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Flexi schooling

(33 Posts)
hibbledobble Sat 25-Mar-17 18:29:07

Has anyone done it? What do you do on the Flexi school day (s)? Was it easy to get it approved?

I'm seriously considering this, as dc is academically way ahead and school don't seem to be catering well for her, and I think she would benefit from non-classroom based learning.

AGlassHalfFull Sat 25-Mar-17 18:44:05

It is easier to get approval for younger children.

I've never really seen an example of flexi-schooling which would make me a big supporter of it. The children missed a lot of things, especially (in my humble opinion) a lot of social time with their peers.

The few children I have taught on a flexi timetable missed things like P.E., art, music and science. I really think they could have benefitted from joining in with these.

What timetable were you considering?

hibbledobble Sat 25-Mar-17 19:01:32

I was thinking of one day a week, and not the day where pe would he missed. I'm not sure how much the other things you mentioned are done in year 1.

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sat 25-Mar-17 19:05:58

I think it would be a bit of a social disaster TBH.

Why not just add in music etc that she can participate in at a high level out of school?

MidnightVelvetthe7th Sat 25-Mar-17 19:15:16

Maybe you need a change of school.

If it helps then my DS1 has been on the gifted & talented list since year 1, at his first primary they challenged him by making him sit at a table by himself to do maths, that was it & tbh he always coasted, never had to try hard as he was constantly top of the class. We moved house & he moved to a new school & all of a sudden he wasn't always the best in the class & he did actually have to work. I think it was a bit of a shock to him. Some primaries are more academic than others.

Re flexi schooling I wouldn't have considered it for him as he's quite awkward socially & I would worry that he wouldn't be secure in his friendship group if he were 'part time' at friendships. He would miss out on what his friends & peers were doing for example practice for a class play/Nativity, or they'd be making up a new game at playtime but he would be off that day so would be left out when he returned.

We did a lot on weekends with him, lots of museums, art galleries, science fairs, music etc

I'm sure flexi schooling will work beautifully for some children, but bear in mind that school is about a lot more than academics smile

AGlassHalfFull Sat 25-Mar-17 19:25:23

Of course Y1s have PE, art, music and science!

hibbledobble Sun 26-Mar-17 21:28:52

Pe I'm sure she has, but the others I think are pretty limited.

I know school is about more than academics, but I feel her school is very academic focused, but on the wrong level for my dc. For this reason I think a day spent exploring other pursuits would be better.

chopchopchop Mon 27-Mar-17 12:13:52

We did this, and for exactly the same reason as you, and in year 1. It worked really well.

However, since then the rules have changed and it is very hard for any school to agree to flexi-schooling because this will have a massive impact on their attendance figures. So I think you will find it almost impossible to get agreement from the school.

So sadly I think you need to firstly try and see if you can get the school to produce at least some work that suits her level, then if not try some additional enrichment outside school. And really, if it's not working at this stage, I would be seriously looking at other schools.

ineedamoreadultieradult Mon 27-Mar-17 12:21:31

Cant she persue non academic persuits in her own time rather than missing school. Sports, music, language's, arts can all be done after school and at the weekends. If school are not diferentiating the work in school correctly for your childs needs missing 1 day a week isnt going to make a blind bit of difference.

hibbledobble Mon 27-Mar-17 12:47:22

ineed We do lots of extra curricular activities outside school (4/5 hours a week), but I think a day doing forest based schooling: climbing up trees etc would be so much better developmentally than sitting in a classroom being bored with easy work. I'm toying with the idea atm. I'm not sure if it's a great idea, or would be a disaster.

hibbledobble Mon 27-Mar-17 12:49:20

I don't want to swap schools due to established friendship groups, and overall I do think it is a good school. I don't know if another school would be any better either.

chopchopchop Mon 27-Mar-17 13:09:31

G&t provision is one of those things where schools do vary a lot, and sometimes the most 'academic' schools aren't the best at it because they get the results and don't need to change (in their own heads).

What have school said about the work when you have raised it with them?

hibbledobble Mon 27-Mar-17 14:47:32

Its hard chop as I wouldn't know if another school would be better. (How does one find out before moving them?)

The school say that they do set extension work, but dc disagrees with this. I think it is only occasionally done, and the work that the whole class does is very easy. I didn't like hearing how dc is being told to slow down, to allow another less able child to work with together with them.

hibbledobble Mon 27-Mar-17 14:48:52

I find it hard to bring up, as I don't want to be seen as a pushy or nuisance parent.

