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Sending a child to school in a rough area

(24 Posts)
shrubby Sat 13-Sep-08 08:18:26

Now this may get me slated for sounding a bit biased but here we go.
My ds has just started junior school and to be honest I did have some reservations about this school before he went and toyed with the idea of sending him somewhere else.
The ofsted reports on this school have come out as good to satisfactory.
However since he started 2 weeeks ago I have got very cold feet about it and as much as I have tried to brush my thoughts aside I am still getting vibes about it.
The school is within walking distance of me but is in the rough end of where I live a sort of area where people don,t bother with their gardens and the houses look really shabby etc.
Also alot of the parents at the school look really rough and ready and a bit down and out.
I know that this is no reflection of the school it just happens to serve a bit of a deprived area but the staff etc look very respectable.
Please help I don,t mean to sound snobby but it is bothering me somewhat about my ds been there and I am wondering if I have done the right thing.
I do realise that these sort of people can be the friendliest but I am having trouble getting to know people anyway at the moment with my ds not long started there.
How would you feel, could my ds be mxing with the wrong sort,can anyone put these probably silly feelings to rest.

mrsruffallo Sat 13-Sep-08 08:25:36

I would give it time. Sometimes things can appear worse that they are.
See who he makes friends with, arrange a few 'playdates' and keep on eye on his behavioural development. I would give it at least a couple of terms.
I am sure there will be at least a few parents that you click with.
It is very hard when your first one starts school

SlartyBartFast Sat 13-Sep-08 08:26:10

i am sure he will chose the right friends - he will chose the ones he likes - have yo seen the other parents - most schools have a mixed bunch of people.

shrubby Sat 13-Sep-08 08:31:43

I have only spoken to 2 two people so far one a middle aged man wearing a vest with a pot belly and tattoos up his arms although he seemed friendly enough lol, and another an indian lady in saries, my ds has made friends with her ds she is a very nice lady but conversation can be a little strained sometimes.

mrsruffallo Sat 13-Sep-08 08:33:10

It's early days.
It doesn't matter that conversation is strained with the mum does it?
Your son has made a nice friend very quickly.
That's good!

northernrefugee39 Sat 13-Sep-08 08:33:52

Hi Shrubby- have you read this Arabella Weir article on this thread?
Her kids are happy.
It depends what you mean by "the wrong sort"; you sound a bit guilty and confused about your own feelings of a kind of snobbery. Some people think that being able to get on with people from all walks of life is more of an advantage in the real world than feeling afraid or superior in some way.
And know you don't mean to be , just voicing doubts. Also if you're unsettled in a new place, and feeling you haven't found your feet, it's bound to give you doubts.

My feeling is that when it comes to your kids, instinct is the best gauge, because as soon as you get doubts, the children always pick up on them.
Our kids have been at a couple of schools where they were the "outsiders" as it were. The first one was a disaster, but the second one welcomed them wholeheartedly, and they loved it.
Good luck.

SlartyBartFast Sat 13-Sep-08 08:35:07

what's the alternative?
did you look around?

twinsetandpearls Sat 13-Sep-08 08:37:18

Why don;t you volunteer for something in the school to help you feel more of a community and perhaps meet other parents,

shrubby Sat 13-Sep-08 08:42:00

There is another school further to walk to though, but I got a better impression of the teachers and everyone seemed generally friendlier at this one he is going to when I attended the open days.

twinsetandpearls Sat 13-Sep-08 08:44:04

You are generally better where you feel happier with the teachers. I do sympathise as dd has just left a primary I was very happy with and started a another one that I have doubts about.

SlartyBartFast Sat 13-Sep-08 08:44:23

well if he is happy and everyone is friendly that is really good,
volunteering is an excellent idea.
if you have younger ones palm them off somewhere and go in once a week or even once a fortnight to help

twinsetandpearls Sat 13-Sep-08 08:47:02

I am volunteering to be a governer for that reason.

shabster Sat 13-Sep-08 08:47:08

My DS4 started high school last week. We couldn't get him in the one of our choice cause it was vastly over subscribed.

He has started at the high school we were all dreading he might have to. 2,000 pupils with hundreds of 'rough diamonds.' His verdict after two weeks - 'Mum it is fantastic, I love every lesson. They have put me in the top set for every subject because of my work at primary. I am going to be so happy here.'

Going into school to help out sounds a great idea.

Sounds like you have brought your child up well...making a new friend right away is just great. Your DS will, in my opinion, be fine. Its good for him to mix with all kinds of people - good luck and I hope he has a great time.

hippipotami Sat 13-Sep-08 08:48:31

Where did the other children at your ds's infant school go? This school, or the other one?

