 Posts)
ChalkyC Thu 14-May-15 06:16:40

We have 2 boys who will be in yr2 and reception in September. Ds1 is currently at our local village primary, and is very happy. Last autumn we decided to move him for yr 2 when ds2 will start as we have not been particularly impressed with the village school, there's hardly any sport, no after school care amongst other things (critical as we will lose our nanny in sept). Anyway, found a nice local independent school, places for both, lovely grounds, relaxed curriculum with loads of sports and generally seemed good, on my way to work and great wrap around care. They both had taster sessions and seemed to enjoy it.
Fast forward to now and ds1 is incredibly upset at the thought of moving school - he doesn't want to, sobs in a heartbreaking way, loves his school and his friends! I can't seem to talk him round at all, and am feeling terrible about it now and having a real wobble about whether we are doing the right thing. He doesn't like change (when we moved three years ago he cried for weeks at his new nursery) but I thought we'd got over it a bit and he genuinely had a happy time at his taster day.
So...what to do? I can't bear the thought of him being unhappy! Should we sack the independent school and stay in the village school for him (I have a place for ds2 there which I'm holding onto for the moment). Argh - I can't think straight but keep thinking who would move a happy child?

honeyandfizz Thu 14-May-15 06:48:39

He will adapt, it may take time. What you have to work out though is will the benefits of moving him outweigh the upset. Current school sounds lovely - is there no other way around the after school care Especially if your saving on fees? Regarding sports facilities - what is it that's lacking at current school & is it so important or lacking that you need to move him?

Kampeki Thu 14-May-15 06:57:05

Your main issue with the school seems to be the lack of sport and wrap around care. Are you happy with it otherwise?

If you are, couldn't you look at sport options outside school? And find a childminder for before/after school?

If you're not happy with other aspects of the school, then you might just have to take the plunge and do your best to support him through it. He will adapt eventually, and it's no bad thing for children to learn to deal with change.

Footle Thu 14-May-15 06:57:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NonDom Thu 14-May-15 07:01:18

He'll get over it. You are the parent and get to decides what's best for your family.

WickleWockle Thu 14-May-15 07:10:17

Tell the new school. They will support the transfer of you let them know, I'm sure.

outtolunchagain Thu 14-May-15 07:24:15

You are the parent , he is 6 he can't possibly understand the full implications he is just scared of the change and the unknown.Your job is to keep reassuring him, be completely confident with him , you are his rock if he gets the slightest idea that you think this is worrying then he will think it's worrying .He needs to feel that you have no doubts that this is for the best , yes it's sad to leave friends but he can still see them etc .

Tbh I would not have told him this far ahead , I would try not to discuss it to much , he has the whole of this term to enjoy his current school .

mariejo Thu 14-May-15 07:35:10

My parents wanted the same for me at age 7. I was so upset that they decided not too. I flourished at the primary because I was happy. The same happened at 11 and I dug my heels and did not go to the independent. Very happy for my first two years at senior school. Had to move house and go to a new school at Y9. Had a dreadful time for two years as was so unhappy.

Obviously it depends on the DC but don't underestimate how difficult it can be to move away from friends for some DC's.

FishWithABicycle Thu 14-May-15 07:38:01

Children aren't capable of making good long term decisions, that's your job. If this new school was the best decision when you decided it is still the best decision now. Wobbles are understandable but the response should be to reassure and comfort, not to consider changing the plan.

proudmama2772 Thu 14-May-15 08:20:47

I agree with FishWithABycycle. Moving kids is awful and they will have a few adjustment behavior wobbles. It is so much easier to do it now at Year 2 than at a much mean or more impressionable age such as Year 5.

ChalkyC Thu 14-May-15 08:30:00

Yes it's so difficult - thanks for the responses. Re the current school - we're just not that impressed with it and now the headmaster is leaving this summer there's uncertainty about its future. It's really small - 12 in a year group, mixed year classes, and no local childminders or appetite for after school club - I'm thinking if we keep him there I might have to give up work! Also where we live is a black hole for state senior school (apart from a close by super selective grammar).

