Daughter put in new class with no friends

(36 Posts)
jamesscotland Wed 20-Jun-18 16:22:37


My daughter is moving to P6 at primary and the school have put her n a class where she has no friends and states "many of the kids are mean".

She is very upset as she has moved up the school with her group of friends and where they are all moving to other classes in groups together next year, she isn't.

We've spoken to the head teacher who cannot give us a good reason for this decision except that it will be 'good for he'r. However, our daughter is already upset at this and broke down crying to the head teacher when she spoke to her about it.

The head has stated that she will not move her to another class, even though there is room.

My question is, I'd like to know what course of action we can take to have this decision overturned and my daughter moved to a class with at least some of her friends.


OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Wed 20-Jun-18 17:02:14

Sadly none that I know of. I have to say I’m not in Scotland and I don’t know if you are different, but in England, operational decisions are for the Headteacher. No-one can tell the Head to change the classes.

This is a problem where children have a narrow-ish group of friends and do not want or see the need to be friends with anyone else. This definitely happened in DD1s primary school in Y6 when children found themselves mixed up. No changes made there either after parental complaints and tears. They all managed though.

I think the best you can do is say to her that strong friendships are going to outlast the teaching arrangements and lunchtime and breaks are the time to catch up.There is also an opportunity to get know other children better and a whole class cannot be mean. Try and work out who she might be working with and ask around to see what these children are really like. Don’t just accept what she says.

If even some of us understood the reasoning behind class rearrangement we could make make a fortune out of crystal ball gazing. It often appears totally arbitrary.

Oliversmumsarmy Wed 20-Jun-18 17:06:25

We had this. Ds isn't great at change.

In the end we pulled him out

ThereIsIron Wed 20-Jun-18 17:09:01

She'll be fine. Our school does this when moving into P4 and P6. She must have a very small circle of friends if none of them are in her new class ... perhaps focus on this?

SureIusedtobetaller Wed 20-Jun-18 17:25:35

Never sure it’s good to be in a class with friends- it’s pretty full on these days so no time to chat. She’ll still see them at lunch etc- same as secondary will be.
If she was younger I’d maybe push it but it really shouldn’t be that big a deal at that age?
Having said that, if there’s room and there’s no reason why then I don’t see why the Head won’t change it.

RedSkyAtNight Thu 21-Jun-18 07:51:21

DC's school mixed every year, so we had this all the way through. The result is that they both have a wide range of friends and DD in particular moved to secondary school and made another set of friends very quickly!
I think friendships quite often change around at upper primary anyway - many DC grow out of old friends and it's good to broaden their horizons.

Most DC take class moves in their stride, so if your daughter is so upset about moving away from her friends I actually think it shows the school did the right thing and it will help her build some resilience.

MsJolly Thu 21-Jun-18 07:57:17

This happened to DD in yr3-she cried every day for a year-and I do mean every day. She was very unhappy. This impacted on her education. Unhappy children can't learn IMO. She left that year at the same level she went in. In Year 4 her teacher spent the whole year putting her back together again emotionally-she was a wonderful teacher. She then started properly learning again in Year 5.

These things do have an impact but if the HT refuses to move her then all you can do is give her coping strategies, lots of play dates after school etc and keep a watchful eye. It's very hard to see your children upset. If it helps, my DD does have greater emotional resilience


FionnaMAC Thu 21-Jun-18 08:08:35

Oliversmum, you pulled him out? Really?

What a delicate petal your kid is...

QuoadUltra Thu 21-Jun-18 08:13:52

I have a DC in P6 and I’m quite shocked at this thread. Surely, you just say to your child that it will be absolutely fine? And it will.

Resilience. Resilience.

BingTheButterflySlayer Thu 21-Jun-18 09:43:43

The way school handled DD1's reaction to being in this situation last year was the final straw among a lot of almost-final straws that led to us moving her out too.

