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What to look out for st xecondsry school induction day?

(19 Posts)
walkingtheplank Tue 26-Jun-18 23:02:04

DD has an induction day at her secondary school this week and parents go along for 90 mins too. I'm sure it will be very well organised but should I be looking for answers to anything specific? DD is the only child from her primary going to this secondary so if I forget to note something I won't have any other parents to ask.

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walkingtheplank Tue 26-Jun-18 23:03:13

Oh dear, my title is all over the place. Just as well her new teachers can't see my English!

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TeenTimesTwo Wed 27-Jun-18 13:34:59

I would be seeing if I could find out
- who is tutor and how to contact if any issues
- how is homework set / recorded
- what is system for paying for lunches
- how are 'letters home' done
- school rules on mobile phones

I would however expect all of this information to be pushed at you by the school without you having to ask.
Have a look at the school website before you go to see how comprehensive it is.

walkingtheplank Wed 27-Jun-18 22:21:15

That's great. Thank you. I'm going to write a list and be the nerdy one asking questions. The website isn't very informative but perhaps we'll get an extra log in tomorrow.

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JaneR0chester Wed 27-Jun-18 22:46:41

Great list TeenTimesTwo. I would add questions about
* the PTA, if they organise get together socials for parents or the kids
* how parents can get in touch with each other / form WhatsApp groups etc (very useful in initial months for lost kit, hw etc.). Especially if you don't know why of the other parents yet. Our PTA helps organise the parents together in the autumn term.

Bekabeech Wed 27-Jun-18 23:08:06

You can always network while there. If you find an "old hand parent" swap emails for emergency last minute advice such as : do I need PE kit on the first day?
If you can make a few connections with parents in the same form then do much the better.

RedSkyAtNight Thu 28-Jun-18 07:57:44

If you'd asked JaneR0chester's question's at DC's school you'd have got a slightly bemused look. We have neither a PTA nor a parents' network. Not sure either are really commonplace- unless maybe in very small secondary schools? So I don't think I'd ask them (unless you already know there is a PTA, for example). (and as an aside, the DC really should be sorting their own missing homework and lost kit!)

I'd ask the processes for sickness and taking your DC out of school (e.g. for medical appointment). Purely because they don't happen very often but are a PITA to discover you don't know how to do them when they actually occur!

TeenTimesTwo Thu 28-Jun-18 08:25:17

PE Kit on first day is a great question.
Otherwise you get loads of y7s lugging it around just in case.

At our school the first PE lesson of the academic year is always a 'sit down and listen' lesson in normal uniform, so after DD1's first year we learned not to bother again!

If they haven't sent one already they should be giving you a paper copy of, or directing you online, to a Parents Handbook which should cover everything, but you never know I guess how organised they will be.

Bekabeech Thu 28-Jun-18 08:51:12

All the schools around here have a PTA including my DCs very big one which also has a parent network. If a School doesn't have a PTA then it is really losing out financially.

GU24Mum Thu 28-Jun-18 10:11:08

I'd imagine you will get talked at by the head, head of year, head girl/boy and offered a cup of tea rather than having the opportunity to ask any questions! That was my experience anyway........

fanominon Thu 28-Jun-18 10:16:30

If you are the only child from your primary, I'd also try and say hellos to any parents of children your dc has made friends with on the first day and swop numbers - someone to meet at the school gate/check last minute things with will be so helpful! I'd also want to ask/find out about (I imagine they'll tell you):
- availability of lockers
- any second hand uniform sales
- dates for any key events early in the school year & any residential trips later in the year
- what buddy systems they have in place for children joining the school on their own like your dc (our school put things in place specifically to support those children, as most come up from 3 local schools)

fanominon Thu 28-Jun-18 10:18:57

Oh, and also:
- who to contact about different issues (eg always tutor, or head of year/pastoral care for the year or student services etc) - and check you have details of how to contact these (email usually)

Ime, secondaries are pretty well oiled machines and once you've got your head round the system, I find it easier than primary as a parent.

bellinisurge Thu 28-Jun-18 10:29:32

Sory to derail here. We have the lovely confused problem of a delayed appeal process. Dd might end up going for induction day at the wrong school because we don't yet know for sure what school she's going to. Appeal hearing is on the day of the parents evening and two days before the induction days.
We've been told to press ahead with the induction evening/days at the allocated school "for the experience ".

Hersetta427 Thu 28-Jun-18 11:08:03

Bellini, I would for now assume she is going to her allocated school. You may well win your appeal but to be honest, the fact is that most appeals fail so i would get her (and you) used to the allocated school.

mastertomsmum Thu 28-Jun-18 14:17:13

Equipment they will need that may not have made the regular list you were given.

Our school set out the uniform, the policies, the shape of the school day and the hours.

However, there was no list of basic equipment needs - we were not told they would need a pencil case with pens, colouring pens or crayons, ruler, eraser, geometry kit. We were told they would need a scientific calculator. The info for what was needed for each subject was under 'curriculum' on the website but not part of the Yr7 induction document list of equipment.

Additionally, the PE list had trainers on it but not football boots and they needed them on the first day. The only kids who had them in their PE bags were the ones with siblings

bellinisurge Thu 28-Jun-18 14:21:13

@Hersetta427 that is my strategy but it's a helluva way to start secondary school.

walkingtheplank Thu 28-Jun-18 22:53:26

Thanks everyone. PPs right that there wasn't much chance to ask questions but we had a lot of printed material so I thought we were OK.
Once I got home and read the pack they gave to daughter, I realised that hers had different/conflicting info.
I don't want to be 'that parent' asking lots of questions before she even starts.

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Bekabeech Sat 30-Jun-18 08:10:51

Don't be that parent who doesn't ask even simple questions! This is such a stupid MN thing.
Every school I know has staff specially assigned to year 7 ( reduced teaching) to deal with the transition and to help with queries and issues. Your DD as the only one from her school should already be flagged as one who may need a little more help.

PettsWoodParadise Sat 30-Jun-18 09:58:39

At DD’s school the vast majority of the students were the only one from their primary school. As it was a grammar school the elevenplusforum was helpful in answering the type of questions that were unclear from the welcome pack. I mention that just in case OP your DD is starting at a similar school. DD also connected with those on her induction and they asked each other questions over the summer holidays and so it was good to take a massive step back and let her get on with most of the familiarisation. It is very different from how involved you might be a primary.

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