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Move Y3 DD...again?(20 Posts)
DD started primary school at a wonderful school (1), where she was very happy with a secure group of friends. She’s always been pretty bright, and hasn’t struggled academically.
We moved areas exactly two years ago, and moved her first to a school (2) where she was terrified and utterly miserable. After half a term, another place came up in a different school (3), so we moved her. She’s been at this school ever since and, although it’s been a bit better than school 2, she’s just not as happy as I think she deserves to be, certainly not as happy as at school 1. She’s made friends, but rarely has a play date; the other girls are a lot more ‘princessy’ (her word) than she is, and she is anxious a lot of the time. She gets very worried about teachers shouting, other children shouting, making mistakes, or not looking right. This doesn’t happen every day though, and some days she is happy to go to school, and always joins 2 or 3 friends in the playground every morning.
Her academic progress has slowed since leaving school 1, but this may have happened anyway as I think she was just a child for whom reading and writing ‘clicked’ early IYSWIM. Her current school doesn’t differentiate spellings or any other homework for her, and she seems to find it easy.
Her older sister is in Y6, and I am seriously considering moving her school when her older sister leaves to go to secondary. It is very unlikely that anyone from her school will go to the same secondary due to geography (we live a 20min walk from school 3).
When I ask her if she likes school, she says no. She cries at bedtime at least twice a week worrying about homework/something about school. She says that all the other girls at school are prettier than her. She used to LOVE school, and I find all this hard to hear.
On the other hand, she plays with friends at playtime and the teacher seems to like her. Other children say hello to her in the street, and she waves back happily.
Am I mad to consider another school move? A school with a much more relaxed ethos and creative curriculum has spaces and although is further away (15 min drive), has more children going to same secondary. It is much, much more like school 1 where she was so happy. I think she could thrive there- but I’ve made mistakes before, and am not sure what to do for the best.
My parents moved me a lot at primary level which was combination of house moves and them looking for a "better" school.
It might have been good for me academically, but it was terribly socially. I'd just found my feet in every new school when I was moved again. I ended up terribly nervous about doing things wrong (is this sounding familiar).
obviously this is anecdotal, but I think moving me was the wrong thing - I would have found my niche and settled if I'd been given long enough to do so. I would focus on working on her anxiety and friendships. How often do you invite people over?
I think year 3 can be a bit of a step up so it's worth trying to work out if this is a new school thing or would she also be struggling with going into year 3 if still in school 1.
Thanks all- she’s not struggling academically at all; just the opposite. It’s just that she is not making as much progress as she was.
I have tried to arrange play dates a number of times, but her friends’ parents just don’t want to know.
I think she fears a change of school, but is clear that she doesn’t like school. I don’t think she’ll ever turn around and ask to change schools, but I’m not sure many children her age would. My gut feeling tells me she deserves better than this for the next three years...
Really helpful to get all viewpoints though, thank you.
Don't forget that children's progress isn't linear, and, as others have said, Y3 is a big step up with the KS2 curriculum etc. That's not to say that you shouldn't visit school 4, and find out whether they would have a space for her.
Thanks- school 4 very likely to have places. Going to have a look tomorrow.
Might repost in chat for more responses- but thank you to all for the responses here.
Do you or the school think your daughter needs help with social communication?
I ask because my ds loved school until the start of Y3, and the last couple months have been a nightmare. Partly she is almost certainly autistic (runs in family) but has never been apparent until now. Had a few of her friends for a low-key party and they are sweet girls but their conversation is just so different, with the back and forth and changing subject all the time and constant categorising of people and talking about each other - none of it bad but while dd has a huge vocabulary in comparison, she just doesn't do the same sort of chat and I'm guessing can't understand playground games - she certainly doesn't understand teasing.
She's getting a fair bit of help now, but she is convinced lots of girls are being mean 'all the time'.
Thing is, a friend's girl had the same problem in Y3, changed schools to an equally good one nearby, and it helped, because the girl started giving new friends the benefit of the doubt more and there had been a nasty queen bee type, but by y4 she was feeling similar again. So I think dd would be the same - she says she doesn't want to go to any school, they're all noisy and smelly and nasty clothes and too many children...
Thanks- I don’t have concerns about DD2 and ASD. Her older sister struggles with communication and has been assessed for ASD, but DD2’s social interactions are good, she picks up on subtleties and nuances and she demonstrates theory of mind well- I am as sure as I can be that she’s not on the spectrum.
She has maintained some friendships from school 1, and it’s lovely seeing how ‘easy’ those friendships are- but it also highlights how much more difficult her current schools friendships are, which I find hard as I feel a lot of guilt for moving her from school 1 in the first place.
The crying sometimes at night is my worry here. Can DD1 monitor and report back to you for a few weeks or months ?
Are you too far (out of town) to go back to School 1? Is there an option to move or commute? Considering she is still pals with old school mates.
Thanks- yes, her level of anxiety about school when she’s not there concerns me too.
Can’t commute back to old school as very oversubscribed and need to live in the playground to get a place- and there’s no way we can afford to move back as now live in a cheaper area.
Had a look at potential new school today- and absolutely loved it. Think it would suit her down to the ground. Still completely torn over what to do.
Could she do a taster day / morning at the new school ? If she immediately loves it you could have your answer.
I think the fact that the new school feeds into the likely secondary is very relevant . If she forms solid friendships they will hopefully continue rather than 3 more years of not being happy and then another change
The school said that they would do a taster day once they’d offered the place, and that they would usually want the child to start the next day. I think this could be flexible though.
Typically, she’s had a good week this week- lots of art activity (it’s the one week a year they do any) has helped. I asked her how she felt about school this week and she said ‘okish’. I think that’s as good as it’s going to get at her current school. And I do want the next three years to be better than ‘okish’ on the best days.
I think you need to be sure that all these moves aren't part of the current issue. Could it be that she has anxiety because everytime she moves she has a lot of change to deal with and it has knocked her social skill development? I'm not meaning to criticise your decision making at all, just wondering if you are about to make the problem worse by moving her again?
Oh no, criticise away- I’m asking myself the same questions. Feel like I’ve made a bit of a mess of her time at primary school, and I do regret moving in the first place. I certainly don’t want to make things worse, but gritting teeth and getting through the next three years before she starts secondary not knowing anyone doesn’t feel like a great option either...
I have moved 5 schools in 3 different countries (plus 2 different nurseries in 2 different countries), had to learn new 3 different languages - all because of my parents' circumstances. It wasn't great and some schools I loved but others I hated, but I would say it made a more rounded person, able to adapt to any circumstances and make new friends easily. I'm not traumatised by any of it - quite the opposite - I'm very glad I got to experience so much of the world as a child.
Thank you Xela, that’s a really positive post- good to know that it might not be a terrible thing to move her
Seemingly out of nowhere, she said to me on the way home from school yesterday that if there was a nicer school, she’d like to move to it. That her school is ok, but she might want to go to a different one. Turns out another girl in her class has left to go to another school, and it must’ve got her thinking.
I think 3 years is enough time to adapt and enjoy the new school. Quite a few kids at my daughter's prep joined in years 4 or 5 and all adapted really well. You wouldn't be able to tell that they weren't there from the reception
I would move her. The long term benefitsnofngoing to secondary school with someone she knows will be good for her later.
Thanks Enko. I think I’d rather regret moving her than regret not doing, especially given the secondary situation.
I’ll let her finish the year at her current school then start her at new school last week of summer term if poss.
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