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Child not knowing anyone at New Secondary school

(27 Posts)
madaboutschools Mon 17-Oct-11 17:46:10

We have opted for a school where none of my son's friends will attend ( or very few). Has anyone any experience of this and how did their child cope.

bibbitybobbitybloodyaxe Mon 17-Oct-11 17:48:22

This happened to me when I started secondary school. I knew one girl from primary who went to the same school but she was put in another class to me. It was honestly all absolutely fine. Starting secondary is a great way to make new friends.

whoknowswho Mon 17-Oct-11 18:18:09

My DS started Y7 in september this year in a very large school and he was the only one from his primary and I was so worried about this. There was no need to worry he's doing amazingly well. He's got a handful of "friends" now and lots of others that he talks to; sits next to; goes to football training with etc etc. He still keeps in touch with his friends from primary too, so its win win! I wouldn't say he is a shy boy but he's certainly not outgoing either. So all my worry was for nothing. What I would say however is to encourage your DS to get involved in everything and anything when he first starts secondary that way he's got the most chance of meeting new friends. My DS does choir, running club, football training, chess club, drama and is loving every minute of it. Good luck.

crystalglasses Mon 17-Oct-11 18:22:44

Children make friends easily and there will be others in the same position.

RosiethePriveter Mon 17-Oct-11 18:28:02


My DS started this year not knowing anyone alongside the fact that everyone else had come from feeder schools. Added into that, he's autistic.

He made friends within a few days and seems absolutely fine smile Might be worth asking what the school do to encourage children to settle in? Ds' school purposefully mixed up the classes and also enforced fixed seating to make sure old friends didnt sit together

madaboutschools Mon 17-Oct-11 19:18:36

Thanks for comments, all sounds very reassuring. I will definitely take advice of joining lots of different extra curriclu.

changejustforyou Mon 17-Oct-11 19:43:45

being the only new boy (=not from feeder school) , hm, wasn't that easy despite ds bering quite outgoing....

madaboutschools Mon 17-Oct-11 19:47:20

How long did it take him to settle and make friends.

WhoWhoWhoWho Mon 17-Oct-11 20:20:45

I started secondary school knowing not one person and was fine, and I was shy and a bit 'bookish'. grin

RosiethePriveter it was so nice to read your post as my ds is autistic and I really worry about his secondary school years, it's nice to hear a positive story.

cece Mon 17-Oct-11 20:43:12

I have exactly the same problem - the school I like best is not one that children from her school usually go to. So I am assuming she will be the only one. She keeps saying she wants to go to the school that her school feeds into. I think because she knows loads of people there already and so feels comfortble there.

To me this school looked rundown and the pupils were scruffy and wasn't that impressed with it, although if she ends up there it wouldn't be terrible.

However, the school I like looked so well cared for and the staff were all so enthusiastic. smile She keeps saying she doesn't want to go there. Not done form yet and don't know what to do....

madaboutschools Mon 17-Oct-11 20:46:01

It's really nice to hear all these comments. We have chosen the school with no friends above the school that all his friends would go to because it seems like it will suite him slightly better and my son said he would like to go there. Hope we are doing the right thing, as results wise there isn't much in it between the two schools. We just seemed to get more excited about the one we have chosen. i suppose he would do fine at either, it's just that as a parent you want to do what is the best for your child - do we ever know.......

choirmum Mon 17-Oct-11 20:50:17

He'll be fine, I'm sure. My son started a new school for year 6 where he didn't know anyone and was boarding (though only 10 miles from home - cathedral chorister). We worried - he didn't - and he's been fine.

frazmum Mon 17-Oct-11 22:01:08

Both my DD's started secondary not knowing anyone else and were fine.

Make sure your DS goes to the day they have at the end of the school year for the new Y7's. It will help him get familiar with the school and also they usually put them in their tutor groups/form classes so when he starts in September he will know some faces. Also I remember a teacher telling me that by Xmas lots of friendship groups from primary have broken up (children maturing) and they keep a close eye on making sure all children are included.

budgieshell Mon 17-Oct-11 22:09:49

This is the question we asked the head teacher at the school we have chosen because our daughter will be alone. The form groups are organized so that any children who are alone are put together. We thought this sounded like a good idea, time will tell.

Iwantacampervan Tue 18-Oct-11 06:49:10

A couple of our secondaries run an extra transition day for those coming in small groups (up to 3). My DD went with 3 others (so they missed out on the extra day) and although they get the bus together and try and meet up for lunch, they have started to make friends amongst their form.
Does he do out of school activities where he will still see his friends from primary ?

madaboutschools Tue 18-Oct-11 19:00:06

my ds does quite alot of out of school activities, with possibilities of seeing the friends from primary school, so yes sounds like he will be fine. Thanks

TalkinPeace2 Tue 18-Oct-11 21:41:48

kids change schools when their parents move areas all the time
they survive
I moved from one end of London to the other
friends have just moved to Taiwan - their kids are settling fine

motherinferior Tue 18-Oct-11 21:45:23

I don't think it'll matter, really I don't.

Hatwoman Tue 18-Oct-11 21:53:36

madabout - the reality is that no-one can tell you what it'll be like for your ds. I have learned that generalisations and anecdotes about how quickly children adapt/settle to new situations are just that. Every child is different - and you know your ds better than anyone. You're obviously a thoughtful parent or you wouldn't be on here asking, and you wouldn't have made the potentially more difficult (but probably better-in-the-long-run) school choice. So ... take cues from him, push gently to support new friendships and new activities (but don't become a source of pressure), make time for him to talk to you, be there. all stuff I'm sure you'll do anyway. It might be a breeze, it might be hard - but he's got a good start in the form of a concerned parent.

Hatwoman Tue 18-Oct-11 21:54:11

[waves at MI - hope the job's going ok!]

motherinferior Tue 18-Oct-11 21:56:38

[waves back]

DD1 will, I hope, be going to a school that's quite local but won't be packed out with her mates. I am anticipating her making new friends. (Mind you DD1 is quite pathologically sociable....)

mumslife Tue 18-Oct-11 22:28:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madaboutschools Tue 18-Oct-11 23:29:41

Hatwoman - thanks for your words of wisdom and comments your absolutely right about generalisation and I will certainly endeavour to make it as easy a transition for him as poss. It is good to hear other people's experiences so that you can maybe learn from them and use strategies they suggest.

MJlovesscareypants Tue 18-Oct-11 23:35:16

Message withdrawn

CarrotsAreNotTheOnlyVegetables Wed 19-Oct-11 00:16:36

DD started y7 this year with no-one from her previous primary.

Made two friends at the induction day ( they walked straight up to her and introduced themselves) - lovely girls who were at biggest feeder primary so she got to know lots of their friends too.

Now she has a wide circle of friends from her tutor group, teaching group and the various activities she has joined. Some know each other, some do not.

The school also ran a summer school for new pupils in the week before the start of term, really useful for meeting new friends.

In summary, it will be fine. The school is new to everyone and DD has found everyone keen to make new friends.

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