Rebellious year 9 student - shall I change schools?(15 Posts)
My son is in year 9 and ever since he turned 13 he started getting involved in nearly every conceivable problem a 13 year old can get involved in. The main issue is that he is moving round with the wrong company. He's been fortunate in that people he mixes with are worse than him and get expelled. But then its not long before he gravitates to the next "Rebel" and starts getting into trouble and then they get expelled. My son recently got a fixed term exclusion and I'm worried that now he is in the firing line for being permanently excluded. He just doesn't listen to us and actually thinks to be excluded is cool. I guess the fact that his useless school hasn't set him any work to do either is all the more reason why he thinks its cool too. I had contemplated changing schools as I know he might be the "common denominator" in all of this and he needs to work on his behaviour but I thought with a fresh start he might knuckle on down as he won't really know anyone in the new school. In his current school he's is quite popular and is also yearning for popularity from all the wrong places. I guess I just need advice really on how to get your child to "Fix up" as he keeps saying he is going to do but somehow gets dragged down the slippery slope. The biggest problem is that he is bored at school. He gets set very little homework; probably 1 piece every two weeks. I've complained so many times and they just don't listen and say that he isn't writing the homework down. However, he never seems to get into any trouble for not doing homework so I know this isn't true. In the end I got a home tutor for him to be teaching him Maths and Science as he started falling behind in these subjects. I think the lack of homework and inspiration from the school is what is leading him to look for more inspiring things to do outside of school and this is what is leading to his bad behaviour. The schools solution is to just get rid of him and to be honest I want to move him as he is not thriving at all and now he is just getting detention after detention and now with this FTE its the last straw. I'd love to hear what others think. I'm writing this at an ungodly hour as its really difficult to sleep when the future looks bleak.
You seem to be laying all the blame for your son's behaviour at the feet of the school. Is there stuff going on at home that could be contributing to his anarchy?
What is he getting detentions for?
Home work is irrelevant really- is he doing the class work?
Year 9 is a pretty classic year for rebellion - old enough to be stroppy, but not so old that there is much pressure to knuckle down and prepare for exams. So I'd be concerned that he will just find the "wrong crowd" at another school if the behaviour is quite ingrained. But it depends to what extent your concerns about the school's approach are justified.
Can you visit some other schools and be quite up front with them about the fact your son needs a fresh start. Their reaction might give you an idea whether there are actually schools out there that will help him get a grip.
Also what conversations have you had with his current school. Have you just "complained" about their approach or have you had a frank conversation with them that admits your son has a problem and you want to help them solve it?
Sounds like you've got nothing to lose by moving.
Fresh starts can be very helpful.
And there are very good odds you will choose a better school.
I'd move him now, before GCSEs start. So he can choose his options at his new school.
I commented on your other thread re: the fixed term exclusion, hope you don't mind my commenting on this one too.
Fresh starts can work really well, but they work best when the student really wants it to work. If you choose a new school, try to do one well outside of the catchment so he will know no-one; we have quite a few secondary schools in our area, and sometimes they will already know students in the school, great if they're finding their feet, bad if they're after a fresh start where no-one knows them. You could ask the school for a managed move (whereby the student attends a different school on a trial basis, but does not lose their place at the original school), the downside of this would be if your son doesn't want to leave his current school he has no incentive to tow the line, work hard and ultimately be permanently accepted on roll at the new school.
If your son isn't getting detentions for homework (not all issue these, so don't automatically assume he's writing it all down!) what are they for, behaviour?
Good luck in getting him back on track!
I do feel for you. However, I think you should be more firm yourself.
My DB was in a small secondary school, and his year group boys didn't like studying at all. DB was always with them, they just played on the street all the time. My mum was very strict with him, tried very hard to keep him at home to finish homework first. I still remember the tense between them, as they quarrelled a lot. However, DB was the only one who went to University in that group in the end , and he is now a head of department of a small company.
