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Bad school report - what to do?

(35 Posts)
ocelot41 Fri 21-Jul-17 23:01:03

DS (7) is struggling academically in a new school after a relocation. His school report made it clear that his behaviour has been disrepectful and disruptive. That's really not ok. What should I do?

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IfYouGoDownToTheWoodsToday Fri 21-Jul-17 23:03:38

Well I'd have a meeting with the teachers and find out what is going on.

Was he disruptive in the last school and was he struggling before the move?

fleshmarketclose Fri 21-Jul-17 23:05:30

I think if school haven't raised this with you before the report was issued then it's pretty poor of them tbh. I'd maybe mention that you were disappointed to your son but no more than that and then I'd make an appointment to speak with his new teacher in September so that you and school can work together to help and support your child to behave better in school.

ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 06:40:54

Thanks. I have had a few meetings with school and am satisfied that they are offering him lots of academic support. He wasn't seen as struggling in his previous school (pretty average) but this is a more academic school. He is being observed by the Ed Psych for attention issues and problems following instructions. The difficulty is, at this stage I don't know if he has SN or is just immature. He certainly tries to throw his weight around at home, but there are firm, consistent boundaries so I am puzzled about why this behaviour is persisting. I am pretty mortified to read a report like that actually, and am wondering what teachers would advise me to say to him?

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user1497480444 Sat 22-Jul-17 09:48:24

what sanctions are you putting in place at home?

ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 09:55:38

Has to earn any screen time (max 1 hour). Seems to have a good effect. If he is seriously out of order, can be no pocket money or early bed. If minor, sent to room to go calm down. Every time

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ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 09:57:38

Rude requests never responded to. Reminders given about how to ask more nicely.

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Starlight2345 Sat 22-Jul-17 09:58:40

I am in a similar position with my DS, Although likely he will get an ADHD diagnosis next week.

My DS just finished year 5..His behaviour has got worse through the school, I would say the requirements have got harder behaviour wise have made it more of a struggle for him.

What has Ed psych said. I have spoke to my DS who knows he is been assessed for ADHD..Told him there are areas we need to improve but how we approach that will depend on the meeting next week. I have also told him ADHD or not we have to find a way for him to behave in class but like you I am not sure how much control he has over the situation.

Assuming you have broken up..Give him the holiday to have a break from school, then in September have a meeting with new teacher to agree a strategy. I am not a fan of sanctions for behaviour in school.I tell I support the schools punishment otherwise children are punished twice for the same behaviour but we do discuss what he could of done differently

BarbarianMum Sat 22-Jul-17 12:21:28

Is he happy at school? Does he have friends there? Does he have friends there that he plays with out of school?

ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 13:02:59

I could hug you Starlight. Nice to make contact with someone in the same position. I have lost count of the no of FB posts I have seen recently about how proud people are reading their DC's reports. Just makes me want to cry. Barbarian, it's a bit mixed, he has a couple of friends now, but I think the other kids regard him as very young and a bit silly. It's an issue as he was very popular at his old school.

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ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 13:04:02

Just as a bit of background - we have moved from England to Scotland, so he is now the youngest in his year

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BarbarianMum Sat 22-Jul-17 13:07:42

So as well as working with the school to fix the behaviour/ academic issues, I suggest you also work on strengthening and encouraging his frienships and making him feel secure amongst his peer group. It sounds like his self- esteem has taken a bit of a battering because of the move and the acting out probably stems from this. The happuer he is at school the more he'll want to behave well and work hard.

ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 13:13:00

Sorry Starlight, should have said - still waiting for Ed Psych feedback. She's going to do a series of obs in different settings

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ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 13:15:20

Thanks Barbarian. It's on the list! We tried taking him to weekly football as that's where all the other boys hang out. But he just mucked about the whole time - turning somersaults, running off, lying on the floor in front of goal....It was counter productive because the other boys were (rightly) just getting annoyed with him. Honestly, it makes me feel so ashamed

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BarbarianMum Sat 22-Jul-17 13:56:21

I guess football isn't his thing , my lads neither. What is his thing? You could also try cubs which involves learning a few skills indispersed by large amounts of mucking about.

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Sat 22-Jul-17 14:08:36

It sounds as though he is really unsettled and wanting attention to fit in. He just doesn't know how to get it sad

We also moved last year and changed schools; I also have a 7yo (late summerborn, youngest in Y3). However, she is very academic and outwardly very confident. She has not had a problem making friends - but despite being fine academically, having lots of friends and social invitations, and getting an excellent report, I still wouldn't say that she has fully settled. She still asks when we're 'going home'. I think moving house and school is actually a very big deal for them and I suspect even harder for a young for year boy than young for year girl (I have a DS too but he started in YR - still needed to be accepted by a group who had largely gone through pre-school together, but it is easier to do this in a new environment for everyone).

