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School refuser ~ school is blaming it on us

Discussion in 'Primary' started by jo_bob, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Thank you for this comment ~ the school have never said anything like this to us!
    We don't want to withdraw him permanenly from collective worship. Although we aren't regular church goers ourselves, we do believe that it is a good thing for our son to take part in. We were told that there are other non-faith schools that we could take our son to as an alternative! At the end of all this, the inclusions manager keeps going on about fath, but they don't seem to be very Chrisitan in their approach to our issue!
     
  2. Apologies for the typos in my previous message [​IMG]
     
  3. quietlydetermined

    quietlydetermined New commenter

    I worked with a school phobic child whilst working as a TA last year, and assemblies were a particular issue. We started by standing outside the hall where we could hear the assembly and moved a bit closer week by week. Eventually we had him sitting in the hall but right next to the exit so that he could leave if it became too loud or overwhelming for him. For the boy I worked with continual targets were incredibly powerful; I found that if we simply praised what he was doing he took that as good enough and then panicked if later down the line another step was suggested. He needed to know that the final aim was to sit in assembly and that we were completing steps towards that.

    I also think it is worth mentioning that I found that he reacted worse if his parents were there. Obviously this may not be the case for your son, but I do think it is important that he recognises that from 9am (or whenever school starts) that it is school time - could a member of staff sit with your son and work towards these goals instead of your husband? That way the school could take ownership for your son going in to assembly and then will recognise that you are not keeping him out for anti-religious reasons!
     
  4. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    If the school won't provide a member of staff for this, maybe between you and the school you could find a volunteer who would help with all this? It sounds a tough thing for either of you to be stuck with as it precludes full-time work.
    Just some vague ideas here, but maybe you could get some help from your local Parent Partnership to negotiate something along these lines with the school if they are not initially welcoming of the idea?
    Certainly at our school I am sure there are some parents who are not working who would be more than happy once they have dropped their own children off to work with you and the school and your son until 9:45 each morning; maybe a parent with a child at the bottom end of the school?
    Has your son's education suffered from lack of attendance or have you made up for it at home? If it has, you could justifiably use the half hour of assembly time with some one to one volunteer time in maths, english etc. Even if the school cannot find a parent volunteer, there are volunteer bureaus and other organisations (e.g. Volunteer Reading Help) who could provide someone to meet your spec.


     
  5. lilykitty

    lilykitty New commenter

    Your son is making fantastic progress, so I hope this confusion with the inclusion manager gets sorted out. The suggestions other posters have made about moving slowly towards joining assembly in little steps all sound like good advice. Personally though, joining in with assemblies would come a long way down my list, with the first priority being for him to spend increasing amounts of time in lessons, and then building his confidence so he can enjoy playtimes with his peers.
    Perhaps you could try and arrange for RE to be one of the lessons he is in school for? This might mean the school need to move things about a bit, but then it would be down to the inclusion manager to decide how important they felt it was.
    I hope things continue to improve for your son, and he recognises how much he has achieved so far.
     
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yes and eating with others would come high on my list of priorities too, relative to assembly. And I'm very pro-assembly. Our schools must be complete opposites - I was cross (but I didn't say anything) because they kept my daughter out of assembly one day to complete some homework despite the fact she I had explained why she had not done it and she already got 100% in the relevant test at school - and that's a church school too which I chose partly because I wanted a Christian assembly.
    So good luck. Won't it be fantastic if you've got this issue sorted by secondary school. It sounds like you are well along the way.
    Assembly or not, your son will presumably feel much better within himself once he has cracked parting with parents and going into school at the same time as the others.
    It seems a shame it is taking so long to get some external advice from other children's services. Is this something that a good EWO has some helpful advice on?

     
  7. Thanks for the advice. We do have an EWO and FLO working with us. Also, our son is happy in classes, has some very good friends at the school, and is making good progress. He's a bright lad, and does work at home if he's not at school. He has made such good progress with his attendance, and is a different child to the one we had to deal with a few months ago. His anxiety used to start on Sunday morning before school on Monday, with tears and stress and sleepwalking. I just wish the school would acknowledge how far we've come, rather than pushing straight away for the next step of assembly!
     
  8. I too have sympathy with the school ~ they realise that our son is happy for the majority of the day, apart from assembly. It certainly seems a good idea to have him sit near the door, but the shool won't do this; they also won't let my husband sit in assembly. I realise that it is difficult for the school to deal with our son's quirks, whilst the other children see that he is getting different treatment during the school day. I suppose it will have to be a 'suck it and see' situation this term in order to assess how long this behaviour will go on for. I'm just pelased that his attendance has improved beyond our expectations, he's making good progress and he's enjoying the rest of his school day.
     
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Can your husband drop your son and leave. If your son can't manage assembly he could sit by himself rather than with his father. This will appease the school and will maybe make your son want to try really hard to manage assembly? At the moment your son has no reason to challenge himself to do something hard as the easy option is still open to him.
     
  10. flickaz

    flickaz New commenter

    So how on earth do they expect him to gain the confidence to go in there then? [​IMG] I'd suggest it to them again and ask what their alternative idea would be.
     
  11. Hello there

    It seems clear that the head has no understanding of what a panic attack is. What did the head say when you explained it to him/ her?

     
  12. is he really the only child who needs some special organisation to his school day? no child with socialisong issues who needs to be supervised at break? no child who needs to leave lessons for one to one tuition ever? no child with particular medical needs that need separate treatment at times?
    wow - what a lucky school

     
  13. I agree with you here.... when I think of the 'quirks' that I have to deal with at my school, I get even more frustrated about my son's school! I don't think it helps that I have a 'parent' head on alongside my 'teacher' head....
     
  14. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I sympathise with both the school and you. I think though sometimes school's fears about treating one child differently from another can go a bit far e.g. I can't imagine every child wanting their parent in assembly every day just because your son does. By this kind of age children are starting to want their parents to disappear and don't want to be marked out as different.
    I hope you get something sorted soon that works for all parties as you son will certainly be chuffed with himself when he parts with his parents at the same time as everyone else. It's a pity the school assembly isn't at some other point in the day. This would get over the problem!!
    Does your son have particular friend at the moment who if he played with before school he could just naturally wander into school with and bypass this particular hiccup by a completely different route? Or a before school club which is quiet and has a small number of children in it some of whom he knows well?
     

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