« If I were to post a vlog... | Main | A reassuring scene »

March 08, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I can't imagine how hard it must be to have to face all of that on your own. Have you considered home schooling for IJ? I know there are a number of people on Twitter that have experience of it. I wish I had some helpful advice to share but I don't think you have to be totally alone. So many people who read your blog and who you talk to on Twitter will be there with advice and if nothing else, a sounding board, as you go through it.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks Dawn. She is usually very happy at school, there have been no problems before and she certainly benefits from the social interaction with her peers. We would drive each other mad if we were at home with just each other for company all day. I am hoping that a chat/serious talk with her teacher should help. Obviously something has changed in school and I need to find out what it is.


Oh my oh my, lots on your plate. My nephews and neices have done their communion in year 3. I was supposed (as sunday school teacher) to get my son ready now, year 2 like IJ. He's not ready although very excited to finally 'eat the bread'. Your gut is never wrong on such matters (such as mine not to put my son into a catholic school funnily enough!)
Good luck with it all, hope it goes well with the teacher when you get to chat. It seems IJ is under a lot of pressure so send her my best wishes too xxx


This actually makes me feel physically sick. When has it become acceptable to do this to a baby, she is only 6 FFS. How can a school worry a child so much that she is this upset. Totally unacceptable. SAT's should not be allowed at this age.

I remember this time with such joy, the learning, the exploring and the playing, no extra lessons, no pressure, just being a child.

Sorry that I have nothing ppositive to add

Rosie Scribble

On the contrary, TheMadHouse, your comment is positive in that it is hugely helpful. I agree with you completely. Whatever pressure the school are putting IJ under in order to prepare her for her SATS is proving counterproductive. I shall be saying exactly that, through clenched teeth I suspect, when I see her teacher this afternoon.


Good luck Rosie, will be thinking of you this afternoon. Trust your instinct. I suspect we've got all this to come in a few years. x

Rosie Scribble

I agree, you have to go with your gut instinct, it is usually right. She has too much on her plate at six years old. It seems more sensible for all the church business to wait until next year, or even the year after that if that is best for her. I'm taking the pressure off because I don't think anyone else will xx

Rosie Scribble

Thank you. I expect her teacher is slightly nervous in anticipation of my arrival. There is nothing worse than an irrate mother stressed out because her child is upset. I will calm down and take deep breaths before setting foot in the school building!


Good for you!

We're also dealing with a Catholic school, and a lot of what you wrote I recognised so well. My problem just now is that my son DOES want to do his 1st communion.

Good luck with all of it.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks! It would be much easier if she did want to do it. It is supposed to be in three months' time, but the stress is too much. Combined with the ridiculous pressure of SATS, it seems to have become too much for her. xx


I had no idea SATS might appear in year 2. I know nothing about First Communion (don't think I can even spell it) but remember being jealous of the girls that did it because of the OTT white dresses. But they did it much older, at 10 or so. Goodness, sounds as though you've loads on your plate. Stick to your guns, and be calm, and they will hopefully listen.


Yes I'm a hundred percent with The Madhouse.

I find it unacceptable that so much pressure is put on such young children with these SATS exams.

IJ is extremely fortunate to have a mother who is prepared to stand up so strongly for her best interests.

I know what you mean when you say that it's hard on your own with no-one to back up your decisions - I find that too sometimes - you have lots of virtual support here though.

Go and give em hell! Ahem, what I mean to say is, go and state your case in a calm and assertive manner! And good luck.

mummy mania

Oh it's so hard trying to figure out what is best.... but sounds like you have it all in hand. You are right to challenge things though - only you know what is best for her, and every child needs a different approach. Keep strong! And keep us posted - it'll be one of us next.


Well done you, my eldest is at Catholic school and I was initially quite shocked how much Catholicism is pushed on the children. My husband is catholic, but I am not, so I struggle with this at times. My daughter is in Year 2 but we haven't been told when they are doing holy communion. My daughter has just told me she thinks it is year 3 or 4. Maybe you could ask if she can do it next year...when things have settled down and she has seen her friends do it.

