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Any other year 7's still struggling to settle at school?

(15 Posts)
MicronesiaIsMyHome Mon 17-Nov-14 09:37:36

Just wondering really. I thought dd would have settled into school quicker than she has. This morning was another mammoth effort to get her to school. She refused to get dressed first, left late but managed to catch the bus and then got off her bus at school and phoned me crying that she was going to come home. I still had to be the tough parent and tell her if she came home I would take her straight back and then I had to put the phone down and get the younger dcs to school. Right now I feel totally wrung out. sad

PastSellByDate Mon 17-Nov-14 10:38:46


I'm so sorry to hear this - it must have you really worried - but genuinely she isn't alone.

If she hasn't already - really encourage her to look into what clubs are on offer at the school. Most schools have Y7 only clubs - often at lunches - and not just sports - there's interests (religious societies/ cooking/ choir/ art) and academic (science/ maths/ reading). It is a really difficult stage especially if you've moved up to a school with very few of your friends from primary - but remind your DD:

1) it takes time to make friends

2) you're still friends with your friends from primary (maybe smooth that along by inviting some round over Christmas break)

I suspect (as Coolas warned on another MN secondary discussion) the novelty of Y7 is starting to wear off - and with people busily rushing here, there and everywhere - it can seem like you're the odd one out. However, I've often found appearances can be deceiving and I think it's important to remind your DD she's not the only one who's feeling lonely and that she doesn't fit in. Try to assure her that, in time, she'll find a group of supportive friends.

In the meantime at home - remind her that she has her family & friends (from primary/ activities prior to secondary school) - who she can see and keep in touch with. Support networks don't always have to be just at school.


Takver Mon 17-Nov-14 15:49:32

Micronesia, dd is now in yr 8, but yr 7 was really a rollercoaster here of ups and downs. Has she (or have you) spoken at all to her form tutor and/or head of year? From your description, it sounds like it would be really good to communicate with them and let them know how she's feeling.

It may sound daft, but they don't want her to be unhappy! They want happy settled pupils who will work well and attend regularly. There are all sorts of things they can do, for example dd was referred to the school counsellor who really helped her a lot. Another example, DD's friend from primary, now in a different secondary school is very shy and was failing to cope at lunchtimes - his HoY found him a club to go to where he could just hang out & read his book & not have to interact until he felt ready.

MicronesiaIsMyHome Tue 18-Nov-14 08:10:32

Thanks for your kind words. The school have been quite pro active already. Before half term I had a meeting with the year 7 learning mentor as the school had already picked up that dd was struggling. They have suggested things to help and dd is slowly getting involved with the music department and reading club. I can't really fault the school at all. I think it will take a while as no one from dd's primary went to this high school. Also over the summer dd dropped out of scouts and the youth group she went to and has made little effort to see old friends so I feel a bit frustrated with her because she is not helping herself either!

I am going to make another in off trying to suggest some new after school activities, see if I can get her involved in something else.

PastSellByDate Tue 18-Nov-14 13:25:05

Hi Micronesia:

I think patience and time is all I can advise. It sounds like the school have made some good suggestions - and if your DD is musical - then joining groups will help a lot - both for her music interest and making friends.

I also think it may help to talk with your DD about when she feels lonely - is it at breaks/ lunch? These can be really difficult if you don't know many people and aren't confident enough to ask to sit with a group of people you only vaguely know. I know I hated sitting on my own as a kid.

But there are solutions. Eating quickly and then going to the library or computer room (sometimes called learning hubs). Asking a friend in advance if you can join them for lunch tomorrow/ Friday/ etc....

One thing your DD can do is be open to asking to join people for lunch. DD1 has now got used to just bumbling up to people she knows and likes from various classes and saying 'do you mind if I join you' - they've never said 'NO' yet. And in fact - now she says the problem is that there are about 3 different groups of people (friends from old primary/ new friends from classes/ friends from out of school clubs) that want her to eat with them - so she sort of rotates around them.

Notinaminutenow Fri 21-Nov-14 13:07:43

You're not alone!

Just had a phone call (must have sneaked into loo and made call as school has a no phone (sight or sound) policy, to say that DS just had lunch alone - 2nd time running. It must be bad as he never rings!

