Join in here if your PFB is off to secondary school in September or if you have any advice for thew newbies

(331 Posts)
ChippyMinton Sun 12-May-13 10:10:23

DS is obviously taking it all in his stride and I am quietly fretting investigating the practicalities of high school life. Anyone want to join me?

aliasjoey Tue 14-May-13 14:56:17

You mean on the practice days in July, they have to get themselves there just as though it was the Real Thing? shock

I feel like an idiot for assuming they would be taken by the primary school!

scaevola Tue 14-May-13 14:58:19

Ah yes, the weight of bags!

They have lockers at the school, but DS seem to carry everything with them all the time, ('it's easier, Mum') and combined text books weigh a frigging ton.

I have to take my son as he is a placing request but the other kids go with their class if it isn't all day or just turn up as they would do in High school if it is an all day thing

Not enough lockers at our school - they have about 300 for 800 kids

No1 son was too late last year and still none available - asked yesterday about seeing If I could get one for my two to share - at end of day, they get a lift most of the time well all the time so far so I guess others have a greater need.

Asheth Tue 14-May-13 15:04:27

Signing in! My PFB starts in September as well. It's the other side of town, instead of the Primary which is just up the road. He'll probably get dropped nearby by DH to start with, but would like him to have the independence of the bus soon. It's a bit tricky to do a practice run on the bus, as it only runs in term time at school run times.

SonorousBip Tue 14-May-13 15:34:17

I can remember being on a "starting school" thread on Mumsnet in 2005 when DS was just joining the nursery of the school he is now at. He is now in Y6 and House Captain (although sometimes I think he has little more sense than when he was 4!)

So, off to Big School smile. We got a letter at the weekend - he has an induction aftenoon in June and then an induction day the day before term starts. We have a parents induction evening (with wine! hurrah!) in late June, with a talk from the head and then a meeting with his class teacher and the other parents in his class. Sounds well organised.

Transport wise, it is a long(ish - say 25 mins) but direct bus route: he can leave the house with me when I leave for work, get on a bus at a stop 5 mins from home and then the bus stops right outside the school. And its free, courtesy of his zip oyster. 2 other boys from his class are going to the school, and there will probably be some boys from cubs there as well. We have started using the bus a bit more to normalise the journey (its quite close to a "shopping destination", although we tend to drive if we go there at the weekend). We will do some more intensive journey practices over the summer. I'm still a bit eep! about it but he should be ok.

I've promised to sort him out a (cheap, functional, ugly) phone this weekend - on the basis that it would make sense for him to be used to it before he needs it. With a phone and an oyster card I think he thinks he is Jay Gatsby!

Anyone wanting cheap phones, we got a £9 PAYG Nokia from Tesco. It has no camera and no internet but it's certainly flasher than my first phone.
And tesco triple your call time as well. ( ie £10 voucher becomes £30 worth of calls)

BackforGood Tue 14-May-13 18:59:43

AliasJoey Yes, afraid so grin That's why these threads are quite useful - people assume all sorts of things that it just never crossed their minds would be different. In our LA, all schools do 'moving up day' on the same day, so even if they weren't meeting their next year's class back in {Primary school, they'd never be able to split themselves into the 7 or 8 schools the pupils disperse to smile

FiveHoursSleep - thanks for that. We got my older dd's from TESCO when she first started. It's been great. Will need to go get one for dd2 who has been reminding us for the last year.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 14-May-13 21:17:09

Ok- so we thought everything was settled. But just had a phone call from dh that there may still be a place available at a specialist school. They want to see dd next week for an assesment.

Better not buy any uniform just yet.

chocoluvva Tue 14-May-13 21:34:01

Don't bother buying a coat.

Black trainers are usually fine if the branding is discreet - I 'coloured' in the nike sign with a permanent black pen.

Don't bother buying the school's own PE kit unless they're very strict about it.

The first few days can be a bit of an anti-climax involving a lot of copying out classroom rules into the backs of jotters.

