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Choosing friends from primary to go up to high school with - angst

(27 Posts)
Flyonthewindscreen Wed 03-Jun-15 19:53:42

DD is in year six and going up from her one form entry village primary to the local high school in September. There are 19 girls going to the same high school (very girl heavy class) and the school has a tradition that the class pick two friends that they would like to be in a high school form class with and they try to ensure that they are with at least one of those people.

The year six teacher will be asking them for their choices soon and the endless angst i am getting from DD about it is driving me mad.

Disclaimer: there is no point telling DD the choice doesn't matter as she will have plenty of chance to make new friends anyway. She will not listen and the whole choice discussion has been going on most of year 6 so it is impossible to play down. Also she has an elder sibling in the high school so she is aware that the form cllass are together virtually all the time in year 7 and quite a bit in year 8 when setting is used more.

DD did have it sorted. She was putting her longtime best friend "Jane" as first choice, and another good friend "Sue" as second. Jane and Sue was also choosing DD and each other, tying them together into a neat three.

Recently another girl "Ann" has come onto the scene and is very keen on being best friends with "Jane". Ann's mother is very keen on Ann and Jane being friends and constantly arranging for the two of them to activities together. Ann and her mother are both rather forceful types.

Now DD and Jane are coming under pressure from Ann to put her down as her second choice and she will do likewise, i.e. dumping Sue. Sue is a much better friend to DD than Ann but she is worried that if she puts Sue down as second choice she might end up in a form class with just her and Ann and Jane will end up together.

Doing my head in hearing about it and i know that DD will spend the summer very upset if she knows she won't be with her best friend since reception. How to advise her re the girl politics of this. I was massively unpopular at school so didn't have these kind of issues!

IndridCold Wed 03-Jun-15 20:21:31

Not a lot you can do really. I would advise her to stick to her guns and make her original choice of Jane and Sue, and see what happens. As you say, in a year from now it will all have been for nothing smile.

ragged Wed 03-Jun-15 20:51:18

Smile, listen nicely & pat her back. Eventually the form will go in & what will be will be.

tippytappywriter Wed 03-Jun-15 21:04:58

What ragged said! Don't give it headspace if it is driving you mad flowers

Heyho111 Wed 03-Jun-15 21:14:30

Tell her to put all 3 names down with a sentence saying she couldn't choose between them.

TalkinPeace Wed 03-Jun-15 22:43:37

and by the end of the first term she'll have new friends anyway

Millymollymama Thu 04-Jun-15 10:01:35

You don't always get what you want in life. There will be new children trying to make friends throughout her life! As Heyho says, put them all down. How will she cope in life if she can't manage without primary school friends in every lesson?

Madmog Thu 04-Jun-15 10:03:21

When my DD had to choose two friends, it was in on a form and submitted in confidence. Your DD should choose who she really wants. They will be trying to accommodate all of them and if Ann puts down Jane as her first choice, chances are she'll be in the same class.

My DD was told by four girls they were choosing her, and I know from parents at least three did. Luckily for her she knew which two she wanted to choose anyway (they are still good friends, and the other two she didn't choose have gone other ways!. As it happens all four girls were put in the same tutor group as her, so they tried to keep them all happy - they were the biggest group from that class together.

KittiesInsane Thu 04-Jun-15 10:05:24

DS was part of a closeknit three at primary. The other two firmly, hurtfully, dumped him the minute they got to secondary.

DD went to a high school where she knew no one. Much simpler!

gleegeek Thu 04-Jun-15 10:37:29

Oh this brings back memories!

I know it doesn't help your dd now, but the children who ended up being split from existing friendship groups when they went into year 7 seem to be the ones having the most fun now smile Dd is in a class with about 70% of her primary year, she already knows who likes her and who are her friends in her class. She is really sad that she's not getting many opportunities to meet new people and is looking forward to more setting in year 8 as she'll hopefully be with new faces...

It all seems so important to be with friends leaving year 6, but it's amazing how quickly it can all change...

DeeWe Thu 04-Jun-15 12:37:53

I would speak to the teacher and ask that their choices are kept confidential.
Preferably and the children asked not to talk about it so if Ann starts asking they can just say "we've been told not to talk about it".

If I was Sue's mum I would be very unhappy about it too. Is Jane really friendly with Ann or has Ann's mum just decided that she should be? It's close on bullying Sue if she's pressurising the other two effectedly to exclude her.

Clavinova Thu 04-Jun-15 14:21:34

Is your dd allowed to name just one friend instead of two? There must be other dc who only have one close friend. If the list is confidential and your dd only names her best friend Jane then Sue and Ann will probably be in the same class as well because they've named your dd and Jane. I think your dd is right to be worried though as there's no guarantee that Ann is going to name your dd - she might put Sue on her list instead!

