To be terrified we have made the wrong decision regarding schools.(18 Posts)
Everything will be OK
Your DD will make friends easily and you'll remember why you went with your gut feeling when it all pans out for the best for her.
Could you prepare her for it to be a bit odd at the start, which it's bound to be, but spin it as exciting and how the other children will be feeling the same?
Any sniff of bullying and come down on the school like a ton of bricks, same as you would do anywhere else. She should not be a target of any kind just because she doesn't know anyone there yet.
Don't let her know you are worried. Remain positive and matter of fact.
It will work out. They all make new friends and there is no guarantee that she will be with this friend even if she did go to the other school. The friend may make new friends and abandon your dd, or your dd may have made new friends. You will never know now, so make the best of it and help her remember why she chose the other school.
'I just imagine her in the playground on her first day knowing no one and feeling insecure'
My DD (13) has been through periods of this, and it's awful looking on and feeling helpless.
But schools are so much better now, they make a point of trying to make everyone feel included, without having to be asked or it pointed out to them.
They'll probably buddy her up with someone until she finds her way about, or there'll be specific places she can go if she's feeling a bit lost (at DDs school it's a unit called 'inclusion').
From a place where she was very unhappy in year 6 to her actually enjoying, yes enjoying some days at school, DD has come on in leaps and bounds now she's in year 8. Just them all growing up can do that without any intervention.
molding we've done something similar - massively oversubscribed school up the road, everyone loves it, all her friends have put their name down for it, our primary is a feeder for it. But DD chose a school 3 miles away which has not been open that long so we don't even have any historical GCSE results etc to go on - she was adamant that was the one. She won't know anyone and her insistence on it is wavering in the face of everyone talking about going to oversubscribed school up the road. Worst thing is, come March, we're probably going to end up on the waiting list for school 3 miles away making it even worse. But it was what she really really wanted, and I must admit we all loved it the minute we walked in. I think shewhowines has it right, just keep reminding our DDs of all the good things about the school actually chosen.
Yabu - you've made a well considered choice, and if it all goes tits up you can just look for a different school. It sounds like it will be lovely
My dd was in same position on her move to secondary. She is very tall and she wore glasses and braces - enough differences to make her a target for some bitchiness years 5& 6. Was adamant she wanted to go to school 7 miles away where she was the only one from her primary attending.
1st day the reality hit. We dragged her actually kicking and screaming into the playground. As we coaxed her through gates a man came past and stared intently at her, so I mumbled something about her being extremely nervous. He said to DD ... Do you mind going in and sitting next to my daughter if I come back and point her out. They'd moved from London and his DD was also crying and nervous.
By the end of the day she had made friends with four girls who were all new to the area or who had joined as the lone child from a non feeder primary.
She says it was the best decision ever. A fresh start. She didn't have any of the baggage from primary and made a lovely group of friends. This boosted her confidence in so many ways that even if the school she went to had been lower in the league tables it was worth it to see her blossom as an individual and achieve far beyond what was expected on entry.
You and your DD gut instinct will prove right. Yes, the first day or days may be rocky but in 7 years time you'll be wondering why you ever had any doubts.
Be positive and excited for your DD and some of that will carry her through the first days.
Did this with my DD, and although quiet and shy she doesn't have SEN so we didn't have to add that into the equation.
We live an equal distance from two schools. Her primary school feeds into the other school, so she was the only one going up to the secondary that she chose.
It was absolutely the right decision. DD is now in Y8, has an excellent group of friends and had really 'grown'. She's a bright, quiet, hard worker - very much overlooked at primary school because there were several very demanding children in her class (in the 'look at me, look at me - I'm amazing' sense). Whilst GCSE results are obviously important, they also seem to care about the child as a whole and their development as a person.
As an example of how well it could go, the school has an award day at the end of summer term. I had never been to one, so had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised to see that the awards were not just for the brightest and best. They covered all subjects and were given for effort, progress or achievement. My 'quiet, overlooked' DD came away with the head of house award.
As previous posters have said, be positive. We had a first day wobble, but she hasn't really looked back since then. There was also a bit of tearfulness in the evening about 6 weeks in as the friends made in the first week sort themselves out and they moved into new groups. Just had to point out that it didn't matter that the girl in question had gone off with the 'popular girls' (DD's words) as she had other friends that she has more in common with.
You say your DD knows people further up the school - I don't suppose that it operates a 'vertical tutor' system? If it does, would it be worth a call to the admin team to mention this and see if she could go in the same tutor group as them?
Hope it goes well for your DD.
Sorry for ramble - unable to sleep
Same issue here.
All DS1's mates went to feeder, we/he chose a different one.
He went to taster days in the summer on his own but actually recognised quite a few faces from swimm
Sorry. From swimming, cubs etc.
it was the right school for him & we've never regretted it.
Go with your gut instinct.
My older DD went to a grammar school with a group of about 20 girls she knew from primary. It was, and remains, a disaster (now year 8). Choosing schools is always a fraught time, you just have to do what you think is best.
Senco not coming to the open day tells you everything you need to know really. Chin up, you've both made the right decision here.
We have chosen our DS's school on the school and not whose going there. So he probably will be going alone. In reality there will be lots of children in the same situation and he will make friends despite being quiet. I know there will be other children like him there.
I have a DD1 who stood on her own at a primary school were she knew everyone.
At secondary school she's still the outsider, but she goes to choir, helps in the library, could swim or play netball, has done board games.
Secondary school is different, there's lots going on. Our SEN dept. Runs drop in groups no one needs to stand around feeling lonely.
DD2 went to the same school with several friends, but now they are set she's made a totally new lot, who are lovely.
Your DD will be fine, just make sure you know what activities there are, keep in touch with the Senco and report any bullying.
Because they are very big, secondaries take pastoral care seriously, when small primaries can be dreadfully lax.
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