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Is it worth talking to school?

(20 Posts)
2ndSopranos Fri 27-Jan-17 12:11:24

I'm currently at a bit of a loss with dd1, who has gone from adoring school to hating every second. She's 9 and in y4. The general concensus throughout her school career so far is that she's higher ability: this has been consistently reported to us and indeed she's been taking part in extension lessons from time to time.

My poor dd is utterly miserable. She says she's bored. She completely fed up with never having good behaviour recognised (so far has only been on the 'happy side' twice since September) and has told me she feels "invisible, and that the teacher looks through her".

Worryingly, she says there's not much point behaving or working hard because she's feels she's never recognised.

Her class is taught by a job share and the teacher she has three days a week is particularly down on her it seems. Dd plays an instrument and for weeks we had a situation where dd wasn't permitted to collect her instrument at the end of the day when she had it in for her lesson. I had to mention that to the teacher - dd had asked repeatedly to be told no and stop asking - as she needed it to actually practice.

I work pretty much full time so never see the teachers. One in particular has made it clear she doesn't want to talk to parents at the start of the day.

Should I speak to school, and if so, who? Either class teacher, part of the SLT, who?

2014newme Fri 27-Jan-17 12:14:53

Of course you should speak to them. I would have done so months ago. She is unhappy! I do find it rather odd that parents aren't sure whether to speak to school in such circumstances. 🙄 if you won't advocate for your dd, who will?

2ndSopranos Fri 27-Jan-17 12:19:01

I think because I'm cautious to not come over as one of "those" parents who thinks their special snowflake is being hard done by. I also know that not every child can like every teacher they have every year.

TheMysteriousJackelope Fri 27-Jan-17 12:22:19

I would have contacted the teacher by email the second day your DD was not allowed to bring her instrument home. If the teacher continued to be a problem I would have contacted the music teacher and got him/her involved. They could have stored your DD's instrument for her in the music room for instance.

If you confrontation averse (like me) you could try the approach of 'I have noticed that DD is not getting the feedback on good behavior in class that she has normally received the previous X years she has been at this school. This makes me concerned. What is going on as she doesn't understand what she needs to do to get that feedback?'. This could also be sent by email.

TheMysteriousJackelope Fri 27-Jan-17 12:23:59

Ma'am somebody, somewhere is paying for your DD's instrument lessons. When she is not able to practice that is money down the drain.

That is not being a 'special snowflake' that is using logic.

2ndSopranos Fri 27-Jan-17 12:24:38

I think I'll definitely do that Mysterious. I have to do almost everything by email as I seldom get to see the teachers.

TheMysteriousJackelope Fri 27-Jan-17 12:40:29

You are right in that 'My poor little special snowflake is bored in your class' is not going to go down well though. It sounds like the school does have opportunities for more academically able children. Can you email the school counsellor or similar to find out what all of these are and how your DD can be involved? Are there online programs she can be involved in?

Are there clubs or societies in the school that your DD can join such as robotics, coding, math team, academic team? If there isn't, would it be possible to start one? This would involve a teacher sponsor and parents from the PTA volunteering to help run the club.

For this I would take the approach 'DD is really keen to learn more about X subject', or 'DD wants to take her math skills even further' rather than 'She's bored'. They may eye roll a bit, but at least you'll be the enthusiastic parent not the special snowflake parent.

Everyoneafter3 Mon 30-Jan-17 10:18:10


I've emailed school after another weekend of a grumpy, miserable and clearly fed up dd.

The tipping point was when dd mentioned that everyone on her table finds the work too easy (lots of higher ability dc in this particular class: this was actually mentioned specifically in their most recent Ofsted report) but they like that: her friends enjoy the fact they are getting everything right, all of the time. My dd on the other hand really wants more!

I'm still worried about coming across as "one of those parents" but I'm not sure how we've gone from having SENCO input - she also deals with higher ability children - to sheer boredom, frustration and misery.

2014newme Mon 30-Jan-17 10:26:45

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Everyoneafter3 Mon 30-Jan-17 10:33:48

Thanks for the support 2014. hmm

That1950sMum Mon 30-Jan-17 10:37:36

Definitely talk to the school. Sadly, it is easy for the very bight children to get overlooked but it is not ok for your DD to be bored at school. I'd just send a nice friendly email explaining your worries and hope the teachers up their game. If it continues you can follow it up with SLT or the SENCO.

2014newme Mon 30-Jan-17 11:13:09

Op you are overly hung up in whether the school think you are a,pushy parent to the extent that you aren't taking action on behalf of your dd.
Who cares what they think of you? You'd rather gave a bored and miserable daughter than school think you are engaging in your childs education?
Good that you sent the email but I do find its better to speak to them. Hoping they call you as a,result.
Have you considered any assertive training? As you seem to equate "there's a problem, let's work together to solve it" with being unreasonable.

Everyoneafter3 Mon 30-Jan-17 11:17:39

I'd happily speak to them but I work pretty much full time: I never see the teachers to talk to them as my dc are at breakfast/after school club most of the time.

I'm definitely not lacking in assertiveness. I can assure you of that.

2014newme Mon 30-Jan-17 11:19:14

Why are you so concerned about what you get think of you?

bojorojo Mon 30-Jan-17 12:19:43

I know many working parents and just occasionally you need to take a morning off work to get something sorted for your child. You are making excuses and it needs to be done. Sendco roles include the bright children too as they have needs. They need to be stretched. You seem to have a school that does not have a plan or the capability to stretch and challenge the brightest children. Personally I would see the Head and take a half day holiday! It is very important!

noramum Mon 30-Jan-17 12:53:03

I think this goes further than any topic being discussed at drop off/pick up time.

Arrange a meeting with the school and take the day off. We did this several times over 2 years as DD developed attention issues and we met with the teacher at least once a term outside parent evening to discuss how she progress and what is done to ensure she is keeping her wandering mind on track. A good school and teacher will take the time for this.

Everyoneafter3 Mon 30-Jan-17 13:49:46

When did I say I can't/won't take time off work? I've only mentioned the fact I work as it's the reason why I haven't been able to even mention to the teacher that I'd like a word. The school doesn't ever return calls and I've never even met one half of the job share.

I'm not making excuses. I posted because I wanted a reality check: my dh thinks I'm being ridiculous.

2014newme Mon 30-Jan-17 13:59:13

Dh would prefer for dd to continue being miserable.

bojorojo Mon 30-Jan-17 23:22:56

You have said you do everything by email and you only drop off early and collect after extended school day! You have said you work pretty much full time. The difficulties have been going on for a long time but you have not been into school and talked to anyone! If you have not met one half of the job share it really does indicate you are a bit behind the curve with trying to help. You have not indicated an immediate need to get into school. Do you not go to open evenings, Christmas celebrations or any school
Activities where parents are welcome? Most working parents I know do come into school occasionally.

Forget what DH thinks. See if you can help by asking for a meeting and keep asking! Send a written request in.

Everyoneafter3 Tue 31-Jan-17 08:57:42

I posted for some advice, not to be told that I'm not doing enough.

I go to every single show/assembly where parents are invited/event/concert/sports day. I do take time off. I also volunteer when I can on trips/other events. I work in education myself and although I can be flexible, sometimes I cannot take the time off. Hope that's acceptable.

Anyway, I've emailed the school.

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