Advice for starting in year 7

(106 Posts)
littlenicky61 Fri 11-Jul-14 14:52:11

Hi my daughter will be starting secondary school in September and just wondering for the parents who have ' been there done that ' what advise they would give to us newbies !

Many thanks for any tips , must haves , definite no no's etc !!!

queenofthemountain Fri 11-Jul-14 15:45:31

Stand near the gates and see what kind of bag , shoes etc they all have .Making sure they fit in with school regs of course

queenofthemountain Fri 11-Jul-14 15:47:33

Oh and things like French dictionaries, scientific calculators, compasses etc can be bought much much cheaper through the school (here anyway) so might be worth checking that out
Also what they actually need on their first day.they will have enough on their plate without lugging full PE kit to school needlessly.

Preciousbane Fri 11-Jul-14 15:50:50

DS advice to another child about to go up to secondary school that we met at a wedding reception last year was get to the front of the dinner queue at all costs.

He also told me to never come near the school as that was the biggest no no.

Encourage her from the start to get her bag ready for tomorrow, the evening before.

And get her to work out a 'system' for making sure she has everything she needs - there is a lot more expectation that they can work these things out at secondary.

FWIW DS had 5 IKEA wooden magazine racks which he kept his various textbooks and papers etc in, one each for M to F. When he took stuff out of his bag, or after doing homework, he put it into the rack for the day he would need it next. That meant it was easy to find everything he needed in one go.

You can also keep something as a reminder for PE kit, cooking ingredients, or anything else that won't actually go in the folder.

Any system she likes is fine instead of course. But there has to be some system, or it's chaos in the mornings!

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Jul-14 15:54:15

- yes to what they said ^^
- make sure she has somewhere to work at home, with glue scissors etc
- do the journey in the holidays if possible/necessary
- it will take time to find solid friendships
- encourage everything to go in her planner, then you check her planner
- help her pack her bag to start with, then ease off

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 11-Jul-14 15:56:26

Get a copy of the timetable before she loses it and get her to rewrite it in English, rather than cryptic code.

TeenAndTween Fri 11-Jul-14 15:58:26

We have a photocopy of timetable up downstairs that helps, especially with the tricky 2 week timetable stuff.

Get some containers of various sizes to take food tech ingredients in, and the resulting concoction home again!

Some children need more support/scaffolding on an ongoing basis than others. Provide what your child needs, not just what others are doing.

Agree when homework will be done. Straight after school? After a short break? After tea? Then stick to it.

Madsometimes Fri 11-Jul-14 16:48:37

YY to photocopying the timetable and sticking it on the fridge.

Get your dd to pack her bag the night before because teenagers are not at their best in the mornings.

littlenicky61 Fri 11-Jul-14 21:20:54

Thanks all for the fab tips so far

goats Sat 12-Jul-14 00:21:55

marking place, thanks for this thread.

Purplehulk Sat 12-Jul-14 00:39:34

We'll be needing all these tips too.
The move to secondary seems to be a bigger move than into YR for some reason.
Here's a wine for all the mums wink

fluffydoge Sat 12-Jul-14 00:50:45

- Pack bag the night before
- Copy of timetable on the fridge/notice board
- Make sure there is an area where homework can be done and that you have the right equipment: calculator, glue, rulers are some of the ones that are vital for homework because no one ever has them.
- Get a scientific calculator, they don't really need them in year 7 but it will last a long time, just make sure to get the one the school reccomends
- Have a spare change of uniform for emergencies in case they leave it at a friends house or at school after pe
- Make sure their school bag is roomy, but not huge, too many year 7s wander round looking like turtles here it a wonder they can even stand up straight
- Invest in a decent backpack that can hold the weight of all their books and doesn't hurt their back
- For the first term or so all they will need in pe is shorts and the t shirt, buy the winter uniform when you need it as chances are they'll have grown and stuff will be cheaper later on in the year
I'll come back if I think of any more

whyayepetal Mon 14-Jul-14 12:15:57

Try out school canteen in the first week - the system will be quite different to primary, and the staff will be more geared up for the newbies at the start of term than they will be if your DD comes to it later in the term. Similarly, getting books out of school library, joining an after- school club.

Oh - and clubs. There are often so many, but be aware that if your DD joins too many she is likely to be pulled in many directions as staff tend to believe that DCs are only involved in their department's activities (particularly PE and music!!) Be careful not to over- commit.

Good luck to your DD, OP.

