Does the school not have trained peer supporters? A lot of schools do. They could be used to help her and the year group. In any event at the start of the September term the school should be doing a lot of activities to create a friendly secure atmosphere and address bullying and relationships. November is national Anti-Bullying week and schools tend to start preparing now. We offer lots of help and advice at www.bullyinginterventiongroup.co.uk/bighelp.php
You mention that she has challenged racism, perhaps the school could use the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech for some group work on looking at racism? At BIG Award we prefer this type of group intervention, encouraging other members of the class to openly say they dislike racism or bullying or discrimination. Your daughter will hear some like minded people speak up. This can give her ideas of who to make efforts with. She can find people with her values by listening. There are lots of group activities that challenge young people to be their best selves and turn their backs on the bullying girls.
An update! Poor DD never settled and we've pulled her out. She's left for the summer and is starting at a day school in September. The relief is palpable, she survived and she saw me being a terrier standing up to the school, pointing out that they weren't helping and should be. She also stuck it through to the end and will have 'something to show for it' examswise. Thank you for your earlier advice.
Piggery she's very London, very politically engaged, and has come across as worthy and not fun. I'm sure if a word for word transcript of the original convo could be examined lots of people would say she should have kept her head down, it was very much jokes about Chinese people eating dogs, when challenged, claiming they couldn't be racist as they had black friends, etc. All this happened on the first day. While I've been fretting, two positive things have happened- 1) email from dd asking for something for an event on Friday she was planning on not attending and 2) I've emailed the housemistress following Dewe's busy suggestion.
Your poor DD. Is the school not doing more though? You say she challenged snobbishness and racism. Now the snob thing might be misjudged, it's easy to come across as chip on your shoulder when you're anything but, and raking it over might not be a good idea, depends on the details.
But she challenged racism and now she's being ostracised ?? I think the school should be having a proper big talk with its pupils who thought they could make racist comments with impunity, and championing your DD who despite being new, stood up for her beliefs, and doing its utmost to get your DD integrated. Very hard to make a come back when you don't have support of old friends or routines to boost you.
I think this can be the time in the academic year when everything starts to feel a bit bleugh for teenagers. It's getting dark. Christmas is still a bit off. They tend to work them very hard. I've noticed that things often kick off around now.
Agree about the clubs. And gently discouraging phone contact. When my teenage daughter was on a French exchange last year we had constant texts detailing how homesick she was, etc. I think it just reinforced the feelings. In the end I told her not to text me more than once or twice a day unless there was a serious problem. I felt really mean but it did force her to throw herself into things a bit more.
Thank you- it doesn't sound nasty, I think that is what's going on. Bloody phones. The idea about jobs and clubs is excellent. I'm going to email the housemistress and ask her to keep her busy. Thank you for answering! I've also posted in chat as I was impatientstewing!
Well done to her for challenging them on that though.
When you say she "isolates" do you mean that she's basically avoiding socialising with them even when out? My dd1 (year 7)does that, and also she's dreadful on the "not doing something she's not keen on/something new so she can be part of a group". So she'll be invited to something and she'll say "no" because she doesn't particularly want to do it. After a few times of saying "no" she won't be asked, and she finds herself on the outskirts of the group because they're socialising without her.
What I do find with dd1 is that clubs are great for her. Because she finds like minded people, and they're doing something together. Or being asked to do a "job" with someone. Last year she was put on office duty with someone she didn't like due to reputation. She came home in tears, not sure if she would even turn up. A couple of weeks later and she was very friendly with the girl, and wondering why she'd every worried about it.
Could the housemistress find some sort of "job" she does with someone else who potentially also needs a friend? That she's expected to do for say an hour a week, or a short period each day.
Are there any clubs? Even one that she might not have thought of joining. Even if she doesn't make a close friend there, then there's nothing like being part of a group with a common aim. Again, see if the housemistress can get her along with something specific she is needed to do.
And finally. Going sound nasty, but is the fact she can spend the time in her room on the phone to you meaning she's not feeling she needs to get out there? Friend with a child at college found he was spending a lot of time on his phone in his room in the first term. He didn't have the need to go out and make new friends because he was always chatting to his old ones. Phone "accidently" got damaged just before the start of the next term, and he had to go back without it for a couple of weeks. Within a week he'd made new friends and joined a couple of clubs. When he got his phone back, he didn't revert to phoning, he stayed with his new friends.
First experience of bullying ever, with 3 dcs and 7+schools! DD is 16 and boarding. All new girls, but she hit the ground running, clashing with a couple. Now she seems to be completely ostracised doesn't come out of her room except for lessons. It's her 'fault' insofar as she won't let certain things go- so on the first day when they were all grandstanding, she made herself v unpopular by challenging some snobbiness and racism. She also isolates- head down and trying not to cry. I've told school, and she's had lots of chats wih housemistress who really bolsters her; she comes out happier but it doesn't last. I think because of her age, it has to come from her, but I'm struggling to support her with techniques. Any advice!