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Is anyone else's DC hating their new secondary?

(59 Posts)
zafferana Thu 05-Sep-19 14:23:33

DS1 has moved to an excellent school in our town. It's very competitive to get in and we were all delighted when he did. One other DC from his previous school got a place and he's a nice boy that DS gets on with, but he's not one of DS's group of best mates.

The problem is that he's miserable sad I know it's only day two, but I just had a text from him saying 'I am depressed'. He has NEVER been depressed about school before, bored yes, but not depressed. I think the issue is that he was really popular at his primary and had loads of friends. All those friends though have gone to the senior school of his old (non-academic) school. We do feel that this new school is a better fit for him, but how can I make him feel better? I'm being brisk and jolly and urging him to give it time, but he's just glum.

sitlux Thu 05-Sep-19 14:38:52

Not hating it, but my DD isn't very excited either, even though she went to our local comp. Her best friends from primary went to different schools and their commuting is awful so no play dates after school... In her form there are 2 girls from her old class but they are BFFs so that's not helping much.

I've encouraged her to be proactive and talk to as many kids as possible, ask around to see who she could walk to school, ask for phone numbers etc. but she feels a bit lost and worried she won't make any friends. I think this is very normal, it will take some time for them to adjust and feel like they belong, and make close friends...

Her school organised a 3-day trip end of September, for year 7s only, so I'm really hoping that will help her make some friends.

The school also teaches in mixed ability groups that are different than the tutor group, and they set in Maths, that should help as well.

Good luck OP, keep talking to him, tell him most students are in a similar boat... perhaps also suggest clubs enrolment?

bellinisurge Thu 05-Sep-19 14:51:18

A neighbour got her dd into a popular school where the girl's older brother is (and is happy there). The girl hated it and moved schools within weeks.
They are not drama llamas. They are a sensible bunch and just took the view she should move.

malmontar Thu 05-Sep-19 15:00:26

It's a tough transition. Our DD seems to have changed overnight. She loves camping getting dirty and nothing to do with girliness. Came home after day 1 yest and wants to get tik tok and straighten her hair for picture day next week. I would give it till half term and see how it goes. It's a hard transition.

SheldonandMama Thu 05-Sep-19 15:09:18

There tends to be a scrabble for social status on transfer. Kids who want to be popular at high school, but who weren't at primary, can jostle with others who were. Everyone is trying to find someone to hang with. It's all new and confusing. If he hasn't got a couple of friends to transfer with, it'll be even tougher. I'd keep an eye for half a term. Settling can take time. All he needs is one or two kids to hang about with and he'll feel better. Early on groups form and reform and this will happen for a few weeks. Make sure he gets enough sleep. If he can keep some activities going that he had before, this'll give some security when everything else has changed so much. It's an anxious period but it should pass.

zafferana Thu 05-Sep-19 17:19:37

It is a big transition! I'd forgotten how big it is ... until this week. He's putting a brave face on it today and we had a chat about how it's normal to feel sad during tough times. I think things will improve for him when competitive sport starts, because he's a very sporty kid and that's where he's most likely to meet his people - on a muddy field!

malmontar Thu 05-Sep-19 18:54:08

If it makes you feel better our DD had her first day yest and made a friend she was super excited about. Today the girl totally ignored her and didn't come to the bus stop as they arranged. She was really sad and said she was lonely all lunch. I took her to spend the afternoon with some old friends and she feels much better now.

nonicknameseemsavailable Thu 05-Sep-19 19:58:50

once clubs and activities get going at lunchtimes that will make a difference I expect. then he can sign up for things he is interested in and will meet people who share those interests, it gives lunchtimes a focus rather than having that time to think "help I am on my own, I have noone to talk to" etc. It IS hard

Mediumred Fri 06-Sep-19 02:36:55

Aww, DD has really not enjoyed it, we switched from the school where she did her transition as she hated that one so much, to this one where more of her old class are going but she doesn’t seem to have settled at all, despite walking there this morning in a gang of eight (involving a couple of older siblings of friends). It’s only been two days so I hope it does pick up quickly but it’s so hard seeing them so unhappy. DD says she just doesn’t want to go to high school full stop and found the day really long. She’s clever enough but is really worried about making friends, I don’t really know why, she always had mates in primary and is in class with one girl she knows reasonably well. I don’t know if she would sign up for clubs, she’s not much of a joiner, I think she is too shy to approach other people but I tried to say that she has to put herself out there a little at secondary and everyone feels the same.

Rockbird Fri 06-Sep-19 07:26:30

It's not so much that DD1 is hating the school, more that her anxiety, which we had begun to get under control, has returned with a vengeance. She doesn't know any of the rules yet, is panicking when she gets hot but is too shy to ask if she can take off her blazer. Also, in primary she had a couple of dedicated people she could go to when she felt anxious. She doesn't have that here yet (she's only been one day!) and so she doesn't know what to do when she needs help.

zafferana Fri 06-Sep-19 08:33:36

Sending hugs to all these kids who are struggling with this huge transition.

