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Starting secondary with no friends

(13 Posts)
FedupofTurkey Tue 24-Jun-14 13:20:40

Any tips I can give ds. He 's the only one from his primary in his class - a quiet, shy kid, hates sports, loves IT. Visions of him eating lunch on his own sad

ImStickingWithYou Tue 24-Jun-14 13:33:30

My son is just finishing yr7. He left a very small independent school and went into a massive state secondary, with an intake of 240 pupils a year. He knew not one child in the entire school and, to top it off, uses a wheelchair which can add another barrier when making friends.

He is also not sporty, into IT and quiet. It took a half term before he relaxed enough to chat to the other kids on his own. He now has one good friend and lots of other friends he can hang with, not just in his class. I actively encouraged joining clubs to help him socialise. He joined science club, chess club and signed up to be a student librarian twice a week during lunchtimes. This meant that, although it took a while to get a 'best' friend, he got very well known, very quickly and it forced him to socialise.

Although, it was one hell of an adjustment, he now loves it and is very excited to start yr8 soon.

The school are aware it might take some children a bit of adjustment and our school was brilliant and socialising the quiet ones.

Just tell your ds to chat to his seating partner in each class and very soon he will know a few children. Join any clubs that interest him and he will find like minded children there. At lunchtime, just go sit with his class group, even if he is quiet. You won't believe how much they change this year!
Good luck!

TL:DR? - It will be fine.

PeachandRaspberry Tue 24-Jun-14 13:35:44

Loads of kids will be the same and they will all be fine. There are so many more people to find something in common with!

It would help him to be able to start conversations- can he do that?

Nishky Tue 24-Jun-14 13:37:50

Another success story here - dd knew no - one - she is finishing year 7 and has settled in well

Nishky Tue 24-Jun-14 13:39:31

Pressed post too soon!

I agree re clubs - lunchtime and after school- there are loads so he should find one that suits his interests

teaandthorazine Tue 24-Jun-14 13:44:26

Ds started at secondary knowing not a soul. He's a sweet friendly kid but not a loud or boisterous, centre of attention type. And he's about a foot shorter than everyone else!

He was absolutely fine - they're all in the same boat and the schools are usually very good at helping them bond and find friends.

Easy to say don't worry when it's all done and dusted but...don't worry, he'll be fine smile

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 24-Jun-14 13:44:36

My dd also went up to secondary without knowing anyone in her class. She did know a couple of people on the other side of the year. The brilliant thing about secondary is that there are so many more people to make friends with.

dd is very geeky and I was really worried about her. I didn't need to be. She took her time to find friends which I thought in some ways was better because it meant that she didnt then have to spend half her year trying to undo awkwardly chosen friendships. When I look at her with her friends now I feel ridiculously happy because she is happy and has a good group of friends from different classes and year groups. Its hard to explain to those to whom friendships come easily but it makes me proud.

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 24-Jun-14 14:01:28

He will be absolutely fine, there will be lots of kids in a similar position, he may even be in a form made up of children with no primary friends. My only advice is to encourage him to join as many clubs as possible, even though reading through the literature it may not seem to be his cup of tea, it is worth just going along to seeing if it is to his liking. This way he will meet other children who are not in his set or form. Sometimes I do not think it is a bad thing going to a school with no friends present, the children in DD's school who have come attached to best friends are the one's who have struggled to settle. Resulting in lots of upset and arguments as new social circles are formed. If he gets the opportunity to go to a summer camp before the term starts, this also offers a head start in meeting potential new friends.

He will not be eating lunch on his own because his form tutor will check that he has company. Staff really do look after year 7's and watch them like hawks during their first few months. You will also probably have a settling in meeting in Oct/November to establish if he feels happy and content.

FedupofTurkey Tue 24-Jun-14 16:21:00

Thanks for all your positive messages. Peach, he's not good at starting conversations, tends to hang back sad

imnottoofussed Tue 24-Jun-14 16:27:51

Can you ask the school to try to buddy him up in his tutor group with someone else who doesn't know any other kids? At least then he won't be left on his own when the others all go off together.

DD went to secondary not knowing anyone, she was paired up with another girl in the same situation who was in her tutor group and also same level of ability, they get on amazingly and have gradually made other friends within their lessons. She is now coming towards the end of year 8 and is still friends with the same girl but has a wider group that they both hang out with during break and lunch.

eatyourveg Tue 24-Jun-14 18:59:07

ds1 was the only one in his school to go to his secondary and he knew no-one except the science technician. When ds3 went, the only person he knew in the school was his db

secondary schools are use to this - they usually have lots of bonding activities either by form or by house. Dc both went on a PGL on the second day!

try not to worry

you could ask the school if they could pass your name on to any other new Y7 parents so you could organise a summer get together for others in similar situations. they won;t give you any phone numbers for parents but they can pass yours on with your permission.

Will there be a taster day? make sure your ds gets the contact details of any friends he makes for summer meet ups

Also consider going to any school functions before the end of term eg PTA things where you may find the parents running it have younger siblings starting in September.

FedupofTurkey Tue 24-Jun-14 19:46:27

Thanks eat, all good ideas. He missed the taster session - so I'm concerned that friendships may have already started and he'll have missed out sad

teacherwith2kids Tue 24-Jun-14 19:51:08

DS's school had a special buddy / group mentoring thing for children who might have difficulty settling in. DS was in it because there was some cocern whether moving schools would trigger his anxuiety / speech issues again (it didn't) and the group was brilliant for 'having someone there' if needed and 'letting him fly' if he was doing fine. You could ask whether the school does anything similar.

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