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Starting Year 7

(64 Posts)
TeaOneSugar Tue 10-Mar-15 12:32:14

Anyone fancy a support thread?

I'm hoping there are lots of people who can offer good advice.

I apologise in advance for starting a thread and then going back to work, I will be back later.

Champagnecharleyismyname Tue 10-Mar-15 13:32:23

I would like to join with the first issue about how to get DD1 to accept that we did not get into her 1st preference school. She is already feeling a bit negative about things. We are way down the waiting list for her 1st choice so it is highly unlikely she will get a place.

I would like some ideas about getting her positive about the school place we have been offered which is a good secondary in walking distance from us. Her three best friends are all off to private school so that hasn't helped either.

TeenAndTween Tue 10-Mar-15 14:01:27

Hopefully you were quite positive about it when the applications were done. Keep talking up the benefits.

My y11 DD isn't friends with anyone from her old primary, so although familiar faces are nice for the first couple of weeks they soon make new friends.

They'll probably do induction days etc which should get her looking forward more.

Preparation for next 6 months (you only need to start after SATs):
- look at what sort of bags the younger girls have, also shoes, also if relevant socks v tights etc
- think where they will do homework
- walk to and from school
- own front door key and phone
- 2 pencil cases, one for home, one for school bag

Best luck to all y6s

Champagnecharleyismyname Tue 10-Mar-15 15:28:10

Yes I have been very positive about it and she liked the school when we viewed it but is now feeling pretty negative. I am hoping once the inductions start she will be fine. She is already planning her uniform and if she can wear her hair down.

PastSellByDate Tue 10-Mar-15 16:02:01

Hi TeaOneSugar:

DD1 currently in Year 7 and we were in much the same boat. She desperately wanted to get into two grammar schools but only scored high enough for a third, quite a distance away. She dreaded the long bus journey on her own so opted for local (and very good reputationally) senior school here, which is only a short walk away.

Things that helped:

We reminded her that a few of her friends (not best friends, but good friends) were also going.

We attended the welcome meeting. It was actually less crowded then the open day before we applied - and I think walking around and talking to people helped her feel a bit more comfortable with the prospect of going there.

The school held a transition day toward the end of Year 6 and this made a big difference. She met a few people who seemed very nice, liked her tutor group, the school had lots of nice activities on which she enjoyed and by the end of the day she really was quite chipper about going there.

She liked the uniform and buying 'the kit', letting her choose the 'cool' shoes rather than practical shoes and a ruck sack all helped make her a bit excited about starting a new school.

Six months into Year 7 DD1 adores her new school. She's realised that not having 1.5 to 2 hours of homework a night (typical workload for a King Edward Grammar here in Birmingham by all accounts) means she has time for her sport and music interests (which are important to her) and can easily manage the homework which does come home (more like 30 to 45 minutes a night/ more at weekends - about 1-2 hours at weekends). She also has plenty of time to read for pleasure - and indeed is currently devouring library books (school & local library).

So although I personally was a little blue that she hadn't made it into a grammar and do at times worry a little about the lack of homework compared to what grammar school friends report their children are doing - I have a very happy kid, who's doing well at the school, seems to be really enjoying her academic success and has all sorts of time for clubs/ sports/ music - all of which she thoroughly enjoys.

There was an advice on Year 7 feed last year: which had a lot of useful advice; much of which still holds true.

Finally - assure your DD that you will keep her on the waiting list for her first choice school. Find out how that works. Here the city council keeps you there until Christmas - After christmas you have to approach individual schools and request that you are added to their waiting list.

I asked DD1 if she wanted me to contact the grammar schools (she just narrowly missed the cut off) and keep on their waiting list in early December and she said 'No Mum, I'm really happy and want to stay where I am'. Personally I think there's a lot to be said for being a big fish in a small pond. At her present state comprehensive she's seen as bright, teachers are noticing her for the right reasons and she's clearly doing very well. Hand on heart - I'm not sure that would have been the case had she gone to a grammar school - and that dent in confidence may have disuaded her from her interests in maths/ science - both of which she's mad about (recording hours of science/ maths documentaries I get roped into watching with her - Fortunately I find Brian Cox fairly dishy so I don't tend to mind).


TeaOneSugar Tue 10-Mar-15 16:57:23

Some great advice already. DD was offered second choice, which could have been worse, we could have been offered our catchment school. We're quite a way down the list for our first choice but I have appealed and think we have backgrounds. I've told DD to assume it won't be successful and that she's going to her second choice, I'd prefer her to accept it now than be kept in limbo till June. Most of her friends are going to the same school so that makes it easier.

I'm aware there's some pressure in me in terms of cool shoes etc. although the school is quite tough on uniform policy so a bit of a balancing act. No word on a welcome day or transition plans as yet but it's early days.

TeenAndTween Tue 10-Mar-15 18:32:16

Don't expect anything too tangible prior to mid June (when the y11s have finished their GCSEs and if relevant y13s finish A levels). After then the schools have the time and the space to do things with the incoming year group.

TeaOneSugar Tue 10-Mar-15 18:56:36

That makes sense.