What have you done to help with friendships? Are there any activities your DS is particularly good at? You need to help him find something which will gain credibility with the other children - or even an activity outside school where he can make friends with other local children and then have the confidence to calm down a bit in school. The problem is that it's a bit of a vicious circle and he'll be feeling more and more desperate for attention - if he's not getting it for academic work, and he feels the school disapproves, he'll be trying to go for the quick option of laughs from the other boys, but it's backfiring.

Maybe send him on a circus skills workshop, or teach him magic tricks or something, if football or another sport isn't going to help impress. I'd try to go for a team sport activity first, I.e. Something that automatically includes him and gives him a sense of belonging (and a 'uniform' to prove it!!)

gleegeek Sat 22-Jul-17 14:16:41

Forgive me if I'm wrong but if he's the youngest in the year and Scotland is more flexible with starting school age, are some of the children in the class nearly 2 years older. If that's the case, that's really tough. Not only has he moved school, he's moved countries. He'll sound very different to the rest of the class and is so much younger. No wonder he's strugglingsad
Is there any chance of keeping back a year so he's the same age as the other children???
I was the English child in a Scottish school and I really found it tough...

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Sat 22-Jul-17 14:19:22

Also I think it is probably easier for them to make friends on a one to one basis than approaching a group. Certainly that's been the case for DS. Are you friends with any of the parents? Another boy may not initially be overwhelmed at the thought of a play date with your DS, but if you're friends with his parents and they ask you for a favour involving picking their DS up from school, he won't have much choice - and your DS will probably be a lot calmer and more confident and mature on his home ground. My DS has definitely made more progress in making friends in 2 hours one to one at home than in a fortnight in a school setting. DD, OTOH, is better at reading social group situations and good at creating conversations and games that include several children; she thrives on having several friends round at once or on spontaneous meet-ups. DS needs a bit more structure and parental input/help reading the other child's reactions so I plan things a bit more (though I accept he's a couple of years younger). Is there something like a Go Ape near you that you could offer to take him and a friend?

ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 17:00:34

This is all really helpful - we haven't had many friends over to play as we both work ft. People seem to do their okay dates after school here and family time at weekend. It sounds like I need to do more to facilitate those friendships. I just thought those friendships would come naturally in time as DS was (previously) v outgoing. We are starting beavers and a climbing club in August/Sept which he loves - he already goes to judo which he seems to enjoy. But there is only really a couple of other kids he talks about as friends. Team sports are a dead loss as his attention span just isn't up to it...

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ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 17:01:03

Sorry that should read play dates after school.

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ocelot41 Sat 22-Jul-17 17:32:54

I did ask about holding him back a year glee as he is right on the Feb boundary line, but school said no.

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Twistedpantsagain Sat 22-Jul-17 19:49:41

How negative was the report exactly? I would be questioning that if no positives have been given as being consistently negative ( the teacher - not you ) can knock self esteem causing kids to act up even more

JeffreySadsacIsUnwell Sat 22-Jul-17 22:21:16

Beavers and a climbing club are good starts! Beavers at least has the uniform, 'belonging' thing, even if team sports are no-go.

I think, though, you are going to have to suck it up and invest more time in facilitating friendships - sorry, I know it's hard, especially if you work FT. Any chance you can get the odd day of flexitime, or TOIL? The problem is that at 7, they really are still so very reliant on you as their 'fixers', and presumably if you work FT, you haven't had a chance to make friends with other school parents yourself. Even if you could rearrange your hours so that you could pick up from school once a week for a few weeks (even if you go to the park or whatever for half an hour, then go home and do another couple of hours work), that may help you start to build those friendships.

I agree with Twisted about the negativity affecting self-esteem - it's another effect of that vicious circle. Is it worth speaking to the school again and acknowledging that they said no last time, but in view of the report, which confirms your experience that he is deeply unsettled and unhappy, would they reconsider the year group? Or would that be worse as he's done a year at that school now?

ocelot41 Sun 23-Jul-17 11:02:22

I do all school drop offs, but have a student working as a childminder who does from 3.30-5 when DH gets home. I already work flexitime to pick up from a sports club on a Mon so I can't really do another. But I could maybe ask my childminder if she would mind having another child over to play once a week (and offer to pay her extra)? She is lovely and I don't think she would mind. She often takes him to the play park where there are other children, but we tend to do that on an as hoc basis depending on weather/how DS is feeling, and maybe he could do with more regular play dates?

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ocelot41 Sun 23-Jul-17 11:05:08

The report did have lots of positives in it. But three sentences on paying respect to all teachers, listening to instructions on all occasions, not just when he is in the mood. Making good choices about who to sit next to etc. Given how upbeat reports usually are and how coded criticisms are, I would be a daft woman if so didn't take note!

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