Potty M

Good for you for standing up for her RS. I'll be thinking of you - I hope it goes well... PMx

Emily Vest

In Europe most children don't start school until 6. I have to say, I think this is a very healthy way of looking at things and can't help wondering that starting at 4 is just, well, very young really. Certainly, to be this stressed about tests at this age is ridiculous. She is at the age she should be enjoying school and school should be about her best interests.

I hope that they support her and work with you to find the best route for IJ. That is what they should be doing. But stick with it, trust your gut instinct.

I went to a Catholic school at that age, didn't do the whole first communion thing at all when everyone else was. Only thing that I really learnt from it is a deep mistrust of most things religious.

Forever Learning

Hi Rosie

I don't have children, but ...

I had major problems at school. It was a very very unhappy place for me. We all know that what happens when we are young can have a massive impact on the rest of our lives.

Go for it! Speak up for IJ - ensure changes are made at school so as she is happy. Do whatever it takes - sooner rather than later.

Well done Rosie!

Susan Mann

I don't have any experience of this and not sure what to say other than trust your instincts and stay strong. Good luck xx

1 Husband, 2 Kids

She's really lucky to have a mum to stick up for her, and put her happiness before things like first communions and SATS - for some, being seen to have children who excel would just lead them to heap even more pressure on at home. I don't know when it became acceptable to be this way about children's performance - we'd be outraged if their brought back child labour but sometimes I wonder how much difference there really is - at least chimney sweeps didn't get homework!

If I Could Escape

Keeping my fingers crossed that alls gone well. Good luck! x

Wendy Mallins

I know exactly how you feel - I go through lots of the same with girly :-(

Sally Whittle

I would be absolutely FUMING if it was me - I'm not a supporter of SATS at the best of times, I think they skew teaching and are a waste of time - but I also know lots of primary schools do them without the kids ever being aware that they're happening.

To allow a 6 year old to become stressed and pressured because of them is unconscionable, and particularly when that child has already had to cope with one move of schools and is particularly in need of a situation where she feels secure and happy. Given the circumstances, I'd be arguing for them to hold off on any extra tuition for this year at least, although not knowing the circumstances, I'm not sure if that's practical.

Hope it resolves itself, and lucky IJ to have you in her corner!


Surprise Mum

I'm happy to hold your towel.

Go girl, I do admire your courage.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, Sally. Yes, I am not happy with the situation at all. I met with two of her teachers at her school today who reassured IJ that she is doing very well in her numbers group and doesn't need to worry. What frustrates me, however, is that I know they are preparing her for SATS questions and they know that, and that is the reason IJ is find it all difficult and confusing, but no-one is prepared to mention that the word SATS. She is more settled this evening. However, by complete coincidence it is parents' evening on Wednesday so I'll be sitting across from her teacher for all of five minutes. I plan to use that time to spell out the fact that the school has to take this pressure off, it is counterproductive and I cannot have her under such high levels of stress so young. I may need to use the word SATS, in fact I know I will. We've discussed SATS before and I agree with your views completely.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, no courage needed really. It is just impossible to sit by and see my child under stress. I have to act on it although I feel it is turning me into an angry and agressive parent - the sort teachers probably hate, but I have to do something.

Rosie Scribble

Thank you, it seems very hard work at times. If it's not one thing it's something else, and on and on it goes...

Rosie Scribble

Thank you. Some progress was made with her teachers. They managed to reassure IJ that she didn't need to worry about her numbers work because she was doing well. I'm seeing them later in the week where I may have to tell them they are simply putting too much pressure on her and tell that I feel this has to be connected with her forthcoming SATS whether they are prepared to admit that or not.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment. It does seem ridiculous that pressure is put on primary school children so young. For those who seem to be particularly sensitive, like my own daughter, I see it doing nothing but harm. I hope SATS are scrapped. If this was manual labour, it would be highly inappropriate for children to be pushed so hard, in fact, it would be simply wrong.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks. I'm happy to battle on her behalf. I shouldn't have to, but I will, and I'm sure she'll be okay.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks. I agree that events that happen when you are young can have a massive impact in later years, so I'm going to nip this one in the bud and make sure changes are put in place to relieve this pressure. It may be an uphill battle but I'll battle on.

