Sept Y7 starter - WWYD?(19 Posts)
Help needed please. My DD went for her induction day yesterday and claimed she didn't gel with her tutor group. She came out in tears begging me to talk to the school to arrange for her to be moved to another group. We tried to reason with her, need to give it a chance, everyone new, etc, etc but she is still distraught today. Should I speak to the school to see if it's possible to mover her or simply tell her to buck her ideas up and give it her best shot in Sept. I can just see a summer of trauma ahead but then I don't want to be "that parent" before she has even started. I'm feeling really sad for her today (although obviously will not let her know that at all!) when she should be excited about her new school that she has worked so hard to win a place at - WWYD?
I definitely would not ask for your child to be moved into a different group. She hasn't even started the school yet.
Tell her to give it a month when she starts in September and if she still isn't happy then you will talk to the school. If you call them already asking for her to be moved then they will consider it a bit ridiculous.
How much time will she actually spend with her tutor group?
From the perspective of someone whose secondary school days are long past, based on various threads here, there seem to be what I see as unrealistically high expectations of instant friendships on starting sec. school.
I got on all right with the other girls in my form, but it took me most of my first year to meet all the other girls in the three form intake, as we weren't mixed for classes. I didn't get to know one girl who became one of my closest friends until near the end of the year. I didn't feel I had an established friendship group until the second year.
So I think I'd advise your dd not to focus too much on her tutor group but to take her time to get to know as many people in her year as possible.
I hope she can begin to feel more positive about it.
Well my DD found that after a great start in July, in September the tutor groups had been changed all over again and she ended up with no one she was close to and a few she actively disliked. Are they taught all subjects in tutor groups or are they mixed/spit/set for others? Your daughter might find she spends very little time (except registration) with her actual tutor group. Though my DD still hates the subjects taught in tutor group she's happy overall.
Explain to her honestly that the school will think you are a bit mad and demanding if you ask now, and will just say she needs to give it a try. But if she still feels the same after a few weeks then you'll ask, and the school will be more likely to listen if she has given it a go.
In all honesty though I think she'll be fine. Dd is going into y8, and has plenty of friends from her tutor group, but her very closest friends are all in different tutor groups. And she has other friendship groups where they have a shared interest, eg her maths geek friendship group formed after they were put into sets, her sporty friends from training/ clubs, her choir friends etc.
I would say from another perspective, do talk to the school. DS1 started Year 7 last September, soon to move to Year 8. In his year I know of at least 5 children who have requested to move tutor groups during the year because of bullying or other issues and have been moved. Also one boy who wrote a letter to the head of year after the July induction day saying he wasn't happy with his form and was given the choice of two others, one of which he moved to. I don't think you have anything to lose and it would make your daughter happier. Even if nothing happens they may be able to support her better when she starts if they know how she feels.
Thanks all. All classes are taught in tutor groups for at least year 7 and I think year 8 too. DD knows quite a few other girls from school and extra curricula stuff who will also be in the year. She is sporty so will certainly get involved in those clubs at the school. As a secondary school newbie I don't know if its normal for girls to socialise at break times just with their classes or wider group of friends from other classes?
I know of several parents who contacted the school about tutor groups after the induction day, but the school didn't make any changes. DS was told afterwards that the groups were chosen carefully, based on personalities as much as academics.
DS hangs around with a mix of children, mainly from his sport clubs, and a few old primary friends who are not in his tutor group. In fact, although he gets on really well with some of the group, his main friends are in different groups.
I'd give it time. My daughter didn't gel with anyone on induction day last year - she was quite negative afterwards. Once she started she began to make some friends in her form and all was generally well, but even as late as November she was still convinced she would much rather be in a different form - one in particular which she thought had nicer girls. I thought about speaking to school but I didn't as she had a couple of good friends in the class by then. Since Christmas she has properly settled and she's become really happy in her form group.
I'd ask school. Why not?
It's far easier to move her now then at any other time.
