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Why place a child in a different class to all their friends?(16 Posts)
I hope that you don't mind me posting here but wanted a teacher's point of view. My DD is in reception at the local school. Its relatively low numbers for my daughter's year so two classes of 21 and 22 respectively. The school policy is to mix classes after reception, year 2 and year 4 which I understand is normal. My DD was lucky in that his reception class there was her best friend from pre school and two other children who she knew from outside activities. She has become friendly with two other children in her class. From what I can gather those are the 5 children she spends the most time with though she works with others when doing teacher led tasks. Next year she will be in one class and all there other 5 in another. She hasn't really talked about it much but says she doesn't know who is in her class and that she's feeling really sad. I'm arranging to speak to her teacher but beyond saying its to encourage the children to mix with others why would they split her up from all 5. I'm sure the teacher will think my concerns are her best friend but if she was in the class with any of the 5 I would be less concerned. I don't know how many are moving from one class to another but given the small numbers I am surprised that out of their group of 6, they have put my DD on her own. I'd be interested into any insights. My DD is summer born and struggles with change so the move to Year 1 was already going to be stressful for her and seems to have been made ten times worse.
Not a teacher but an angry parent
My school has done this too,
my son is in year 1 and is August born so went to school two weeks after turning 4...hard enough for everyone involved and now he's reaching the end of year 1 finally made friends and enjoying school he will now be away from all his friends bar one...who's not that bothered about my son at all (my son seems to have an obsession with him that's not reciprocated) it's heartbreaking.
He came out and said I've lost all my friends.
HT is like talking to a book, he has no care in listening to parents concerns he just wants put his stamp on the school (new head) and we all expected to just lump it!
What gets me cross the most is that they haven't split the classes fairly...why haven't half the boys been switched and half the girls!! Apparently this will work best for the children now as 'they're personalities have changed'
I'm going to see how it goes for him in sept and if don't work for us I will be kicking up a stink as we have finally been able to enjoy school all for it to be ruined.
We see our kids at home, not in their school environment and the only clue we have about their interactions with their peers is obviously from their perspective. I'm not a teacher but I have three kids and tbh I think you have to trust the teachers and just go in and deal with issues if and when they occur. This has happened to various of my kids over the years and they deal with it, often ending up with friends they didn't have before - it has never been the disaster they or I anticipated (and very often we as parents overthink this way more than they do). The parents who run in to try and get classes changed before seeing how things work out because they think they know better than the teachers just piss everyone off. I'm not for a minute suggesting this is your situation but if teachers allow requests often they are trying to balance competing interests - the kids you want yours to be with are sometimes the ones where their parents are going "please make sure my kid isn't with x or y".
I think either the teacher sees a different friendship group for that child, or that child has been a bit overlooked. Or perhaps the child is causing issues in the friendship group and the teacher thinks it's a good chance to split them from the group and encourage them to make new friends.
Whatever the reason, approach it from the point of the child is nervous about the new class as it seems the prefered friends are all in the other class. Any advice on how to deal with child? Any suggestions on friends they can be encourage to play with before the new year, maybe someone they haven't mentioned at home?
I don't think leaving it until September and waiting to see what happens is the right way to go about it. And I've worked as a teaching assistant in schools and have had many talks with parents about friendship groups.
If a young child is anxious because they know they are being split from who at home they think of as their best friends then they will be anxious going back after summer and it can cause issues with refusing to go to school or to socialise with others once there. Much easier surely to ask which friends they will be with in the new class and encourage them to play with those friends for the remainder of this term, and talk about how great it will be to see them come September.
Because the group don't work that well together?
Because the friendships aren't healthy?
Because they mess around?
Because of ability?
Lots of reasons.
Because the split might have been made on what the teachers think would result in the best learning?
I am a teacher.
I have known this to happen with friends DC - very upsetting for the child, at least at first.
I would go in and talk to the current teacher, raise your concerns, tell her she would just like to be with one of her friends, and find out if there are any reasons why they have been split like this. It could have been done on age/ability/randomly, or any other reason.
They may not move her/others but at least you might have a better idea why it has happened.
I don't imagine this decision has been made arbitrarily. There are a large number of reasons for deciding which children go into which groups let alone which classes, and very rarely are those decisions anything to do with friendship groups.
Children in Yr R and Yr 1 make friends very easily IME. It might feel sad for the children now, but they will quickly move on and make new friends in their new class. Also, they may will mix the classes up for some parts of the curriculum (happened to my DTDs all the way through primary) and no one will stop them playing together at play time.
My daughter is being split from her best friend next year. I believe the teacher said that it wasn't the most constructive friendship. Both of them work far better apart and egg each other on when there's misbehaviour going on. None of which was bad enough to merit us being informed but bad enough that the teacher decided they're better off apart next year. DD is upset but she'll have to cope. I trust that the teachers know what they're doing.
Are the other children summer born? Might they (inexplicably) just group classes based on age?
Speak to the teacher, not necessarily to change the outcome but they may be able to do a class session about moving to Y1 to reassure your DD.
I'm a teacher who has just put together new classes for next year. Before we do the classes we ask all of the children who their best friends are, and we make sure everyone is with at least 1 of the children they have chosen (we also keep this list in case any parents question it).
It always surprises me how the friendships that we see in school are completely different to those outside of school. At this time of year we start to hear 'why isn't child x with child y? they're best friends!' yet we never see these children playing together in school at all. I was once accused of 'ruining a child's life' (parent's words) because I didn't put him with 2 boys that he almost never interacted with in school.
Whatever we do someone will have a problem with it. You can speak to the class teacher about it, but please don't go in thinking you can get the classes changed. I can almost guarantee it won't happen, it would set a precedent and open up a massive can of worms.
Thanks everyone for all your responses. I am going to see the teacher tomorrow. I am not expecting the teacher to change the decision because I appreciate that it will have been a difficult task but I am going to ask what support they will have in place if she finds it difficult. I'm also going to try and arrange a play date with one of the girls who will be in her class (not at present but her mum is a friend of a friend so I know her to say hello to). DD was quite upset over the weekend but has seemed to be a bit happier this week so I am hoping that it's starting to bother her less. She has a transition day with her new class on Friday so I am hoping that goes well.
I suspect this will happen to us. Annoyingly we haven't been told of next year's teacher and won't be until August when lists have been compiled. Last year they didn't do this and kept the two classes the same but it's all change this year. D.C.'s best friend has just left so we're already upset over that. It seems very arbitrary here too. Of course, the school always knows best...
I have 3 DD's at a school that has mixed age group classes and we've been through all the different combos you can think of.
Being the oldest child in your year and yet and staying with the younger kids. Moving without their friends. Moving with their friends. Staying in one class because their sister was in the next class up. And so on.
The one thing I would say is that every single time it has been the right choice. Without a doubt. The teachers know your kids, they know how they work with their peers, they know if they need a different dynamic or work better with a different teacher. So unless you think the school are crap you need to trust them!
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