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Buying a mobile phone for year 7

(51 Posts)
miffyandsnoopy Tue 09-Jun-15 16:52:13

Hi, I didn't really know where best to post this? My ds starts secondary school in September and we would like him to have a mobile phone for emergencies/last minute home time changes etc. Do your children have mobile phones for this same reason, and did you go for PAYG or contract? Did any of your children land you with big bills from a contract? What works best? And what's your experience with negatives/problems with having a phone at school i.e.. breaking, or getting lost/stolen? I am worried its a bad idea? Hope this ok to post here.

TeenAndTween Tue 09-Jun-15 17:08:37

When DD1 started (just finishing y11 now), we bought her a basic PAYG. She was then able to know it wouldn't be the end of the world if it got lost, and no one would want to steal it.
Christmas y8 she upgraded for a fancier (Samsung Galaxy Y) PAYG. DH and I are PAYG, and we discourage being glued to phone anyway, and internet access is disabled (until next week after GCSEs).

I think boys are a bit less bothered anyway by the general phone use and the 'having the right phone' thing.

DD2 y5 now has access to DD1's old phone if out on her own, eg walking to local shops. I'd like her to start secondary with that, but not sure I'll get away with it as so many seem to have Smart phones handed down from siblings or parents these days.

MrsBennetsEldest Tue 09-Jun-15 17:21:07

Boys most definitely are bothered about the phone they have. I would recommend a sim only contract that is capped ( no shocking bills) and use any phone you already have/ wish to buy.

mummytime Tue 09-Jun-15 18:04:16

Get a cheap PAYG - then they can prove they can look after it etc. before you get them a better one. You can get quite a decent smart one for say £50 from Sainsbury's, and won't wince as much when: they lose it for months, drop it in the toilet etc. etc.

PettsWoodParadise Thu 11-Jun-15 07:36:14

DD got my out of contract iPhone 4 which O2 unlocked at no charge and I felt it was cheaper to get a SIM from Virgin at £5pm for unlimited texts, 250mb data and 250 mins calls than PAYG. She struggles to remember to charge it up let alone go over her package but the she is still only in Y5 so doesn't take it to school and it is more for getting used to good 'phone management while she goes round Bluewater with friends and I can keep my distance etc. it was useful to have too to sync some content with her school iPad. We've had the conversation about digital bullying and the school have a programme on digital awareness too.

HSMMaCM Thu 11-Jun-15 07:39:52

DD got a cheap payg in year 7. She has upgraded since, but it was fine for a quick 'missed the bus' text or whatever.

ggirl Thu 11-Jun-15 07:52:57

ds had a sim only contract and an old iPhone 4 of dhs

he now has 02 contract for 10/month ,unlimited txts , free calls to 02 (most of us and his mates) , can use wifi on it but no data

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 11-Jun-15 08:02:18

I'm completely undecided on whether to give our DS a phone or not. If he does get one, he'll be having a very old Nokia that we have got lying around with the Virgin £5 a month sim.

If he can look after that, we may consider upgrading to a phone that is 5 years old instead of 10 grin

Petts can I derail for just a momentand ask about the school iI pad?

Do UK schools use ipads in class?

DD is going up to secondary in September and wouldn't know an ipads if she tripped over it- they don't use computers in primary at all in the country we live in. Wondering if this makes her totally out of touch with UK peers...

Her friends are all claiming they are getting touch screen phones for secondary to use WhatsApp - strangely or otherwise the talk is all of WhatsApp with no interest at all in the brand of phone beyond that. For now she has a very ancient non touch screen phone of mine on payg for certain situations but doesn't take it to school - she will take it to secondary as it's a long way from home and if she misses the bus she's stuck (also in case she wants to ask to go to a friend's after school or bring a friend home etc.)

ggirl Thu 11-Jun-15 08:07:31

ds junior school used iPads in class but his senior school use normal computers

What do they use ipads for in class ggirl?