DS seemed okay when he came home yesterday, but then was really sad again at bedtime. He just really misses his friends and he knows they're all together at the old school and he's not. He did admit this morning though that while he misses his friends, he doesn't wish he was still at the old school, so that's something. I hope as the weeks go on, as the clubs and activities start, all these kids will find friends and settle into their new schools.

malmontar Fri 06-Sep-19 09:22:14

Aww it's heartbreaking reading some of these. The girl that pretended she didn't know her yesterday called her after-school asking if they can meet at the bus stop. DD said-' I don't really want to, you left me when you saw I was on my own and lonely' to which the girl replied 'i thought you were sitting with people'. I don't know the ins and outs but I was so proud of her for standing up for herself, she has a language disorder and is not usually like this at all. I told her it's best to settle these things in person and you don't want arguments on day 3 but hopefully she will pluck up the confidence to meet other people.

nonicknameseemsavailable Fri 06-Sep-19 09:30:46

fabulous malmontar that she told the girl how she had felt. It quite possibly was a complete misunderstanding but by being open and honest she will find out if the girl genuinely made a mistake or was being mean. good for her. horrible to be in that position but great she has stood up for herself.

it is so hard for them to have to act confident when they really don't feel it.

Disfordarkchocolate Fri 06-Sep-19 09:36:37

OP I think you're right about sports, it's very bonding for those who enjoy it and do well so hopefully that will help.

If he's academic in the long run the other school would have separated him from his friends anyway as soon as they set people by ability. And, being bored at secondary school is a big worry, it often leads to poor behaviour.

lookout Fri 06-Sep-19 16:17:13

Yes, mine. DS1 started y10 today in new school and hated it. One kid slapped him round the head trying to start a fight, and whole bunch of other kids laughed at him being new. He's been begging me all summer to let him go back to his old school (we moved for work, it's the other side of the country), and this is gonna make the whole thing worse. I know it's only the first day but I'm heartbroken for him sad

sheshootssheimplores Fri 06-Sep-19 16:21:43

Any extra curricular

sheshootssheimplores Fri 06-Sep-19 16:22:38

Any extra curricular stuff you can get him involved with at the weekend so he has stuff to look forward to? Also try and facilitate meet ups with his mates too.

zafferana Fri 06-Sep-19 17:24:57

That's heartbreaking lookout sad

lookout Fri 06-Sep-19 17:28:57

sheshootssheimplores good plan. We've got him into a local freerunning club and trying to get a space in a X country club too. I reckon meet ups with mates will definitely help.

At what point does one go to the school? He has absolutely told me not to. And I think he's right. But say this kid carries on harassing him, how long do we leave it before we step in?

lookout Fri 06-Sep-19 17:30:35

zafferana i know sad There's a massive amount of guilt attached to this all too, which makes it harder.

How was your ds's day?

zafferana Fri 06-Sep-19 18:35:36

I can imagine lookout. I'm sure you didn't want to take him out of his old school either, but sometimes life goes in unforeseen directions. flowers for you. And don't let it go on too long. You don't want a bully/victim dynamic to get established - better to nip it in the bud. I'd keep it quiet if you contact the school though. Is there a pastoral head? If so, I think I'd phone him/her next week if things don't improve quickly.

My DS was okay, thanks. He really misses his friends, but he said to me today that he doesn't actually want to go back to his old school (the senior school isn't very good and it's religious, which we're not), but he's still lonely. They had games today and it was all fitness tests, rather than proper rugby. He was put into the top group though (as was his one friend from his old school), so that's positive. Friends and sports are key to his sense of well-being.

DropZoneOne Fri 06-Sep-19 18:47:37

My DD is struggling too. She doesn't cope well with change, but despite being as prepared as we could, there was just too much new stuff. We've had tears every morning and evening. Most of her primary transferred, but only 1 person she knows from her old class who has made new friends. The girls who live near to DD are in different classes together, so she's feeling very lonely and unsure. I know the friendships will settle down, it's just hard seeing her so sad.

We've just had an argument over her calculator - she has to collect it from the maths office as i ordered from school, but she doesn't know where that is and is refusing to ask for help - despite there being 4 different types of people she could ask. She'd rather get a detention than figure out where to collect this calculator from!

Doryhunky Fri 06-Sep-19 19:52:33

Dd in year 7. Said she had made a friend on day one but then wouldn’t talk about it or indeed any of the other children. Not even in passing. I find it strange and can’t work out if she is feeling very lonely

owlmummy Fri 06-Sep-19 21:55:43

@malmontar great that your DD stood up for herself, hopefully it was a misunderstanding and they can clear it up and be friends. And/or she finds some other friends next week.

I hope all the year 7s find their feet and settle in, it is such a massive transition for all of them.

name77 Mon 09-Sep-19 21:44:37

zafferana today was marginally better. I don't think he's bursting with excitement, he still hates it, still doesn't want to do and still wants to go back to his old school. But at least he was smiling this evening, so I'm hoping things will keep slowly improving. I think it'll take a while.

My son too needs to get into the sports teams to find a sense of belonging. Just hoping the lad who smacked him isn't on the football team!!! angry

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