To be terrified we have made the wrong decision regarding schools.

(18 Posts)
moldingsunbeams Sun 08-Dec-13 00:14:29

We went to look at two.
One was the feeder that all her class will go to.
One was the next nearest school.

Both oversubscribed so nothing I can do now, massive waiting list for feeder school last year but she would have got in on faith, second one we would get in on distance.

They are both great schools however dd felt more comfortable at the none feeder on the visits and I felt that it would suit her better so backed her.

I am now absolutely panicking we have done the wrong thing.
DD is shy and quiet, has sen and has been an easy target for bullies.

She will know no one in year 7 although she does higher up school.

They including the teachers are starting to talk about it at school as when you go up to x school.

They have started to mention visits and choosing two children they would try and put in your class with you.

DD has since made her first close friend who is similar ability levels.

I am dreading her realising in March that not going with anyone else is real and that she has made a mistake,

fuck.

AgentZigzag Sun 08-Dec-13 00:22:30

Don't panic!

Everything will be OK smile

Your DD will make friends easily and you'll remember why you went with your gut feeling when it all pans out for the best for her.

Could you prepare her for it to be a bit odd at the start, which it's bound to be, but spin it as exciting and how the other children will be feeling the same?

Any sniff of bullying and come down on the school like a ton of bricks, same as you would do anywhere else. She should not be a target of any kind just because she doesn't know anyone there yet.

shewhowines Sun 08-Dec-13 00:22:51

Don't let her know you are worried. Remain positive and matter of fact.

It will work out. They all make new friends and there is no guarantee that she will be with this friend even if she did go to the other school. The friend may make new friends and abandon your dd, or your dd may have made new friends. You will never know now, so make the best of it and help her remember why she chose the other school.

moldingsunbeams Sun 08-Dec-13 00:29:49

Thank you both, my friends boy went up to feeder school last year and ended up with no one he knew, that affected her decision to go with the one she really wanted.

I just wish it was March, if I could definitely tell her where she was going although she is likely to get it. Its a horrible wait for a child who needs to know what is going on and when.

They used to do year 6 dance at the school but it seems to have stopped, once I know she is definitely going there I could tweet the school and ask if they are aware of any clubs the kids might go to so she could go to. We tried scouts but they were all much older none her age.

I just imagine her in the playground on her first day knowing no one and feeling insecure (she gets overwhelmed at her tiny primary) and it makes me want to sob.

Having a MASSIVE wobble.

AgentZigzag Sun 08-Dec-13 00:39:13

'I just imagine her in the playground on her first day knowing no one and feeling insecure'

My DD (13) has been through periods of this, and it's awful looking on and feeling helpless.

But schools are so much better now, they make a point of trying to make everyone feel included, without having to be asked or it pointed out to them.

They'll probably buddy her up with someone until she finds her way about, or there'll be specific places she can go if she's feeling a bit lost (at DDs school it's a unit called 'inclusion').

From a place where she was very unhappy in year 6 to her actually enjoying, yes enjoying some days at school, DD has come on in leaps and bounds now she's in year 8. Just them all growing up can do that without any intervention.

molding we've done something similar - massively oversubscribed school up the road, everyone loves it, all her friends have put their name down for it, our primary is a feeder for it. But DD chose a school 3 miles away which has not been open that long so we don't even have any historical GCSE results etc to go on - she was adamant that was the one. She won't know anyone and her insistence on it is wavering in the face of everyone talking about going to oversubscribed school up the road. Worst thing is, come March, we're probably going to end up on the waiting list for school 3 miles away making it even worse. But it was what she really really wanted, and I must admit we all loved it the minute we walked in. I think shewhowines has it right, just keep reminding our DDs of all the good things about the school actually chosen.

moldingsunbeams Sun 08-Dec-13 00:57:18

The school she has picked is great
the pastoral care was better
the facilities were amazing
they have lots more extra activities
they have a full dance studio and theatre which dd loves.
every single child in year 11 got some gcses last year.
it gets very good results.
the senco was honest with what they could and could not do
she took her name and wrote down all about dd so they had a record.
they offered her extra sessions to settle and a summer school place.

The feeder school has the best reputation and is great if your child is likely to get A stars
its old and tired and the facilities are rubbish.
I went to two open days and the senco or anyone from that department were at neither.

moldingsunbeams Sun 08-Dec-13 01:01:16

I think whats not helping is they have started to talk about it at school as their school, they have been and done sports there recently and its "when you come here"
they are talking about it in class now in preparation for secondary, they do know dd has applied elsewhere.

mrscog Sun 08-Dec-13 01:45:10

Yabu - you've made a well considered choice, and if it all goes tits up you can just look for a different school. It sounds like it will be lovely smile

OhMerGerd Sun 08-Dec-13 03:52:30

My dd was in same position on her move to secondary. She is very tall and she wore glasses and braces - enough differences to make her a target for some bitchiness years 5& 6. Was adamant she wanted to go to school 7 miles away where she was the only one from her primary attending.

