My sons first impression after his first few days of Secondary (Feel free to add yours!)(71 Posts)
He is generally very happy, but has noticed the following things worthy of a mention at home:
"Mum, they all have World Records of SPEED DRESSING!" He is in awe at how fast his classmates tie their shoelaces, button up their shirts and do their ties. He says, "There is this kid, he literally gets out of his blazer and trousers in ONE move, and JUMPS into his pe trousers and manage to pull them up along with his socks!" (I guess this must be the gang that has moved up from prep and knows the drill.... )
Nobody says a word in class. Everybody works. All the time.
"We line up by the classroom. We hang our blazers on the back of our seat, we stand behind our seat not saying a word until teacher tells us we can sit down. Otherwise there is Saturday detention"
I wouldn't have thought you'd need to have attended a prep school to dress yourself efficiently. My five year old dresses himself in a jiffy, and he goes to a run of the mill state primary.
Sorry for that comment then.
My son also dresses efficiently. But he said looking at his classmates he felt really slow.
Don't be sorry.
I suppose if you are new to ties, it takes a while to become proficient. But hopefully he's had shoes with laces before now.
He had ties with elastic at Junior until Y4, "real" tie from Y5! He can tie his tie and his shoe laces. He is reasonably fast. He has never worn a blazer to school before.
In primary they wore pe kit the whole day on PE days, he has never had to change out of uniform and into sports kit and back, in school before.
His amazement was more at the techniques for jumping in and out of clothes at rocket speed!
Of all the things he has experienced this first week, the mind-blowing one he chose to share, was about changing in and out of PE kit.
its taken my 11yr old 25minutes to put on his uniform this morning, i've no idea how he does it after PE! He still can't do his tie and hates wearing it.
He said his work is more complicated, and after seeing his first load of homework, i agree
I liked the First, middle and High school system i had much better
QuintessentialOldDear, my daughter is now in Year 8 and was the slowest dresser ever before going to comp, they have a maximum of three minutes to change (sometimes two if teacher is having an off day) and after a little practise, she can do it. I don't think she cares what the teachers thinks, but loves being with her friends so doesn't want to get left behind.
There seemed to be lots of threats of detention in the first few weeks. Obviously they want model pupils, but I think it's more to get them thinking, acting sensibly and showing respect. They are somewhere unfamiliar and don't really know what's expected of them. I'm impressed though everyone is doing what they are asked, there are one or two that just can't/won't even try to get it right! Once he's settled in, the tutors will get to know him and the odd step out of line will be forgiven, for example there were threats of detention if they forgot a workbook, homework to start with, my daughter has done this a few times over the year, but I think they know that generally she takes what's needed.
swannylovesu, when they've had time to assess them, they will put them into sets and he will be working a lot more to his own ability. All he can do is his best.
OP, love the description on your son's school. Sounds like a very good one. Why 'oh dear' ?
Oh dear as in "I hope we are not in for any Saturday detentions any time soon"!
On a Saturday?!
Aren't they supposed to have a life outside school?
my son has quickly realised he needs tokeep his shirt tucked in and they take very little notice if you go to medical saying you feel sick on a hot day and just offer you a glass of water! and jumpers have to be worn until told otherwise
No pe yet fire drill instead one very happy boy
Alos seeking out friends based on who likes minecraft
The biggest realisation is the canteen sells chips cheese toasties cookies and pizza and there is no one to monitor what you are spending your money on Heaven !
My DD seems very happy with every aspect of her new school except the geography - can't blame her, we got lost on the open evening! But she's worried about being late to class because she's orienteering somewhere ...
The school near us does Saturday detention for this and incorrect work. We darent apply for dc1 who has learning difficulties or they would never get home!
Ah, EAT, that really touches me...I used to get sooo lost at secondary and was always sweaty and flustered about getting to classes on time.
DD has decided maths is too easy and Spanish is terrifying.
On the other hand, we were on our way to school/work this morning, we were barely at the end of the road when her name was called out by a pair of girls. She's obviously made friends already as she skipped off ducking our best attempts to embarrass her with kisses/cuddles.
My DD's new freedom has gone to her head somewhat and she keeps popping off to charity shops and French markets with her new school friends.
We had to have words about letting me know where she was at all times earlier this week...
Well, it has been discovered that ds is "a natural" on the trombone, the french horn and the trumpet. It seems he cant get the tones and play tunes on it. (I was there, and heard it) So now, he wants to be in a brass band. Not the worst place to be!
Is there a french market and charity shops near school?
Oh, and new of this week: "Mum, dont follow me. Stay away from me. In fact, why dont you go home now, and I will come later".
