DS has found out which Y6 classmates will be in his Y7 form class and he isn't happy(43 Posts)
Most of Y6 class from DS's smallish village primary are going to the local high school. The class are asked to write down the names of 2 friends that they would like to be in a Y7 form class with and the high school will try but not guarantee to make sure they are with one of those friends.
DS put "Jack" down and a.n.other and Jack put DS and a different a.n.other down. Neither of them put their mutual friend "Ben".
The backstory to this is that DS had a terrible parents evening in November. He was behaving badly, along with a number of the other boys, notably Ben (but not Jack, who is a sensible lad). DH and I were horrified and DS very ashamed and he really pulled his socks up. At the recent end of year parents evening we were told he had turned himself around, good behaviour and excellent school work/levels.
According to DS, Ben is still messing around and DS does not want the temptation of a "naughty" friend in his high school class. Also Ben is omnipresent out of school, lives nearby, calls and phones DS all the time. Sometimes DS likes it and sometimes it does his head in because it stops him playing with other friends as much as he would like. So he saw high school as a chance to break away from Ben slightly.
Anyway yesterday, they were told that DS, Jack and Ben would all be in the same Y7 form class. Ben had put Jack and DS down and no one had put him . Apparently there is someone at the high school that parents can talk to if they are unhappy about the form class arrangements.
DS is asking me to phone up and say he doesn't want to be with Ben. I said that the school will either say he has to put up with it as his reasons are not serious enough or they will move him (DS) and leave Jack and Ben together.
The high school does not use sets until Y8 and then only for some subjects so they would be spending a lot of time with their form class for years to come and also travelling on the school bus together.
DS is not feeling positive about high school anyway and now is feeling even less so. WWYD?
Schools deal with all the time, speak to the school
If you call the school now, Ben will realise that no-one wants to be in a class with him. Perhaps you could phone the school and talk to them about the situation without mentioning names?
I assume the class sizes are big enough that Ben can latch on to someone else so i would suggest to that your DS just plays it cool with him and lets the friendship drift away.
It's a tough one though. My DD is going to the same high school as two girls who have made her life miserable over the last couple of years. I took the precaution of writing to the school in advance asking them not to put her with these girls, without giving too many details.
DD's teacher has been a great support and has also written to them but even so everything is crossed for when we find out the classes next week.
Like you say, chances are they will move just him. He could end up in a form with Jack, and with other 'naughty' tempting children, from other schools. The temptation of distraction is all around us in real life, and although he is still only a child, he is going to face a lot of it throughout his years at school. Maybe he needs a chat about this. This boy didn't MAKE DS do anything, he did things of his own choosing, just like how he (brilliantly btw!) turned himself around after parents evening.
DS needs to come up with the help of yourself a coping strategy for how to deal with this boy. They've gone from being the oldest in the school to the youngest, so you never know, Ben might sort himself out!
What did he do to turn himself around, start with that.
Yes, talk to the school if you're really worried, but first check if they set for most subjects. If so, he'll only be seeing 'Ben' for half an hour a day at registration and then it'll come down to if they're at the same level for English, Maths and so on. Unless the school is big enough (and therefore might have two 'sides', where there are no joint classes, you won't be able to avoid some degree of overlapping, but the good thing is that there is so much moving around that there are plenty of opportunities to mix with others.
I would try to speak to my own DS about coping strategies and how not to get tempted into behaving badly - he needs to take control of his own behaviour. You don't know what other boys are in the various classes or what their behaviour is like - they may be as bad as or worse than Ben anyway. From what you have said and without any in-depth knowledge whatsoever of the situation (is there an acronym for that?), Ben sounds as though he may have some friendship issues already. You going to the new school to raise concerns about him will only make this worse as it's a new start for him too.
Thanks for replies. I am going to talk to Jack's mum later (we are good friends and from brief conversation we had last night I know she is not happy with situation either). But I think I am erring towards not phoning the high school as I don't think it will result in the outcome DS wants i.e. Ben being put in another class but DS getting to stay with Jack.
I know that DS is responsible for his own behaviour and he has shown in the second half of year 6 that he can resist temptation to join in with classroom disruption, etc. It is more that Ben is so clingy and persistent (in and out of school) and DS was looking forward to having the chance to make new friends and not have him around all day (no sets in year 7 so they will be). I know this sounds really harsh on "Ben" .
I think it sounds like Ben needs a new start too. It will be very demoralising for him if he clings to your ds or Jack and they don't reciprocate, when they are all feeling nervous and off balance at first.
I don't know what you should do - but I understand it is not about the behaviour per se, but the clinginess and I can understand why your re worried about your ds - they all need to feel free to make new friends and try new stuff, without it storing up trouble. If they are not set, then a class can seem a small place - they will be 3 of say 15 boys.
Both of mine went from a tiny village primary with 70 pupils in total, to a comp of 700.
After the first week or two they hardly ever mentioned there old Y6 compatriots.
You say there is no setting, are you sure they are taught entirely in their tutor group? That seems a bit extreme. Most schools at least do "banding" which is a looser grouping by ability even if they don't set?