I go round in circles. I had to mention it to ds1 because he kept talking about how ds2 would start at his school in September...well I didn't want ds2 to think that if it wasn't true, or to deliberately mislead him.

I'm not usually too emotional but I'm getting myself into a state about this!

Footle Thu 14-May-15 09:56:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mopmay Thu 14-May-15 10:15:46

I agree with footle. If you can comfortably afford it move him now. I am not a fan of tiny schools - much better to move him at 6 than later

MRSJWRTWR Thu 14-May-15 10:21:04

I moved DS2 for Y2 (now Y4) for different reasons to you but looking back now, it was the right decision. DS2 didn't want to move, he had a nice circle of friends and was happy socially but unfortunately he was having some problems with slow processing, focus etc and was not coping in the big, busy local state primary.

Although his new school was brilliant in setting him up with a 'buddy' when he first started and he made new friends quickly, he did miss his old ones. It took a few terms before he stopped saying how much he missed his old friends but we do still meet up with some of them.

He is now settled, happy and enjoying school. It took time but I am glad we made the move when we did.

MMmomKK Thu 14-May-15 12:15:29

Had the same with Dd1 and 2 last year. When I told Dd1 last spring that she was moving schools - she cried. She was happy at her school, but we thought she was not being stretched enough. And the new school had much better facilities.

Dd1 was not happy about the move up until Sept. With time I realized that the main source of sadness was being separated from her best friend. I promised her that we will make the effort of keeping in touch.

The first couple of weeks at the new school were difficult as Dd1 is a quiet and a bit shy, but by half term she settled. Now - by her 3rd term in - she is completely adjusted. Made great new friends and happy. Dd2 took to the new school (YR) like a duck in the water.
Had the same with Dd1 and 2 last year. When I told Dd1 last spring that she was moving schools - she cried. She was happy at her school, but we thought she was not being stretched enough. And the new school had much better facilities.

Dd1 was not happy about the move up until Sept. With time I realized that the main source of sadness was

I have no regrets. If you believe the new school is best for your kids - don't let the short term sadness change your decision. Kids, while not liking the change, adjust quickly.

And do talk about/plan how you would keep in touch with his friends.

ChalkyC Thu 14-May-15 13:27:57

Ah thanks for those comments. We have no plans to move at the moment and the majority of his friends live close by so there shouldn't be too much problem keeping in touch.
Maybe I should speak to the new school and see what they suggest in terms of transition - he does have another taster afternoon but not until late June. Maybe that's fine...

scrappydappydoo Thu 14-May-15 13:43:13

I would stick with the move and weather the storm if you think its just wobbles rather than something more serious. We moved dd1 at end of yr 1 but as it was local we made sure she kept in contact with old friends with a regular activity so in our case it was ballet and brownies. Could you do something similar?

ChalkyC Thu 14-May-15 14:57:57

Yes he's just started Beavers and a couple from his class are due to start in September. One pal lives next door but one - we will definitely still see them.

Springtimemama Thu 14-May-15 22:47:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChalkyC Fri 15-May-15 13:26:40

I'm not sure an au pair would want to live in a little village with very limited public transport! We would have to provide her with a car....
When we moved out into the country I didn't really consider how much it would limit our childcare options in the future....

Springtimemama Fri 15-May-15 13:33:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NonDom Fri 15-May-15 18:30:56

We are just inside the M25, and I always felt sorry for my au pairs who thought they would be in the thick of it in central London. We were very clear about where we lived.

Those who were disappointed just didn't stay for long.

Springtimemama Fri 15-May-15 18:45:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 15-May-15 18:59:12

I moved dd in year 3. She was hysterical on her first day. Trying to hang onto the car, the fence, the door way as I carried her in literally kicking and screaming.

I shoved her at the head and legged it. She was fine by the time I picked her up at 3pm.

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