My little boy....
DS is out the door at 7.10 without a backwards glance, and has so far managed 3 different routes home, on two different bus routes from 3 stops - he loves his Oyster Zip card, all of London is his to explore
At the start of the week all my DS was concerned about was wearing his blazer. He pulled it off as soon as school finished and said he had been hot all day and they are not allowed to take it off unless sitting at their desks! His other comment was that he had been 'tucked in' all day ::snort:: so different to wearing just a polo shirt at Primary ......
It is all change for us and them, isn't it?
Oyster cards are fab.
Ds is an authority on bus routes in London and Surrey...likes getting the X26 from Croydon to Heathrow just to see the airport.
"Awesome" is y7 DD's summary of the 1st 2 days.
Now, if only y9 DS could find his locker key, sigh. And if only the school website gave me any clue what procedure to get another key. (argh).
Ds has had 3 whole days in a school setting wiithout being bullied. This is something he never experienced in primary so so far it's been a winner.
Iljk send your DC to the finance office.
At least they are the people responsible for locker keys at our school.
Else reception are 'the font of all knowledge', jolly nice and infinitely patient with stupid questions.
Agador I know that feeling long may it continue.
I think it took DD1 until some point in Y9 before they have up trying to get a reaction.
She say's they finally seem to have got bored and run out of unpleasant jokes she's heard before. Also I think most of her GCSE groups are nice and want to do well.
And yes, she has matured and learnt a few more social skills, which reduces their excuses for vileness.
Also school have been very good, both in actually dealing with the few incidents they have spotted, providing some one she can talk to for the ones they didn't and letting her be a librarian. Therefore, she can avoid them at lunch and break.
Starball - that's why one of our main priorities when choosing a school was its anti bullying measures and general pastoral care.
We are very lucky as it's a school with an all round excellent reputation in all areas but as we found in primary this can mean little when they are required to put it into practice.
We are pleased but cautious.
Is it normal for DC to be totally wiped out after the first (half) week in year 7?
Feel daft asking the question but she took primary in her stride and seems floored by the transition after only 3 days.
I'm dreading tomorrow.
It's a longer day, everything is new and hard work: finding her way around, new 'colleagues', new teachers, extremely bustling environment.
I think it is normal. It's a huge change.
Ds cant wait for tomorrow. His alarmbell is all set. He has to go in 45 minutes early to do his homework in school - he forgot the history books in his locker. So off he will trot, with £1 in his pocket to buy a snack at the tuckshop and an orange as it will be a while between breakfast and lunch.
He mentions the same 4-5 names, boys he spends time with at break time, and sits with during lunch. 2 boys to walk home with, that lives nearby.
After all his negative experience in school so far, this seems to be really working for him so far. Nobody ganging up on him. He is not "the new kid in class", he is one of MANY new kids finding their ways and making friends.
Quint that's goof=d news.
I'm not sure how DS is, yet. Still seems rather anxious. Settled in well with the other boys but a bit nervosu about getting thinsg right and remembering everything.
there's so much STUFF. I can't believe how much they cart around all day long. Tomorrow he has to take in: swimming kit, rugby kit, all his homework (about five heavy text books and A4 exercise books) and his musical instrument. He's summer born - how will he physically carry all that? I'd struggle.
It's all a bit much at the moment. Hoping it settles down.
I meant Good news, not goof=d news.
Knackered from helping collage and sticky-back-plastic about ten books after work today. Secondary is wiping me out - there's so much to do. I'm so tired. Goodness knows how all our DC are coping.
On Thursday ds2 went upstairs to get changed after school. I though he was being very quiet - he had fallen asleep in his boxers
He has almost mastered tying a tie, is really pleased he has a house point this week, and has had more homework this week than in a month a primary!
He already seems more mature, though he still curls up on my knee (with great difficulty) to have a cuddle
I think I like goof news better! It has a more accurate ring to it!
Bless him falling asleep in his boxers!
Mine just said "It's the same as primary school but you walk around more" He is with his mates, he is happy.
Oh mine also walks around more. He complained there is only 3 minutes between lessons, and in that time he will get from classroom to his locker at the end of the building to exchange books (not allowed to carry more than you need for next lesson) and run to a site on the other side of the road across a footbridge, etc. Most of the students are literally just jogging around between lessons with a desperate look on their faces!
Dd has gone from a primary that sets to a high school that doesn't and it's opened her eyes to the range of abilities, I just hope it doesn't make her complacent
She is walking miles and has joined 2 sports clubs -long may it continue
My ds has AS and fine motor problems and we were really worried about changing for PE, as he struggles with buttons and can't do laces, let alone a tie.