We had this with DS, except that the primary also weighed in a little heavy-footedly, and the entirely predictable result was that just DS got moved away from his friends.
Best all round outcome from here is that your DS goes into a class with a.n. other as mentioned in your first post, and Jack (sensible little chap that he sounds) gets to cope with Ben, who would appear to be less limpet-like to him than to your son.
Just spoke to Jack's mum and we agreed that neither of us would raise it at high school as the outcome is unpredictable and neither wants our DS's being placed in a class on own or left with just Ben. The trouble is there are only 8 boys going up from the primary school and afaik the others are happy with their arrangements.
secretscwirrels, fear that DS won't get the chance to cut loose from his Y6 crowd as your DC did if he wants to as Ben won't let him!
Secret, our local secondary doesn't set at all (except for Maths) in the Y7, nor band either. Setting starts 'for real' in Year 8, because then the school is using its own assessments of the child in the secoindary setting, not relying on data from feeder schools that may have been obtained under differing conditions (e.g. some primaries focus very highly on SATs, and spend all Y6 on past papers and revision... others regard Y6 SATs as a thing you do during a single week in the summer term and continue normal teaching across the curriculum throughout the year...and everything in between).
Works really well, tbh.
It may be that OP's school does the same - especially if it draws from a lot of little village primaries, they may have found that data coming up from the primaries wasn't sufficiently robust or comparable for sensible setting to occur, and they may well have found it easiest to teach in mixed ability groups for a year.
On the OP's main point - speak to the secondary BUT warn your DS of the most likely outcome. If he is happy with that - and it may turn out to be a good thing - then go for it.
FWIW, DS has several people from his Y6 class in his tutor group. One of them is a much, much closer friend than he used to be and they do almost everything together. The others are never mentioned.
Ds1 hardly ever mentions primary friends now, just one friend who he is not in same form as and has moved on from his 'chosen' friends. Coming to the end of y7 now, and though sets are in place all subjects have mixed form groups. I think it all works out well in the end and teething probs happen regardless of how much we prep and prime but all we can do is parent. I hope all works out well for your ds
I would have been tempted to call the school, explain the situation and then say that both you and jack's mum want them to be together, away from Ben.
And then ask what is likely to happen, so if they say that they will move your son and/or jack then you can say that if that's the case not to bother as it would be worse but that you want something noted to their teacher to keep Ben away from your son and jack when drawing up the seating plan for example.
And get jack's mum to do the same - if you don't ask then you won't know, and if you can say if xxx is going to be how you sort this out then please don't do anything then hopefully you will have covered all bases.
I've just had the letter from school with details of next years teachers. And the y1 teachers include the year 1 teacher that ds1 had who he really struggled with - she'd moved to a different year group so I was thinking that ds2 was safe but I now need to go in and very nicely try to ask that he's not with thus teacher. That's going to be fun - not.
teacherwith2kids, the school really doesn't set at all in Y7 afaik and yes its intake is all small village primaries. It gets good results at GCSE, etc. so assume they know what they are doing.
I've spoken to DS again as well now and he really doesn't want to risk being on own or left with just Ben (I said these might be the outcome) so has changed his mind about me talking to the high school anyway.
There is a new parents evening in a couple of weeks so I will explain the situation to the form teacher and hope that he/she can support DS in having as much space away from Ben as possible within the class.
Even though they are in the same class they may be on separate tables for work. DD found that although she is in the same class as 3 girls from primary, they are all on separate tables as the teachers make them sit in different groupings.
My son is going to seniors in september and hehad a lot of trouble with one particular boy bullying him so as soon as i knew who head of year was i phoned up and requested that he wasnt in my sons class and not evenin same side of year. I did do it before forms were sorted and theupshot is request was granted. Definitely worth a call to the school usually obliging ihave found they deal with this all the time. Therewasmovement in forms throughout theyear as awhwel whenmy daughter was at seniors
I would leave well alone. Who knows what other Jacks and Bens will be in the class. It is a whole new dynamic. Unless there is a case of genuine bullying, you need to butt out. Whole new friendship groups will form. I would not foresee issues before they happen.
TSC, it's not necessarily an 'undesirable' so much as a combination that's going to be a predictable problem.
My boy was one of three so-called friends who just could not get on as a three. Any two out of the three were OK together, but not en masse.
OP, I bet you the seating plan goes boy/girl/boy/girl anyway. DD gets very grumpy at being a girly buffer zone between the bouncier members of her class.
Tell the kids to get over it. It wont be a tiny village school. There will be other kids to play with, and the class isnt set up as a playdate for friends.
This is Secondary school. They need to learn how to get on with it. It is part of the skills of growing up. Unless there is a specific bullying problem. You cannot manage their friendships for them.
Hmmm. From the other side of the fence, I had a clingy friend who lived nearby and who I could not shake off. I eventually managed in yr 10 when I purposely chose exactly the opposite options to her just to escape. She followed me everywhere and it did my head in. I had to walk to school with here everyday as well, our parents were great friends. Ugh, my blood is boling just remembering this.
If it was me there is no way they would be going into the same class, but I appreciate I am influenced by my own childhood...
gah they all fall out in year 7 and find new mates - is better not to have clingy best mate,
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