I worried about my DC falling in with a 'bad crowd' for the first couple of years until it dawned on me that this is unlikely, birds of a feather and all that - my DC have made lovely friends.

The first few weeks are very tiring.

Quite a bit of the work is revision from Y6 so that all the pupils are known to have covered the same work.

aliasjoey Tue 14-May-13 21:48:10

Thanks backforgood it's obvious now I think about it - although most of the kids in DDs class are going to the same school, a few of them are going elsewhere.

It's just... they still seem so little ! And I'm so used to everything being controlled by the school, I just had this vision of them all being marched, crocodile-fashion... grin

not so daft really alias - when I dropped my son off I saw the pupils from the main two catchment schools being marched up to the High School in rows of 2 - that was about 120 kids of the 140 going up.

Takver Thu 16-May-13 11:28:00

DD also off in September. I'm not worried about her getting there - they've been getting the school bus with the secondary pupils for transition days since yr 5, so no problems there.

Not so keen on the 8am bus, though, bit of a shock after being 5 mins walk from school! She's got a 5 week transition course after half-term, so she'll have a - hopefully - reasonably gentle intro to secondary life from that . . . we shall see . . .

meditrina Thu 16-May-13 11:31:46

"It's just... they still seem so little ! "

This is the big transition for you. They go from being children to mini-teens in the space of less than half a term.

lljkk Netherlands Thu 16-May-13 11:34:31

DD's cohort are SO Ready for big school. Some more than others, but all so obviously ready.

I buy cheap used small phones on Ebay & DS never remembers to take his, anyway (sigh).

Takver Thu 16-May-13 11:44:45

In previous years I've seen a real split in parents - half have dc who are really so ready to move on, others feel they could just do with longer in primary. Fortunately dd is in the former group!

Marmitelover55 Thu 16-May-13 14:08:15

My PFB dd1 is also off to secondary school for the first time in September. I am really excited for her, but she is quite relaxed about it smile. She will have about a 20 minute walk to get there, most of it on a busy shopping street. She is not great at crossing the road still (will have to keep working at that over the summer holiday), but luckily one of her friends who lives nearby, and seems to have more road sense, is going too, so hopefully they will walk together.

Her new school seems to have a very strict uniform policy, and only a few styles of shoes are acceptable - laceups or mary-janes with velcro are OK but not slip-ons or shoes with buckles hmm. Not sure about coats though...

We finally recieved an information pack from the school on Saturday and she has an individual, 10 minute, "Getting to know you" session with the head of year 7, in June (although how much they can get to know in 10 minutes I can't imagine - especially as dd1 is quite shy and quiet).... There is then an induction day at the end of June and a new parents evening, followed by a re-induction day in September, the day before term starts for everyone else. We also have an appointment with the school uniform shop in July - I can't wait but again dd1 wonders what all of the fuss is about smile.

Over all, I think it all seems quite well organised. Fingers crossed for a smooth transition for all our dc grin

lljkk Netherlands Thu 16-May-13 15:07:30

Everyone tells me that the Leavers Assembly is a total tear-jerker. I've known most these kids from preschool and don't expect to see them again (regularly, small town, so hard to never see never again), but I'm not so fond of them as to well up, am I? Anyone care to put a bet on whether I'll go all blubbery?

I was a bit tearful last year when my eldest left primary as he was was my first - have it all to go through again this year with my youngest - my baby is leaving primary and i'll never be in there again. sad

Lots of the kids oin my eldest's class I am glad not to see as they bullied him but I was sad that I wouldn't really some of the others as he was heading to a different High school to everyone else. Strangely I am not so attached to any of No2 sons classmates but he hasn't had any issues with them so it will be emotional as I will be happy for them all moving on. he is also the only one not going with them to High school.

everyone cries at leavers assembly. Everyone.

