Help only 3 boys in reception !!(38 Posts)
Hello ladies, I am looking for advice. I am really quite torn at the moment as to what to do next.
So my DS started reception. He is the youngest in the class and, after a few months he started doing well academically. He is also very settled and has made friends, he is very sociable. Now he is going to a village school which is tiny and only takes 15 kids a year which is great as they get more attention from teachers. However, this year and the year before there were only 3 boys in reception. Up to now it has not been too much of a problem, he is happy going, he does play with some of the girls although sometimes he wants to run around and kick a ball and he doesn't get to do that with them.
Recently however we had an added complication: one of the other 2 boys in his class started to 'bully' my son and being mean, saying hurtful things and occasionally hitting him which is a real shame as he is one of 3. Also as they grow older girls and boys will increasingly have separate interests...
I am felling really quite helpless, I will talk to the teacher about the bullying but part of me just wants to move him to another school where he would have a better more rounded social scene. More opportunities to make friends with other kids. I worry however about moving him when he is settled and started doing well academically. Is it a risk? It's hard to know if a new school will be as suitable on other fronts. However I do think that the social side of things is of huge importance at this age. Thoughts?
Our primary only has 5 children in reception!! 3 girls and 2 boys. I would speak to the school about the bullying before you consider moving him. Is he happy otherwise?
I would go - now! If no more boys turn up, how long will he not have male friends? Up to Y6 or just Y3?
Around me the larger primary schools are better than many of the village schools. Why do you think larger schools are not so good? Think of sport, music, drama, making male friends (yes, he will want them), and anything you need a decent group of children to offer in any meaningful way. I have also noticed that boys' sense of humour is different to girls. The girls drift away from them and the boys often like different hobbies and sports.
Children do not always gel but in a larger school there are more options instead of being stuck with a small number who are unsuitable, for whatever reason! It will be stifling in the end!
Hi Bojorojo, I personally prefer slightly larger schools, only that this was my local school and it seems highly rated and my husband really insisted he wanted to smaller setting because of him being little and needing extra help. My issue at the moment is not that I prefer the smaller school - but the risk of unsettling him, but perhaps I need to think of the longer term and go for it.
I'd move. Big schools are ace and offer loads of opportunities. What is nice and tiny at 4 is stiffling at 11. If you move now he'll settle fast and be happier long term I think
I get that smaller schools are seen as nurturing but that gets wiped out if he has no friends! There is nothing nurturing about that. I have never seen larger schools that do not nurture pupils by the way! They have caring staff too! They also ensure pupils make good progress but also offer more in terms of friendships and extra curricular. Lots of people move house and move schools. I would at least go and have a look. If he has no friends, then leaving won't be so hard. It is friends children hate leaving, not teachers or institutions!
Ds was in reception in a class of 9. Exactly the same issues as you. He was socially stifled and felt awkward and friendless even though he was 'friendly' with all. The benefits of a small class were wiped out by constant upset at having no friends, being left out, being bored at all play times etc etc.
He moved to a huge primary with a yearly intake of 60 and 30 in his class and is positively thriving both socially and academically. The school has masses of resources in the classroom, out of school and on the playground and he has loads of different groups of friends for different areas eg academically similar friends, his home table friends, club friends, friends that like certain games on the playground etc.
I can't stress how much of a difference it made to him overall.
I hope the School can help with your issue.
I can see the benefit of a smaller School, it wasn't an option for us and my Children atrend a large School with a PAN of 90. I was very worried about them being unknown or feeling lost but I have to say it is very nurturing, every child is known and they are incredibly happy and secure.
The big positive has been that they have lots of friends and if there are any little fall outs the Children tend to just go and play with others.
boys thrive in girl heavy school environments. having said that just 2 friends for the next 6 years? I'd move him for summer term onwards to somewhere new and with more chance of balanced social network. being the youngest he will struggle anyway
I moved ds from a tiny primary to a much larger one for similar reasons. Who said that smaller schools are more nurturing? No cuddles given out in the smaller primary, whereas lots are given in the larger school, surprised me when we first moved tbh.
I also agree with Smelly. Smaller schools can seem great with the smaller classes but can feel claustrophobic too, small issues can seem magnified. Also, don't forget that classes will probably be mixed so you'll still be in a class of 30, possibly.
In fact, I wish I'd been more proactive on Mumsnet when selecting ds school. I was sucked into the small class size and never even thought about the social side of things. Of course, a different cohort might have produced a different outcome but sadly, in ds case, it didn't work out. We left in Y2.
Thank you ladies it's very reassuring to hear these comments, I am going to start having a look and putting his name down. I am gutted as made friends with the moms and it's a nice bunch but need think long term...
Thanks to all
lol at '60 intake' being a HUGE Primary
Sorry OP - no help to you, but that made me laugh.
My friend has a girl in a 22 boy 8 girl I take, she is looking to move
My class last year had 5 boys and 22 girls and this year started with just 3 girls (3 more joined at Christmas)
Just to put something from the other perspective, my DD is 11 and she has friends of both sexes. She has two best friends, one boy and one girl. She has lots of friends who are boys, probably more so than girls as lots of them seem to be quite cliquey!
So don't discount girls as friends because from what I've seen from both my girls (my oldest is 18) is that they can be really good friends regardless of gender.
I think it very much depends on the type of boy. My DS barely has any interest in girls as all the girls in his class are quite girly overall. He gravitates to to the boys who love the stereotypical boys stuff; footy, ninjas, power rangers, thunder birds, rugby etc Very boyish and boistrous. My friends boy however is the polar opposite and all his best friends are girls. My DD has 50:50 friends as she has some very sporty friends who are girls and due to her passion for all team sports, and has no interest in stereotypicalaly 'girl stuff'... the issue for me is as much about the fact that if the two boys are picking on him, there are less options for where else to go - which would be esp bad if he is more interested in stuff that those particular girls may not be etc So much depends on the particular children.
He may end up having female friends. But in such a small school he will struggle if he actually prefers male company.
My experience of very small schools is that the children mix across age groups much more and in fact can have as many friends just not all the same age. For me the only downside was the initial culture shock when moving from a school with a total of 30 pupils to grammar school where there were the same number in a single class.
Thats a very valid point MRZ. Our school is huge so much less vertical
Integration. The 90 in reception mainly see only each other apart from the schools clubs and afterschool etc
Only 3 boys in a class of 15 would put me off tbh.
My ds would have coped fine in that environment, but he is into everything, including sewing, cooking, coding, martial arts, music, art. Not so much of football/boyish stuff fan. He was best friends with a girl in KS1.
Also he always made friends outside his year groups; he prefers older and younger children.
But if he isn't getting any good social experience, I'd move him.
How do the do things further up the school? Do they mix year groups? If so, how many boys are in the year above him?
I generally think larger schools are better for children for the reasons others have given but it is worth getting a bigger picture.
Mrz, ds has always mixed very well with younger and older children but ultimately gravitates towards his class mates. You do form more of a bond with others in the same year group.
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