From your other post, that his school is an outstanding one, I think you should try to make it work first. I would assume, school actually has set homework, but your DS just not care to write it down and do it. Will you be able to get in touch of his teachers to find out the homework? And make sure your DS do the homework. If he doens't do it, you can punish him yourself, like stop him playing his favorite games, stop him going out to play, etc, anything he care about? For all the punishment he receive from school, you should reinforce at home as well. As exclusion doesn't work on him, maybe even sounds a treat for him, as he doesn't need to do any work if exluded. Can you set up some punishment at home that will work on him?
I think you need to really make him to know those behaviours are not acceptable. You can't just rely on school to sovle the problem.If you can't make sure about this, even change school, he will find the naughty students, and form another trouble group.
Sounds like a move might be helpful but it can't all be down to the school. Maybe think about what you can be doing at home to address his issues as well.
Perhaps you can try and direct his energy/enthusiasm else where, whereby he could also mix with the 'right sort' maybe sign him up for a club after school like Scouts or a sport he really likes. All schools have troublesome children so moving him, if he's not interested in a fresh start may not work as he'll just find the wrong crowd again and I'm not sure what sort of punishments you've placed on him, but you might need to get a little tougher on him.
Do bear in mind that there can be negatives as well as positives. A move may shake things up and encourage him to modify his behsviour, but could also result in him taking the same behsviour with him and thus,the same set of difficulties in a different school.
Lack of homework is the least of your problems really. You need to focus and face the main issue which is your ds not behaving in lessons. A fresh start might be worth a try but it is dependent on your ds wanting to change. If he wants to piss around he will seek out like minded kids at the new school as well. I assume you are cackling down on him at home and have taken away his internet access and phone, etc?
Plus I would guess that if his behaviour is foul in class the teachers are not going to waste their time chasing him for homework detentions. What your ds needs to realise is that they have 28 other students in that class who are listening, care about how they are doing and want help and attention. You sound like you care very much and want the best for your ds. Don't fall into the trap of minimising your sons role in this issue by focusing on homework and him being 'bored'.
Some children always find the wrong sorts to be friends with. There are choices to be made by him, but by now the "nice" children will be giving him a wide berth but will be happy to have a laugh with him - but they won't go so far as getting into trouble. If he has been led astray and the worst children have been excluded, then he should only have better children left! It won't work like this though, because he will now assume the mantle of naught child most likely to be excluded. He will do this in any school. Like minds attract!
If he is excluded for a few days, it may help you to have the re-entry meeting with the school where you can talk to them about your concerns. You need to talk to them anyway, whatever happens. Find out who the head of pastoral care is and go and see them. I don't see how lack of homework affects his behaviour in class.
Not sure if OP still checks this post. From her other post, I guess she is too soft to her DS, she find excuse for DS, blame it to other naughty children and school, but didn't realise parents need to take a main part in guiding their DC.
This describes me as a year 9, albeit some years ago now. With hindsight I was bored but a much larger problem was not really understanding why investing effort at school on a day-to-day basis was important. If I had decided to focus, that would have been difficult anyway because of my (choice of) friendship group.
I agree with others that you should reframe how you view this problem - the school isn't solely to blame if other children there do okay. You could presumably impose extra homework if you thought that was the problem.
The solution for me was a fresh start. My school insisted that I moved tutor groups, which meant being in a different class except for those subjects that were streamed by ability. There were no troublemakers in the new class and so no social reward for bad behaviour, which meant that I (for the most part) adapted to fit in with them instead. I ended up with good A-levels, a place at a top 10 university, then went to medical school, etc. My friends that remained in the original group all left school at 16, which might also have been my fate had I not moved.
Without knowing your DS, my thoughts would be:
1. Sit down with him and explain that year 10 is different to school so far and that he's going to have to change at this point. This will define a clear "break point" in his attitude and behaviour.
2. Ask what will help him make that change, whether it's moving class or schools. He might surprise you and suggest changing schools. I do think you need him on side if the "fresh start" is going to be maximally effective. Once you've made a plan together, you need to get the school(s) on side.
3. Police him until you feel that you can trust him again. Ask what he did at school after each day (in a structured format - one lesson at a time) and spend 30 minutes going through his work. I guess you're going for a mix of praise and criticism, and it's up to you whether you feel this needs to be tied to reward/punishment. If all goes to plan, this will make him think during lessons that he has to produce some work to justify himself to you later on.
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