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Has anyone else changed schools over summer?

(22 Posts)
PeachesMcLean Mon 24-Sep-07 22:01:05

And how are your DCs getting on?

DS (6) has just gone into year 2 in a new school. I know I shouldn't worry about this, and that I should just go and talk to the teacher but I can't see her till Friday. And I know I shouldn't go on the basis just one conversation with DS (with the selective memory that only 6 year olds can have).... But, today he said he hadn't played with anyone, and he's got no friends, and he did want to play but the others wouldn't let him join in. He's always been so happy and confident in school before, and I think he's missing his old friends a bit. And I'm having trouble getting his old best friend over for a play session cos his parents can be a bit odd.

I'm just feeling really sad for him, and wondered how other DCs here settling into a previously established class?

Carbonel Tue 25-Sep-07 13:30:29

My dc's have just moved schools, now in Yr1 and Yr2. Both seem to be settling really well, not sure what the teachers have done, if anything, to settle them.

I would ring up if you cannot see the teacher befroe Friday and see if she can talk to you at lunchtime or after school just to reassure you.

I have deliberately avoided contact with 'old' best friends so they settle in well first. Can you arrange some play dates at the new school? I am sure the names will change s they get to know everyone, but jsut having one or two over will give him something to talk about at school that is different.

As you say, it may be the selective memory - my dd and ds are funnily diffrent, dd reels off list of names whereas ds knows he played with someone, but does not know their name!

Also, is he happy to go into school? it is possible he sees your 'fears' and is playing up to it?

Good luck and hope he settles well soon

harrisey Tue 25-Sep-07 15:51:56

My dd1 moved between primary 1 and primary 2 (age 6). It was fine - luckily there was another new girl in her class so they got on quite well. We had moved 300 miles, from a small class ina small school in a rural area to a big school, big class in Glasgow, and she was tired for a couple of weeks and grumpy some nights, but got on fine.

If you are worried, see the teacher, sooned thatn Fri if possible. But my ds (just started school) told me noone plays with him - but when I dropped dd2 at nursery, there he was running round with a gang of other little boys!

harrisey Tue 25-Sep-07 15:52:18

This was last year, btw.

Bink Tue 25-Sep-07 18:07:29

My dd has done the same as yours, peaches - year 2 in a new school (class of 19 that have all been together since reception). I nicked a bit of advice that frogs gave on here (actually on starting secondary school) and told her she should absolutely not try to find one special friend but to try to play with everyone.

Dd is a fairly bouncy cheery sort (her main idea of fun is a Chat) so this suited her - and she seems thoroughly happy. But lots of credit should go to the school & the atmosphere there too - eg dd told me that, on her first day, she was walking in the playground on her own and a little girl came up and asked, "Would you like someone to play with?"

If only all of society were that polite.

PeachesMcLean Tue 25-Sep-07 18:53:55

Thank you all for your responses. It is selective memory probably, and I'm concerned that he's not learning names in his class as fast as I'd have thought, but I guess that's just him. He told me today he's been playing marbles with someone but wasn't sure whether it was Grace or Mark hmm How do you not notice that??? grin Clearly too busy with the game!

I went into work late today so that I could see the teacher (I only work school hours on Friday, hence the delay otherwise). Teacher did say she was absolutely happy with him, and that he seemed like he'd just always been part of the class, which was good, BUT I had just watched him wander across the playground not really linking up with anyone, everyone else was in twos and threes playing busily. She's said she'll keep an eye on things and I'll try to be less worried. I'm rubbish at making friends (playing with everyone is sadly why I don't have any close relationships I think) Working full time is a bind as well, as I don't have any opportunity for suggesting play dates after school. And at the last school, the fact that he was collected by a childminder seemed to mean none of the other parents asked him to theirs.

Ok, rambling now. Thanks for coming back to me though. I think I'm more worried about it than he is. Still makes me sad though...

Carbonel Tue 25-Sep-07 21:36:04

I really would not worry about him not knowing names of who he played with, that is a 'man' thing. When a group of women get togetehr they know each others life history in a few minutes, men chat about things like football, the game they are playing etc and sometimes never mention names / family at all.

