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Worried about going to school


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Hi All

One of our little ones is moving to school in September. No one else is going to the same school. He has been to visit his teacher twice and we did invite her to visit at pre-school but they felt that they didn't have time, with it only being one child.

Over the past few weeks, us and his mum have noticed a huge change in his behaviour. He will not listen to anything he is told, started biting other children and even threw his brothers shoes out of a moving car window! He is usually a lovely, well behaved little boy. He has come on in leaps and bounds with us, having started with us not being able to speak and having input from the sen inclusion service.

I had a chat with him earlier on in the week and asked why he was not being good and he said "I've just had enough of big school now. I went once, and then again and I've had enough. I want to stay at playschool with you and my friends".

We set up a role play school with uniforms and books bags etc. which he loved and we have provided lots of reassurance that he will like big school and we will still like him and he can visit us etc. I have also informed mum of our chat.

Has anyone got any other advice on how we can support this little one for the last 2 weeks at pre-school?

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No mum wouldn't go for that. Also, academically he is very ready for school (40-60mth age band across the board). I think he will be fine once he gets there and makes new friends.

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With our nervous children, we made a book of photos of school, classroom, teacher, main hall, dining room, toilets, playground even the head master, which we could then share with the child as a kind of story book, it helped when they could 'tell the story' of their school to us and the other children. One school emailed the photos to us and we visited others to take the photos

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He might have had just two visits but I bet every other sentence is 'when you go to big school...'

September is such a long way off but every day its school, school, school. I'd leave off. Completely ignore it, put away everything to do with school and pretend he's just started with you with all the care and opportunities to explore. In 10-12 weeks time he'll be much more able to handle it. :)

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I'm inclined to think Rea has the answer, I think sometimes for some children too much can be made of transition and the continual talking about it can set up fears that would not otherwise have been on the agenda.

However, I wonder if there is any mileage in you taking him for a visit?

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he said "I've just had enough of big school now. I went once, and then again and I've had enough. I want to stay at playschool with you and my friends".

 

I would have said "you will really love Primary school, but remember you are not going for a really long time anyway".......

Poor little love - we see so much of this at this time of year.......all so confusing for a four year old - everyone, but everyone talking about 'Big' school it all builds up unnecessary anxiety.......

As Rea suggested I would put the school role play away and concentrate on providing him with all the opportunities that he most enjoys.......I would also suggest to mum that she keeps the talk of his transition to a minimum at home and 'shields' him from well meaning friends and family who might also talk non stop about it :1b

Really wish we could drop the 'Big' and use 'Primary' school.......use of 'big' in this context is not helpful in my humble........

He needs to have a little 'rest' from this 'pressure' - enjoy his last couple of weeks with you and the lovely long summer hols and by then he will (hopefully) be far less 'stressed' and eager for the new and exciting challenges that his transition will provide :1b

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Having just chatted to wildflower regarding the disruption caused by change i wonder if we should not be doing some more research in to this? How soon is too soon to introduce a change to a child? what is the emotional benefit/drain of school visits for transition? Do we really expect children to embed all that new information in one or two visits and retain it for more than 8 weeks?

 

Perhaps we need a change of thinking here?????

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Yes, I agree. Also, now schools only do one intake in September, there is always going to be that gap of the long summer break. So we do all the preparation, the visits, the 'going to school' stories, the dressing up in school uniforms and role playing. Then we have to say "School is closed, you're not going for a couple of months"!

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I remember when my eldest daughter was going to school. We had bought her new uniform and got her to model it for the grandparents. One of them asked why she had the new clothes and she stood there with her hands on her hips looking very angry. She said, 'Because I'm going to school. And do you know how I know that? Because everyone keeps going on about it!' Then she stomped out of the room. We got the message!

 

Finleysmaid, you make an excellent point.

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As a school we have one morning when children spend time with me for a couple of hours. If I know where they're coming from and I can fit it in I go to visit their pre-school. Sometimes I have a phone conversation about children with someone from the pre-school. This year this accounts for about half the cohort, usually it's less. I have always felt guilty that we didn't do more transition work. Having read this I don't feel so bad anymore. I have to say that the vast majority have been fine in September. Those that aren't are frequently not the ones I was anticipating and whatever happens we work with it at the time. 8 weeks is a hugely long time in their lives and I am often surprised by just how much they have 'grown up' over the summer!

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We've had children going to schools where they have spent one afternoon a week for the last half of term. That has been unsettling for us because the child no longer has been part of 'us' and we've had to put up with the 'I'm big and you're small' talk. I've felt that some schools have been rather self-centred - as our work is to be there for them. The children are theirs when they are there!

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8 weeks is a hugely long time in their lives and I am often surprised by just how much they have 'grown up' over the summer!

Pre-schools I am sure find this. When we come back in September, the children seem to have grown in stature and maturity (well sometimes maturity), but they are certainly different to the children we had in the July. I often think as I work on my Learning Journeys that we don't always see this stunning progression because we are observing them all the time and think that nothing is really changing very quickly.

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Perhaps we need a change of thinking here?????

We sooooo do - I have been thinking that for years........

It's all so horribly confusing for such young children.....

Wonder how much of the 'planning' is to do with finances?

I would so much rather have these children back with us for the start of the autumn term and then begin the transition process then......

Even if the 'powers that be' agreed this - how would it all work in terms of funding - for us and for schools???

I find it so sad to see some of our extremely happy, confident 'leavers' take a huge 'down-turn' because they are feeling confused and 'insecure' - it's all so unnecessary as most of them will settle beautifully into Primary school when the time comes......

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We have been taking out nursery children in small groups in to the reception areas to play for about 6 weeks now- just 30-40 mins each time once a week. Has worked really well. So when they went in for the whole morning this week all together, there was no stress. Will definitely do that again.

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perhaps if pre-school opened a week early in september and closed a week early in dec then this would work

 

We have been taking out nursery children in small groups in to the reception areas to play for about 6 weeks now- just 30-40 mins each time once a week. Has worked really well. So when they went in for the whole morning this week all together, there was no stress. Will definitely do that again.

You are very lucky to be able to do this...i feed in to about 9 schools a year so just not possible

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perhaps if pre-school opened a week early in september and closed a week early in dec then this would work

 

 

You are very lucky to be able to do this...i feed in to about 9 schools a year so just not possible

Yes we are. But as we are a nursery class in a maintained primary school, there is no excuse about making sure transition is as smooth as possible. It is my responsibility as eyfs lead, as we have everything at our fingertips to promote a smooth transition. But this is the first year we have done it in this way, and it definitely worked better. Little and often is our motto.

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