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Starting secondary school tips please.(16 Posts)
My son is starting secondary school in September and I’m looking for as much advice as you can give me please! He will be getting the bus and going home alone where I will meet him after work. I’m worried about him losing his keys so thinking of attaching them to his bag somehow? Not really sure what I’m asking but I’m so nervous about this big change so any tips you have would be gratefully received 😊
Get a stretchy key chain and clip in inside his bag. Put your name, address and emergency contacts on a card in his bag. Make sure he has your contact numbers in his phone and those of any relatives/neighbours/responsible adults who could help out in case of problems. Label everything!! Take photos on yours/his phone of his timetable. Make sure he has emergency money hidden somewhere in his bag.
On his memory stick, create a read me file with his name/address/contacts/school in case his course work gets lost.
Is he a confident child? If he’s not worried, don’t put your concerns on him. Are there going to be others in y7 on the bus? If so, he will be in a group and hopefully won’t spend all his travel time alone. I would do several dry runs of the route and discuss what he does if the bus doesn’t arrive.
Is he used to having door keys now? If not, that’s something you could practice. Let him go out with friends and come back alone. Just take sensible precautions with safety and keeping his belongings safe. If he doesn’t he’ll need to know where to go to wait for you!
When choosing shoes, look at what other slightly older boys are wearing. I asked the opinion of two separate boys (one year 8, one year 9) in the shoe shop. I spoke to one of the boys mums and she totally understood and said it was important to get it right. As it happens ds plays a lot of football at breaks, so we were torn between trainer type shoes and lace ups with long square toes. We went with the lace ups, at the older boys recommendations. Totally the right thing to do.
Skinny trousers and if you can choose black or navy coats, go with black. Let him choose the haircut but pay attention to any rules about eg excessively short hair. Expect equipment and uniform to disappear, even if labelled. DS lost TWO coats in the first term(!!) It's hard for them to remember all the different things they need for each day, so having some time to pack ready for the next day is important. Help where you can, but he does need to do it as much as possible. Encourage him to check his planner each day. They tend to pile homework on early on, to set the expectation. He may need some help with organizing.
Make sure he can buy a bus ticket. Forgetting this will stress him and mess up the start of his day/late marks etc. This is where you definitely should step in and make sure he has the weekly ticket fare etc. He is likely to need to get up earlier so start doing this a few days before. An alarm clock (plus checking he is up) helps towards that increased independence. The first day can seem overwhelming and worrying at stage is understandable, but you'll be surprised how quickly they adapt to the school bus and expectations.
Thank you some great tips! Am planning on doing a few trips on the bus and using keys before September. He doesn’t know anyone that gets the bus at the moment but hoping he’ll meet someone to travel with. He is more excited than nervous which is good 😊
Be careful of adding your name and address to a bag that also has a set of house keys attached. If the bag is stole. You've just told them which house the keys open. I never have my address on anything in my bag/wallet for this reason.
Agree not to put home address on things. I put name of school and form in their bags etc. I figure if found it might be handed into the school.
I've put our address in the bag as my son cycles, so heaven forbid he were in an accident, I thought his address was important. House is also alarmed so am happy with the risk of key theft but up to you of course.
Will he be wearing a blazer? If so, clip the extendable key ring to the top of one of the inside pockets (our experience is that you should be prepared to mend the odd hole, though).
Consider a key safe hidden in your garden. Then he wont need to carry keys.
I lost so so many keys and was locked out so often until I tied my key on a string necklace. I wore one on a necklace until I was about 21, long after I'd moved out.
* lost so so many keys and was locked out so often until I tied my key on a string necklace. I wore one on a necklace until I was about 21, long after I'd moved out*. grin
Unfortunately, uniform regulations on jewellery would probably rule this out. Unless its a faith school allowing 'one religious symbol' and he could claim that a house key was the equivalent of a St Christopher medallion?
Get him to learn your mobile number and your house phone number (or another useful contact for an emergency), should he ever end up without both his phone and his bag/planner/wallet!
DD is transitioning right now (here they do 2 weeks at high school before summer so that they dont have 6 weeks to get in a state worrying about it). DD has gone from walking to the village primary to catching a bus to a much bigger village/small town secondary. She's just fine! Loves the independence, key is kept zipped inside her bag and I check it's there every morning.
The older DC on the bus can be a bit of a challenge. They do push to get on first and a handful can talk about very inappropriate stuff in order to get the small ones to blush. DD asked one of them the other day if they'd ever actually seen a girl naked because for all his talk, he seemed awfully like he was compensating... apparently she got a round of applause from his peers and a seat at the back as a reward. She's v proud of herself.
DS has his house key on a key ring on long elastic attached to the zip of the inside pocket of blazer (stuffs it into pocket not dangling!).
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