To worry I have made the wrong decision for dd?

(91 Posts)
coffeebeanzmeanz Wed 16-Jun-21 20:28:17

So today dd13 went for her first visit to secondary with her class (well the ones who chose the same school)

She hated it! She thought it was too big. Too many ppl, etc etc sadOne of her BFF's is going to another school in the opposite direction which is smaller but We thought the bigger school would be better for dd as she can be quite shy and We thought it would be good to broaden her mind and social life a bit.

Now I feel like I have made the wrong decision? Should I see if I can swap or stick to the decision we made?

OP’s posts: |
Cannes12 Wed 16-Jun-21 20:31:57

Stick it out. She'll adapt. Lots of changes are difficult at first. You shouldn't teach her that she can just run away at the first sign of difficulty. She needs to give it a proper try.

Briarshollow Wed 16-Jun-21 20:37:27

I went from a very tiny prep school into a huge senior school. Some kids thrive, I did not. I did well academically because I was always going to, but emotionally I was quite affected. That was not entirely the school, admittedly, but it was in part. And I hated it. Now, that’s not to say your daughter will hate it, she may well rise to the challenge, but not all kids do.

coffeebeanzmeanz Wed 16-Jun-21 20:41:43

@Briarshollow that's what I'm so afraid of 😩 obviously with the year they had last year etc her last year of primary was practically non existent and at age 13 I just want her to be's a hard enough age as it is.

OP’s posts: |
Dogoodfeelgood Wed 16-Jun-21 20:42:08

Having been to both a small school and a big school I would always send my children to the smaller, you really don’t learn any extra social skills being in a giant school and you lose out on a lot of the camaraderie and pastoral care aspect. I would go for smaller!

QueenofLouisiana Wed 16-Jun-21 20:46:13

How much input did she have in the first place? At 13, I’d assume she had quite a lot, but your post suggests this isn’t the case.

If you chose for her and she hates it, you really might need a rethink.

Briarshollow Wed 16-Jun-21 20:47:17


*@Briarshollow* that's what I'm so afraid of 😩 obviously with the year they had last year etc her last year of primary was practically non existent and at age 13 I just want her to be's a hard enough age as it is.

I think key in this case is communication with your daughter. My parents did not communicate, nor did hey give me any choice. I was shut down when I tried to say I didn’t want to go, or I didn’t like it. I had no idea there may have been choice, because my parents didn’t allow me to be open with them. It’s not as simple as teaching her to face challenges head on. That might work over a short term but this is 5-7 years of her life. She needs to be included in the decision.

In the end I was brutally bullied for four years and wound up hiding it, until it turned physical and I couldn’t hide it anymore.

I’m not trying to scare you, just explaining where my situation went wrong. Just keep talking to her and making sure she knows she can confide in you if things aren’t working.


coffeebeanzmeanz Wed 16-Jun-21 20:48:03

@QueenofLouisiana she made it with me yes...but I suppose in my heart I feel like I made out that bigger would be better and Most of her classmates will be there. There's only 5 of her class (including 1 BFF) going to the other school. Think I'll see how she feels tomorrow and see if she wants to change.

OP’s posts: |
ineedaholidaynow Wed 16-Jun-21 20:48:29

Is the smaller school oversubscribed?

MimiSunshine Wed 16-Jun-21 20:48:36

Don’t all secondary schools seem huge and noisy at first?
She won’t be used to moving around a school to different classes and what feels like chaos.

She’ll settle in once she’s used to it

coffeebeanzmeanz Wed 16-Jun-21 20:49:19

@ineedaholidaynow I don't think so but I couldn't say for absolute sure I suppose

OP’s posts: |
Mistyplanet Wed 16-Jun-21 20:52:15

I think its better to go with the smaller one if you still have time to change. I was a shy girl and went to a fairly big school and found it totally overwhelming. Somwhere smaller would have been better I think. Dont worry about friends going either all the people i knew from primary all separated once we got immersed in the big school. Let your daughter guide the decision is my advice.

ineedaholidaynow Wed 16-Jun-21 20:52:29

I'm assuming the other school would still be bigger than the school she is at at the moment, so she could still have felt overwhelmed there too

coffeebeanzmeanz Wed 16-Jun-21 21:01:15

@ineedaholidaynow it is but it's not huge it's about 600 students vs 1300

OP’s posts: |
Babygotblueyes Wed 16-Jun-21 21:02:31

There is a lot of work in the States (the Gates foundation) about downsizing schools. I hear so many stories of people whose problems started when they went from a small school to a big one. I think you need to listen to your daughter.

