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Following Primary School topic, please post your top tips for a new starter to Secondary School.

(41 Posts)
Chinwag Fri 03-Jul-09 12:53:23

My DD is in year 6, moving up this time, and I would love to hear your top tips!!

Skedaddle Fri 03-Jul-09 12:59:26

Will watch this thread.

DH and I went to the parent's evening at DS's new secondary school last night and met his form teacher. It's all very scary/exciting!

Is your DD looking forward to it Chinwag ?

OrmIrian Fri 03-Jul-09 13:01:01

Don't leave anything to chance. Get everything ready the weekend before.

Ask DD's advice on everything incl what is in her lunch box. She will be making an 'entrance' and will be much more independent here than in primary. She wants to make a good impression.

Make sure you know how she will be getting there on the first day and ensure you leave time for her to do so in time.

Does she know anyone who is going to the same school? Try to get her to hook up with them on the way to school.

Good luck. DS#1 was very nervous but excited and so far he has had a wonderful time.

GrapefruitMoon Fri 03-Jul-09 13:32:59

Buy a cheap school bag until she has started and decided what is "cool" (and practical) - I bought one for £3.50 at the market - satchel style. Within a few weeks she realised it was giving her backache so agreed to switch to a backpack of mine. Got her a more trendy one for Christmas (Roxy is popular here - you can get them cheaper in TKMaxx sometimes).

If she is unsure about what to do at lunchtime give her a packed lunch plus some money in case everyone else is going to the canteen on the first day. But if possible try to encourage packed lunches - I spent a fortune topping up the canteen pre-pay card in the first term. It is open mid-morning too....

Don't bother buying a coat because anything that is actually practical in terms of keeping her warm & dry will not be cool hmm

Read all the Year7 threads from this year!

OrmIrian Fri 03-Jul-09 13:45:22

And to follow on from grapefruit's comment about coats, COOL is much more important than practical from now on! Whether you like it or not, and no matter how practical you persuaded him/her to be in primary, it won't wash now. They will walk to school in the rain without a coat, they will refuse a coat in arctic conditions - but may accept a vest and some gloves. Live with it! grin

bruffin Fri 03-Jul-09 14:04:16

Been there with DS 2 years ago, but DD starting seems such a different ball game.

She is going to her new school next week 3 times.
Wednesday night to meet new form and teacher

Thursday is transfer day so she will spend all day there.

Friday morning is CAT tests.

She is more than ready to start, but thoroughly enjoying her last few weeks at primary.

My only concern so far is that she has been put in a different house to DS. There are going to be so many arguements over which house is bestsad It doesn't help that DS was Lower school House Captain this year so he is very proud of his "house".

The only advice I would give is don't have high expectations of existing friends. DS had problems in yr7 and I heard of so many other dc's having problems was well. Some children don't like the fact that they have gone from being the big fish in the pond to a little tiddler in a sea and can take it out on their existing friends.

bruffin Fri 03-Jul-09 14:07:01

ps does anyone elses yr6 dc look like a ragamuffin DD seems to have grown out of everything, her last pair of trousers are now half way up her ankles.

mumblechum Fri 03-Jul-09 14:08:01

Don't buy everything on the book list. I laid out over £70 on French, German, Spanish and English Dictionaries amongst other books, and they were still in the cellophane when I took them to Oxfam in Yr8.

Agree don't go with the presumption that they'll keep the same friends. If any of her friends are in her class, that's a bonus but she should be prepared to jump in the deep end and make new friends.

Don't expect the school to tell you ANYTHING. Ours has crap communication and you'll find out more from other parents in her class, esp. if they have older children.

Skedaddle Fri 03-Jul-09 14:12:30

My ds has very tatty trousers atm!

OrmIrian Fri 03-Jul-09 14:15:11

Good point about communication. There isn't any!

heronsfly Fri 03-Jul-09 14:15:33

Have a look round at the year 7/8 at the moment,and see what bags they are using for games kit,dd2s expensive regulation bag,was dumped on day 2 and replaced with a jane norman carrier bag.

bruffin Fri 03-Jul-09 14:15:36

I didn't buy the art kit or the maths kit this time. Last time the maths kit arrived late and there were bits missing and DS said the arts stuff wasn't good at all.

Fimbo Fri 03-Jul-09 14:24:37

My dd is going up in September, she is being badly bullied at the moment by her two so called friends.

Went up to the High School today and spoke to the lovely Head of Yr7 and he is going to make sure that they are separated. Big relief all round.

mumblechum Fri 03-Jul-09 14:29:25

Make sure they take plenty of drinks. DS's school has no water fountain and a bottle of water costs £1.30.

Chinwag Fri 03-Jul-09 18:50:57

Skedaddle, I think she is looking forward to it, because she really hasn't enjoyed Primary school, but she is apprehensive too.

scienceteacher Sat 04-Jul-09 05:03:42

My advice is to buy what you are asked to and name absolutely everything.

I am a Y7 form tutor and seemed to spend the first few weeks returning scattered possessions to their owners.

tatt Sat 04-Jul-09 07:05:46

Name everything, they will lose it.

