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Should we withdraw DS from private prep

(31 Posts)
PaddingtonFromPeru Tue 20-Sep-16 18:44:14

Year 1 DS seems to be at the lowest end of his class academically. This is very evident from looking at the work on the walls, where he classmates can all write a page of nicely spaced, neat, well spelt writing, wherea DShas written 2 mostly illegible lines, all bunched together. He also got "emerging" for all the academic subjects in EYFS. Also on Level 4 ORT, whereas most classmates on a higher level.
I feel we're wasting our money as he evidently isn't academically inclined at the moment, and he'd be better off in the local primary, which is also very good. He could then go private later. WWYD?

Florathefern Tue 20-Sep-16 18:49:41

What do his teachers say?

I wouldn't focus on private or public right now if you can afford to send him to his current school. A change could be disruptive. Personally I'd focus on what help he needs. Is he happy? Is he participating in extra curricular activities? Is he participating? Is he getting on well socially? There is so much more to consider other than his academic abilities. You may find another school suits him more. Or with some intervention you may find he enjoys his current school and is exceeding his abilities there.

Bekksy Tue 20-Sep-16 18:51:36

Honestly. I would say yes. Unless the prep are actually going to help him which is unlikely if its anything like ours. It definitly didn't focus on the underacheivers. Only those who were potential scholarship material. We realised this too late and there were no spaces available in the state sector where he would have got the help he needed. Also in our experience if he has any SEN issues the state is the best place for him.

SisterViktorine Tue 20-Sep-16 18:52:22

He may just be dyslexic? Do you feel he is generally 'bright'? His written work and reading level may not be a true reflection of how 'academic' he is if he has a specific difficulty.

PaddingtonFromPeru Tue 20-Sep-16 19:05:23

Thanks for the responses. No SEN known of (though I suspect he has ADHD). Socially fine, if a bit immature.
I also worry the limited spaces will go at the popular local primary.

IsayIdontknow Tue 20-Sep-16 19:45:52

Is he summer born? He may yet catch up he really is very young. I will give it another two terms to see, especially if he is happy and settled. Once you take him out, it would be the best for him to stay in the primary till year 6 I think, so don't move him lightly.

dairymilkmonster Tue 20-Sep-16 20:58:53

My ds is in a private prep and is at the bottom of his year 1 class. It is a one form entry school so same boys as last year. I have the same with writing and reading, Your description sounds fine for a yr1 child (look at the ORT reading levels guide online for reassaurance). Our ds is getting extra help with his writing this year (along with the other similarly performing boy) I was happy for him to have this, although am aware he is not behind, more that the other 14 boys are way ahead! DS1 is very happy and settled which is the most important thing for me. MY ds is a late summer born so if you factor that in as well....I would focus on keeping him happy and supported and it will come. You could ask the school ispf they feel he needs any extra help too. Good luck!

missyB1 Tue 20-Sep-16 21:02:01

Try not to compare too much at this age - a lot can change. My ds was probably producing work similar to your ds in year one, he has come on leaps and bounds since then (just started year 3). He is also in a prep school. Have you talked to the teacher / head about your concerns?

Only1scoop Tue 20-Sep-16 21:05:40

Has he only started there this term? Seems a little early in the day to have doubts of the new settings suitability.

Dd is in a mixed year 1/2 class of very mixed ability, I'd relax with it a little.

livinglooney8 Tue 20-Sep-16 21:20:31

Just because you pay for education does not mean you buy an academic child. Children develop at different rates anyway. Is your son a happy and settled member of the class? If fees are an issue then remove him.

PaddingtonFromPeru Tue 20-Sep-16 21:22:36

He is early summer born, but there are quite a few late summer born children who are doing better than him.
He has been there from 3 and he always seems to have a catch up push around May, which just about pulls him up nearer the middle of the form, only to lose it over the summer (even though I did work with him).
The teachers therefore always start concerned, but then relax when he has this push. But I worry one day they'll get so far ahead, there will be too big a gap to make up.

SprogletsMum Tue 20-Sep-16 21:26:26

He sounds like he is doing better than my summer born dd. She can write her name and not much else. She wouldn't write a sentence. She's on yellow band reading level and I think that's optimistic for her. But she's about middle ability in her class so maybe it is just that the rest of his class is higher ability than him. Will the school support him at his level?

Only1scoop Tue 20-Sep-16 21:30:51

I'd stop worrying about everyone else 'doing better' than him.

Is he enjoying school, is he happy? What were you expecting?

Is he only 5 I'm presuming?

My dd is around the same level or so and in year 2 prep.
A year one little girl in her class is totally off the scale, and an amazing reader.

