I am going through 11+ and 10+ process at present, I would like to hear some advice on Tips ( if there any) re: getting a reference from primary school, where I did not managed to get the best relationship in the previous year when she became a Head teacher.
Apologies, it is rather long-winded but I though it is essential to grasp the background if someone is there to share an advice, opinion, an experience….
My both children’s last year reports are good, however….. I feel I did not started well with current young and ambitious head-teacher who took over a couple years ago as a large proportion of children in her class got into private school (we are a state school with ambitious parents I would say). I work full time - not a choice – I must; so being part of school PTA driving force – as much as I would have loved, it is out of questions for me….
Being able to work for myself in the last year helped tremendously with children's after school activities being more productive (instead of afterschool club) and to add time for tutoring. Their confidence increased and math and overall, desire to learn, paying gmore attention to the work they produce - increased.
My eldest ( in year 6 now) did not made it to the highest group in Math by the year 3, so he is in the middle somewhere still - all places were occupied by others since year 3..In fact, last year three children were moved from top performance math group in the beginning of the year, prompting one mother to take her child out of school to another school (where her D is the highest performer in Math). One parent decided to be quiet ( yet her child, I learned got 232 in the Tiffin exams just gone, yet four of the children in the class, who also sat Tiffins got 218-225 points – I know it is VR and NVR not math tested there, but still…), the third person challenge the school and after three meeting and her husband ( Private School education) they reinstated their daughter.
So, this was last year. When I also have a misfortune (being under the pressure of my employer in the last stages of the project I was delivering I guess, at an expense of relying on extended school club and sitters for my children) I wrote a complain to school last Autumn asking why after 3 years of music tutoring at the school ( teacher was a third party) the teacher is not put none of my children through Grade 1 ( even though they already on grade 2 and 3 respectively on other instrument taught outside the school).
The truth is – their Dad, my ex, complained in an email to school back 3 years how bad that teacher was with my youngest ( who said to his dad – he does not want to do it). Sad as it is, instead of admitting it to myself, that this might something to do with children not being put forward for grade 1 exams – I wrote to school saying that this is ridiculous – 3 years and not even one was put forward for grade 1. So here I believe my sage began.
The result was – the school did not challenge my elder son ( who in my personal opinion, although more rounded then the younger son, academically needs to be challenged rather than picking his books and reading ( as the youngest who last year picked up and read The Hobbit), perhaps because they have already challenged three people in his class, and the lady who left the school was a single working mother like me….
The school challenged my youngest – with 3 cards for misbehaviour being given within 3 weeks’ time in September After my letter re- music, calling me and my ex to see Headmistress, which happened in November.
I was told on that meeting, that apparently my son ‘also lashed out on someone at a playground ‘ back in July whilst in the afterschool club.
It was a pointless meeting – my cards were marked, my ex just happy to agree with the others and that everything his children doing with me is over-doing (although he is blind for me working and everything ££).. The Headteacher ‘hinted’ that she is also aware that I was asking other parents about an alternative music tuition…. Leaving along pause….At the time of a meeting – having learned that both ‘alternative’ pulled to after initially quoting their welcome, I had already found someone who miraculously played on 4 instrument sand took both my children and fitted us in.
Anyway, all went quite until in Spring my eldest (who voluntarily spent his pocket mines to buy The Hobbit and reading it non stop) was picked by his teacher that his comprehension is poor and that I should read more with him…ETC…
My eldest sons report ‘ was not to bad – borderline ‘good@, however having witnessed ‘the competition’ for the top math group – I ahd to write and got a confirmation tha he will be starting school in he top group , that ‘ he was in the top performing group all year – something report does not highlights.
Having visited a fee- paying school on their Open Day (with the view that if my sons performs well on exams – I could apply for a bursary) - I overheard how important it is current school reference is. One lady asked a question – what to do if …. And the reply from the school rep was – its best to meet with the current Headmistress and to let her know what your goals are.
So, Shall I call for a brief meeting with the Headmistress?
What would I say to the Headteacher re- reference? Her objective at present- is fundraising to expand the school.
You know what I am concern about – there is a way of saying good and downplaying things ( just like it was with my youngest Maths abilities in the report. He done 10+ Latymer papers and got all correct, the other paper – he done 2 wrong).
It is hard to miss when the PSA member winning ‘ holidays to Barbados’ and etc in the lottery. I am all for people being remunerated for what they do for schools. But somehow you just know – their kids will get a sound-reference as well as perks, yet where it leaves someone like me?
Any tips on how best to conduct the meeting with the Head ( or not conduct at all).
Shall I call a meeting with the head teacher or not? If I do what three sentences should I say / or how it best to conduct the conversation in the light of the last year.
Or shall I just leave it to the good fortune in the hope that the reference will be ‘ not too bad’.
Apologies for long-winded ‘story’. I really appreciate any advice.
Many Thanks, SM