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Transition to secondary school

(5 Posts)
Bunbaker Wed 06-Jul-11 17:18:00

Today DD went on a taster day to the secondary school from a small primary (150 pupils) to a large comprehensive 1500 pupils, and she hated it.

They have a "buddy" system so that each child is put into a tutor group and form with at least one child (that they have chosen themselves) from their primary school. So she was with one of her friends all day long.

DD is a shy and nervous child at the best of times and severely lacking in confidence. The size of the school, the number of pupils and the size of the older pupils really intimidated her and she came home in tears.

Can anyone suggest ways in which I can help DD build up some self confidence? She seems to struggle with being in the company of bigger and older children, even at Guides.

Bunbaker Wed 06-Jul-11 22:59:00

Hopeful bump.

Niecie Thu 07-Jul-11 00:43:02

We had this problem with DS1. He starts secondary in September and at the first taster day, at the end of yr 5 he had to be sent home because he got so upset by the size and number of children. He does have mild AS though so although I wasn't expecting it, with him never having worried about crowds or noise before, I suppose it isn't surprising.

I realise there isn't a lot of time left for your DD but the school arranged some taster sessions where him and a couple of other children perceived to have difficulties with the transistion and they have done 3 extra morning sessions where they have been in small groups, being shown the ropes and just getting acclimatised. It seems to have helped and he coped well with his full taster day last week.

Would it be too late to go on a tour with just the two of you if transistion visits aren't possible. DS and I did that too, before his 3 morning sessions and it helped that I could talk to him about school more easily and I could discuss the school day more having been there for the chat. Try talking to the head of year.

Other that that I am not sure what you can do. Maybe talk to her primary school and see what they can do as they must have seen it before or contact the secondary school who would also have seen it all before and might have some ideas.

It is a worry though. I hope it all turns out OK for both our DC and I shall be glad when September has been and gone!! smile

madhattershouse Thu 07-Jul-11 00:53:31

My eldest is starting secondary in Sept. He tried to throw a "sickie" on both of his induction days. He still went and was fine but the transition from small school to one with over 1.200 children in can only ever be a little difficult! At least they have an induction process...in my day you went in on the first day without ever meeting the teacher or children you would be with.
I'm sure they will all be fine, it's just the change of environment and school size, daunting to say the least, they just need a little time to adjust. We got through it, they will need to tough it out too.

Bunbaker Thu 07-Jul-11 21:52:20

Thank you for your replies. I have got to the bottom of this. It turns out that school was fine, but the journey on the bus home was a little traumatic and a little "banter" from some older boys got out of hand. I mentioned it at the parents' evening and the school, to their credit, dealt with the offenders straight away and even rang me at work today to let me know. This gives me a lot of confidence in the school. At least they admit that such incidents happen rather than sweeping it under the carpet. I now know from another parent that they have an absolute zero tolerance on bullying and deal quite severely with the perpetrators.

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