They are all at different levels, with me it's fine. They develop at different rates.

weasle Tue 20-Sep-16 21:38:19

If he's just finished reception he sounds average. My ds1 was on ORT2 at this state in year 1 and only just knew the alphabet. He was one of the lowest in reading in his state primary. But as he was five I didn't really bother worrying as in many countries wouldn't be at school at that age. He caught up, starting about seven and is doing very well now in year 6, one of the top in his prep year. We found private really good from year2-3 not much point before but I wouldn't move yours out at this stage he's still very young and might just get it a bit later.

Enidblyton1 Tue 20-Sep-16 22:10:09

Is this a very academic pre prep? My DD is summer born and just started Y1 at her pre prep. It has not even occurred to me to be comparing her to her peers. She can write her name (messily) and can spell a few simple words. Since the start of Reception she has grown massively in confidence and is much more sociable - which in my view is so important. The academic hothousing can come later grin
If your son is happy and settled, you like the school and can afford the fees, I really wouldn't move him at this stage.

PaddingtonFromPeru Wed 21-Sep-16 07:01:26

Thanks for the advice all. Although it is a very academic prep, DS is happy and settled there and it does seem a shame to disrupt and move him. As you say, he is young and may still improve. Just to say that I'm not too bothered if he is not academically gifted - I love him for who he is. I just want the right environment to support and nurture him and sometimes wonder if an academic prep is right for him.

blinkowl Wed 21-Sep-16 07:06:56

I would worry that he'll think he's a failure if he compares himself with the others. Whereas in a mixed ability class he'll get the recognition he deserves for what he can do, if that makes sense.

BabyGanoush Wed 21-Sep-16 07:10:47

It does not mean that much, he may just be dyskexic or a late developer.

My DS1 was moved from state primary to prep, because he was about 2 yrs behind at the age of 8 (could not really write a sentence).

At the prep he got assessed as dyslexic and was given 2 121 sessions a week with the senco.

In y5 he suddenly caught up with the others, and now, at 13, he is completely fine/average.

He is clever, just not that good at writing.

The prep was great as they could give him more attention and help than the primary.

BabyGanoush Wed 21-Sep-16 07:11:49

Basically it all depends on the prep!

Pradaqueen Wed 21-Sep-16 07:21:23

OP don't concern yourself at this stage. Unfortunately in many (not all) prep schools there does seem to be a high Level of competitive parents. If other parents are causing you anxiety, back away. If it is your own observation then don't worry - as a pp said all children develop differently. He may make massive progress in the next year and it would be a shame to disrupt him. In addition, There is a world of difference between an academic prep - those who achieve very good academic results but also encourage in other areas such as sport etc and an academically selective prep. Which type is yours? Academically selective preps usually test at 3 before entry then again at 7. If your child realistically has little chance of keeping up, the school most likely will advise you. Does the school go right up to 18? If not, look at where the year 6/8 go to next. Is there a wide mix of abilities catered for at the secondary school? If there is and he will be supported throughout and achieve his first choice secondary school and you an afford the fees then leave him where he is. In reality some children leave preps aged 5 to go to state primary as some parents want a good head start and take advantage of the nursery funding at the same time so he won't be alone if you do move him.

StealthPolarBear Wed 21-Sep-16 07:26:19

If uou seriously think he has adhd then surely uou should be pushing for a diagnosis.
I'm sorry he's struggling op. Ds is very similar, always seems to be lagging behind. But he's now 9 and seems to have matured so I'm hoping he will catch up.

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 21-Sep-16 08:25:01

Does the prep have any record of "managing out" children who aren't heading for scholarships? Or local prep has a tendency to make it very difficult for some pupils to stay beyond year 1, as some families have found to their cost.

But if that's not the case, the only question is which school is most likely to teach him well as he gets older. That's not a matter of private/state - its a matter of the two specific schools in question. The state school could also have a high proportion of very able pupils - or it may not. It may be better with SEN - or it may not. You need to ask both schools some very pertinent questions and see whose answers you like best.

blinkowl Wed 21-Sep-16 08:43:39

its a matter of the two specific schools in question. The state school could also have a high proportion of very able pupils - or it may not. It may be better with SEN - or it may not. You need to ask both schools some very pertinent questions and see whose answers you like best.

YY to this

Traalaa Wed 21-Sep-16 08:50:10

My son didn't start to read at all until he was in year 2 - he's top sets at secondary now, but is dyslexic. Why don't you visit the primary and ask what they'd do with him, then ask the same questions of your prep. A lot of private schools aren't that great for SEN, though some are obviously.

It's a huge deal to move him if he's happy, but then again if he stays at the bottom of the class all the way through, he'll end up just thinking he's dim and that's no good for anyone.

mouldycheesefan Wed 21-Sep-16 09:05:47

But he may be bottom of the class of thirty children in a state primary! Moving him to a state school doesn't necessarily solve that problem.

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