This is a Premium feature
Difficulty settling in single sex grammer school(10 Posts)
Hi there, I was just looking for some advice on settling my DD into secondary school. She has just started Y7 in a girls only grammer school, coming from a co-ed primary school, and is having a terrible time settling. Every day she is coming home negative and unhappy. She is usually a very sociable girl, into fashion etc but is feeling that she doesn't have any common interests with the girls she's met so far. They stay with the same form group for the first 2 years so won't have many other chances to mix with other girls. It's affecting her class work too as she's too unhappy to take anything in.
Has anyone experienced similar problems and how long does it generally take for them to settle?? I'm getting desperate now and considering moving her as I hate to see her so unhappy, but I really don't want her to give up this fantastic school.
My DS had exactly the same issues settling into Y7. He'd always been very sociable and made friends easily, so to find noone in his class on his wavelength was a big knock to his confidence. I'd say it took at least until February half term for him to feel settled.
Things he did
- work out who else in his class seemed to be left out and pal up with them
- try lots of after school clubs
- socialise with other children in his year who weren't in his class at breaks and lunch times(his school did the same thing as yours where they had most lessons in the same form group for Y7 and Y8)
How many in the year group? I'm not sure I'd move her just because she's struggling to make friends- there is no guarantee this will be any better at any other school.
Have you talked to the school about this, or has your daughter?
Thank you very much. Yes I have talked to the school and they’ve talked to DD, but really hasn’t made any difference. They’ve said all the same things I’ve already said.
Give it till half term. See how the land lies then.
It's very early days, don't panic. Year 7 is a huge change for them and some children take more time to settle than others.
When you say she's into fashion, do you mean she's has quite mature interests? A lot of 11 year olds are still quite young and not yet into clothes. What are her other interests?
Has she joined any clubs? That's a great way to meet other girls who aren't in her form. Does she do any sports? Music?
Did she choose / want to go to this school?
Can she remind herself of her reasons?
Whilst it's very early days and I do think a lot more can be done to help her settle, so it's not time to move her just yet- wrt this: I hate to see her so unhappy, but I really don't want her to give up this fantastic school, if a school is a place in which a child is unhappy, it is not a fantastic school for them. Children will do better in a school that they enjoy attending than in one that they hate and are consumed with a desire to leave.
I'd talk to the pastoral team again. Your dd won't be the first girl to have experienced this. Their response to her unhappiness will tell you a lot about whether this really is a good school (as opposed to one trading solely on exam results)- they should be able to support her and come up with ways to help her settle. If what they have said to her so far isn't working they need to try something else.
Whilst I do agree mostdays, it's forming friendships with the other girls that is the problem, that's not necessarily going to be better or easier at another school. Unless of course she would prefer a co-ed school in which case it is definitely worth checking out other schools.
OP, do you think it's that fact that it's girls only is the problem?
Thanks all for the great advice. The fact that it’s not a co-ed school is definitely a major factor for DD, and one that she’s been concerned about since we first even looked at the school. But with the boys school being right next door, I thought it wouldn’t be too much of an issue as they’ll mix on the bus and, in time, after school too. But I think it’s proving to be a real issue and, no matter what the teachers or pastoral care staff say, that’s not going to change.
She has got into the school dance competition and is enjoying rehearsing for this. But it’s still with only her house, so only with the same girls in her form. It doesn’t give her a chance to mix with any other girls in her year.
I’m going to give it until half term and see how she is by then, but will look into the co-ed school in the meantime, just do that I know our options.
Thanks once again for all the great advice.
Please login first.