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year 5 parent has just been to look at secondary school

(22 Posts)
doughnuts Thu 28-Jun-07 13:52:18

It is a very good school but it's SO big and ds seems so young ! He is actually young for his age in terms of wordliness etc - pretty much in a world of his own but very bright - quiet and shy with strangers but also self possessed and very chatty and confident once he knows people.
I was just struck yesterday at this school open evening that he seemed totally unready for it all - and yes,I know it's a year + until he goes. I'm getting a bit worried about how to make him more independent (for example when questioned by teachers there he kept deferring to me, so that I felt I had to answer for him) and I know that he is hopeless about things like handling his own money (the school canteen ! how will he cope there!! - he takes so long sorting money in shops that I usually have to give in and help out) and crossing roads etc and getting to school on his own - he is quite cautious about cars etc, which is good in a way, but by being a bit too careful he dithers and that seems to be more dangerous ! Please don't dismiss me as neurotic mum as I really am not, but this is another big milestone looming,like going into yr 3,which at the time seemed a huge transition.

cylonbabe Thu 28-Jun-07 13:54:38

he has two years still in which to grow up some more.
stop counting out the money for him. let him take his time
does he do something like cubs? because that sort of thing usually helps with confidence.
also, in year five, many schoosl take them on residential trips. oftent his helps them grow up very quickly.
relax

OrmIrian Thu 28-Jun-07 13:56:17

I have every sympathy doughnuts. I'm agonising over this atm. My lad thinks he's so grown up but he really isn't. He still plays pretend games with his younger siblings and takes teddies to bed with him. We haven't been to see any schools yet but I'm attracted to the smaller school in our area precisely because I don't want him to be swamped. He wants to go to a bigger school because that is where all his friends are going (well that's what they seem to think atm). My feelings are compounded by the fact that my youngest is starting school this sept too. It's all change and I'm feeling sad and scared a lot of the time.

OrmIrian Thu 28-Jun-07 13:57:04

Can you let him go o school on his own? Get used to it in a familiar environment. Mine does do that I must admit - we have every expectation he will do that at secondary too.

Blandmum Thu 28-Jun-07 13:59:10

We have been having link days with year 5 over the past few weeks. I teach in secondary and I have been struck by how tiddly the year 5s all look. Be assured that by the end of year 6 they have grown up a lot, and are ready for the challenge of a new school/

They do find it odd at the start....all of them do, no matter how superficially confident they may seem. But by the end of the first half term they settle in. I know because I have had year 7 classes as a form in the past.

Honestly, he will be fine!

doughnuts Thu 28-Jun-07 14:09:50

thanks OrmIrian and martianbishop - that's a comfort. OrmIrian - I'm thinking the smaller school might be good, but then it's still going to be big ! He is keen on the bigger school as his particular friend who is in yr 6 and going next term will be there - I pointed out that people change and make new friends as they grow up, so it might not be the same. cylonbabe - yes, you're right.I shall let him do his own money and curb my irritation and desire to help him out, and I've been coaching him in road awareness too - will let him do short journeys especially in the summer hols. He did go to Beavers until he was 8 and then didn't fancy cubs,though he does several other activities and generally his confidence is blossoming - it's just that he seems to develop more slowly in those aspects. He is a sweetie and not wanting to boast, is very handsome - people have told me - and is generally looked after by his peers in class, so he rides on his cuteness which is not necessarily a good thing.

cat64 Thu 28-Jun-07 14:16:34

Message withdrawn

MaureenMLove Thu 28-Jun-07 14:17:14

You are in exactly the same position I was in 1 year ago! Actually, you will be amazed at how much 'older' they get in the next year!
I've spent the whole of last year getting dd ready. We've been going out on buses instead of in the car, so that she knows the routes and stops etc. She has been going to the park and the local shops on her own in the last few months too. The other thing I've done, is give her more responsiblity at home. Jobs that she has to do everyday and she has a little note book that she writes things in, so she doesn't forget. I also stopped reminding her what she needs for school. I know its harsh, but I explained that once she's at secondary school, she will be expected to remember things for herself and it seems to be working. She also started Guides last year, which was a big shock for her, as she had never really interacted with teenagers before. Once she was over the initial shock, she really settled and now can't wait for September. By the time you get to about Easter next year, you'll realise that he's ready - promise!

doughnuts Thu 28-Jun-07 14:19:39

Thanks both of you - that is a comfort - I know they do grow up a lot in the last year - his teacher remarked the other week that he has suddenly come on such a lot,in responding in class,eye contact etc - I know it'll happen but I'm impatient !