My ds is excatly the same but definitely happy and playing with someone, just hasn't asked the 20 questions that dd has, she knows names, age, birthday etc in only a short time!

PeachesMcLean Tue 25-Sep-07 22:43:35

I'm sure you're right re remembering boys and the fact that he hasn't even registered whether he was playing with a girl or a boy today says it all. Far too busy doing other stuff to notice who he's playing with.

PeachesMcLean Wed 26-Sep-07 22:20:34

this is getting worse. DH put DS to bed tonight (I had to go out) and apparently DS was nearly in tears saying how he's got no one to play with. I think he's really feeling lonely. Even though he appears to be just getting on with it, he's clearly missing having a best friend in school. He doesn't help himself admittedly as he told DH he doesn't like the games the others play hmm Of course he needs to learn to just fit in but either way, he's just clearly feeling very lonely.

And the other odd thing I really don't understand, is that the class he's in is mixed year 1 and year 2, so for some classes he goes in and joins the other Year 2 class and sometimes he's with Year 1 pupils and I don't know whether this is normal, or whether it would effect his education, but I'm sure it certainly doesn't help in trying to sustain one to one friendships with people.

PeachesMcLean Wed 26-Sep-07 22:22:28

Feeling very very sad.

Carbonel Thu 27-Sep-07 10:03:27

So sad for you too. I am sure he will be OK but as you say maybe missing not having a 'best' friend - my dd was like that when her best friend left her previous school and she drifted from one group to another - wihtout the cachet of being new to make her interesting.

If you cannot arrange playdates after school can you take a few afternoons off to do them intially or even do anything at weekends? We used to go to a local football thing on SAt and a few of thier friends came - it was a good chance to chat to the other parents too.

Also, the PTA is an excellent place to get to know people so you can find out what htey are all up to. Could you offer to act as class rep and create a list of names and numbers - that way you get to know everyone's details wink. And sleepovers are always a possibility at this age too?

Even if he is not having a birthday soon can you organise something anyway eg a Halloween party so you can get to know the children and parents.

I am afraid it may mean extra work for you for a while but it will be worth it.

Good luck

Sonnet Thu 27-Sep-07 10:09:51

Can't offer much advice but just wanted to give you support.
I would second the idea about weekend playdates.
I would also arrange to see the teacher and explain that your ds is upset.

PeachesMcLean Thu 27-Sep-07 19:45:32

Right, I am a Woman with a Mission.

- DS is going to breakfast club rather than CM as of Monday. (CM will still collect)
- He's going to sports club on Monday after school on the weeks when DH can get out of work early to collect him.
- We're stalking the mother of the one boy DS seems to like, so I can invite the child round for play next Friday.
- Swimming lessons start again on Saturday.
- I'm off to put his name down for Beavers, which will be full of kids from his school.
- I will be planning to take a couple of afternoons off so I can fit in more play sessions.
- I have enquired about joining the PTA and will be going to their AGM.
- AND I took biscuits to the nice young mother across the road who's doing a Macmillan coffee morning tomorrow - gave me a good excuse to say hello.

[self satisfied grin]


Thanks for support everyone. I've been needing it.

Carbonel Thu 27-Sep-07 22:47:07

Good for you grin you have been very busy

I now have a great mental picture of you stalking this mum wink.... ( I have just put notes in book bags lol)

One quick tip, if there is a waiting list for Beavers you may get in more quickly if you offer to help out, either on their organising committee (one night a month) or on the night itself. I did and got dd in straight away and she and I both love it!

Please keep us posted, I hope he settles really soon

pinkmook Fri 28-Sep-07 16:07:02

sorry to jump in/hijack! My DS (6) Has also started at a new school, (yr1) and what peaches mcclean describes is scarily similar to my DS.

However, I also find trying to break into a very well established group of mothers to try and arrange playdates extremely hard/nervewracking/intimidating!

I have said hi to a few but just seem to end up stood there mute while they all chat/discuss mutual freinds/events/issues.

