DD's reception class 90% boys - will this be a problem?

(48 Posts)
hattyyellow Tue 23-Apr-13 10:32:33

Bit worried. Youngest daughter starts school in September and she will be one of only 2 girls in a class of 15. She's never really clicked with the other little girl who will be starting, this little girl will also be heading off to prep school at 7 years old.

DD is a girlie girl, ballet and fairies etc - unlike my other children who are much more tomboyish.

A lot of the little boys starting are very lively summer borns and much as they are really lovely little boys, my immediate concerns are (1) the class being very noisy and unruly and a lot of time being spent calming down the children (2) DD not having that close female friendship that many little girls have at primary school (I know that does come with lots of falling outs too!)

I'm more than happy for her to play with boys, the princess thing is inherent in her rather than created by me. But I feel sad that she won't have many girls to play with and that she will be left out.

Any advice/experiences very much appreciated.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:27:41

how old are the older DC? No chance of them walking to school while you drive the younger one elsewhere? I pulled my DD1 out of her original primary as she was one of only 4 girls and even that wasn't enough.

jamtoast12 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:28:46

In my dds reception class there is very much a divide between the boys and girls... My dd wouldn't play with the boys and all the kids are the same! And they are in equal numbers.

If they do mix in year one, she will still be the new girl which may or may not be a good thing. I'd have to move her I think which is a nightmare given you have siblings in there. Such a hard situation. My dd1 is 8 and is in a reading group with 2 boys and her teacher said she reads totally different in class (no expression) etc because she is so shy in front of them. I'd ask the teacher what they could do but would be very unhappy with the idea.

I was one of 3 girls in reception in a year group of 48ish. I loved it but was moved to a girls school for year 1. I found the move very hard as I went from being 'special' to being one of lots of girls and moving into existing friendship groups. If you anticipate needing to move your DD at a later stage then this could be a consideration. Otherwise it sounds like it is for one year only, until going into mixed age classes and reception isn't a bad year to do it as there is less "boys smell" and "I hate girls" at this younger age.

Dusteverywhere Tue 23-Apr-13 12:33:09

Agree with you Llareggub. Think it is better, ideally, to see all the children as individuals and hopefully both in Hattyyellow's DD's case and in my DD's case the teacher will have great strategies for integrating children properly.

In my mind though, it all boils down at the end of the day to the fact I have a little girl who lives in a world of pink, purple, flowers and butterflies who has come to enjoy these things herself and have her own opinions on them (we've not led her in this at all!) and just generally enjoys the company of girls. She likes boys, but will always play with girls out of preference. Just want her to be happy.

I think that in a small school this often happens. At my primary there were two boys in a class of 12.

Fwiw my own dd is in year 1 and her dear friend is a boy. She calls him 'the best boy ever' grin

Oh and at least your dd will have strong chance of playing either Mary or Gabriel in the nativity grin

Quenelle Tue 23-Apr-13 12:37:01

Out of interest, why are there so many boys vs girls? My son's preschool is very boy-heavy, so the attached lower school's next Reception year will be too. Are these examples just random accidents? Or is there a statistical significance?

I went to a small primary school too - 8 in my year group, two girls, six boys. I didn't really click with the other girl. I tended to play at break with girls in the year above or below. In class I was sat according to my ability with two boys so didn't have to sit with the girl in my year. After reception we were put in larger classes - three year groups to a class and I sat with my friends. I loved it.

One summer the girl in my year and I (probably Y5 equivalent) had a lovely summer biking around the country and looking after a sick pigeon but when we got back to school it was back to normal so I did play with her on occasion.

kaytola Tue 23-Apr-13 12:55:06

This is very interesting as my daughters nursery class is very top heavy boys and the school that I work at has another very boy heavy nursery. This will obviously spill into reception classes - I think there will be about 15 girls out of a cohort of 53 for Septemeber.

I'm not unduly concerned about the sheer number of boys but it does seem a bit strange that lots and lots of schools are boy heavy this year.

ryanboy Tue 23-Apr-13 15:08:06

Ha ha only a problem for the teacher!!
My DD is one of only 2 girls in her yr group of 9. I have to say 2 girls is infinitely preferable to 3!
Seriously don't worry she will play with children from the other year groups too

lljkk Tue 23-Apr-13 16:15:10

It doesn't matter in reception, their friendship tribal rules about gender aren't that fixed yet.

Come y2 the odds are that more girls will have come to the school, or she will have found her own way.

Chocovore Tue 23-Apr-13 18:24:43

My son is in y2 and there are 21 boys and 9 girls. I really feel for the girls tbh. Everything is focussed on engaging the boys - dinosaurs, machines etc. and a lot of things (particularly treats) are decided by voting. The boys always pick the DVDs of interest to them, the poor girls never got Angelina Ballerina!

hattyyellow Wed 24-Apr-13 09:43:11

Thanks so much for all your thoughts and experiences, all really helpful. And it made me smile re her chances of playing Mary/Gabriel in the nativity!

Went to find reception teacher yesterday but she wasn't there, so hoping to catch her later in the week.