ZacharyZoo Thu 28-Jun-07 14:55:05

I know exactly how you feel, went through this 2 years ago, and DD is now just finishing Y7 and absolutely loves being at senior school. She had to get a bus to school, which was a huge thing for her to do, but her confidence, and self reliance has amazed me. There is a massive difference between junior and senior school, but even by the end of Y7 i can see her changing into a young adult. Just got to do the whole thing again now with her younger sister just finishing Y5, countdown to the 11+ again!

MarsLady Thu 28-Jun-07 14:58:23

Don't worry doughnuts. They change so much each summer. Look again in Year 6... he'll still seem small but by that summer he'll have grown into the school iykwim!

Done it with 2 so far and felt the same. Exciting yet scary time (for us never mind them lol)

doughnuts Thu 28-Jun-07 17:19:25

this is all very comforting - thanks again !

roisin Fri 29-Jun-07 18:25:12

My ds1 is in yr5 too, and I work in a secondary school, so I know what it is like.

Transition from yr6 to yr7 is difficult for most children tbh. But they do get through it: mostly pretty much unscathed in the end.

We've chosen to send ds1 to a very small independent school for those reasons.

In terms of getting organised one of the things some of our scatty yr7s have been encouraged to do, which works well, is to get one of those small concertina files - a tough one with a lid/fastener, etc., and have one section for each subject, and one for form teacher/home letters.

doughnuts Fri 29-Jun-07 19:14:32

yes, a file like that sounds like a good idea ! I think that if we could afford it an independent school would be my choice too, but we can't.

ElenyaTuesday Fri 29-Jun-07 19:32:07

Doughnuts, join the club! I took ds1 for his first secondary school visit yesterday - he is in Y5. He is very immature and looked to me for help every time someone spoke to him! The Y7 boys were great though and showed him things and even let him try a few experiments in the labs! Even the sixth formers showing us around tried to chat to him - by the end he said he definitely wanted to go to that school but we have lots more to visit in September so we'll see what happens after that. It is so scary though (for me that is).

doughnuts Sat 30-Jun-07 13:59:53

ElenyaTuesday - soun ds exactly like our visit -am glad not to be alone in my anxieties ! We hope to visit again in Sept too.

TigiCupCakes Sat 30-Jun-07 14:15:27

my son started secondary last sept, and i have to say that i was more worried about him getting on the right bus and getting there and home than worrying about the school itself! He is used to walking to school.
Anyway that was fine, and he knew his way round school within a couple of weeks. Just remember that they are all new together! They muddle through.

Blandmum Sat 30-Jun-07 14:30:15

The bus thing can be a real worry for the kids. Something that can be a real help is to find out where the terminus of your dc's bus is. So if the last stop is Newbieville, it helps them to know that, because the bus will probably have that on the front.

Agree in advance what will happen if they miss the bus, it will help to put their mind, and yours, to rest.

It is probably easier for them to have school meals at first, unless there are diatary reasons not to do so.

Mark everything with their names. especialy the school shoes.

Find out the name of their form tutor/ Head of pastoral team asap.

Get them to do their homework on the day they get it, if at all possible.....so much easier for them, and getting them into good habits early will help later on.

Tell them not to panic. All those sixth formers were once as small as they are.

If they get lost, find someone with a badge (most staff wear name badges), teacher or prefect if the school have them. Eveyone gets lost some time.

Tell them to have fun. They will be fine.

cat64 Sat 30-Jun-07 19:59:04

Message withdrawn

ElenyaTuesday Sun 01-Jul-07 10:53:05

MB, fantastic tips (especially about the buses). I like your idea about the concertina files, Roisin - I would never have thought of that!

Doughnuts, please come on here any time and share my panic attacks.......

doughnuts Sun 01-Jul-07 17:02:12

will do ElenyaTuesday - another thing occurred to me today - they have lockers with padlocks - there's no way ds can undo those (remembering the key for a start, but also,and it's not his fault, he has poor gripping - over mobile thumb apparently, so any fiddly stuff is just plain difficult for him - even opening crisps, sortin g coins, opening a foil top etc!)

WendyWeber Sun 01-Jul-07 17:08:49

IME just being in Y6 grows them up a lot - being the big ones, given responsibilities etc. - as well as getting older.

My only tip would be to buy several ties. DS2 loses his all the time

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