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Moving DCs from private to state school into year 7 & 9 - need advice on making a smooth transition

(10 Posts)
scrimmet Thu 25-Oct-12 07:48:09

Hi,
My 2 DCs are at a great (small) private prep school. We have decided to move them to a state school, which has a good reputation but is HUGE! My DD will start at year 7, and probably know no-one in her year group of 360 pupils. My DS will go into year 9, he may know 1 or 2 people. He is very worried about making friends and fitting in. All his current friends are off to the extremely expensive posh private school.
Please can you help me with ideas about how to make this exciting and positive for them? DS is anxious and doesn't cope with change well. He is very bright and has a scholarship. DD is also bright but has more of a bubbly personality...

Thanks so much

givemeaclue Thu 25-Oct-12 09:35:07

What is the reason for the move?

Have you been to look around the new school with your dcs?

iseenodust Thu 25-Oct-12 09:39:48

Get them into local sports/scouts/drama whatever clubs now so they are making friends outside their existing circle. Be clear even after they've moved you'll help them still meet up with old friends.

smee Thu 25-Oct-12 10:19:27

Sounds like your daughter will start when all the other children in her year start there? Secondaries are great at helping the new intake, so she'll have lots to help her I'm sure.

Why not talk to the school about your son. I'd bet they'll have things in place to help him, but you could ask how it might work, ask if you can meet the year head with him before he starts, as that might be reassuring for him. I think new children are often paired with a child when they start, who knows they're to look out for them so that could work well for him too.

tovetove Thu 25-Oct-12 12:19:25

Why are you moving them? Finances?

It's quite a common move here (good lcoal prep to good local state at year 7 and 9). They tend to get streamed and with friends, like finds like.

It seems to be an overwhelmingly positive move here. Think of the cash you'll save - can't you bribe them with expensive holidays etc dreams

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Thu 25-Oct-12 12:22:41

Why move?

I thought most people did it the other way around? State school at primary, and move into independent secondary?

tovetove Thu 25-Oct-12 12:23:52

here it is quite a popular move - it works well as the prep schools tend to instill a very good independent work ethic that carries through at secondary so the kids tend to work hard and get the best out of the school.

mummytime Thu 25-Oct-12 12:44:18

Quite a lot around here make the move in year 7, smaller numbers move in other years. Have they been on a school tour? Have they met their heads of year? Can the school provide them with Buddies?

It should be fine. State schools are quite used to having pupils join, even in these years, quite often from overseas and with little or no English.

If you can get their timetables, and an idea of extra-curricula activities, and maybe an idea of school routines, that will help.

I would ask: when can pupils go in the school buildings, is there a house system and what does it do, what are the arrangements for Lunch and how do you pay (it may be on a fingerprint), when can they access the library, about any activities they might be specially interested in, are there special play grounds for certain years, are there different rules for different years.

If you know any pupils at the school (not necessarily in those years) get them to talk to your kids and answer questions. A kids eye view can often be helpful.

lljkk Thu 25-Oct-12 12:51:24

hahahahaa... I've done this. DS moved for start of y8.

Your bubbly DD sounds like mine so therefore will probably be fine, yr7 is a huge year for friendship upheaval.

DS way was smoothed because for previous 10 months he attended Scouts with several boys in his year group, presto instant friendship circle.

Tips: chase the school like crazy to make sure they induct both children well and that YOU know what procedures for everything are (you won't learn them all, mind). You should be okay with a y7 starter, school will do lots to help them settle. See if there's a Student Support Centre (they do pastoral care) & get their direct phone number.

Make sure your y9 has a clue what to do, where to go, on first day. Tell him it's an adventure to cope with bureaucratic ineptitude. If you're lucky he won't encounter "bad practice" in his induction, but don't be surprised if he does.

Ps: have to say that DS private school was far more disorganised than the state school, so we were rather up to the challenge of however badly the state school might handle his transition.

scrimmet Mon 12-Nov-12 15:18:55

Hi Sorry for not replying sooner.

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. Yes the move is financial. The big posh school is four times the price of the great prep school. When we started on this route fees were lower and DS was lined up for 50% scholarhsip. Now he can get top scholarship but only worth 10-15%. I have just been mafe redundant. So all in all we have to make the sensible decision.

So lots to think about. The new school is BIG so I think DD will find friends and survive. DS is alsready really stressed about it so I will speak to the new school about the support structures in place.

Now I am worring about his stress... Oh dear, this parenthood thing is rather tricky isn't it?!

Thanks again xx

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