I know I probably sound like a wuss but I promise I have tried to strike up conversations but just seem to get one word answers! I always made an effort with new people at his old school to include them so a bit put out no one is offering me a way in! Rant over!

Any suggestions?

Bink Fri 28-Sep-07 16:19:48

My suggestion (which comes from what I've always had to do, because of haring off to work after drop-off) for shy new school parents is as follows:

- at first, don't hang around & get sucked into that awful "spare" feeling ... whisk into drop-off, doing a general bright smile at everyone with similarly aged child(ren), exchange about 3 friendly but superficial words with whoever looks approachable, & zoom off;

- within a few days, one or two of the general bright smiles will be returned, the 3 friendly words will get exchanged with two people instead of just one, and the faces start to fall into place;

- after a week or two you make real contact: "Oh you're X's mum, Y talks about X all the time" (idea being a light sort of compliment about other person's child) - but still keep it short.

After that, it seems to flow quite easily. I think the crucial thing (for me anyway) is Take It Slow.

frogs Fri 28-Sep-07 16:35:56

Hi Bink, glad it all went smoothly! Ds changed school over summer half-term because of house move, and is blissfully happy in his new school -- declared immediately that he liked it much better than his old one, although he had been happy enough there, despite persistent personality clash/mild bullying issues with a particularly dominant character. I was also v. v. impressed with the school's procedures for settling new arrivals.

Since the start of this term ds has acquired a new friend who is truly delightful -- not an adjective I would use about too many 8-yo boys, my own included! But I am very taken by this little chap -- very smily and easy-going, without the slightly frenetic competitive silliness of lots of boys that age. Most of the parents seem friendly as well, though we're slightly out on a limb as we're not part of the parish (church school).

Inconveniently dd2 has now started school nursery at a different school, as ds's school had already done their nursery allocations when we applied. But she also loves it, so atm all the froglets are happy, though pickup arrangements are somewhat baroque. grin

Bink Fri 28-Sep-07 16:56:38

Hi there frogs! - trust you noticed the advice-credit below? Actually (this is for Peaches) I only explained half the advice: the idea is you have a go at playing with everyone, from the beginning; the next bit is that from that, gradually, it will sort of emerge which particular children you feel most in tune with. Dd now announces that X or Y "is becoming one of my best friends".

Lovely about ds's friend. Ds has a new bestie too - who happens to be his classmate/live five doors from us/be 12 days older/share lots of quirks ... he's very happy.

frogs Fri 28-Sep-07 18:21:32

Splendid, bink! am liking the idea of your ds being happy, particularly. smile

PeachesMcLean Fri 28-Sep-07 21:08:44

Bink I think you're right. As it's Friday today, I got to school early in the hope of talking to some of the other parents. Had that awful spare part feeling you describe, then managed a few words with one other mother and then stopped cos I didn't want to be too in yer face - you know "HellomynameispeachescanIbeyourfriendpleasepleaseplease". [mad staring eyes and disturbing smile] And that was it. Haven't tracked down the one mother I'm stalking yet either.... grr, I'll get her wink If that doesn't succeed, I'll go for the much more practical suggestion of a note in the book bag, thanks Carbonel. grin

Note to self: whisking at school next Friday.

Have done name on list at Beavers though. They didn't want helpers hmm

frogs Fri 28-Sep-07 21:29:09

Oh yes, just wanted to share the recommendation of a friend whose child moved schools to a completely different area over the summer. The headteacher of the new school suggested she did little printouts that the teacher would hand out to the class, explaining that the child would be joining class X in September with a photo and telephone no. on. Her child had several invites to other kids houses before he'd even started at the school.

I did similar (minus the photo, just address and contact details with names of parents) for ds to give to anybody he felt he might like to see out of school (he's older than friend's child) and again, several parents then phoned me up or approached us in the playground for playdates. I think being upfront probably is the way forward here.

pinkmook Sat 29-Sep-07 06:33:29

Frogs and Bink, I think it may be too late to do the printed slip thing now as he has been there 4 weeks, but Bink I will try your method! Thanks clever MN'ers! grin

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