Dh did him a double Windsor on the first day last week and he just loosens it, slips it over his head and then slips it back on and tightens it - this saves masses of time. Same with shirts, he particularly struggles with the top button and cuffs and these really slow him down, so now he just undoes the top few buttons and I've bought him shirts from Next that actually have an elasticated loop, instead of stitching on the cuff buttons, so he can just pull his shirt off over his head and only has 3/4 buttons to do.
He has slip on school shoes and velcro trainers, but we discovered you can't get football boots that don't have laces, so have bought Lock Sports Laces (well actually a less chunky ebay version) for those, which again speed up PE changing times.
He is going to a very inclusive, mainstream school and so far has been really happy - apart from some teasing about mobile phones on the first day.
I was slightly unimpressed that the catering staff let him have something from the tuck-shop 'on-tick' last Friday, as we had agreed he would only buy from the tuck-shop once a week and he'd already done that the day before.
For me the hardest part has been handing him over to LEA transport every day and the fact that he leaves at 7.15 am and gets home at 5.15 pm. It's quite a shock to both his and my systems after living literally across the road from his primary school for the past 8 years and not having to leave home until 8.45 am. Hasn't helped that the LA have gone with the cheapest possible transport company and things have been a very long way from perfect with them so far. Mind you, I feel worse for the poor boy they 'forgot' to pick up on Friday morning.
Ahem, cough, cough, has anyone had notification of their child's CAT scores? DD did CATs back in June during induction days. I am so curious to know what results were. How would I go about asking without sounding like pushy loon, do you think?
My DS is taking ages to fasten/unfasten the top button too, their ties are clip-on and seem OK. We have shirt-practice here!
He came home with school photos today (they were taken on his 2nd day) and I assume its to capture the pupils whilst their uniform is crisp and clean
I have been looking at mobiles for DS too, he doesn't have one yet - but it is inevitable isn't it? ::sigh::
Mobile is pretty essential for my ds with an hour's journey each way. Having AS, it's not right, but it's sadly true that having the right phone does help facilitate social inclusion to some extent. There's no way he's having an IPhone or one of the newer Samsungs, but we've seen a couple that he's happy with and other kids have got, that we can manage.
The hardest bit we've found re mobiles is that only Tesco offer bill/contract capping and T-Mobile has the YouFix tariff. Except Tesco don't have any of the phones ds wants and T-Mobile have been bought by EE who have an atrocious reputation, especially for customer service.
TalkTalk have no cap, but some good deals that it would be hard for dcs to overspend on, so we think we'll end up going with them in the end.
Ds came home without his blazer this afternoon. Apparently it was missing after PE (last lesson). The teacher said someone else had probably worn it by mistake, but that makes no sense, as there wasn't one left in the changing rooms and they all have to wear one at all times, so unless someone went home wearing two ....
Then I started to unpack his PE kit and discovered his track-suit bottoms are also missing. Track suit is a school specific one, that all pupils have to have and costs £££s.
We are having huge homework battles as well, as it's common for dcs with AS to see home as home, school as school and not want the two to mix.
We managed to get him to do one lot at the weekend, but the other lot from last week is drawing and he really struggles with that due to fine motor issues, so keeps having meltdowns and making zero progress with it. Tonight he's brought home three more subjects and refused to do them and I can't seem to get through to him that he is going to create a serious backlog, as he will have more tomorrow and the next day - and the next etc.
He leaves home at 7.15 am - doesn't get home until at least 5.15 pm and as he seriously needs to offload the stress of having to try and be sociable and understand teachers and other pupils all day on top of his strict routines this doesn't leave a lot of time for completing homework on school nights. They did mention that some pupils in his position can get special dispensation to only have to do homework for core subjects and I think we might be headed that way already.
Can't believe it's only Monday night - I'm exhausted already!
My DS is positive about it all, he likes the movement between the lessons and being more active in the lessons like science, he's a fidget and dyslexic and was so demented towards the end if primary school with the one (lovely) teacher and the same old classroom.
He's been picked for the school football team and he's so thrilled. He's had no issues with working out where to be and go as he has a very visual brain. He has find the organisation hard and we've colour coded all his lessons. He looks knackered after each day, like brain drain/overload and he's found the cat tests tough going, in terms of being tested all the time.
I found it very endearing and heart warming to hear him playing FIFA on x box with two new friends he's made, having fun and laughing, I felt good on you and a sense of pride and relief that he had made new friends he felt comfortable with.