Rosie Scribble

I developed that same deep trust of most things religious too, as did most of my friends! I agree, she should be enjoying school at her age. If she hates learning now it could out her off for life and she is only six. These tests are ridiculous. I've got two meetings with her school this week. I'm on a mission to get this situation sorted out. I just can't allow her to be out under so much pressure so young.

On a lighter note, so pleased my parcel arrived and the boys like their gifts! We have the ladybirds too!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks so much PM. I'm sure this situation will get sorted out somehow, even if it means constant meetings with the school. xx

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment. I have decided she is going to do it next year and informed the school. There's no point in adding to her anxiety levels with it just yet. There is a lot of Catholicism as you say, too much in my opinion. I think in the end it just puts people off, at least that's the effect a Catholic education had on me.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment. It is a difficult one especially as at six years old she finds it difficult to tell me exactly what the problem is. Her school say she is doing well in numbers group yet it is distressing her, so I am yet to get to the bottom of the problem, but I will.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks Gappy. I've been so impressed with the amount of virtual support there is out there, it helps hugely. I nearly didn't publish this post, so pleased I did now :)

Rosie Scribble

Yes, SATS do start in year 2 which means some of the children, like my daughter, are just six years old. I feel it is just too young. She is clearly being put under pressure so I need to ensure the school take this pressure off. If it was GSCE year it would be a different matter, but it's not. Thanks for your comment.

Expat Mum

I have two kids (at least) with maths learning disabilites and they were both spotted because of extreme anxiety, so keen an eye open for that. Once mine were diagnosed and got help it was like night and day.
The only thought I had about Communion (ah memories) was that if she's the only chld in class who doesn't do it, how will that make her feel? If there are others, fine, but in my day we often had school masses where we all took Communion.

Modern Dilemma

Hello there, found you by jumping around the blogosphere as we all do & just read this post. Poor you & poor you lovely girl. I'm Catholic too so understand the pressures to conform in such a school. I refused to be confirmed at 13. That went down a storm in the 1980's, hope you get more support than I did. I also have a daughter who is not the "round peg in the round hole" at school so sympathise with your situation. My advice is to trust your gut instinct and remind teachers (especially the young ones) they have their whole careers to learn how to be a good teacher. You have one chance with your daughter to do the right thing. Stand your ground. If things don't improve demand a school referral to the Ed' Psych, its nothing to be ashamed of. Please email me if you'd like more info on procedure or just to chat about having a square peg ;-)

MD xx


oh sweeties! ((hugs)) reading this makes me feel cold all over. she's only 6! How can they induce so much anxiety in a six year old? at this age school should be a fun adventure. i hope you sort it out, well done you for standing up for her.

Rosie Scribble

Thanks Expat Mum, that is hugely helpful. My daughter sees a paediatrician every six months so I'm going to bring the subject up with her. I would not have thought of that if you had not left your comment.

As for holy communion, only a third of the class are doing it so she won't feel left out. She's never been one to follow the crowd anyway, she is a law unto herself!

Rosie Scribble

Thanks for your comment. You make a very good point about young teachers as IJ's teacher is lovely but also very young. I'm going to go with my gut instinct and point out that she is being out under too much pressure even if it makes me sound unpopular. I hadn't considered Ed Psych but will bear that in mind, and I'll hang onto your email address too, thank you x

Rosie Scribble

Thanks, Heather. I know, seeing a 6 year old experiencing this level of stress as a result of school work is ridiculous and, quite frankly, wrong. I will be reminding her teacher of that, yet again, when I see him tomorrow. It should be a fun adventure as you say. At this rate it could put her off learning for life.

Metropolitan Mum

I am kind of relieved reading this - at least there is a very clear and plausible reason for IJ's anxieties.
Good luck with the battle. You go girl!! xx Deborah


Goodness. It just doesn't get any easier does it. I'm late as usual so see you've already spoken to the teachers (heck, you've probably had parents evening by now). I think they are being far to hard on her and the fact that they won't even admit it's SATs is just ridiculous.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Cybher 2013
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...