Talk

Advanced search

New Year 7s - how are they getting on

(70 Posts)
Madmog Tue 11-Sep-12 11:29:07

One week into their new school, how are out new Year 7s getting on?

They seem to be moving my daughter onto the next level workwise which is good as she got very little out of last year (she's fairly bright and there's only so much they can do with them). She's only had two lots of homework, but we know there's lots to come.

She was really excited last week, this week the novelty has warn off - she was threatened with detention if she's late for French next time - unfortunately it's a massive comp with 1500 plus pupils, the map they've been given isn't 100% correct and she's not one for running off down corridors like her friends have been doing and keeping up with them, so I think she's a little worried - she is a hard worker, fairly well behaved, with a good set of friends so has never had to worry about being in trouble. Her friend was also threatened with detention for forgetting her french book, so she's a little worried as well.

On the positive side, she's got her four best friends in her tutor group and has already made friends with a girl in another tutor group who she's been meeting regularly and texting.

Ninjahobbit Tue 11-Sep-12 11:43:07

good morning

My DS started Senior school on wednesday and made it through the first week with me going in just once and speaking to the dinner manager who was amazing and took my DS around the dinner proceedure that day to help him know what to do, he has bad ADHD and needs lots of support, back up and help while getting used to all the changes he is having to manage.

He managed 3 full days before his first 'accident' which was noted in his diary, he had a fall on his knee in PE and ended up with ice pack at school. Of course he spent the night milking it and doing the whoe is me thing. I didnt buy it and gave him some sympathy but certainly did not become his nurse I sound like a bitch grin he didnt need any encouragement

I am having to work really hard to get him into a routine and we are having lots of shouting from him, heated discussions arguments and things are at the minute very much hard work, I have an idea I will present to him tonight that if we manage mornings better and he gets changed at night and does his homework {not got any yet} he will get an xbox game in the half term anythings got to be worth a try

sounds like your Dd is doing amazing and I also wonder if the teachers are being too hard and not realising whats going on for her. I know I will be in contact weekly with my DS's tutor and other teachers to ensure they know whats going on and he doesnt get wrongly put in detention or even for the fact he hasnt yet found his way to all his rooms quickly!

Cloudy31 Tue 11-Sep-12 12:37:59

Hello! I'm new to Mumsnet but found the forum looking for advice about my Year 7 girl. We've moved to a new town so she doesn't have anyone from her primary at her new school and so far it's been pretty awful for her! The other girls seem quite unwilling to get to know anyone other than the friends they arrived with so she's been spending her break and lunch times alone (this is very out of character: she's bubbly and friendly). Our new home is a great deal further North than where we were before and some older girls have been teasing her about her accent and calling her 'posh'. We picked the school because it goes on and on in its prospectus about what a caring place it is. Bitterly disappointed and very, very sad.

tiggytape Tue 11-Sep-12 12:51:36

Cloudy - have you been in touch with the school? I am sure they do have a caring ethos but with so many children it can be hard to spot the ones who are quietly upset especially at lunchtime when less teachers are around.
This won't be an uncommon problem and all sorts can be done to help her. I am sure the school would act if they knew how upset she was.

My DS is also the only one from his primary going to a new school and it can be hard to break into established friendship groups. Things are starting to move a bit this week - last week all the children from the same primaries clung to each other for support. This week they seem to be taking an interest in the new kids a bit more.

FarrowAndBollock Tue 11-Sep-12 13:15:02

Cloudy does your school have any residential trips for new Yr 7s? I think this will get them mixing, if so.

My DS is lucky in that he has gone with friends from school and I think those who know each other stick together. I do worry about the children who know no-one though - maybe if you contact the tutor they could put her in touch with someone else who knows no one.

At the moment, things OK here, but aware it is the honeymoon period.

prettydaisies Wed 12-Sep-12 08:45:47

Cloudy, please phone the school. I'm sure they'll find someone to take your daughter under her wing.
My DD went with 2 other children to her high school and is beginning to talk to and sit with other children. However, these also seem to be the children who have come from very small primary schools. At least 3/4 of the children come from just 2 primary schools and she says they all stick together at the moment. I think it can be really hard breaking into existing friendship groups.

Littlebluetoo Wed 12-Sep-12 09:19:41

My DD is very, very tired! They do Mon and Fri till 6pm, other days 4pm and then she has Sat morning too. She has 12 bits of homework a week but they get 40 mins after lunch to get some of it done which has helped and they know exactly what subjects are set when. Quite a few of the other children know others but there is a good chunk who didn't know anyone and she has been working hard at making friends and the school have been fantastic at mixing up the children across forms. I have given her start a B+ but her attitude an A+!

Cloudy31 Wed 12-Sep-12 09:24:32

Hello all and thanks. I've booked an appointment to speak to her form tutor.