I'm not sure if the school fully appreciate dc's ability.

ineedamoreadultieradult Mon 27-Mar-17 15:07:28

Your DC is in year 1 if she disagrees extension work is being set you need to speak to the teacher not just take her word for it. Have you actually heard her being told to slow down or is this coming from her? Have you seen her marked work? Is she getting 100% or rushing and making silly mistakes?

chopchopchop Mon 27-Mar-17 17:08:43

We went to see every school within a 15 mile radius (we're in the sticks, so that was about 8). It was very clear, usually within 15 minutes, which ones understood the problem and which didn't, and of the ones who did, which ones were going to be able to help.

hibbledobble Tue 28-Mar-17 13:01:19

It's interesting you say that chop

I would worry that we would have the upheaval of a move, followed by the school not being any better.

I do think the school is very good, but perhaps just struggle to challenge the most able. With the government's emphasis on everyone reaching the floor targets, I can understand that this isn't a priority.

chopchopchop Tue 28-Mar-17 13:52:00

I'd go and see other schools if that's remotely possible. Then you'll get a feel for if there is anything better on offer within a reasonable distance.

It helps if you have some kind of external indicator of your DD's ability. School had done some testing for us, so we could say that she had a reading age of 12 in year 1, which comes across better to them than 'we think she's very bright'.

And I agree; schools don't have any incentive to challenge able children and mostly have an incentive to under-estimate their levels so that they don't have to show progress.

hibbledobble Wed 29-Mar-17 12:36:29

The school hasn't tested her ability formally afaik. Do you know how we could do this privately? It may be worth doing.

I'm very cautious about moving schools due to established friendships and the potential upheaval. Going to another school is absolutely possible, but I don't think there is much in terms of vacancies in her year group.

chopchopchop Wed 29-Mar-17 13:44:41

You could ask the school to test her - DD's school did a set of very simple spelling, grammar and reading tests with her, but open-ended ones which is where we got the reading age from. (they then did nothing with that information, but that's a whole other story).

It's a very reasonable request if you don't think they've grasped what she is capable of.

If not, an Ed Psych will do achievement testing as well as assessing ability.

Wellthen Wed 29-Mar-17 20:06:06

I don't see how a day of forest school will help this situation. I thought you wanted her stretched and challenged? Forest school is certainly worthwhile but can easily be done outside of school. If academic rigour is what you need then that's the schools role.

Working with a partner is about learning to collaborate. The actual maths/literacy involved is sometimes irrelevant.

And her describing the work the whole class does as easy is irrelevant - it may be easy for her but not for them.

Agree with pps, you need to take this up with the school. Why is it that you think they're missing her ability - don't just assume they're useless or don't care.

Wellthen Wed 29-Mar-17 20:10:08

Schools don't have any incentive to challenge able children and mostly have an incentive to under-estimate their levels so that they don't have to show progress.

I went into teaching because I enjoy seeing children learn and develop. It's fascinating and rewarding. That is my incentive. Your comment is extremely hurtful to a group of people who are, mostly, genuinely dedicated to the "art" of...well...teaching!

Jamhandprints Wed 29-Mar-17 20:19:00

Go for it OP, the same thing happens in my DS's school. I'd love to do flexi schooling and Forest School sounds much better than a classroom. My DS is exhausted after school so no, it can't all be crammed in at weekends and evenings. I'm too scared to do it though because I don't think I'm patient enough with him. :-/

sirfredfredgeorge Wed 29-Mar-17 20:19:32

Wellthen I didn't get the impression that the OP wants the child stretched or challenged in the early posts and I can understand just wanting to take opportunity that the child finding the work easy to learn other skills, not be more challenged on the narrow academic ares of English and Maths.

Flexi-schooling would provide the opportunity to master unicycling or the trapeze, or the nasal flute or all sorts of other things that aren't about pushing the school to provide more challenging academic subjects. It would also limit some of the repetition that is a necessity of KS1 as it's so much about practicing easy skills rather than learning new stuff.

hibbledobble Wed 29-Mar-17 23:33:08

well then I just want her to be happy, and working at a level that is appropriate for her. Since the school work appears to be too easy, I thought a day pursuing a non-classroom based curriculum would be helpful.

sir fred I think you are certainly right about the repetition, and that is something that dd doesn't need as she has already grasped the concepts.

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