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primary/secondary transition

(16 Posts)
stillthinkinaboutit Mon 14-Jul-08 15:02:41

Am really worried about first child goin up. she's startin by herself, no-one else from her school goin. She had an induction day that didn't go too well. Sat alone most of the time without anyone speakin to her. She said she'd tried to make friends but they weren't interested. Could've cried. She's had a bit of a tough time in school n moved primary due to unresolved bullying. Bin happy over last couple of years in new school but was only one not to get in at the school where friends are goin. Appealed but lost. She's talkin about home schooling, not possible. want her to give new school a go. Has anyone got any words of wisdom, could do with some at mo!!

ihatebikerides Mon 14-Jul-08 20:25:35

Didn't want to let this one go past without acknowledging, although don't know what to say. I really sympathise. But the one day induction isn't that much of a chance to get to know others. There'll be many, many more opportunities in September. Try not to worry - my son doesn't mix with anyone from his primary school at all, despite there being 6 of them in his form.

ilovewashingnappies Mon 14-Jul-08 20:32:15

Hello! So sorry its been diffiuclt so far. My little one is only 11 months but I'm a secondary school teacher and was very keen to reply.

It is very common now for kids to know few poeple when they come up to secondary school so teachers and school genrerally take special care to make sure the transition goes well.

May I suggest chatting with the school about your concerns? We often got information on students that would help us - and very ofetn it was to keep a tactful eye on a kid who had come from a differnet school. We used to do icebreakers, be considerate when putting kids into groups, make sure someone appraochable was around at lunch and break to make sure kids could chat and have somewhere to go. i think you should ask your school what they're doing.

To reassure you [ though I'd be bricking it if it was our dd!] I've seen many kids on there own at the beggining settle in really well and make good friends. They all make and break friends like a million time through out year 7 and 8 - those from differnet schools seem to be just the same.

Also, induction is not a preveiw of the real thing. The kids will be in differnet groups, all mixed up and will all, I'm positive, feel as nervous as your daughter.

See it as a challenge, keep a listening ear and communicate with school as much as possible.

ilovewashingnappies Mon 14-Jul-08 20:34:20

Oh! And may I suggest you encourage her to join after-school/lunchtime clubs. She will be mixing with kids who share her interests. I was into music at school and found it brilliant at choir etc as we were all music geeks together!!!

Does she like sport? music? art? IT? maybe ask the school about those too.

roisin Mon 14-Jul-08 20:46:43

I would give the school a quick phone call, so that at least her form tutor and Head of Year are aware that she is on her own and feeling very hesitant at the moment.

This is very usual btw for children in transition. It is a very difficult step for most children, especially if they don't know anyone. I work in a secondary school and we work very hard in the first couple of weeks to help children settle in.

My ds1 is going to a different school and for his induction days they did actually spend the time in their form groups, and he made some new friends on the day. But I think that is unusual.

mumblechum Tue 15-Jul-08 11:26:20

My ds was the only one from his primary to go to his secondary, and he found it extremently hard to break through the cliques of people who'd been to primary together and stuck to each other like glue.

The school were not at all interested in helping him to make friends, so I invited kids from his form round, I didn't leave it to ds to invite them as I knew he'd be afraid of rejection.

It took two terms before he'd really got the friendship going properly, but now he has a good group of friends who get together at weekends and holidays, and he gets on with everyone in his form.

I think you need to take a bit of control, the school may not have the time or inclination to help, so get the form list of phone numbers and get phoning maybe one parent a week for 6 weeks till the return invites start coming in and then you can sit back and leave your dd to naturally decide who's going to be her friends.

Would also second the lunchtime club thing. My ds spent every lunchtime alone in the library for the first term till I forced him to join a couple of clubs.

stillthinkinaboutit Tue 15-Jul-08 16:23:12

thanks all, will certainly follow advice of lunchtime/after school clubs. she is a great little artist, fantastic cartoonist! feel reassured by your comments. have phoned the head of year 7 though she hasnt returned my call yet. could blame that on school receptionist, message may not have got through. will definately chase it up.

Whizzz Tue 15-Jul-08 16:28:35

Also maybe try & find out who her form tutor will be, have a chat to make them aware & make sure she is not left out.

FossilSister Tue 15-Jul-08 16:48:17

I have been a Year 7 form tutor several times - for the first couple of weeks or so I'm in my room at lunch so they can hang out and chat if they want. Depends what school rules are about kids staying in. I also do careful grouping / seating plan, and if I spot a kid on their own might ask others to look after them for a few days. It's all play by ear because you don't want to draw attention to it, but I think many teaches are sensitive and aware, many are parents themselves etc. and I'm sure form tutor would want to know how she's feeling.

My nephew has found his place in the "History" club which mainly seems to show DVDs of Blackadder etc, but it's a lunchtime saviour.

year7mum Thu 16-Oct-08 01:08:56

hi im new to mumsnet but need help and advice. my 11 yr old just started yr7 and is so unhappy, his friend from primary was in year below and kids in his yr are in groups that are quite unfriendly. he comes home everyday so upset and down that someone has not let him join in despite his efforts. he is a very gentle sensitive boy who just wants a friend,he said he just walks around the school now at breaks he has been called a loser and when he made a breakthrough last week with a boy in most of his classes,the other boys friends didnt like it and told him to get lost im heartbroken seeing this, ive told school who have staff to help but cant force kids to be kind to each other i just wish someone would give him a break

SqueakyPop Thu 16-Oct-08 05:32:47

Your son is being bullied - see the school ASAP before it gets out of hand.

magentadreamer Thu 16-Oct-08 07:12:10

I'm sorry to hear about your DS. The school might not be able to "force" other children to be friends with your DS but they can "force" them to be kind to others ie not bullying others. I'd get back onto the school ASP. In the mean time are there lunchtime clubs etc your DS might be able to join so he can met children he'll have things in common with and build up a friendship that way?

christywhisty Thu 16-Oct-08 09:23:03

My DS had most problems in Yr 7 from the boys he went to primary with. It was a 3's a crowd situation and they picked on him and made him the butt of their jokes. They were then bringing the "jokes" home to places like Scouts etc He was really unhappy and hurt, so then decided he didn't want friends.

School were worried about him because he was so quiet in form. However the school did have lots of clubs and he was going to those lunch time and computer room break. He is very mature for his age and ended up making friends out of his year.

By summer a lot of it was resolved and he did start talking about other children at school and now in Year 8 he seems to know everything thats going on and is so much happier.
From what I got told that Yr 7 is very very hard on friendships and that it does seem to resolve itself in yr8/9

amicissima Thu 16-Oct-08 21:43:23

DS's school has, among the rules that are written up all round the school, that no one is ever allowed to prevent a child joining a game. They are expected, even, to look out for and invite a child alone to join in.

DD's school has a rule written in the homework diaries that any unkind remark will be treated as bullying and claiming that it was only a joke is no defence.

Obviously children get away with breaking these rules if no one is looking, but having it in writing sets out what is expected clearly, and in general, the children accept this and police it themselves.

So, a school can't FORCE children to be nice to each other, but it's not unreasonable to expect them to try extremely hard.

SqueakyPop Sun 19-Oct-08 15:49:31

We are big on kindness at our school too.

I think a lot of people don't realise that excluding a child is bullying, but it is! When I am on duty, I am always vigilant at how they are all getting on and whether anyone is on their own. When I am in the dining room, I make girls sit down next to someone who is on their own.

MrsSnape Sun 19-Oct-08 19:19:05

God I'm dreading all this sad

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