Take every possible opportunity to visit the school, including anything like summer fair. The more your child gets their bearings the happier they will feel.

Give them money for the canteen the first day, even if you give them a packed lunch. For mine it has been important to eat in the canteen.

Agree about coats and school bags - they won't wear the coat (gloves are OK) and bags have to be the right sort.

Don't forget the first day picture - they will never look that tidy again.

MrsBartlet Sat 04-Jul-09 09:28:38

If she is making her own way to school then do a dummy run in the holidays. DD suddenly had to get a bus by herself and she had only been on a bus a handful of times in her life. By doing a dummy run it gave her one less thing to worry about on the first day!

magentadreamer Sat 04-Jul-09 11:45:57

Label everything, don't do a casual drive past the school gates at home time on the first day unless you are actually going to pick your child up ( I didn't drive I just happened to be walking past.... honest). Locker keys if they don't supply a lanyard with them get one. Learn to realise that your DC is growing up and sooooo fast. Be prepared to be blown away when your DC tell you with great enthusiasm all about the chemistry experiments. Realise that not all PE teachers are sadists and there is some rational reason why all DC's must wear the regulation over priced PE socks... Lock type containers for Cookery - fruit salad and school books isn't a good combination. Read their planners - it might be the only way you know whats going on as communication at High school is zero. Be prepared for your DC to be tested to with in an inch of their lives in the first half term so that targets can be set... but don't expect to be told how they were set or if your DC's targets are high, low or just plucked out of thin air. Do not smile smuggly as you tell a friend how your Dc spends lunch times in the library - school librarys now offer more than a place to study at lunch time apparently. Remember there will be the odd hic up on the way but they will soon become old hands at this High School m'larky. School coats - buy the regulation one if you must but be prepared to send it in perfect nick to Oxfam come May. Parents Evening are an art in themselves as you learn to rush from one end of the school to the other for your 5 minutes slot.

But the best advice I can suggest to help you survive Yr7 is to start a yr7 thread on here come September grin

tatt Sat 04-Jul-09 20:02:52

definitely do not boast that your child is in the school library - it may be because they haven't made enough friends yet or are in a safe(ish) place away from bullies. Not always the case as they do go en masse too smile.

If your school uses parentmail sign up for it and if not ask them to start.

magentadreamer Sat 04-Jul-09 21:51:47

Before all new yr7 mum's start worrying about their DC's frequenting the library at lunch time my DD's school has a number of things going on there over lunch time and studying isn't one of them in my DD case grin

fircone Sun 05-Jul-09 11:12:18

I'll watch this with interest too. Ds going to secondary school in September - snivel, my baby....

chestnutlodge Sun 05-Jul-09 17:31:41

1. Don't ask them to compare it to their primary school on the first day, and don't worry if they're a bit weepy about missing it, especially if they are moving from a small primary to a big secondary, or particularly loved primary!
2. Don't spend the summer discussing school - like every summer before, they need a break - probably more than before, year 6 is very tiring! Let them have a rest, and only talk about it if they bring it up!
3. Definitely don't expect the work to be too challenging in the first half term. Although they might be doing stuff equivalent to early year 6 work, it's because they're settling in, and the work isn't always going to be really easy!
4. Let your dc choose some really nice wrapping paper, and get some sticky back plastic. Dd's entire first two weeks of homework were covering exercise books!

roisin Sun 05-Jul-09 20:36:39

ds1 started last year my top tips are:

1. Buy a sturdy bag with lots of pockets, and help them sort out what goes where. ds1's has a large front pocket where he keeps his 'basic' pencil case with pen/pencil ruler and his planner.

2. Be ready to spend quite a bit of time with them during the first month talking about what they've done at school and what they need to remember.

3. As above you will need to spend time with them helping them get organised. As soon as they get a copy of their timetable make a copy and pin it up on the wall.

4. If you can, you need to arrange lots of dedicated space at home for them to sort out their stuff. ds1 has hooks for school coat, Tech apron, cooking apron, indoor PE kit, outdoor PE kit, bootbag, performing arts kit. He also has a place to always keep his school bag. And a box where he keeps the exercise books he doesn't need that day. Plus a desk where he can do his homework!

faeriefruitcake Sun 05-Jul-09 20:41:45

I'm also a Year 7 tutor please write their names on everything and get them to talk to their tutor about their worries.

Parents, if they have planners/diaries sign them every week. This is where teachers will write messages down for you.

Remind them not to bring bring in every item every day. They are only small and yet they all seem to carry the world in their bags. I didn't realise that Y7's can actually carry more than 3 times their body weight in equipment.grin

Also the big kids will walk over them, not in a bullying way they just don't see them a lot of the time so encourage them to travel in packs. It gives them a sense of security and helps them make new friends.

The other thing I deal a lot with is 'problems' that go back to years. So and so called me names in Year 2 and so on. Encourage them to leave all that behind and make a freash start. 'She/He wont be friends with me any more' can be used as a wonderful oppotunity to make lots of new friends.

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