Gilly12345 Wed 16-Jun-21 21:07:39

Ask your child what they want to do is my advice, some students are suited to large schools and some do better and are happier in smaller schools.

Just ask them as they are the one who will have to attend for years and years.

partyatthepalace Wed 16-Jun-21 21:07:42

I would absolutely go for 600 over 1300. I think most comprehensive schools are way too big, especially for a shy child who may end up a wall flower. So yes would swap if you can.

coffeebeanzmeanz Wed 16-Jun-21 21:09:19

@partyatthepalace thank you, you are right
@Gilly12345 she wants the smaller school
@Babygotblueyes thank you, I will definitely do that. I will call them tomorrow

OP’s posts: |
Gilly12345 Wed 16-Jun-21 21:11:21

My twins went to a fairly large secondary school (approx 1300) and hated it, the discipline was dreadful and a year in the school became an Academy and went into special measures.

However they both did really well with their GCSE’s and left to go to a great Sixth Form that was fairly small and now both completed their degrees. Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you go if you are determined to learn and have the right mind set.

stickygotstuck Wed 16-Jun-21 21:11:53

Talk to your daughter, OP.

I'm sure you had other reasons to choose the larger school and not just the size.

I'd stick at it, but reassure your daughter that, after a fair go at it, it's always possible to change if she really, really hates it.

Very quiet DC went to a tiny primary. From about year 4 this became way too small, and created its own social problems. We then sent her to the larger of the two local schools. It's worked out fine (DC is at the end of their 1st year 7 now).

HerbErtlinger Wed 16-Jun-21 21:16:17

My DD is going to the smaller secondary in the area, I think there's just 60 in her year group. I thought it would be better for the pastoral aspect and that all the teachers properly know the students but I'm panicking too that I've made the wrong decision as most of her friends are going to the bigger school and I feel a bit overwhelmed by the decision. She's happy with the smaller school and as she struggles academically and socially, it was presented as the best choice as she's less likely to be overlooked but it's so hard isn't it?

meadowbreeze Wed 16-Jun-21 21:17:13

Just to give some counterbalance, my very very shy DD is in a school of just over 1000. It would be easily 1300 if they had a sixth form.
She has a language disorder and I was petrified I made the wrong choice. The first couple of weeks were tough but bigger school usually mean they create smaller groups within. There is normally much more subject choice, extra curricular etc. She has 1 really close friend and a small group of others she spends time with and she loves that not everyone knows she's shy or has difficulties. You can blend in but also have your own group.
Her friend who went to a smaller senior school at 13 has really struggled as she's very shy and the group of friends is much bigger as the year group is small enough to stick close together. This hasn't been easy as it's been v hard to be close just with a small group.

If money is not an issue I would put her name down for the smaller school just in case things don't work out. I would give it until spring term of y9 though.

PracticingPerson Wed 16-Jun-21 21:18:56


How much input did she have in the first place? At 13, I’d assume she had quite a lot, but your post suggests this isn’t the case.

If you chose for her and she hates it, you really might need a rethink.

Agree, I would swap if a) she wants to and b) it is possible unless you have a really good reason (like the other school has a very bad reputation)

coffeebeanzmeanz Wed 16-Jun-21 21:22:20

Her primary school has 160 ish altogether so anything is bigger to be honest. sad there's 18 in her class.

OP’s posts: |
Howshouldibehave Wed 16-Jun-21 21:22:53

600 seems tiny-is it oversubscribed. I’d want to know that with such a small school (I’m presuming it’s an upper school, so is that only three year groups?)-is there a good range of gsce subject options?

The nearest secondary school to us is 2700 pupils!

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