Wasn't the class composition, wasn't the really vindictive way they'd split her from her one friend (LOTS of the other kids were bullying her), or the fact that they were rearranging classes to placate other complaining parents... it was the fact that DD1 went completely off the rails over the whole thing (she struggles badly with transitions anyway) and they just didn't give a shit and were refusing to answer any concerns about how they were going to support her with it all.

RenaissanceBunny Thu 21-Jun-18 09:46:34

If they have multiple p6 classes do they set for English and Maths? In which case she will be spending about 40% of her time outside her class anyway then plus break and lunch she will hardly have time to miss her friends.

TeenTimesTwo Thu 21-Jun-18 09:53:14

We had this. Ds isn't great at change. In the end we pulled him out
Surely pulling a child out is a much bigger change than just moving class?

OP. The school will have done this for a reason, not just to cause upset. I would aim to be positive as others have said. If they are good friends she can still see them at break and lunch. She will make new friends in the new class if she makes an effort.
(After all, when she is in S1 in 2(?) years time she won't be in a class with all her friends.)

PolkerrisBeach Thu 21-Jun-18 09:54:30

We are in Scotland and I also have a child moving into P6 next year. You cannot start making demands about how the school organises classes. (Well you can, but they don't have to listen to you). You also have a right to take your child out of the school and enquire about Placing Requests elsewhere, but that's cutting off your nose to spite your face.

The Head will have made the decision on a whole range of factors which you probably aren't aware of. Like keeping children separated who have been violent to each other, balancing the classes in terms of boys and girls, making sure that if there are children with additional needs that they're put in a class which caters best for their needs etc etc etc. OUr school only announces the classes for next year on the very last day of terms as in the past the Head has had a constant stream of parents at her door demanding to know why Jack has been separated from John or why Katie is in the same class as Kelly again. It's made clear that the decision is final, and no discussion will be entered into.

At the end of P7 your child will be moving to senior school and will have to make a whole new set of friends. You should be approaching this situation by making it seem like an opportunity to get to know some of the other children, with the reassurance that she'll still see her friends at playtime and lunch, and out of school.

Do not be "that parent" by demanding your child is moved.

shiklah Thu 21-Jun-18 09:56:52

It’s much better for them to not be with their friends as the groups establish behavioural norms and assigned roles and it gives kids the chance to try a different role. It builds resilience and self reliance.

MidniteScribbler Thu 21-Jun-18 10:00:32

If even some of us understood the reasoning behind class rearrangement we could make make a fortune out of crystal ball gazing. It often appears totally arbitrary.

Or maybe it's just the fact that schools actually understand ALL of the children in their classes and will make decisions to benefit all of them, not just one or two. Putting classes together is a nightmare (we change every year) and you put X with Mrs S because that will suit her best, but that means that J needs to go with Mr J because he can't be in the same class with X, and so G needs to go with Mrs K because he can't be with X, and so Y needs to go with Mrs K too, but can't be with G, etc. You place one student, then have to move six others, which then impacts on other choices. So whilst it looks like an arbitrary decision to you, it's probably taken us four weeks to try and get it right. Sometimes we miss something, we're humans after all. But quite honestly, when it comes down to deciding on classes, there are far more important considerations than Z not being with their bestie.

user789653241 Thu 21-Jun-18 10:01:59

They remix class every year at ds's school. There are always someone really upset. My ds was too. They would be fine. They still have breaks/lunch/after school to be with friends.

I don't think head will change their mind, if you allow one exception, it will open up a huge can of worms.
One mum at our school tried once, went to see head everyday, saying keeping her dd home until they put her in the same class with her friends. She became notorious among parents, and never achieved what she wanted. And her dd was totally fine after a while.

BingTheButterflySlayer Thu 21-Jun-18 10:12:55

They mix the classes every year at the kids' current school - difference being that both of mine have their foibles (the eldest struggling with transition points and the youngest hasn't gelled with the group in her class particularly just from how the classes were drawn up this year) and both class teachers have caught me for a word to check who the kids ARE friends with to make sure that they're in with at least some of them for next year already (and in the youngest's case they've watched out for who she's been playing with in the parallel class to foster that friendship coming along and put them together next year) rather than the bluntly cutting DD1 adrift and snarling when I asked how they were going to support her social skills next year as she was obviously really struggling to the point of being bullied.

