any words of wisdom re transition to secondary

(11 Posts)
babyblackbird Thu 23-Jun-16 21:57:35

I am very worried about my dd. She is in yr 6 in our local state primary and is about to move to a private prep school. She is extremely anxious about the move because she is the only one going to this partic school. Her year group are all going in very different directions. Some split between 2 state schools and others to independent school but she will move by herself to this school.

We chose the school after looking at all local schools and she did a taster day and loved it. She is very negative about going now it has actually come around because she "loves her primary school and doesn't want to leave".

She has been teased by "friends" for going to the "posh school" , even by those also going to other independent schools.

She is very fragile to the extent that her teacher e mailed me today to say she had become very upset at school today ( she knows all of above) and they have spoken to her friends today to explain that she is very anxious about the move and needs their support.

She is not eating as she would normally and complaining of stomach ache that is gradually getting worse. I have appt with Gp on Monday.

Anyone been through similar and any coping strategies ??

dementedma Thu 23-Jun-16 22:01:57

Can she do more taster days?
Do the guidance/welfare staff at new school know how she feels so that they are prepared?
Does the new school operate a buddy system for new first years?

babyblackbird Thu 23-Jun-16 22:13:03

We went to an event for new pupils this week and she appeared to love it ( chatting with other existing pupils, playing table football and uno ) but as soon as we left she complained of stomach ache and was not herself.

I asked if there were any other induction days but apparently not and new school break up next Fri and dd has so much on with end of yr productions, trips etc that is probably not possible.

New school has buddy system and new pupils are going in evening before term starts and housemistress is there all summer and said we should contact her with any queries so I will get in touch with her if this continues and is not just a blip.

Acopyofacopy Thu 23-Jun-16 22:17:54

Transition to secondary is a nerve wrecking time! Do you have a local Facebook group via which you could organise a few meet ups over the summer?
Can the school make contact between your dd and another girl coming on her own?
Ds suffered from stomach aches, too, so I know exactly where you are coming from. Relaxation CDs helped.

babyblackbird Thu 23-Jun-16 22:30:37

Thanks acopy. I got talking to another Mum who by coincidence knows a Mum of another yr 6 girl at our primary school and her child is also starting albeit with another girl from her school, but we have agreed to meet in hols.

I think a big part of problem is the move to an independent school which is such a contrast in how they work to where she has been and it all feels even more alien. As I didn't go to a private school it is also very alien to me !

Lurkedforever1 Fri 24-Jun-16 09:29:22

My dd was in a similar position. However because our state option is dire, and she's the confident type, she was always of the opinion not having primary friends with her was a minor issue.

I realise your dd is different, but a year on I have the benefit of hindsight!

Leaving primary is emotional wherever they're going, which right now will be making it hard, but it does pass. I've always told dd that being at different schools won't matter for real best friends, and they can and do still see each other out of school. Local state splits them across forms anyway, so her three close friends don't see much of each other in school either.

At dds, there were quite a few who had all come from prep/ some privates/ few state primaries together. But there were a lot like her, who either didn't know anyone or who came from large primaries with another dc they barely knew from another class. And the school know this happens, and make it easy for the dc who don't know anyone.

At the start of y7, the dc's who came in groups/ pairs were all friendly and aware not everyone had ready made friends. However the lone dc tended to mix more, and by the end of the first term the dc like mine had bigger social circles because they'd mixed more. It was only the second term when a lot of the groups/ pairs started venturing properly from their safety zones, and maybe about Easter when they'd all properly mixed in. So what seemed like a negative at first turned out to be a positive for dd.

My dd would certainly tell yours that it really doesn't matter about not knowing anyone, it just means she'll make friends quicker, and that once you're actually at secondary, leaving primary isn't sad.

I think now is just a bad time, they're leaving primary so there is just a big void with uncertainty for September, but honestly it is just a limbo stage.

Badbadbunny Fri 24-Jun-16 10:00:41

Our son was a very "sensitive" child and his primary school class were being split into over 10 different secondaries, with him being the only one of his class going to his chosen school. He was distraught at the thought of leaving his friends and his primary school and we really expected a hard time of it. Floods of tears on many occasions over the Summer and then hysteria on the first day of the new school term. Not just the lack of friends, but also no school buses meaning he had to get a service bus and walk a mile across a busy city!

But, he came up beaming with happiness and couldn't stop talking about what a good day he'd had. The school really work hard on the transition process, including, in the school's own words, using "tame" teachers for the first year form tutors and lesson teachers as far as possible. In his form, virtually no-one knew each other - where a few had come from the same primary, they were deliberately split into different forms - all to encourage them to mix and avoid any "grouping or pairing" exclusions from the new form bonding.

It worked brilliantly with my son, the school managed the transition brilliantly, and that was only with a half day taster session in June.

I'd suggest you talk rationally with your DS, tell her most of the others will be in the same position, tell her the school do this every year and know how to get the new form to bond and mix, and tell her about all the new friends she's going to meet. It's all about looking forward positively.

babyblackbird Fri 24-Jun-16 11:26:34

Thank you Lurked and Bad. She seems a little better today and is having a weekend away with friends (not from school) so I'm hopeful this will break the negative cycle a bit.

Thanks for supportive words.

babyblackbird Fri 24-Jun-16 11:26:35

Thank you Lurked and Bad. She seems a little better today and is having a weekend away with friends (not from school) so I'm hopeful this will break the negative cycle a bit.

Thanks for supportive words.

Lurkedforever1 Fri 24-Jun-16 12:52:02

I've just remembered something else which might help if it's relevant.

We talked about how when dd started primary she didn't know anyone, and how in order to have had all those years of fun there, she had to leave nursery and go off to a different school to all her friends. And because she was young she didn't understand the finality, but even so was sad after her last day. But once she started school, and since, she can look back at the memories of nursery without being sad, and moving to secondary is the same thing.

And definitely tell her that even the dc like mine who are confident in her situation, are still sad that primary is over, and even if like dd they take it for granted they'll make friends, she still was concerned she wouldn't make more close, best friends, and yet she has.

babyblackbird Fri 24-Jun-16 14:49:57

Thank you I am storing all these points up for when I get a chance to have a proper positive talk with her.

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