Flyonthewindscreen Thu 04-Jun-15 18:04:32

Thanks for all the replies. I know there is nothing much i can do and it doesn't matter in long run, but only so many times i can tell DD that. To reply to some of your posts the DC must put two names not one or three according to DD and they are supposed to do iit privately. DeeWe, yes i am uneasy with the way that Ann's mother is very obviously trying to ensure that her daughter gets her choice of friend (other people have noticed this also) and the nastiness of Ann trying to exclude Sue, it seems to go beyond the usual year 6 girl end of year shenanigans imo.

KittiesInsane Fri 05-Jun-15 09:56:50

DD sounds like she'd be far better off putting Sue down, seeing Jane outside school if it comes to it, and steering clear of this girl's shenanigans. I feel sorry for poor old Sue!

TeenAndTween Fri 05-Jun-15 10:03:55

In my opinion, it would be better if schools let you put down the one person you did not want to be with.

If you are friends you can stay friends if you're in a different class, and you get to meet their new friends too.

If you really don't get on, then being pushed together in lessons and tutor can be problematic.

Also, being with a 'best friend' could discourage a DC from making new contacts in the early weeks.

Blinkinwinkin Fri 05-Jun-15 13:13:02

You are all overthinking this - there is no guarantee anyway. Surely the school ask for names and "try" to accommodate requests? You get what you get.

TalkinPeace Fri 05-Jun-15 20:11:28

Children change over time.
DD had a best friend right through primary
they both dropped each other like a stone at secondary
DDs best friend at secondary became part of our family
and now at 6th form has been dropped like a stone (mutually)

The best thing you can do is worry about your child's ability to make and choose friends, not necessarily hang on to them for historic reasons

RaisingSteam Mon 08-Jun-15 16:05:41

Can I hijack slightly? We have the opposite problem - not friends but "enemies". I have no idea if DS's class were asked or if their teacher was asked, but he was bullied by a group of boys in years 4-6. He's adopted and really struggles socially to make friends due to his emotional issues, he has very few.

Anyway I've just been told he's been put in a tutor group at high school with one of the bullies (not main instigator but a joiner-in). I had really hoped and specifically asked he'd have clear space away from this lot for a fresh start to make friends on his own terms, rather than people dragging "history" from primary school. I know they will all be together in playground, lunch, PE etc but the tutor group could be just one safe space.

Am I being OTT to kick up a fuss and ask for one of them to be moved? The school gave me a load of spiel about how they make special provision for children with emotional/attachment difficulties but it seems to have disappeared before they've even got there.

DuelingFanjo Mon 08-Jun-15 16:12:49

Let Ann put down her two choices just like everyone else, get DD to stick to her own choices. If Ann changes her mind then so be it.

this all sounds absolutely CRAZY!

Yarp Mon 08-Jun-15 19:52:50

My thoughts:

I would also get her to put three names down with a sentence about not being able to choose. Then speak privately to the teacher (assuming you have a friendly relationship) and ask her to make the ultimate choice. Not your problem anymore. Teacher will be able to be dispassionate about it and you and DD won't know.

Make sure your DD knows that whatever she has put may or may not be accommodated

I'm a TA and I think my teacher would be willing to do this

Yarp Mon 08-Jun-15 19:54:42


I might ask for a chat about it. But I would also say that the fact that this boy is a joiner in weakens him and all may change very quickly once they are inSecondary, where he may not be feeling so secure without the 'leader'.

pixiestix Mon 08-Jun-15 20:04:33

If they are only guaranteed one friend and she puts down Jane and Ann then she runs the risk of being in a class with just Ann, with Jane and Sue in the other class. She should definitely put Sue down as her second choice.

Luna9 Mon 08-Jun-15 21:14:01

She should definitely put her two best friends; the rest it up to the school not you or her. Just tell her to do that and do not even worry about it. Whatever happens happen. Not sure why some people is suggesting to put Ann if she is not her best friend. I didn't have that problem with my dd when she moved to the junior; she made sure she put her best friends and luckily she got the main friend she wanted to be with; the other 2 went to different classes.

JustDanceAddict Tue 09-Jun-15 09:07:45

I am so glad that the secondary my two go/will go to doesn't do this. It actively says 'no asking to be with X'. You can ask not to be with people, ie someone who has bullied you in the past, but they make their own decisions re tutor groups. TBH all of DD's better friends aren't in her form. Someone from her old school she has no classes with, and some other girls. They are all the same form though!! She was initally friends with girls from her form, but went off them twds end of year 7. DS is going up in Sept with a few friends and it will be pot luck who he is put with.
I'd let your DD put the original two down, and maybe ask her current teacher as they often have a good idea re friendship dynamics.

Whathaveilost Tue 09-Jun-15 09:13:11

Blimey, I'm glad my boys secondary school didn't do this and neither did mine. It just seems to cause too much angst!
I would be tempted to 'lose' the form and let things be!

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