1st day the reality hit. We dragged her actually kicking and screaming into the playground. As we coaxed her through gates a man came past and stared intently at her, so I mumbled something about her being extremely nervous. He said to DD ... Do you mind going in and sitting next to my daughter if I come back and point her out. They'd moved from London and his DD was also crying and nervous.

By the end of the day she had made friends with four girls who were all new to the area or who had joined as the lone child from a non feeder primary.

She says it was the best decision ever. A fresh start. She didn't have any of the baggage from primary and made a lovely group of friends. This boosted her confidence in so many ways that even if the school she went to had been lower in the league tables it was worth it to see her blossom as an individual and achieve far beyond what was expected on entry.

You and your DD gut instinct will prove right. Yes, the first day or days may be rocky but in 7 years time you'll be wondering why you ever had any doubts.

Be positive and excited for your DD and some of that will carry her through the first days.
Good luck

sanityawol Sun 08-Dec-13 04:58:43

Did this with my DD, and although quiet and shy she doesn't have SEN so we didn't have to add that into the equation.

We live an equal distance from two schools. Her primary school feeds into the other school, so she was the only one going up to the secondary that she chose.

It was absolutely the right decision. DD is now in Y8, has an excellent group of friends and had really 'grown'. She's a bright, quiet, hard worker - very much overlooked at primary school because there were several very demanding children in her class (in the 'look at me, look at me - I'm amazing' sense). Whilst GCSE results are obviously important, they also seem to care about the child as a whole and their development as a person.

As an example of how well it could go, the school has an award day at the end of summer term. I had never been to one, so had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to see that the awards were not just for the brightest and best. They covered all subjects and were given for effort, progress or achievement. My 'quiet, overlooked' DD came away with the head of house award.

As previous posters have said, be positive. We had a first day wobble, but she hasn't really looked back since then. There was also a bit of tearfulness in the evening about 6 weeks in as the friends made in the first week sort themselves out and they moved into new groups. Just had to point out that it didn't matter that the girl in question had gone off with the 'popular girls' (DD's words) as she had other friends that she has more in common with.

You say your DD knows people further up the school - I don't suppose that it operates a 'vertical tutor' system? If it does, would it be worth a call to the admin team to mention this and see if she could go in the same tutor group as them?

Hope it goes well for your DD.

Sorry for ramble - unable to sleep

Eastwickwitch Sun 08-Dec-13 06:54:19

Same issue here.
All DS1's mates went to feeder, we/he chose a different one.
He went to taster days in the summer on his own but actually recognised quite a few faces from swimm

Eastwickwitch Sun 08-Dec-13 06:55:35

Sorry. From swimming, cubs etc.
it was the right school for him & we've never regretted it.
Go with your gut instinct.

My older DD went to a grammar school with a group of about 20 girls she knew from primary. It was, and remains, a disaster (now year 8). Choosing schools is always a fraught time, you just have to do what you think is best.

moldingsunbeams Sun 08-Dec-13 13:49:26

Thank you all.I do think we have made right decision for her. I really do.

I went with my friends like your dd burning and ended up moving because it was wrong decision.

So I know its not always best thing.

Senco did not even come to either of the open days (she was on holiday for one and at a show with her dc for other and that made me feel a bit hmm about the feeder in addition to all the other stuff.

WilsonFrickett Sun 08-Dec-13 13:57:27

Senco not coming to the open day tells you everything you need to know really. Chin up, you've both made the right decision here.

Tapiocapearl Sun 08-Dec-13 14:01:28

We have chosen our DS's school on the school and not whose going there. So he probably will be going alone. In reality there will be lots of children in the same situation and he will make friends despite being quiet. I know there will be other children like him there.

NoComet Sun 08-Dec-13 15:20:12

I have a DD1 who stood on her own at a primary school were she knew everyone.

At secondary school she's still the outsider, but she goes to choir, helps in the library, could swim or play netball, has done board games.

Secondary school is different, there's lots going on. Our SEN dept. Runs drop in groups no one needs to stand around feeling lonely.

DD2 went to the same school with several friends, but now they are set she's made a totally new lot, who are lovely.

Your DD will be fine, just make sure you know what activities there are, keep in touch with the Senco and report any bullying.

Because they are very big, secondaries take pastoral care seriously, when small primaries can be dreadfully lax.

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