Good reasons for moving schools... Opinions?(18 Posts)
DD is in y3 of a large junior school. Gut instinct was that it wasn't the right school for her but went with it because all her friends were going and our eldest is already there in y6.
Now considering an in year transfer for her as I'm just not happy with the ethos of the school and it'd be helpful to get some opinions of uninvolved people (maybe this is more of an AIBU?)
She is outgoing and sociable but puts a lot of pressure on herself to get things perfect and a tendency to quit if she thinks she might fail. In some ways this is a positive trait but requires focussing in the right direction. Her infants were good at this. But this school is extremely results focused; frequent testing in exam conditions across all year groups. This sort of environment is of definite detriment to her (although her sister thrives in it!)
The school is very old and has about twice as many children as it was ever built for crammed in. There's no green space, small stuffy Victorian classrooms, no indoor PE facilities(so if it's raining too hard they don't do PE), no art or music rooms etc. As they are so results focused there seems little room in the curriculum for any of these things, and no value added stuff like school councils, civic award etc.
After most of the classrooms were condemned last year they are carrying out extensive remedial works meaning much of the already small playground is out of bounds. The school hall is out of use and they are eating lunch in classrooms.
There is and always has been a high turnover of staff who are all VERY young. No older more experienced teachers. DD had settled in OKish then at Christmas her teacher left and the class is now taught by 2 teachers one of whom upsets her as she shouts so much. This is not an unusual occurrence, staff leave all the time.
I've asked her how she'd feel about moving, she said she'd like nicer teachers, less tests and friends that "really care about her". Now I think what she means by this is she does have friends but she's never been the type to have a best friend she just mucks in with everyone, and I think she could deal quite well with a move. There are a couple of other schools nearby that have a much more nurturing focus that I think could be so much better for her.
What do people think?
You seem to have given it a lot of thought and have already talked to your DD about it. Moving schools is a hard decision but I would say go for it to be honest.
What a poorly run school! If there are lots of children I assume some like it. They don’t appear to be able to recruit decent teachers and that would make me go!
As far as art rooms go you would be lucky to see one of these. Our local school doesn’t have a Dunn group room. It became a computer room when the LA gave up providing school meals. They have eaten in classrooms since 1984. Most people don’t worry about this if the teaching is good though.
I thought you were going to say that the teachers shouting made the children leave! You have ended up with shouty teachers because no-one else wants them! My DCs hated one shouty teacher in the school and we avoided her as it was 3 classes per year! However several others were useless so you just know when it’s not working. Best to go now. Can anywhere else be worse?
Not sure schools nurture much from y3. I think they expect a maturing child. What I would look for is great teaching, an interesting and imaginative curriculum, which includes all subjects, and a stable staff. Progress of the children should be good.
They should use the Hall for indoor PE if they cannot go out. If it’s out of use there isn’t much they can do but your current school seems dismal!
Not visited the other schools yet, that's the next step.
The testing alone would really put me off. It would destroy my bright-but-anxious Y3 DS. If, as you say, she will cope with a move, I would go somewhere more rounded and chilled out.
One of the difficulties is that primary education has become crazy and sats driven, so these problems will be in many schools.
Certainly our infants all the teachers are under 30, many nqts. Juniors a mix but they ve openly said young staff are cheaper
Similarly so much seems to be sats driven that there are leads of the drama and run lessons.
Most schools are academys or MATs now so many policies are dictated for the school. I our case planning happens in year groups of 7 classes across schools!!
I'd love it change school but most have similar issues unless we went private which we can't afford.
In total I love the music and other things but I feel it is too driven and prescribed.
I'd move. There are enough issues that you are not happy with and you have a long time left. The testing will just get worse. There are many issues with my DC school and I have considered moving them but they are doing well academically, have good supportive friends and are happy and if I move them and they are unhappy a 'better' school will not compensate. You are in a different situation and your daughter is happy to move. It doesnt sound like there is any good reason NOT to move!
I don't understand what you mean about 'focusing in the right direction'. My y4 dd has a tendency to be like this, I just constantly told her that no one is perfect and that you have to make mistakes in order to learn. I will go against the grain and say that you'd never better off talking to the school and trying to boost her confidence to make mistakes. Praise her for having a go even when things are hard.
What are the staff line? I'd rather have a school with an ethos on testing and caring staff than one without and staff who don't care.
If your dd wants to move school, then I would let her. My ds's school sounds totally different from your dd's, except for having mostly young new teachers.
Have a look around the school near you and find the one that suit your dd.
Yes move. You've thought it through, you have good reasons and your child wants to
Depends on the other schools in the area and whether there are places. In some parts of the country good schools have waiting lists for in year moves. Maybe do your own enquiries now, in case you don't like the others. At that point you can talk to your daughter again if there is another place. Either way can you meet with current school about your concerns.
Thanks to everyone who replied. It's been really useful to get some impartial opinions.
Just to update we did apply for a transfer, Found two lovely schools nearby which were both a better fit for her. We were offered a spaces at both and chose one where she knows a few people. She started yesterday had a great first day and were keeping everything crossed that it works out!
I would arrange a show round at the other schools and see what you think. Ask the children there what they like about the school and see what your gut instinct is. Choose whether you take your daughter with you or not, but you can always go back for a second look round if you like one and take her then.
My daughter's teacher has a great saying for her pupils, 'You say you can't do it; I say you can't do it yet; let's see if we can do it together first!'
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