Has anyone changed schools and gone back on it?(26 Posts)
I moved my ds from a brilliant school in September as his Dad was really unhappy with the other families at the school, the one we moved him to is in high demand in my area, it's in a more affluent part of my town, and very sought after.
I hate it, I hate everything about it.
I can't stop thinking about the quality of care and teaching he had at his old school and how lucky he was there.
He spent a month at this new place only knowing one child, who was getting really pissed of with ds being so dependent on him and started to be horrible to him, communication at the school is dire, there is no open door policy like at his old school, you have to request a conversation in this communication book, which never gets looked at in school and replies are rare, if you ask at the office you get fobbed off and told to write in the book. So ds was unhappy for a month, no one noticed and I couldn't tell them. In the end I was forceful at the office and they did listen but I cant let go of how long winded a process it was and how no one had there eye on a new starter to see he was alone so much.
His reading has gone backwards to how he read in about January, at his old school they read to the teacher or lsa 3 times a week, ds says he's read twice in the 5 weeks hes been there and I'm inclined to believe him because of how far back he's gone (although I am catching him up at home). The school are sending home these pink books that are just full of CVC words and he regressed to sounding them out again, I have put him on the Oxford level 4 which is very similar to what he was reading at his last school and he has just started reading the level 5 with support (at home).
At his old school they deliver the curriculum through play in year 1 and go to more formal measures in year 2 when the kids are older and more equipped to cope with it, this is what I would choose for ds if I could pick and choose.
I made such a big mistake moving him to appease his Dad. It's my fault and I feel really guilty and emotional about the whole thing. Ds has moved on and is used to the new school now, but I can't stop thinking about what a disservice I have done him. I'm not usually this emotional about things, I just feel so strongly he is not in the right place, and in the long term I just don't think he will do better there.
Hi hi advice, you poor thing try not to feel bad you did what you thought was best at the time and that's all any of us can do. Are there spaces in his old school and could he go back? How does your DS feel about the new school. Maybe you both will settle soon?
There will be spaces, it's the least in demand school in the area, they actually only had about 28 kids in his class before he left and they are allowed 30.
For the first few weeks his Dad said I should give it a chance, and we ended up fighting because I said in anger 'It's a shit school and I hate it' he took it all personally because he chose it, now he admits ds doesn't have a good teacher and said I'm obviously unhappy so should move him back and he will suck it up.
Ds is used to it now tho, he has very fond memories of his old school, but I think the new one is now more familiar. We moved him against what he wanted and it was traumatic (bed wetting and stomach aches before school for weeks). I told his Dad I'm not going to do anything because I cant do that to him again, but if Ds ever mentions wanting to go back or being unhappy in the future then I will move him straight away and I wont be thinking about (Dad's) feelings at all.
But that conversation was a week ago and I'm still so upset I don't know why I can't move on from it.
I've been in almost that exact situation with my dd. I drew the line after about a month and made the decision to send her back to her previous school. Best thing I ever did for her.
There was just an awful sinking feeling every school day. I couldn't explain it.
She was a very bright above average child with no confidence issues etc. After 4 weeks she still hadn't made any friends and had to be partnered on a school trip by a teacher as no one would play with her. That broke my heart.
Do what you feel is right for your child.
Not me but ds friend in Y1 moved school due to a house move and was utterly miserable, no friends, bullied and the school did not deal with it well at all. He returned to ds school after 2 terms and is back to being the happy boy he was and thriving. The family have more travelling but it's worth it for their dc. I would consider moving back if it was me, have you suggested it as an option to see what he thinks? Sorry he's had such an awful time
Thanks Cold that's like Ds, he started his old school knowing no one, he'd been in nursery out of the area and there was no settling process at all, he just started and had friends straight away.
The old school had excellent pastoral care tho, he has come home from there in the past saying 'guess what, we have a new friend starting tomorrow called .....' then in a few days will be talking about playing with the new kid.
I haven't had to do it myself, but I work in schools and it is not uncommon for children who have left to return to the school at a later date.
He was talking about one of the old school friends yesterday and I said 'Do you wish you were still at that school with him?' at first he said yes, then quickly said 'I wish he was at my new school with me' I think it's more familiar now, he had 6 weeks off, then only went back for a few days, then moved 6 weeks ago I think that's a long time to forget at 5 yrs old. But his class stayed together and last years teacher actually went up with them so if I put him back it would be with the same kids and teacher he had last year.