Top tip for sports.
Loosen tie, and take off over head. Put on peg or shove in blazer pocket.
Undo first button of shirt and pull over head, together with jumper. Should come off like a skin. And go back on again in the same way.
Ensure sports kit is divided in PE bag. So stick rugby shorts and shirt in a carrier. Put rugby/footie socks in boots. Swimming kit in a seperate carrier etc. Mouth guard easily to hand eg blazer pocket, or side pocket of PE bag.
My DD is loving high school and seems to have found enthusiasm for sport which she never had before. It helps that she has a choice of what she does rather than 'boring old netball' every week.
She's made lots of new friends which is a big relief (as she was having a hard time at the end of primary school) and is joining lots of clubs/activities.
Biggest challenge is going to be remembering to go for her music lessons!
DS scored his first ever goal today in football!
He missed his singing lesson though, as he could not find the room!
Quint I know they have to grow up, but could there not be a little leeway. Couldn't find the room - poor thing. Can't they show them and tell them the first couple of times?
DD says her school is boring. She has spent the first lessons going through rules and discussing 'what is geography?'. She spent over 1 hour drawing a shoe, spelt 70 words in a spelling test in double English and had a maths test. She's so disappointed as I think she was ready for the extra stimulation from secondary school and maybe we had built it up for her.
But DH said that's what Y7's like. School's are measured on KS4 not KS3 so most of Y7 is spent treading water. To me it's a crying shame that any enthusiasm is ignored and then they're expected to turn it back on again in Y9. And this is a successful school with a waiting list as long as War & Peace.
Well, he asked his house tutor, he said "I will show you after assembly". But, assembly finished after lesson.... (I spoke to house tutor as it was Y7 Parents Welcome evening tonight) and we cleared up the misunderstanding. He will show him where the music section is so he will find it next week.
chicaguapa what a shame! Maybe it is just uninspired this first week?
Ds says ethics is the most boring subject. Ds' geography teacher has been to Norway, and is really "hot" (ha ha) on glaciers and how the ice age has formed the land, etc. But, they are doing Europe this term.
That's really sad, chicaguapa. Fortunately, fingers crossed, all going well here.
Dd seems very excited by everything, which is great because she was not looking forward to it AT ALL over the summer and was worrying about leaving friends, new teachers etc.
The only black spot to date is that her group is doing textiles not woodwork in Technology and they have spent two lessons sowing along straight lines on bits of paper with the machine unthreaded. So fairly minor!
Great excitement when she was waiting for others to be shown how to log in at IT and found GamesMaker and Scratch in the applications folder on her computer, though I did warn her this would probably not feature in lessons
She also got a merit for remembering the Welsh for manuscript paper in music lesson, which she was dead chuffed about
chicaguapa we had a few comments about lessons being boring last week as DD felt they were just covering things that she's already learnt in Y6.
But this week is a whole different story as they seem to be knuckling down to the real work!
DD's chief woe yesterday was, 'I accidentally sat with some year 9s at lunchtime and I was bigger than most of them so they thought I was one!'
She seems to feel that this is the faux pas of the year.
My DS has a residential trip Oct 2-4 already! It is meant to be good for team building
The new year 7s have been doing Bikeability level 2. It's all go here.
My DD1 is loving her new school. She came home a bit tearful on the first day due to information overload, but this week has been fab.
Probably the most surprising thing is that she is enjoying PE (it was her least favourite lesson at primary school and she was always last in the class running race at sports day). She was thrilled yesterday to be one of only 3 year 7s chosen to help at the open evening in a couple of weeks. Unbelievably she has been chosen to demonstrate PE in the gym - hope they haven't got her muddled up with someone else...!
I nearly got her int big trouble yesterday when I couldn't find my phone so used the "find my iPhone app" to locate if. Unfortunately I chose my old phone by mistake and DD1's bag started beeping alarmingly in the middle of RE . I won't be doing that again.
Totally get where you are coming from re homework. My son has aspergers and dyslexia and is on core homework only def the way to go maths english science and any projects which are few and far between. Def the way to go was offered to us by senco didnt even know it was a possibility but been a godsend. Def look into it. With as they have enough on their plates as it is holding it together etc
I think we will have the same problem here remembering our music lesson!
Well, it has been two weeks, and it has been a revelation.
The morning used to be such a struggle for us, I could barely get ds out of bed. Now he is up quarter to 7, and out the door 7.15, to be in school early and in time to finish of his homework and "get organized". Long may it last!
He spends lunch time doing Touch typing in the ICT suite, and is up to level 3 already, and German club. This means he has French, Latin, Mandarin and German! He has taken on two science related after school clubs, but no sports.