In her primary school, new children often arrived at all times of year from all over the uk and beyond--including our daughter, who started there in year 4. The existing pupils were taught by teachers and parents to be welcoming and to look out for the newcomers. I think we may have moved with unrealistic expectations!

Blu Wed 12-Sep-12 09:54:28

Cloudy - Sympathies. I think the whole mechanism of secondary is different and teaches don't get involved with pupils or parents in the same way. But I do think it's a good idea to talk to her form tutor. Good luck.

My DS has moved into a school which over half his primary class have gone to, but only one former friend in his tutor group. As far as I can tell he and his primary friends gravitate towards each other at break - whereas I would rather he makes some new additional friends in his tutor group.

Encourage her to join some clubs, lunchtime and after school - I suspect that new friendship dynamics might operate there.

talkingrabbit Wed 12-Sep-12 10:15:20

Not sure if this quite fits here but my DD has just gone into year 7 in a school with just one other good friend from her primary school. Sport is netball and hockey for the girls, football and rugby for the boys (as we're in S Wales that's basically rugby rugby and more rugby).
My DD has played rugby for years with an all-boys team, loves it & is good at it (has won club awards etc.) but in other ways is a reasonably girly girl. The year 7 boys have been told there is school rugby practice tonight, but none of the girls were told this.
My DD would love to play rugby with the school but went off in tears this morning saying that if she goes to the practice she'll be the only girl, no-one will talk to her and it will all be hideously embarrassing (think 60 11-year old boys getting changed with male teacher, and one lone girl getting changed possibly without any great attempt to include in the social side except once she's on the field).
Should I do something like contact the school or her head of year so that it would be easier for her to join in, or would that just make things worse? She went off at 7.30 with her kit and tears streaming down her face. I feel really sad for her and can't work out if I could do something to help, or whether she should just bow to social norms and not join in the rugby.

Madmog Wed 12-Sep-12 11:18:37

Cloudy31 - I think you've done the right thing contacting the school. With so many new children it's hard to realize who has problems until they get to know them better.

Talkingrabbit, I think I'd be tempted to phone the school and ask what the position is re: rugby, ie can girls do it. Explain that your daughter is planning to go, but obviously if it's an all boy thing perhaps they could tell her at registration this afternoon. Obviously hard to see her in tears, but if girls are welcome and she does go, then that way she can see how she feels and if she's prepared to give it another go.

After being threatened with detention on Monday if she was late for a particular lesson again, luckily my daughter was back to her normal chatty self about school yesterday. She has the same teacher again tomorrow, so I'm going to look at the map with her tonight and draw a route along it - there are quite a lot of individual buildings, some just ground floor level, others on the second level so it's a bit of a nightmare.

Cloudy31 Wed 12-Sep-12 20:28:00

Spoke to her form tutor who was lovely. She had no idea that anything was going on because my daughter is being her usual enthusiastic self during lessons and registration. They're going to sort out some 'buddies' for her to spend breaks with and see how things go from there. Super-relieved. Thanks to those who suggested contacting the school. Seems obvious, now! Hope everyone else is doing fine, too.

lexcat Thu 13-Sep-12 08:40:58

Dd is loving every bit, except not to keen on overly long bus jouney. Gone from small primary (130-140 pupils) to local comp with about 1400+ says it easy to get around not got lost yet and has made a total new group of friends. Did managed to leave her pe kit a school yesterday so went a liitle unsure this morning as needs to find it as dd has a pe lesson today.

I just so pleased as it a big step and dd just taken it in her stride.

catwoo Thu 13-Sep-12 09:41:21

Fab! Didn't know anyone in her class and after a bit of a friendship wobble on day 2 seems to be 'well in' now.Auditioned for a part in the house play and now is worried sick because she got a part.
Got into a bit of a tizzy about history homework ecause she couldn't understand whether she was supposed to be writing about the Normans through the eyes of a Viking, or the Vikings through the eyes of a NOrman.so she rang a friend who has writen about the Saxons!!
She does seem to be a lot more organised than her brothers were.Is that a girl thing?

BeattieBow Thu 13-Sep-12 09:50:22

my dd started last thursday, she only knew 2 other girls, neither of which are in her tutor group. She's fine although we had tears on Tuesday, and she is stressed every morning getting out of the house (it is further away than her primary school and starts earlier, so she has to leave much earlier).

She is always a bit unpleasant in the morning as she can't find things despite the fact she is meant to get her bag ready the night before.

She's loving it though. she had an issue that her 2 friends wanted her to sit with them at lunch and she is trying to get to know other people too so wanted to sit with them, but not let her friends down. cloudy I'm sorry your dd is finding it tough - friendships are a minefield at the best of times. my dd has also found that there are a lot of girls at her school from 2 primary schools, but unlike at your school, they are being friendly.

she wanted to start netball, but not if the older years were doing it too, only if the y7s were doing it alone. But I think she's got over that.