Look at the other 'feeder' schools for this one. Chances are some are in 'nicer' areas and there will be likeminded people there.

My ds is good friends with a Pakistani boy, his mum turns up in full sari (looks lovely smile) and conversation is a bit hard sometimes, but my ds and her ds get on very well and that is the most important.

Are you worried you won't find like-minded mums to befriend? Give it time, I am sure you will.
I think your feelings may be due to the fact taht your ds has left his nice, cozy infant school and moved into juniors.
I struggled with the same feelings despite teh fact the two schools were across the same park adn even shared a PTA.

shrubby Sat 13-Sep-08 08:51:18

my ds has just left a primary school that was in a much better area and the people were overall more respectable looking although there was still a small number of more rough and ready ones.
My mom is not too sure about the school either, and my mom being my mom stands there examining people and will comment in her own unique way on the not so desiriable ones lol,
She however says to just wait and see how my ds performs as some of the most successful people have come out of these schools.
She agrees that it is no reflection of the school itself.

savoycabbage Sat 13-Sep-08 08:56:57

I know where you are coming from Shrubby. My dd isn't starting until Tuesday but I already feel as if I am changing the way I am so that she will be able to fit in more. I bought my pinafores from John Lewis - and then I took them back when I realised she would stick out like a sore thumb! I have taken her to macdonalds over the holidays so she knows what it is and I bought High SchooL Musical for the same reasons! I am not against any of these things. I just hadn't done them. I am also putting some thought into what I am going to give her for her packed lunch. I have bought a loaf tin so she can have square bread like the others!

I sent my dd to the most middle class school for nursery and it was totally and utterly rubbish and I took her out. They relied on the parents to do the teaching. She is going to a different school next week where they do have some rougher children. But the school seems nice and the teachers actuallly have to do something in order to engage with the children and teach them. I am sure that some of the parents there will not want to know me because I have sewn in name tapes grin they will be judging me, but the children won't be like that.

shrubby Sat 13-Sep-08 08:57:01

I do have reservations about finding someone likewise but I am the sort of person who will befriend anyone as long as they are generally nice really even if they are a rough diamond.
My ds's mates from infants went to the juniors federated with that school and I have had some doubts about taking him away from friends but he is generally quite good at making friends and I figured he would be okay.
I also thought it would be good for his friends to be in our area and they could maybe walk to each others houses.

mrsruffallo Sat 13-Sep-08 10:15:45

Shrubby I think thatit's important to be part of your local community, and going to a local school you will be surprised how many faces become familiar
Sorry but lol savoy!
Do you really think that anyone will notice where your dd's apron comes from or that you have sewn in name tags?
There is no need to change these things- I think it will surprise you that no one cares about such detail.
You sound very nice and I am sure you will get on well, but be yourself!

batters Sat 13-Sep-08 10:27:18

lol at people not bothering with their gardens and having shabby houses. You're describing my house! I have no time / energy / money at the moment to spend on my garden and house.

I suggest you stop judging people until you know a little more about them. Volunteer to be a classroom assistant as others have said.

Chocolateteapot Sat 13-Sep-08 10:35:59

Apologies for the hi-jack. Twinset sorry to see you aren't overly happy with DD's school. I thought you
might like to know that I was talking to DD's ex SALT and st C's has a new head. Apparently the old head wasn't very good (backs up the feeling I had about her when I met her) and lots of the parents were unhappy, but the new head is supposed to be good and they are very pleased.

twinsetandpearls Sat 13-Sep-08 11:06:44

Is st C's the one in wimborne? We are only renting so we could move. I really do not want her to go to the secondary school in Blanford and would like her if possible to go where I am teaching or a possibel move to Dorchester. But we love living in Blandford.

She is happy there and is doing lots of thngs like horseriding and musical instruments at school. I suppose that is the main thing. There is something I am not overly hsppy with, it may be the lack of community spirit and I need to do something about that.

Chocolateteapot Sat 13-Sep-08 11:21:11

Yes it is the wimborne one. We should get together for a coffee at some point, sorry I haven't suggested it before, I've had DS start first school and it was his birthday yesterday plus DD started middle school and my Mum's 70th shortly so things have been a bit manic.

twinsetandpearls Sat 13-Sep-08 11:53:19

Don't worry things are as mania here . Still have some boxes to unpack and have dd party to organise.

northernrefugee39 Sat 13-Sep-08 14:01:16

grin at Savoy! That's exactly what I'd do... homemade oat bars made to look like trackers... lol at Macdonalds and high school Musical! I have balked at Hollyoaks and Eastenders tho' '"cos al our friends watch them"

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