Is 2 hours of games and one hour PE enough for a young boy? I think it is too little, even if he is walking to and from school, which takes 17 minutes each way, down and then up hill.
There's No excuse for classroom rules and "what is " lessons IMO. Lazy.
DD is happy & enjoying things so far, especially science lessons. She's got a small group of friends - two from primary plus two new ones - who go about as a little gang, and at least one of these friends is in any given class, which is a plus.
I worry too about lack of exercise - she has 2 x 40 mins PE lessons and that is it, plus gets a school bus which stops 5 mins from the house. They offer a lot of sports clubs but unfortunately dd really doesn't enjoy either team games or dance, which are the main options, sadly there isn't any swimming based club.
However she does say that they spend a lot of time rushing from one end of the school site to the other!
ATM she only has one out of school sports club (lifesaving, pool based in winter), and I do think that as the evenings close in & the weather gets worse at weekends this isn't so great. However not sure what to do about it!
One big difference I hadn't expected from a parents' viewpoint. I had thought we'd be much less in touch with what was going on at school when compared to primary. But, because she brings school books home every night, in fact so far I see far more about what she is doing in different subjects / how her work is going.
Thats true Takver, we also seem to be more in the loop with the work than in primary. We also had to go down to school yesterday to find a missing French book for the first French test, which is next week.
Now that they are learning some grammar and to string some sentences together, maybe ds will finally be able to use all the random Fruit and Vegetable vocabulary Madam X has taught since Y2.....
This week DD got lost... on the way to Geography.
Ï should not laugh but see the poetic irony in that.
Ds has only his geography homework left. He has to plot a route on public transport direct from school to another town.
Is it time to show him the London Journey planner, or the AA website? (Not that this would have helped your dd, Lancelottie)
This reminds me of Jennings (by Antony Buckeridge), when this thread first popped up I just happened that same week to be reading it to dd, i meant to post it then but better late than never. Here's half term:
"Mr and Mrs Jennings drove over from Haywards Heath, eager for every detail of their son's new way of life. But they were disappointed. Jennings had plenty to say, and didn't propose to waste time talking about such dull subjects as Algebra and cough-mixture; and all their efforts to probe what they considered to be the more important side of school life, were promptly side-tracked. They had to listen, instead, to a long account of why Venables had had to come down to breakfast wearing his pyjama jacket because his shirt fell in the wash basin."
... and it goes on to dictate the hilarious conversation they continue having, with various misunderstandings, about his friends' blisters and a frog somebody found etc, while the parents try to interject with questions about school itself. I love Jennings!
ahem i've just caught up with the thread now, my post really relates only to the OP
Lol - I think I need to know more about Jennings and Venables!
Bit of a wobble from DD yesterday over music lessons
She's scared she'll forget to go to her lessons, keeps forgetting the code for the instrument store and is worrying over the music group she'd been so keen to join prior to starting the school but is now having second thoughts about
I will be treading carefully tonight!
I have been amazed by my DS's first fortnight in Yr7! The school seems to be amazing at helping them settle in and he is loving it. They have vertical tutor groups (20 pupils) and there's only 2 children (girls!) in his that he knows from primary school, but there's also 1 prefect per group who takes full responsibility for the yr7s' orientation in the first few days. I think that has been key to a smooth transition.
He has made friends with a boy who has persuaded him to go to homework club with him after school, because they can use the school colour printers to do their art homework! When i tried to get him to go to this club he said no because "only geeks go"
I am glad to say that my early years of 5 mum-and-baby or toddler groups per week has finally paid off; I know most of the mums of the children he is meeting (there are about 6 small primary feeder schools), and in fact, lots of the teachers, who returned to work once their DCs started primary. So I can chat with lots of people at school meetings, and DS knows he won't be able to get away with anything His science teacher used to be our neighbour and his English teacher is a good friend of mine. There are definite benefits to small country schools!
Oldbeanbagz, how did the rest of her week go? Pinkcheezy, that sounds very positive. Quite similar to our experience at Ds' school.
He very nearly got detention on thursday - I had not noticed there was a note on the parent portal to bring swimming kit.... My main concerns was friendships for him, and that seems to be going well, fingers crossed.
The rest of the week went well and having practised the Grade 4 piece every night, she's feeling a little more confident.
I'm hoping that her teacher will be able to persuade her to join the group after Half Term as it'll be good for her to play with others.
at nearly getting detention QuintessentialShadows but glad to hear that the friendships are going well.
Join the discussion
Please login first.