OP, if your DC is anything like me ds1 then
He will need an addidas messenger bag. Despite the fact nothing fits in it. Barely books and a pencil case. He has a seperate bag for football boots, PE kit, cooking stuff, folders etc.

Velcro shoes are a no. But kickers are a must.

PE kit comes home after every lesson because for 3 years he has been too late to get a locker because he forgot to hand in the form.

He will never wear a coat. In freezing temperatures he will wear football skins and a hoodie. He will then try and cram the hoodie into the above mentioned useless bag.

He will lose the Oyster card on average once a term. Until you tell him that the next time he loses it, he will have to pay the £10 to replace it out of his own money. Or walk to school. At that point the Oyster card will always be in a safe place.

I have 2 DCs now in year 10 and 9.

The best advice I can give?

Make sure they are confident of the route. And that they know how to get there if the bus/train in cancelled.

Make sure they have a bit of emergency money just in case.

They will need to do a lot of homework using the computer. They will well mine will think they can do this homework in between FB/twitter conversations and updates, listening to music and watching films on you tube. So half an hour homework could turn into 4 hours uninterrupted Internet surfing if you don't monitor it.

They will change a lot in a short space of time. They will become more independent, more "grown up" Be prepared for that.

They will still need help at the start. Help with organizing their time, homework schedules, reminding then to get PE kit ready, pack bag the night before and all that stuff. I did this for the first half term. I warned them this was a short term thing and I wasn't going to be doing it forever.

They will have friends that you don't know. They will want to go places that they have never been. They will go to friends houses and you will think "but I don't know the parents. I don't know what type of family they are. What if they are [insert whatever horrible thing you like here]
But.....you can't stop them growing up. You have to, for the most part, hope you have raised them in the right way and have faith they won't do anything ridiculous. But....sleepovers and parties? always verify that with the host parent grin

They will eat ridiculous things for lunch. Our school has a place online where you can check what they have eaten. I stopped checking ds1 when it said "coke. Double chocolate muffin. Hot chocolate" 8 days in a row. grin
You may want them to eat a decent lunch. But sometimes you have to pick your battles.

Wow that was a mammoth post blush
I hope it might have been helpful to someone at least.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 16-May-13 18:20:37

They don't have a leavers assembly at dd's school but at prize giving all year 6s are given a book then they play a montage of then & now photos of each child accompanies by suitably emotional music.

Ds cries every year so he's definitely going to cry when it's his sister.

Badvoc Thu 16-May-13 18:26:12

My ds1 is going in sept but it's a middle school and he is a summer born so he will only just be 10 and in year 6 sad
And my ds2 is starting reception.
I may ask the go for some barbiturates to get me through....

harrietspy Fri 17-May-13 12:21:40

We're going to have to start the independent travel thing asap so that I can get used to it as much as ds. We live in a big city and although there will be tonnes of kids crossing the city, there aren't any from his primary. (There are 86 feeder schools for the high school from all over the region!). He is generally speaking a confident, sensible boy but he just hasn't done independent travel before (except walking a mile home from school on his own) so he needs to try it out and I need to learn to let go...

Tantrums, that was a mammoth post but v helpful indeed. Thanks!

Badvoc, I feel your pain... My ds1 is summer born too (31 August!).

mummytime Belgium Fri 17-May-13 12:30:12

Contrary to some earlier advice. I pretty much let my DCs get on with it for the first couple of weeks, then when they were floundering I helped the sort themselves out.

Although having a copy of their timetable on the computer, one printed and stuck up somewhere is useful.

Don't buy an expensive bag to start with. It will be the wrong sort and need to be changed in 6 months at most. The cheap Tescos backpack has lasted longer than the expensive JL one did.

You can phone/email teachers if you have a concern, they are usually good at getting back to you when they can.

mummytime Belgium Fri 17-May-13 12:34:22

Black Trainers are not okay at DCs school, even if Logo is blacked in. They must be shoes!

So be very careful about advice over the Internet, what is ignored at one school will not be at another, even in the same town!

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