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DS bored in year 7

(38 Posts)
whitecatsandblackcats Mon 12-Nov-18 21:47:58

DS was at state primary, then indie primary for years 5 & 6 (his state primary went into special measures).

He's just started secondary in year 7 (state) and tells me he's bored because he's covering stuff he's already covered in year 6.

I'm not really sure what to do with this info, it's a huge school and they're obviously not going to change the curriculum to suit my DS.

Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
Cauliflowersqueeze Mon 12-Nov-18 21:50:38

He’ll soon start new work. I’d be surprised if there is not a single subject where he is learning new work? Sometimes languages in Year 7 can be hard to gauge.

ShalomJackie Mon 12-Nov-18 21:59:09

Most secondaries cover some yeàr 6 stuff in first term so they know that all kids have covered some basic stuff before moving on. They will probably then test and set kids by Christmas

whitecatsandblackcats Mon 12-Nov-18 22:07:31

He says he was told they were doing year 7 work in year 6 so he's worried he's just going to repeat the whole year.

OP’s posts: |
ShalomJackie Mon 12-Nov-18 22:09:13

Can I ask whether the switch back to state was financial because if not perhaps switch back ?

whitecatsandblackcats Mon 12-Nov-18 22:30:56

Indie was just a stop gap for 2 years because the state primary went pear shaped. We'd never planned to go private all the way. It could be done but it'd be financially uncomfortable.

I need to work out whether the being bored thing will pass or not which is difficult from the outside. I suppose at this stage I'm just trying to work out how worried I should be about this.

OP’s posts: |
Notcontent Mon 12-Nov-18 22:36:09

A lot of the work they do in year 7, particularly in maths, is to do with consolidating the things they learned in year 6. But I am sure it’s not all the same in other subjects!

AliMonkey Mon 12-Nov-18 22:44:38

No advice I'm afraid but just wanted to say that DS is also saying he's bored in year 7 and he's come direct from state primary. It seems to be mostly because it's not new stuff but also I think he's just finding the style of teaching (lots of just writing things down from the board) much less engaging than in primary.

We raised it at parents evening and his form tutor just told him to ask the teacher for extension work. DS has anxiety issues which mean he struggles to speak to anyone but close family/friends and there is no way he would do that but I couldn't help but think that the teachers should be noticing if he is regularly finishing the work quickly (particularly as they know about his issues with not being able to speak up). They have just set for maths and science so am hoping that will at least help in those subjects.

whitecatsandblackcats Mon 12-Nov-18 22:59:23

AliMonkey that's interesting that he's experiencing the same issues in year 7. There does seem to be a lot of board copying at our school too.

Hope the setting helps a bit.

OP’s posts: |
Bunnybigears Mon 12-Nov-18 23:06:02

I find DS is having the opposite experience maybe his Primary school was just a bit crap. He is loving learning Spanish (they did French at primary) he is enjoying all the practical science with bunsen burners etc (they never used these in Primary) Life Skills is another subject they didnt do at primary along with woodwork and food tech. He is also doing some different sports in PE so far they have done boxing and lacrosse and water polo none of which he did at primary.

Is there absolutely nothing new they are doing? Even if it is just PE?

AliMonkey Mon 12-Nov-18 23:55:31

I've been surprised at how little practical stuff there has been in science - probably not helped by the Bunsen burners not working the day they were supposed to be using them apparently.

He is doing some new stuff (French for example) but I guess it's too interspersed with stuff that isn't new and interesting.

RedSkyLastNight Tue 13-Nov-18 07:56:20

There is often a lot of recap at the start of Y7 but it seems odd that there is nothing new at all. Not even in subjects like English where he can surely write to a higher standard? They are reading texts in English Lit he's read before? Studying periods in history he's already covered in the same level of detail/from exactly the same angle? He's playing the same music and drawing the same pictures that he's already drawn?

is he asking for extension work? Has he spoken to any teachers?
(what I'm getting at is - is "bored" really a cover for can't be bothered, or don't feel happy?)

Jeezoh Tue 13-Nov-18 10:08:44

Have you looked at his books to check what he’s saying? Mine is reading books in English they’ve not done before, he’s about to dissect a pigs heart in science, is doing new sports in PE, a second language and expanding the one he was learning at primary etc. my son says he’s bored but what he means is this work is harder and more in depth and he misses the less intense workload of primary. There will obviously be an element of recapping in yr7 as the teachers gauge the pupils understanding and how deep that understanding goes.

DobbinsVeil Tue 13-Nov-18 11:01:57

DS2 Yr7 is finding the pace of maths very slow. He is very able at maths, but has come from a poor state primary in to a good state secondary and I think I bigged up how much more challenging maths he'd get to do a bit too much. He is enjoying science as they did virtually none at primary. He is completely exhausted though (ongoing illness) so perhaps it's not a bad thing he can cruise a bit.

Growingboys Tue 13-Nov-18 15:10:25

DS saying he's a bit bored in Yr 7 suddenly but we talked at length about why and realised the novelty of new school etc has worn off and now he realises he's in it for the long haul.

Know the feeling mate!

Anyway, he's learning loads of new stuff like Latin and languages he's not done before (State school) so he's not bored for that reason.

I'm sure it's just the calm after the anxiety of starting somewhere new. DS is happy and loving his lessons.

whitecatsandblackcats Tue 13-Nov-18 17:12:28

RedSkyLastNight thanks, I'llll ask him in more detail when we get a quiet moment together.

I do worry that 'I'm bored' means some kind of general unhappiness but it's hard to get to the bottom of it with a monosyllabic pre teen boy!