JustAShopGirl Mon 14-Jul-14 14:06:33

Start collecting the odd shoe box, lolly sticks, sponge, have a set of acrylic paints, felt, little figures.... ready for the celtic roundhouse, solar system, castle and imaginative depiction of a plant cell - (e.g.one of mine used different coloured wax, the other sewed one with felt.) Have tissue paper for collages, A3 paper/card for posters.

Extra socks for PE and a collection of pound coins easily available for - planner, bus fare, occasional doughnut etc....

oh, and COMFORTABLE , fashionable shoes - if you can find any... as well as a "fashionable" backpack that has padded straps (Animal/Ratchet are the ones of choice at our DDs' school)

Fitting-in will win over comfort for most Y7s so be prepared for "NO_ONE ELSE...." has shoes with a strap, this sort of backpack, bic pens... whatever..

Stickerrocks Mon 14-Jul-14 14:39:51

Let them fight their own battles with other kids & staff, unless it's seriously serious.

Don't expect to have a clue about what is going on and what they are doing. "Fine" is a perfectly acceptable answer to all school related questions.

Find out which school trips they are likely to want to go on, set a budget and don't be swayed into letting them do everything. Places on day trips & residentials are allocated by ballot, so be prepared for your child not to get a place with absolutely nothing you can do about it.

If they want a flasher mobile phone than you are prepared to give them, make them buy it themselves. Then they will actually look after it. Retain the right to check their phone & texts in case they get themselves in a pickle.

flossieflower Mon 14-Jul-14 14:55:00

Practise the journey a few times over the summer with a few different routes if appropriate in case they walk with different people. Emergency £5 in their bag (mine have it in one of those little cylinder key rings like the ones that go on dog collars!). Door key on a bungee key ring attached inside their backpack so the door can be opened without detaching the key ring from the bag. I have a spare tie hidden in case one gets lost (they get a detention if they aren't wearing one). Similarly a spare set of pe kit from the secondhand shop. Lots of plastic tubs for the cooking ingredients- at least six. Make sure everything is ready the night before- bags packed, cooking ingredients weighed out and in the fridge, lunch made etc.

Get their log in for the school system so that you can check the homework list and their school emails- helps to keep on track with when things are due if they are prone to leaving it all until the last minute!

Talk to people with older children at the school about what uniform is and isn't used- I bought aprons, football boots and swimming trunks that haven't been used at all.

EbaneezerScrooge Mon 14-Jul-14 15:00:33

Let them got on with it and be there if your needed.
Photocopy timetable and stick it somewhere (kitchen fridge/ freezer is best. I have 4 on there)
OH and whatever you do NEVER EVER stand outside of school waiting that's a death sentence.

Iamnotminterested Mon 14-Jul-14 22:17:22

LABEL ALL UNIFORM!

BackforGood Tue 15-Jul-14 00:11:09

Sellotape / sew a cash bag or envelope with a couple of £ in it, inside their school bag somewhere for when they have forgotten / lost their dinner money / bus fair etc.

Put their front door key on a piece of cord / lanyard / springy, stretchy keyring thing firmly attached to the inside of their bag, so can unlock the door with it but not then put it down somewhere and lose it or leave it in the front door.

Agree with Scrooge - LABEL EVERYTHING

BackforGood Tue 15-Jul-14 00:11:57

blush Should have read thread first, Flossie has already written those things, sorry!

Happy36 Tue 15-Jul-14 02:26:27

mgs.org/downloads/lower-school-publications

The document "A Parents´ Guide to Lower School 2013-14.pdf" which you can download from the page above gives excellent, concise and sensible advice from this particular school about what is expected of pupils and their parents when they join Year 7. I don´t have any connection to this school, but I am impressed by this document which I think is both clear and helpful. (I was a Year 7 form tutor in the academic year that´s just finished).

N.B. This is a boys´ school but most of the advice is equally applicable to female students...the only part that might not apply is about boys´ tendency to lose all of their possessions...

I wish your daughter all the very best in Year 7 and her secondary school career.

ISingSoprano Tue 15-Jul-14 07:13:39

Expect year 7 to be an emotional roller coaster. On the academic side they may have tests in the first week or two and may be moved around in terms of banding or setting several times. In terms of friends there is quite a lot of 'trying on' with new friendships and friendship groups and these can take a year or two to settle down.

JustAShopGirl Tue 15-Jul-14 08:31:21

Oh god yes - girls and friendship groups.... Y7 was emotional here.....

Lots of "being there" and trying desperately not to intervene or say anything bad about ANYONE because they would be best of friends again next week.....

littlenicky61 Tue 15-Jul-14 10:08:46

Thanks again to everyone for all the tips and advise given . Its much appreciated and will be so useful! Will take it all onboard and strap myself in for the rollercoaster ride come September !!

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