I am intrigued and have Googled. .. is it like this?

www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/27/tablets-schools-coding-kids-education-ipad

Seeline Thu 11-Jun-15 08:55:39

Do not underestimate the need for a mobile. Not only is it very useful for both DS and I to let each other know what is happening - eg he can let me know he's missed the train, but I can let him know the car has broken down and I can't collect him after rugby training, but my DS uses his a lot to contact friends for checking homework etc
And boys definitely do care what phone they have! DS is a basic smart phone on contract. He's just finishing Y8 and so far no unexpected bills! The smart phone is useful when travelling for checking train/bus times.
He is not allowed too use it during school without a teacher's permission, and until Y10, phones have to be kept in lockers during the day.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 11-Jun-15 11:31:23

DD has a PAYG vodafones own smart phone (£40) the regular phones were not much cheaper. I put £10 on per month with the freebie so she gets 150mins, unlimited texts and 1G of data.
The school have a BYOD (bring your own device system) the recommend iPAD, iPAd mini or Samsung Galaxy tablets to work with the system.
A lot of homework is set and marked through showbe so a tablet is almost essential.

PastSellByDate Thu 11-Jun-15 14:30:08

Hi miffy:

Just to say we didn't go the phone route. Partly we're very close to the school and partly I'm home shortly after with DD2 because she's in primary.

I felt a bit bad about it, DD1 was really pushing for a phone - however, as it turned out most kids had iphones of some sort or ipods and could text for free and that seems to be what happens now.

So for us at least - not rushing into getting a phone (because the school is literally <5 minutes away) worked out.

However, I totally get that if your DS has a long commute or lots of activities contact may be more essential. And if in that situation I think I'd go with cheap and cheerful TESCO pay as you go.

phonemum Thu 11-Jun-15 18:44:13

Our landline provider gave us a very good deal with a free phone. Before my dd started yr 7 I was very against mobile phones/smartphone in school and still am to a degree. Then after dd started yr7 sometimes their teaches allow them to take pictures of notes on the white boards so it saves time and they can pay attention to the teachers more rather than having to worry about note taking or not enough time to copy everything. Have you checked with the school policy to see if they are allowed to use their phone in school or to what extend. My dd's school is very relaxed about smartphones. While in schools smartphones are not allowed at all and children have use the school office's phone if necessary.

phonemum Thu 11-Jun-15 18:50:02

Sorry for typos s/b While in some schools".

hedwig2001 Thu 11-Jun-15 18:58:48

We reused a smartphone previously used by husband. Got a free Giffgaff sim. Use it as pay as you go. DS can call, text and having games on it. We disabled internet access.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 11-Jun-15 20:20:28

past our school is a mile away and DS will be walking. I think I may see how he gets on first.

paddyclampo Thu 11-Jun-15 20:37:39

Just got DS one with Tesco mobile on a capped contract

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 11-Jun-15 21:00:34

A phone isn't necessary in Y7, but is useful, especially if the child has a long/complicated journey, or may have to stay late some evenings for sporting or musical commitments.

We have given each of them a second-hand phone towards the end of Y6. Up-to-date enough to be able to most of the things their friends can do on their phones, but out-of-date enough that it is unlikely to get stolen and it isn't the end of the world if it gets lost.

To give you an idea, something about half-way between a brick and an iphone.

The older two both saved up enough of their own money to buy a more up-to-date (but still not super-expensive) phone by the end of Y8.

In Y7 and Y8, we pay for a basic tariff that includes free texts and some minutes. No data, but they can access wi-fi at home.

BackforGood Thu 11-Jun-15 23:50:43

All mine had basic PAYGs until they a) had proved they could look after it and b) they saved up enough to buy what they wanted next.

My dds (who are now 13 and 16) still use PAYG, tbh - they use free wi-fi in virtually every building they go in and then use Whatsapp to message whoever they want to - can't see the point in paying for texts.

If they want to speak to me or dh, they give us a missed call and we call them back (I only ever use a tiny fraction of my minutes each month on my contract - I'm reverting to PAYG myself when this contract runs out)

phonemum Fri 12-Jun-15 09:08:47

But even pay as you go you still have to top up monthly don't you?

var123 Fri 12-Jun-15 09:40:32

Basic handset and a giffgaff sim would be my recommendation.

With giffgaff you can either buy a bundle that last a month or you can just use payg.

The flexibility is really useful, and the tariff is lower, or at least as low as you'll find anywhere else.

DS1 started with a basic handset and I soon upgraded him to a very simple android phone. All the other DC were playing games on their phones and he felt left out.

Teach your Dc to keep it in the inside zipped pocket of their blazer. That's the easy bit. The challenge comes in getting them to remember that they need to switch it on when coming out of school because you might be trying to contact them!

var123 Fri 12-Jun-15 09:41:55

With giffgaff payg, you only top up when the balance is low e.g. DS2 has a phone that he so rarely uses, I last topped it up 6 months ago.

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