He keeps telling me that him going to private school for 2 years was a waste of money and has ruined everything, because the new school has no data on him (because he didn't do SATS) and because he's studying the same things he's already studied.

Jeezoh I'll have a look at his books and try and engage him in a more detailed convo.

There was a noticeable step up from his year 4 state primary to his year 5 private primary as in year 5 he had all different subject teachers (like at secondary) and did much more in-depth work than his brother did at that age in state primary.

If I'd have known that switching systems would cause issues and unhappiness I wouldn't have bothered with the private school at all!

Growingboys you made me laugh with 'know the feeling mate!' - interesting thought re the long haul.

OP’s posts: |
DobbinsVeil Tue 13-Nov-18 18:06:33

I think sometime you're just damned either way. My brother went to grammar school. He was a borderline case and didn't get in on the first round and the primary school Head rang my parents and said they should appeal and she would back it. My brother was given the choice and chose to go, but as an adult has said my parents should have made the decision and he should have gone to our local comp. But realistically, I think my brother would have been a lamb to the slaughter there (I went to it).

DS2 coming from a failing primary is annoyed at how little science they did. He said when the teacher does the recap, it is consistently children from his primary who have no idea what the teacher is talking about. And apparently in maths children from another local school were taught numerator and denominator the wrong way around.

RolyRocks Tue 13-Nov-18 19:07:03

I've been surprised at how little practical stuff there has been in science

Just wanted to say that sadly, this is becoming more common because science practicals are expensive and have been, in a lot of schools, the first thing to cut down on. I know in my school they cannot afford to do practicals in Year 7 Science with the current funding structure. sad

LadyLance Tue 13-Nov-18 20:28:58

Lack of practicals in science can also be due to lack of funding for support staff (e.g. technicians) who help set up for and clean up after these practicals. It also may be due to lack of space (many schools do not have enough science labs for all science lessons to be consistently in a science lab).

They may also be taught by non-specialist teachers who feel less confident running practicals. There is a national shortage of science teachers.

Children do come up into Y7 with highly variable levels of knowledge- e.g. in year 6 some primary schools will do an hour a week of science/humanities, and some will do almost none at all. This may inevitably involve the re-teaching of some concepts with some pupils in Y7.

Is he doing no new topics though? That would surprise me, unless the prep school literally taught the Y7 curriculum in Y6, which has done no-one any favours.

Could you ask him specific questions E.g. What time period are you covering in history? What books are you reading in English? Would you know if these were the same as last year?

It could be that he's not finding the work challenging, and is having issues because of this, or it could be that he's having other issues and the "I'm bored" is cover for this. Have you spoken to his form tutor at all?

ifIonlyknew Tue 13-Nov-18 21:31:22

not in year 7 here yet but I have heard a lot of friends year 7+ children say the start of year 7 is quite easy after year 6, I presume it is a lot of recapping, checking people are at similar levels etc.

sollyfromsurrey Thu 15-Nov-18 13:22:41

The first half of Year 7 is generally about consolidating subjects like Maths and introducing new languages at a fairly gentle pace. Does your school not have maths sets?

whitecatsandblackcats Thu 15-Nov-18 16:45:33

I've had some (slightly) more detailed chats with him and from what I can make out...
Maths - doing stuff he's already done
Science - mix of some stuff he's already done / new stuff
Computer studies - exact same course / curriculum as at previous school
History - new topic
English - new topic but quite slow and boring
German - new to him as did French and Spanish at previous school

It does make me a bit depressed that the private school was working him at a higher level and he's had to drop back by going back into the state system. I wish we could afford to stay private but I also feel how unfair the system is now I see very clearly that (this particular) private school was doing better for my kid than (this particular) state school.

OP’s posts: |
sollyfromsurrey Thu 15-Nov-18 19:38:03

I really wouldn't worry. Even at private senior schools, the maths will be consolidating what was learned in year 6. They need to make sure it is all covered and m DD is in the top maths set and even they are not doing much new stuff yet. Very little if anything new is covered at this stage anywhere so you don't need to feel your DS is suffering. In fact, the only other subject which is not new to him is Comp Sci. Everything else is new to him. That's no different than he would be getting at an Indie. My DD is at an academic Indie and I have met up with mums of DDs at other top Indies (our DDs went to the same prep) and it is exactly the same as your experience. Maths is pretty much going over old stuff, German is new. Our DDs did Latin at prep so they are recovering what they have already done but for most Latin would be new. Don't get concerned.

RedSkyLastNight Thu 15-Nov-18 20:19:18

Other than Computer Science I'm not sure why you think he's dropped back? In subjects like Maths and Science it would be typical to recap a previously studied topic and then extend it by building on it - this sounds like your DS's experience.

History and German and English are new. If he's not finding English challenging has he raised this with the teacher? English I'd thought was one subject where it was very easy to work at a range of different levels even on the same topic.

roundaboutthetown Fri 16-Nov-18 09:31:08

Don't forget, whitecatsandblackcats, your ds has started at a new school, as has everyone else in his year. The idea that he would carry on seamlessly as though he hadn't left a completely different school is faintly ridiculous. Children in year 7 will have arrived from a variety of different schools, working at a variety of different levels. Give the school a chance to settle all the children in, get to know them and ensure that they all have solid foundations, rather than expecting them to act like they've known and worked with your ds for years. He's only in year 7 and hasn't even done a term there, yet. Also, if his focus is on the work, tbh, I would see that as a sign he is having issues settling in socially - unless the school is so dire, its GCSE and A-level results leave you to suspect he will be bored forever.

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