Daisyroll Tue 10-Mar-15 21:24:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ragged Wed 11-Mar-15 14:21:56

I agree about unused kit, studs for footie/hockey esp. tend to be un-necessary.

newfuture2011 Wed 11-Mar-15 14:27:33

My child has been allocated a school in St Albans. This is not any of our ranked schools. Quite a few children in Harpenden are in this position. Unusally the local paper has not done its usual information about the school allocation which is surprising. I am curious as to how many other children in Harpenden have not been allocated a Harpenden Secondary School for Sept 2015. Herts County Council say they cannot provide specific statistics on number of children in Harpenden allocated a school outside of Harpenden. So now it is a waiting game and the whole appeals process. Would like to hear from anyone in similar situation. We ranked our schools in the following order. 1) St Georges 2) Sir John Lawes 3) Roundwood 4) Sandringham. We were allocated Townsend in St Albans.

caringdad66 Wed 11-Mar-15 19:56:14

My son started year 7 this year.
It's been a difficult transition, and he still hasn't really settled.
If I could offer just one piece of advice,it would be to severely limit the amount of screen time you allow.
I have allowed far too much ( x box,iPad and I phone), and as a result,my son has become a virtual addict. I feel terrible,and feel guilty for letting things slip.
He is not doing all his homework,and is underperforming at school as a result.
Limit screen time to max of 20 hrs per week, my son was having 35+ hrs.

littlenicky61 Thu 12-Mar-15 00:27:43

Hi I started a thread last year about starting year 7 and got some really helpful advice the thead is here

having done it now ( daughter started year 7 last sept ) I would say:

- have a box or drawer for all school books and stuff and get them in a routine of putting everything in there after school - saves time and panic later

- get everything ready night before - uniform ready , bus pass ready , locker key , bag packed etc

- get them to keep spare pencil case at school in their locker/desk in case they forget it( at my dd school you get a code for forgetting things like this )

my daughter needed quite a bit of help with the whole 0rganisational side of things for quite a while but is a lot more independent now

-get homework done a soon as they get in before the distractions of phones etc

- be clear about which social media apps you are happy for your child to use

be prepared for more grumpiness than usual as the first term is very tiring for them ( and us )

- finally when you get the dreaded covering the books in sticky plastic homework there is a great tutorial on you tube ( if you can ignore the annoying jazzy music !!! ) which saved me from getting in a right mess

good luck its an exciting and at times stressful journey but my daughter settled really well and is loving it

TeaOneSugar Thu 12-Mar-15 14:49:58

Do you get some warning that books need to be covered or should I buy some clear sticky back plastic just in case?

littlenicky61 Thu 12-Mar-15 19:12:16

we got a couple of days notice the first time she brought some books back and then after that she had to do some for the next day but don't worry come September all the shops seem to have sticky back plastic !!
I would probably wait just in case their school is one of the few that don't cover them . At my daughter school they have some books ( that needed covering ) and for other lesson they needed lever arch files with lined paper and plastic wallets .

Nearer the time you will get a list of all the stuff you need I'm sure : )

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 12-Mar-15 19:24:20

I have two children starting Y7 in September, one at a school that is unfamiliar to us, and the other at a school we know really well because my older two children are already there.

These are some of the things I plan to encourage them to work on:

tying a tie

using a bus
acquiring a sense of direction
using a fountain pen
tying shoelaces
typing at a reasonable speed

As you can tell, one is a bit more ready for secondary school than the other.

TeaOneSugar Thu 12-Mar-15 19:54:23

I'd add to that list, "develop a sense of urgency" no idea how she's going to get between classes.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 12-Mar-15 20:53:06

I get a real sense of satisfaction from buying and naming uniform, kit and equipment for a new school. Making sure my children have the right stuff, sewing nametapes on, seeing the uniform lined up neatly in the wardrobe, colour-coding the subjects on the timetable.

I do realise I am very sad.

MsShellShocked Fri 13-Mar-15 07:10:22

If you're in London you get a zip card (free bus pass) - make sure they also have a backup Oyster card somewhere safe for when they've lost their zip card. Because you can't use cash on busses anymore.

You will probably have a transition day in July. So we practised the bus route in the Easter holidays so she could catch the bus confidently on transition day.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 15-Mar-15 17:32:46

Can I join in too? DS starts this September?

Endler32 Sun 15-Mar-15 17:36:50

My dd1 is starting high school in September, she is leaving all her friend ( apart from one ) as we have chosen a school out of catchment due to dd having Aspergers ( the school we have chosen has a better reputation with sn support ), she doesn't seem too bothered about leaving her friends and is quite excited about going to high school, unlike me who is a nervous wreck.

Endler32 Sun 15-Mar-15 17:37:42

TheFirst, I love buying and labelling new uniform too grin, I can't wait to start getting it all.

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 15-Mar-15 17:40:12

I can't wait to start getting it all.

Me too!

TheFirstOfHerName Sun 15-Mar-15 17:41:57

DS2 has ASD, and when he started secondary two years ago I was having kittens. I worried about all sorts of scenarios that didn't end up happening; he has been fine.

padkin Sun 15-Mar-15 17:43:36

I have ds, currently Y6 going, although dd is already in Y7 now. She did the whole transition thing easily, but I fear for ds as I'm predicting he'll find it more difficult.

Dd had a great big diverse friendship group, whereas ds is in a small group of 3, with one of his friends going on to a different school. I also worry more about his organisational skills! We shall see.....

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