We also have a bit of stress over what she's wearing (its non-uniform), as one of her new friends only seems to wear Hollister hmm and £70 trainers. But she is a sensible girl and seems to be planning a trip to prim ark!

Overall its good and she seems to love it. tonight is a parents and children's disco! I am threatening to do my mum-dance in the middle of the dance floor.

Madmog Thu 13-Sep-12 10:44:57

Cloudy31 - glad you got to speak to the tutor. Hopefully it will help your daughter if she feels like she's got company and help her settle in quicker. Obviously when she's been there a bit longer if there are any girls she particularly likes, it might be worth asking if they'd like to come for tea.

talkingrabbit Thu 13-Sep-12 11:19:58

Thanks Madmog, decided to phone the school after your thoughts, but got distracted with work. Then had a text through from DD (from the toilet, TMI DD!) saying she had screwed up her courage to find the teacher in charge of rugby for year 7 who said it would be totally fine for her to turn up to practice tomorrow (now today).
She will decide later on today whether she actually does go, but problem sorted and school otherwise going great in her opinion. Thanks for super MN advice as ever and good luck to all the new year 7s in week 2.

sandyballs Thu 13-Sep-12 14:05:15

My two DDs are loving Year 7 but they are very very tired. Much earlier start and homework at night makes it a long day for them. They've both been very enthusiastic about it though and are doing trials for every sport going by the sounds of it. Just hope the enthusiasm continues. I've been surprised by how hard the work is so early on in the term.

FarrowAndBollock Fri 14-Sep-12 08:51:05

DS is packing own bag but today has forgotten coat (I had just washed and put in bag, but he took out hmm), so will be soaked, and water. Do you all prompt them or leave them to learn the hard way?

FarrowAndBollock Fri 14-Sep-12 08:51:56

PS: I didn't realise he had forgotten those things until he had gone - I'm not that mean!

JustGettingByMum Fri 14-Sep-12 09:03:54

Dd has a maths test today, from which they will be put into 1 of 3 sets. I hope she does well, but I think she is probably on the border between sets 1 & 2.
I would prefer her to be comfortable in set 2, to always struggling in set 1.
She wil be upset if not in set 1! aaaargh

phlebas Fri 14-Sep-12 09:28:58

my dd also started last week - she's been HE before this & knows no-one in the school & has a 10 mile (bus/train) commute each way - she's loving it but was absolutely exhausted this morning. We're both really glad it's Friday.

We're not entirely happy - communication with the school is non existent; they seem to actively discourage parents from being involved at all (apart from requests for voluntary financial contributions). All my friends with children at secondary school have email contacts for head of year, form teacher & subject teachers - this school won't make (well, they have completely ignored our requests) that information available. Is that common?

dd was setted for maths on Wednesday - the 3rd of 4 sets "because that one had room" & she hasn't done CATs - that's one of an increasingly long list of issues we would like to discuss hmm

tiggytape Fri 14-Sep-12 09:35:22

phlebas - that doesn't sound good as far as setting is concerned so I don't blame you for wanting to speak to them. Generally, it seems, secondary schools are much less communicative with parents than primary schools. Most people with Year 7 children seem to have little direct communication with the school at all unless a problem arises. If the school don't want to provide email addresses then that's fine as long as they do provide other ways of you discussing a potential problem with them. Are you able to arrange a telephone call to the teacher during the day or arrange an appointment for a face to face meeting?
Emails are much better you'd have thought from the teacher's point of view but maybe they like to do everything in person?

phlebas Fri 14-Sep-12 09:46:00

the only point of contact we have is the incredibly obstructive (think nightmare GP receptionist) school receptionist. We have called several times & asked how we arrange to talk to whomever we should be talking to but have had no joy. We also emailed the general contact address on Monday & haven't had a reply or acknowledgement. We don't even know as she is 'unable to tell us' when the first parents' evening is.

dd1 has also been asking & is repeatedly told that we should've had a letter (we haven't) or that they covered that in the induction day (she was a late applicant from the waiting list so we didn't have an induction day). The set thing is particularly confusing since we discussed with the head of year prior to her starting whether she would need to have any assessments that would've normally be done in primary school but were told absolutely not. dd is coping brilliantly but given that she hasn't done school before I'd really like to have a chat with her form teacher at least.

Short of staging a sit in in reception hmm I'm not sure what to do.

tiggytape Fri 14-Sep-12 10:28:17

Well not quite a sit-in, but if they really are that obstructive then yes - I would go to the school office in person and tell them I am more than happy to wait for either somebody to speak to or an appointment to be made there and then for a future date.
As somebody new to school, it would be nice to have some additional support and reassurance but their level of communication so far is much worse than offered for most Year 7 starters who have come from a primary.
Hopefully it is just new term teething problems but I going in person at least means they can't fob you off.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now