I haven’t any experience in this but I would just ask him directly - ask him if he had the choice between going back to his old school right now (because it is an option) with his old teacher/friends and staying where he is, what he’d choose. Because it looks like up until now none of you thought you had a choice - when actually you do. Hopefully, if he says he wants to stay, that should put your mind at ease too. You may not like it as much as the old school, but if he’s happy there then that’s the most important thing.
And it’s not unusual to go a bit backwards with reading and lessons at the start of year 1 - as you say, 6 weeks is a long time for someone so small and he’s just been in an adjusting period, getting used to the new school.
I agree with above, ask him directly and make the move if you need to back sooner rather than later
And do tell him if he wants to go back its ok. Otherwise he might not say if he's worried about worrying you.
I'd ask him too and say that its fine to want to go back.
I’m curious about why his dad didn’t like the families at the old school?
Thank you. You're all right I should just ask him straight out.
The thing with the other families is that the school is in a deprived area, and quite a multi cultural one, he says that ds is better than that school and it has bothered him since ds started there. It's more councily in appearance, and tbh there are things I eye roll at too, but they don't effect the children in the school, some of the parents are a bit Jeremy Kyle IYKWIM, some of the other parents don't speak English and self segregate a bit, it has been hard trying to further ds's friendships to outside of school, his best friend moved here just before reception and they only speak Mandarin in his house, the Mother is very nice but not very confident with her English so avoids socialising if her husband is not there. Some of the parents come off as a bit unfriendly.
The thing is that is the area I live in, there's no point pretending we're too good for it. Ds adored the other dc there and I never had to worry about him there. For me the drop in care is too high a price to pay for what we have gained as none of that effected ds.
So now he is in this predominately British, English speaking school had he made loads of friends and having lots of play dates out of school and so on? Or has that not happened?
No it's only been half a term. The parents are friendlier I think more of them spoke to me in the first couple of weeks than in his reception year. I think when he knows the other dc better there would be socialising opportunities he didn't have at the old school.
The parents in the class have a wats app group, they added me to it and there has been a couple events thrown out as open invite, which is very nice. But to me that's secondary to what we've taken him away from in terms of his in school experience.
Do they both lead into the same secondary school?
I've worked in both types of school
One needs more pastoral care, one will be more focused on academic achievement, your son may well be struggling because the other kids are on a par and he's jo longer at the top and needs to work at it ...
Give it a set time and see how you feel
I think so, doesn't catchment go on address rather than primary school attended?
I think we have multiple options for secondary. I haven't looked into any as a school can change a lot in 6 years what's a good school now may not be very desirable by the time ds is 10.
Is reading more of a personal thing tho Tulip? I don't mind where he is in comparison to his peers, I just think going so far back compared to his previous self is not good.
I'd prefer the learn through play approach.
I agree with Tulip. The first school will have made a lot of effort settling children for whom English is a foreign language, which takes a lot of teaching time. And being academic doesn't mean not learning through play; I'd say the get more out of the children by making it more fun. We have just changed schools and it took about half a term to really settle.
I would wait till parents' evening and see how well the teachers have got to know your child -- that's very important. He doesn't sound unhappy. Can you force some play dates on the parents in the new school in the meantime? In the park is best, if the children are not getting on, you can run away:-)
DD1 looked like she'd dropped back a bit when she switched schools this year. She's regained the drop back and then some very quickly and settled down really well - school needed to get a feel for where she fitted academically which took a while in terms of getting reading book levels right and the like, and the expectations are higher in their new school (she was coasting doing absolutely naff all in the old school).
One reason we did move her was that the new school is better academically but also much better set up to still keep play in the curriculum moving into Y1 and Y2... old school has the Y1s shoved in a tiny classroom desk bound most of the day.
It takes time to break into a new group of parents and social events and the like. DD1's got a load of friends now (I've been known to have a tear in my eye watching her actually play with friends on the playground rather than running around being ignored) but there's still an established set of playdate mutual invites and the like that we've not quite broken into as of yet. I just keep remembering that most of these parents have been together since nursery year, often from previous older siblings, so it's going to take time and as long as DD1's happy (and she's a changed child) - I'm happy.
It happens a fair bit in the school that I work for. We are not a high achieving school, largely due to circumstances outside our control, but we are very very nurturing. Parents move their children out because,understandably, they follow the top results but often come back a term or two later when they realise how much we had actually put in place for their child compared to the new school.
If he's unhappy move him back, don't let pride or embarrassment stop you.... It does happen.
Join the discussion
Please login first.