School not helping my child
Help ! I don't think my daughter's school can keep up with her and discussion with them is not constructive
Firstly, I apologise for possibly making the worlds longest post.
My 6 year old daughter has always been bright. She is currently at a small village school and last year was in the top half of Year 1 and due to the school structure was taught in a class with year 2. She rapidly established herself as one of the most able and completed the entire year working with the most able Year 2s.
She is happy at school when soaking up new learning, but things went wrong on 2 occasions last year.
Firstly when there was a change of teacher, it took 3 weeks and 4 visits from us to the school before the new teacher was willing to put her with the more able year 2s again. During this time she was bored, unhappy and develped obsessive compulsive behaviours
Secondly in July when the schools are backing off form academic work. This was horrendous. Hannah came home from school and all you could see in her face was fury. She was unable to get herself under control or to communicate effectively at this point. To give some idea how bad it was I frequently had to restrain her to put her to bed with her screaming "I hate my life. I wish I was dead". Her doctor wanted to dose her with Prozac.
It was only after the end of the school year that we were able to find out from her that it was due to boredom and frustration at school.
We have always been concerned about Year 2 as she will be staying in the same room and now be taught with the other children in her year group plus some of those from the year below. The school just keep saying they will make provision to deal with her.
First day back this year and the work consisted of writing the numbers from 1 to 20 (over the summer she was adding up 7 digit numbers) and writing a wish on a cardboard star. Her wish was "I wish I was in a higher class so that I could do harder work". That night we could start to see the effect of a days boredom on her.
We made an appointment to see her teacher and the head yesterday and we approached everything from the unhappy child point of view rather than as pushy parents. They offered nothing other than the same bland assurances that I no longer believe. I know the school will not move her up to the class containing Year 3 and some of Year 4 but I asked about the possibility of her just doing numeracy and literacy with the year 3/4 class and other subjects back with those in her own year groups.
This request was met with some pathetic objections all of which were shot down -
She will mark herself out as different from her peers which could result in bullying. [She has already marked herself out as different (but still has sme good friends) and she was bullied last year anyway to some extent]
She hasn't accomplished all year 2 objectives [Has any child that you have just put up to year 3]
If she goes up to the higher class then she will be pushed towards the year 4 objectives [Why is that a problem ? She likes to be pushed and she needs those tougher targets to aim for. i thought they were objectives and not limits]
She's not really that bright - her report was just a snapshot and doesn't reflect her true ability [if she was that capable when that snapshot was taken then it menas she must be AT LEAST that capable. Also the text of the report backs up the fact that she has left her year group well behind.
She only wants to go up to be with her friends [her 3 best friends are in her current year group and the bully is in the year above]
In short the school want her to repeat a year of her education and don't care about the effect this will have on her happiness or welfare.
I asked about facilities outside the school for gifted and talented children and were told that basically there are none.
The school has a gifted and talented policy but this is simply a waste of paper - apparently 10% of children in the school are marked as G&T but the choice does not seem to relate to academic ability and the policy does not mention anything that will be done for the children identified that is not already available for all children. In short a worthless policy obviously designed to put a tick in a box somewhere. Surprisingly though the head didn't even mention the policy.
I am at a total loss as to where to go next and would appreciate any help or advice. The web seems awash with sites offereing the sorts of bland statements that I heard too many of yesterday but nothing of real use.
Changing schools is going to be a big problem due to 2 schools in my area being closed/merged meaning that all but the absolute worst schools are at capacity.
We are looking at private schools but we have 2 other children (1 and 3) and the 3 year old at least is also very bright (already reading and doing simple maths) and we really can't afford 2 or 3 lots of fees. In fact its questionable whether we can afford 1 lot.
I really don't like the idea of home tutoring. However I would rather have a happy child lacking some of the social skills that are developed as school than the child I get home from school when she is bored. However I have no idea how to go about starting to home tutor. Can anybody point the way to some basic info ?
Please, any help, advice or pointers to other information would be gratefully received. I know I should be happy and proud of my child but at the moment I am just scared for her happiness and mental wellbeing.