We thought he was sorted but y7 is just full of ups and downs. TFI Friday!

sad to think of gorgeous DS sitting all alone. He's gone off to the library for the rest of lunch break...

This parenting lark never gets any easier.

ixos Fri 21-Nov-14 18:29:10

Totally not alone! My DD is still struggling. Lots of horrible friendship issues with old primary school friends deciding that she is not worth talking to anymore. All very hurtful and unsettling for her. She feels very much on the fringes of everything but I suspect a good chunk of year 7s still feel this way. I am constantly worrying about it - was not prepared for how wretched it would make me feel too.

Notinaminutenow Fri 21-Nov-14 18:43:19

...and he came home full of beans after having a great afternoon and clearly resolving whatever it was that had caused the problems at lunch.

I can not keep up!

ladydepp Fri 21-Nov-14 20:07:06

My DS is up and down, one day he comes home full of beans talking about what a great Science lesson they had. The next day it is tales of woe as he didn't understand anything in Maths and had a terrible test mark. He went to secondary with 3 other boys from primary and seems to still stick to them most of the time.

I really do not know what I am going to get when he walks in the door every afternoon.

Tis hard, you have my sympathy OP. A friend's son really struggled in Y7, faking illness to avoid going in, etc.... Now is in Y9 and flying....hope your dd is the same.

merlehaggard Fri 21-Nov-14 21:08:46

My DD is now year 8 and last year it took her till Xmas to really settle down. My friend's daughter, a bit longer. It is still early days.

Nimo13 Fri 21-Nov-14 22:54:01

My DD having the same problem. Settling into a group of friends after the initial honeymoon period. Spoke to my friend with older girls and she said all you can really do is to be there when she needs a hug and try to listen and support her when she opens up. Hope it get better for you. She said friendship groups are transient at this age.

MicronesiaIsMyHome Sat 22-Nov-14 17:25:09

Thank you for all your kind messages. Like a previous poster I was totally unprepared for how emotional this would be and for how long it would drag on for. I never thought it would be this hard!
dd went to high school with no one from her primary so I did expect I little bit of upset and I do think she is making friends but very slowly. Just the littlest hiccup seems to be a massive disaster - especially when it comes to maths homework. The G.C.S.E bitesize site has saved my sanity on more than one occasion so far! It is good to hear from others, gives of hope that she will settle in time.

Marmitelover55 Sun 23-Nov-14 19:05:54

My dd is now in year 8 and settled and happy but had a dreadful start in year 7. She was sent home from school a few times with tummy ache which tuned out to be stress related and I will always remember her coming down the stairs in her uniform saying 'I'm so unhappy" sad It nearly broke my heart.

Anyway the school were proactive as your sound and got her to join drama club. Things were a bit better by Christmas and by feb half term she was settled. She saw the learning support teacher for quite a few sessions and I think this really helped. She also had weekly meetings with the head of year 7.

Dd2 is off there in September - I will be better prepared this time. Hope your dd settles soon xx

Frikadellen Sun 23-Nov-14 23:27:01

dd2 is now year 10 however she was like that unhappy and not coping at all. Come March we took the decision to move her to another school.

I wish we had done so before. Neither dd1 or ds have reacted like she did and I feel I should have trusted myself and taken the step to move.

She is now as I said in year 10 and doing great at school. However the period of bullying and no friends have had long time issues and she is not the girl she once was.

racytrace Mon 24-Nov-14 15:06:07

It feels good to know that I am not alone!!! My ds is also having problems settling in Yr 7 and today has refused to go to school. He has always had problems with changing from year to year at primary school but this has completely blown me out of the water! He gets up every single morning feeling ill, with upset tummy and up to now I have managed to get him to school. He is in counselling once a week which is costing me a small fortune, the school senco and pastoral care are involved. A sixth former has agreed to look out for him on the bus journey which has helped but today as he had a sore throat, he kicked off big time and I ended up giving in! I am single parent and this is so hard. I cannot physically force him out of the door onto the bus or into the car and he knows this, yet I cannot afford to relent again and allow him to stay home as that is a massive slippery slope I just cant risk falling down! I am also trying to run my own business from home and have had to postpone so many clients over the last few weeks, I am going to get a very bad reputation. Any suggestions anyone, please??

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