More worrying news yesterday though, caught up with the dad of the other little girl who is due to be starting to get their thoughts on the ratio. They are thinking of sending her to prep school now, rather than 7 years as was the case for her big brothers. Spoke to mum in the current reception class, there are only 4 girls in that class - so even when they twin it will still be very boy dominated.

Feel so sad for DD sad

Trying to remember that life throws up unexpected things all the time and that other girls may move here in the summer etc.

irisha Wed 24-Apr-13 10:09:53

We had this experience and had to move DD after reception. There were 4 girls in a class of 16 and she didn't really click with any of them. But the main thing was not even that, but the concern you raise - boys very boisterous and noisy, lots of rough and tumble games, DD just never felt comfortable and at ease. We moved her for Yr1 to a different school with 50/50 gender balance and she loved it.

That said, other girls seemed to be OK (many of them had brothers there - it was a pre-prep until 8+). So may be your daughter will be OK, especially given she has siblings there. You need to make sure she is not overlooked by the teacher in a class of lively boys - it's likely they'd be getting a lot more attention just to keep them on track.

Bramshott Wed 24-Apr-13 10:12:46

Oh that's a shame about the other girl. Still, lots could change between now and September, and now and the end of Reception.

To a certain extent gender imbalance is par for the course with small schools (like mixed classes) and if you want to support your local, small school you have to suck it up, or at least try it out and see if there's a problem.

Fingers crossed that either the other girl's family reconsiders, or another girl moves into the village before Sept, and that it all works out well.

vikinglights Wed 24-Apr-13 10:58:54

Don't panic until you have talked to the teacher /headteacher to see if they have any plans in place. These things aren't unknown in small schools.

And that IS important because it also changes the way the kids react to them and the group dynamics. I see from comments further up the thread (and truely believe) that other people have experienced firm gender divides from age 5/6. But thats not my experience, our school is small and there is no room for that kind of devisiveness.

Last night an 8 year old boy called round to play with my 7 year old DD. She was out but he and my 5 year old DD had a whale of a time. I've been so conditioned to this small school mentality that I feel sorry for the kids coralled in 'year groups' now blush

hattyyellow Wed 24-Apr-13 11:02:40

Thanks all.

I think you're right Viking, our small school also does have a great family feeling as a school - my older DC were playing with some reception children at breaktime yesterday - with the number of years between them making no difference. That cheers me up. Yes, hoping teacher will have some words of wisdom..

Agree with Viking I was pals with all the boys in my small school and can still play a bloody good game of football as a result of my primary school years.

The benefit being that my DSs think I'm cool when I'm not being embarrassing

I feel sorry for my DSs as they were/are at a large primary where girls and boys segregate themselves by gender.

hattyyellow Wed 24-Apr-13 17:34:23

Thanks tea, yes hopefully she will be brilliant at football!

Seeing teacher on Friday so hopefully will gain some more reassurance then.

seeker Wed 24-Apr-13 17:38:52

"Agree with Viking I was pals with all the boys in my small school and can still play a bloody good game of football as a result of my primary school years.

The benefit being that my DSs think I'm cool when I'm not being embarrassing

I feel sorry for my DSs as they were/are at a large primary where girls and boys segregate themselves by gender."

But isn't that segregating by gender- by virtue of the girls joining in with the boys? I always remember one of the Famous Five boys- not Julian, the other one, saying admiringly to George that she was "almost as good as a boy"

BooksandaCuppa Thu 25-Apr-13 22:24:29

I'm not saying I wouldn't be concerned if it seems she will now be the only girl in her year; but it really is true that at very small schools not only do the children play up and down with different year group members, but also that the 'only playing with your own sex' thing can kick in a lot later, if it does at all.

Ds's primary had an average of 10 children per year group and he always played with a mixture of ages and sexes. In year 6 his main playmates were a yr 5 boy, a yr 2 boy and TWO yr6 girls. My sister has just moved her children from a much larger primary to this small one and is delighted that her girls (yr 5 and 3) are now playing with boys again.

I think with how lovely your school sounds and how happy you've been with it thus far, I would think very hard about moving her somewhere else without even trying it.

Sorry I missed seekers question - it didn't feel like the playground was segregated by gender. I chose to play football, i had other play options - girls and boys in other years. I remember clearly believing, and the boys agreeing, I was second best at football in the school (all 46 of us wink) .They wanted me to join in. I'm still in touch with four of the six boys 30 years on.

My DSs on the other hand look slightly shocked when I ask whether girls play football with them. After Y3 at their primary there is little playing with children of the opposite sex. I feel sorry for them missing out and for the girls missing out on a) extra pals and b) games they might want to take part in because the unwritten playground rules are they belong to one sex or the other.

In my opinion small schools don't have the same issue.

hattyyellow Mon 29-Apr-13 10:55:10

Thanks so much all, some encouraging experiences. Spoke to teacher this morning and she said she could see why it bothered us, but that she would try her hardest to integrate DD - making sure that topics weren't too boy dominated by activity or voting and that a fair number of topics would be unisex -ie water/the sea etc.

She also said she had a number of boys in reception each year who were quite happy to dress up as princesses during any dressing up/imaginary play in class so DD may well have some princess friends after all! smile

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