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Moving schools to find a better fit KS2 - any experiences?(8 Posts)
DS is in Y3 and struggling as an August-born. His sister starts secondary in September, so I’m beginning to wonder if changing schools might help him, as once she’s taking herself to and from school, we’d no longer have a logistics issue with him being at another school.
Their current school is very high achieving and although results are great, we think it coasts a bit as they can in general rely on kids being from well-resourced and motivated homes and for parents to get tutors etc where there’s problems. They’ve been quite relaxed about DS’s progress and ‘It’ll be OK, kids here catch up’, but it still feels like his peers are pulling further and further ahead of him. And while results are good at the school, their value-add is distinctly average – so might he be better at a school that puts more emphasis on improvement? It’s not that the school is awful or anything, and he still seems happy there, but I have sometimes heard about kids who blossom when they go somewhere new.
He’s had an ed psych assessment in Y1 and there’s no evidence of any SEN, but his writing still looks Y1 level and he barely understands anything in maths – he just about gets number bonds 0-10 and adding and subtracting, but nothing else. To be clear, we’re not expecting him to be a maths whizz or anything, and at his age it is still possible, but getting less likely each year, that maths might suddenly ‘click’ and he’ll get it reasonably. We just want him to be on a similar level to his peers.
I’m not sure how he’d take moving schools and whether he’d be upset about friends (who we could still see anyway as it’s not like we’re moving) or would be totally unsentimental about it.
But I’d be interested if anyone has experience of moving schools in KS2 because they felt their child might do better elsewhere.
I’m no expert, but that sounds really behind for Y3. I am not entirely sure what another school could do, other than say he does have SEN and teach appropriately. They presumably won’t put him down a year. My elder DD was August born but was never behind and was doing what you describe in YR. I am surprised they have not identified any SEN because what you describe isn’t just down to birth date.
If you moved school, I would ask what they could do to help him improve. In fact I would want to know why he isn’t doing better where he is. What have they told you about his progress in maths? If it’s non existent, what are they doing about it? They should be concerned about his attainment by now. Quite clearly all children don’t catch up. Otherwise none would get less than 100 in Sats. Ask about how his work is diffferentiated and how he is supposed to catch up. What’s the plan?
Moving schools rarely results in old friendships continuing. My younger DD moved schools and didn’t see old friends much after that. She was welcomed by new friends though. So if he’s not bothered about friends it won’t be a big deal. However he won’t stay in their loop if he’s at another school. It’s difficult to judge if a new school could help. But talk to any school with spaces. You never know!
Timely, as I just had a call from his teacher this evening. DS has had a repeat of some aggressive behaviour to his classmates that he displayed at the start of term (he'd been a bit inattentive and easily upset before in school, but not aggressive, and never has been aggressive at home). He did seem to get over that with the help of a behaviour chart from Mr G, but it's been back again. I fear this is him realising, even though he hasn't really understood it yet, how far he is behind his peers .
I had been wondering about his behaviour at school, as he's been a little frantic these last few weeks (really losing it at a friends' birthday party and things like that). I think it's partly end of term tiredness, but I'm not going to imagine that's all it is.
What have school said they are doing to help him? My DC were well beyond that in Yr2 so I'd be concerned tbh. Is he getting extra support? Where is he with his reading? I'd suspect he is anger is related to this. How does he do at sports, music etc??
As others have said, it sounds like he is struggling. To the point where, either the school is really REALLY useless or there is indeed some SEN issues that have not been picked up.
My first port of call would be to get him assessed again, privately if necessarily. My second would be to get a bunch of workbooks and start doing some serious work at home to help him catch up. If he is significantly behind, I really don't think that a "better fit KS2" alone is going to be able to work miracles.
We moved both DD (y5) and DS (August born y4). Best thing we ever did.
The school they were at had an outstanding Ofsted, thought very highly of themselves but their attitude towards children who were struggling was appalling, much like your current school the expectation was us parents would/should pay for a tutor. They were clueless that not every parent can afford that.
We moved to a school which within 2 days noticed DD had no knowledge of maths after year 2, and that she had anxiety around learning. DS was also seen to have handwriting issues.
DD sat her Sats this year for year 6, and passed. The teachers spent the entire year 6 getting her confidence up and catching her up. They never once suggested a tutor. DS has extra handwriting with his teacher twice a week at lunchtime. They've also provided a writing slope, and found that at his old school the teachers tried to get him using his right hand when he is left handed!
With regards friends, mine missed a couple of children but even shy DS had a new group within a half term.
He’s had an ed psych assessment in Y1 and there’s no evidence of any SEN, but his writing still looks Y1 level and he barely understands anything in maths – he just about gets number bonds 0-10 and adding and subtracting, but nothing else.
What did the ed psych assessment involve?
He's still very young: in most of Europe he'd be in his first year of primary school not his third year. OTOH for a child with nearly 2.5 years of formal schooling he does sound behind and it's not unreasonable to be considering a change of school and possibly further assessment.
If you do change, the sooner the better as younger children seem to adapt more easily. DD changed schools a week or two into her first year of primary, when it became obvious that our village school weren't able to meet her needs. Settled no problem and didn't look back.
As I teacher, I'd say he is behind if he isn't confident with number bonds in Y3. You have a right to be concerned.
In my experience, some children act out and misbehave when they are feeling sad, frustrated. If he is not understanding his learning and not getting any help, I would be inclined to believe this may be the reason for his behaviour. You need to keep on at the school, ask how they are helping him, what are they going to do to make sure he makes progress. Ask them what areas of the Y3 curriculum he can do and what he can't do. Moving schools is an option, make sure you look and lots and ask questions. I would be inclined to challenge the school he is currently in first though! They do sound like they coast!