They also have her on watch for supporting the transition as well - so yep it was a big change in the short term for her to move schools - but actually it's been far better than sucking up what they were prepared to be putting her through and staying put.

Oh yeah and they'd also backpedalled with half the parents who'd complained - the more "intimidating" parents and immediately swapped their classes over. Parents who were polite and expressed concerns appropriately... no chance!

We don't know classes for next year yet - won't get told them for another couple of weeks (which is really pissing me off trying to get arrangements in place for DD2's SEN next year) - only got told who is in which year group teacher-wise last night which I'm very very pleased with as they've got some really good teachers in the year groups both of mine are going into so whatever we get in terms of teachers and classes is likely to be a good toss of the coin (albeit I might have another year of the one who drives me barmy calling me "X's mummy" to my face)

BingTheButterflySlayer Thu 21-Jun-18 10:14:30

They've also been really good all year at fostering friendships across the parallel classes in the year group so there's never really been this divide between the "Frog class" kids and the "Newt class" kids.

I strongly suspect a key consideration in how they do the classes in our school is to equally spread the Olivias out so we don't end up with the 5 in one year group with the same name in the same class!

CheeseyToast Thu 21-Jun-18 10:15:17

We had this every year (v big school) but she managed every year except one. Gave it a week (which I know doesn't seem long but she felt it wasn't going to be ok) then head moved her to be with friends.

BubblesBuddy Thu 21-Jun-18 13:04:58

I don’t think the teachers agonise over it that much if it’s done every year. That would be such a waste of valuable time. Teachers are so overworked yet spend weeks each year agonising over class mix? Really? I suggest they stop doung it every other year to save the angst all round. It’s imposshble to Understand how the classes are organised and it’s all about control. Upsetting children rarely works. In our school they did it in y6 just a few weeks before the 11 plus. Parents were furious! Y5 - yes, that’s not so bad. Few were happy with y6. It seemed that they didn’t mind lots of children being upset. It’s a bit like bullying because you have the power. If the classes were not balanced, they had 3 previous years to sort it out. Instead it was left until
Y6. Bonkers.

BarbarianMum Thu 21-Jun-18 19:18:30

Not sure I agree Bubbles. Y5 is a classic "fall out with your friends since reception" year. Quite often they really need a good mix up for Y6.

Naty1 Thu 21-Jun-18 21:00:40

I dont know it does feel harseh for the knes who have 1-2 best friends. I prefer a couple of close to a crowd.

Starlight345 Thu 21-Jun-18 21:11:43

There may well be a reason you don’t know about . My Ds was in a small group however he did ask not to to be with 2 of them in the class. I seriously doubt any of the parents would of guessed. No head would of given this information over . I am not saying this is the reason for your Dd simply there can be many reasons you don’t know.

CherriesAndLemonade Thu 21-Jun-18 21:18:28

Had the same with my son in yr 6.He has always tended to have one best friend. (Wish they would just keep them in the same group all the way through. He had
the same teacher twice as well! ) Unfortunately schools often see this as unhealthy. They say treat the dcs as individuals but then don't accept that some have one bestie and others prefer a group of friends. Schools don't think of the upset they cause which then has a knock on affect for their education. We knew they wouldn't move him (headteacher was a stubborn cow) and he was ok. It's shit I know so the best you can do is be positive with her and say what a lovely teacher she will have. Hopefully she'll make some new friends and maybe make her a stronger person for it and that this all will be soon forgotten x

MaisyPops Thu 21-Jun-18 21:27:12

Classes get mixed regularly throughout school.
By secondary they'll have different teachers for different subject and different classes. Nobody's going to alter 250 students classes around who is friends with who on any given week. (But we do get multiple phone calls saying move seating plans, so and so have fallen out, X and Y fell out and are mean so they need to be in separate classes etc. It doesn't always tally as an option but the way some parents act, classes should be moved around friendships)
Mixing up at primary seems good preparation for secondary.

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