HELP! Struggling Y8- do I change schools?(9 Posts)
My DS is in a partially selected Grammar -(place gained by sibling) and is an Aug born. He has friends at school so that isn't the problem: however he has always struggled academically but I had hoped that being in an environment with good learning support would boost him. We had floods of tears this morning saying he "just doesn't get some lessons" & "feels so dumb because he is always asking the teachers to explain more when no one else does" - my heart was breaking! He now wants to look at moving schools that could offer a broader academic spectrum so he wouldn't always be in the bottom sets which is obviously affecting his self esteem. There are two other schools that could be considered, although I have no idea if there are places available...I'm so confused because this is such a big decision. He is a well manned, kind boy that was very popular in primary but seems to have gotten lost in big school. Any advice greatly appreciated.
If he wants to change school I would definitely support him and start applying for other good schools he will fit in; My brother stayed in a school he was unhappy due to bullying and it affected his self steem even now through his adult life; he was very academic and had a scholarship but he suffered lots of bullying.
Contact other schools and ask for procedure?
Look at other school websites and look for in year admissions.
There are probably other students who take longer to understand the material but are keeping quiet about it. Well done to him for speaking out and asking when he doesn't understand something. Does he realise that the bottom sets at his school are probably the equivalent to middle sets in a comprehensive school?
It might be that he would be happier in a completely non-selective school.
My sons go to school that's partially selective (25% academic and 10% music) which has a strong learning support department, so now I'm wondering if it's the same one...
Sorry to hear your son is having a hard time. I wouldn't (though it sounds as though you aren't) make a snap decision but personally I'd let him know that you'd move him if he really wanted. Agree with the others that lowish in selective is unlikely to be "bad" at anything although some children find it much harder to feel they aren't near the top than others. Have the school given you a feel as to whether he's really falling behind or doing fine just not in the top sets?
If his struggles are academic rather than social I would try to speak/meet with the head of year first to see if there is any support you or the school can put in place to help him first. And it is very early in the term so plenty of time to get the hang of things.
I really wouldn't rush into changing schools without exploring this first. Just because another school is less academic doesn't mean he will struggle less. The curriculum is the curriculum. How do you know the teaching, pastoral support, etc will be better? It sounds like you are assuming the current school only cares about the more academic pupils or pushes them all too hard.
Confidence is key to learning so if you can find out which schools have places and go and visit them during lesson time with him that wopuld be a good start.
Thanks to all who replied. Amazing how a good night's sleep makes everything clearer in the morning. I think my son had a bit of a wobble that led to my initial post. Yesterday, I went back and read his end of Y7 report with him which was so high in praise for him and his effort. I had a full discussion as to how I will speak to his head of year for support and how proud I was that he was taking ownership for his own learning by asking questions I'm sure the other children want to ask but aren't brave enough to. He went off so much happier and confident that his best is all we can ask for 😀
Oh good. Sometimes at that age a couple of bad lessons can make them feel like it's the end of the world. If it happens again I would contact the school and ask to meet to talk about it.
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