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State primary to Independent Secondary - sorry it is long

(8 Posts)
mum71 Sat 18-Jul-09 21:59:21

I'm really after some reassurance.

My DD is very shy. She wouldn't speak at all during her early primary school days at our local state school. Later she became attached to a very controlling child who wouldn't let her speak to anyone but her (I only found this out after the child left the school, at the time I was grateful that she had made a "friend"). Her last 2 years have been her best at the school. She has a lovely group of friends who have helped her to grow in confidence.

After an open evening to our local state secondary, which is huge with an annual intake of 300, she got very upset and said she was afraid she'd lose her voice again. Of course, this was frightening for me to hear.

I made an appointment at a very small, local independent school. She spent a day there and loved it. She sat some tests and we later heard that she had been accepted.

Yesterday, her last day of primary school, was awful. She is going to miss her friends so much but hasn't changed her mind about her choice of school (her friends have all been split up at the new school anyway).

In the past, because she is so quiet she has been unwilling to take part in any extra curricular activities, although she is getting better. She had swimming and tennis lessons, which she liked but refused to go as soon as any element of competition was introduced.

Also, probably because she wouldn't speak in class to ask questions, she is behind in some subjects.

I didn't know anyone going to her school until I bumped into someone by chance who said that their son was starting there at the same time. This boy seems academically brilliant, plays sports, musical instruments, etc.

It's just made me realise how behind she is. Is there a gap between state and independent education anyway without her difficulties? Could I be doing anything now? I'm hoping the school will help her, I certainly made sure they were aware of her problems.

I guess she passed the test to get in but could that be down to the credit crunch, apparently the school isn't going to have the same intake as usual.

I hope I haven't made a mistake, wish I could fast-forward and take a look! I don't want her to feel out of her depth but know that she would have been lost at the other school.

Sorry have been drinking red wine.

hercules1 Sat 18-Jul-09 22:01:34

SOunds like you are doing the right thing for her.

Sidge Sat 18-Jul-09 22:29:04

Not all the children at the new school will be like the boy you have heard about. And if it was his mum that was singing his praises bear in mind he may not be quite as academically brilliant as she says he is wink

Unless it is a selective school there will be children of varying abilities there; your DD will be fine as I doubt they would have accepted her if she was really behind.

Wave her off and watch her blossom smile

OnceWasSquiffy Sat 18-Jul-09 22:30:13

Relax. So long as the school has a regular intake of children from state at this age then she will be fine. Even if she is behind she will no doubt catch up quickly and I would be amazed if it was handled in such a way as to dent her confidence further. Confident, rounded individuals are often what these schools produce at the end of the process, they are not fed into them at the start, IYSWIM. There will be things like speaking in front of the whole class which will no doubt terrify her when she sees it in action for the first time, but once she sees that pupils are supported in this stuff and not teased, then she will be fine I am sure.

Saying that, I would go over the ISC reports with a fine toothcomb to check that the pastoral side of the school is supportive and inclusive.

These schools rest on their reputation and they tend to turn away those that might not fit in, as it is not worth it for them to 'fail' when it comes to fitting in pupils, credit crunch or not.

margotfonteyn Sat 18-Jul-09 22:41:14

She will be fine.

Do not be intimidated by the other boy. She has not gained a place because of 'the credit crunch'. she has gained a place on her own merit.

She will blossom, no doubt about it. My DCs x 3 have gone from ordinary state school to a grammar school, which may well have been a private school, due to the intake, if you see what I mean, and have absolutely flourished. Do not worry, she will come into her own .

The only other pupil who got into the school from my DS'primary school was a child who was an 'elective mute' and she has just transformed into a completely articulate and 'normal' pupil!

Disclaimer... I have also had wine!

mum71 Sat 18-Jul-09 23:04:27

Thank you so much for your messages, that was exactly what I needed to hear. I shouldn't worry, I'm sure it is the best place for her. I just don't want her to feel out of her depth academically and socially, though there's not an awful lot I can do about that now.

Margotfonteyn, I was told that DD is a selective mute. I didn't mention it, I didn't want to complicate the post further! She seems to be growing out of it naturally. Her primary school and new friends have been fantastic. Her new school knows about it and I guess it can't have been a problem as they wouldn't have accepted her.

Thanks again for your messages, I'll sleep better now. Goodnight.

mummydoc Mon 20-Jul-09 16:18:04

could you contact the new school and ask if they could contact a couple of your dd new class mates to be and pass on oyur details requesting a playdate or something in the holidays ?? my girls school did it for us when we moved schools. the secretary is usually in during the holidays.

HappyRainbow Tue 21-Jul-09 11:34:07

I think if it's the decision you made for your DD, then it will always be the right decision, that is why you made it, even if you are having doubts. It is natural to have doubts, we wouldn't be parents if we didn't spent our whole lives worrying!

My DS is moving from his state primary to independent senior school too. He is very shy too, although probably not as quiet as your daughter. He has no friends going to that school either but my gut reaction was that it is right for him.

Only time will tell for both of us, but I think they will both be fine. smile

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