I bet school would want to know that she's upset. They don't want her upset anymore than you do.
So what if they think you're that parent? Your tutor group is massively important. Listening to her now could massively impact how happy she is for the next 5 years.
It might be worth chatting to the school transition team or her tutor and let them know how she feels. They can give her some extra support in September.
A lot will depend on your school's attitude. At DD2's induction evening they actually asked parents to let them know if there were any real worries about tutor groups as they didn't want the children stewing over it all summer. I know a lot of schools will be a lot more "take it or leave it".
In your position I'd get in touch and let them know your child is very unhappy and asking for any suggestions about how to support them thorough the transition. Then you aren't actually demanding a change but are opening up the opportunity for something to be done, if that's an option.
Ds1 had his induction day this week followed by a parent induction meeting without dc in the evening.
The school he is going to splits the dc into houses (5 or 6 of them) and tutor groups within houses with separate classes for lessons. The tutor groups are across age so there's only likely to be one or two others from your year in it which is probably a good thing. However he was really gutted by the house he was in because so many of his good friends were in one house and he was with just two friends in a different house, neither of whom were particularly good friends - more people he is happy to play footie with in the playground rather than best buddies he would invite to his birthday party.
If all his friends had been split up across different houses he wouldn't have been so bothered, it's just that he feels he has been split off from everyone that's making him wonder what he's done wrong to be punished away from everyone else.
I'm doing my best to say it will be a great opportunity to make more friends and he'll be better off in the long run as he will have lots more friends than the others but I'm not sure I've convinced him!
I did mention to his house leader that he seemed a bit subdued and wistful about seeing all his friends in one house, and was there any reason that he had been split away from everybody while they'd been left together but she basically blamed his current school and said they'd just gone on what they'd been told.
I'm sure he will be fine, I know he is a friendly lad who seems to make friends easily. And friendships do have a big change when they move up to senior school. Still doesn't make it easy though! And it didn't help me that I found the teacher quite a difficult person so probably didn't come away feeling reassured that there was somebody looking out for his best interests where I would have hoped there would have been.
Hope you manage to sort out something for your dad that you're both happy with and that doesn't disrupt your summer!
I was waiting for my daughter to come out of her taster day with a massive smile, instead she was very teary! My heart broke! Like your daughter, she wanted to move forms...or not go to school.
My husband and I are really happy she is going to the school in September and until the taster day our dd was too. The situation has really improved in the last few days, this is what we did:
- Kept being really enthusiastic about the secondary school and what it would offer dd.
- Acknowledged dd worries/concerns but told her this was the school and she could make the best of it or feel sad. Basically we cut short any pity party. (Inside I felt so sad and worried for her but I didn't show it)
- I called the school the next day and spoke to head of the year to tell them about situation. They were brilliant, offering a lot of reassurance and advice.
- I told dd of conversation with head of year, focusing on the positive opportunities of school. I think that finding out that she wasn't seen by teachers as just one of many many children in a big school helped her.
- finally, a friend said "what is there to like about taster day? Big school, kids you don't know". This is so true, chances are most of the kids are feeling the same way.
I hope this helps.
Do you know why she didn't like the tutor group? Was it just that she didn't click with anyone immediately or was someone mean to her?
I was going to suggest the same as MillyT. I bet the school gets this every year. They should have plenty of ideas about what to do. Give the head or deputy head of house or the year 7 a call or send an email in and ask them for their advice.
I've had a phone call from my DSs New school head of year today saying he wants to change his and another boy from his primary school into another form as he has to move two other boys into my DSs form. I don't mind as he has friends in his new form but I assume he's being moved as the other two boys have asked to swap. I wonder what would have happened if I'd said no?
I don't think the school will see you as "that parent" at all. You aren't going to write an E-Mail saying "Move my DD from those horrible people in her tutor group immediately" are you? So long as you frame it as seeking the school's advice I can't see a problem.
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