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Join in here if your PFB is off to secondary school in September or if you have any advice for thew newbies

(331 Posts)
ChippyMinton Sun 12-May-13 10:10:23

DS is obviously taking it all in his stride and I am quietly fretting investigating the practicalities of high school life. Anyone want to join me?

ChippyMinton Sun 12-May-13 10:10:52

Great - a typo in the title!

OldBeanbagz Sun 12-May-13 13:37:18

I'll join you as my PFB DD moving up to Secondary in September too.

ChippyMinton Sun 12-May-13 15:09:41

Hello smile
Anyone else?

Have you had any info from the school yet? We have an individual meeting in a couple of weeks time, then an evening event, which DS can't make as his Yr 6 trip is that week. He has a 'new intake day' in July. I don't really know anyone whose DC attend this school so it's all very new. How about you?

Vivacia Sun 12-May-13 17:31:36

What kind of things do you want to know?

FiveHoursSleep Sun 12-May-13 17:37:35

We have our PFB off to secondary school in September. She's quite worried so I'm being very, very calm about it.
We've had a new parents evening and an interview with the deputy head already, then an induction afternoon and a Saturday new parents social evening in July.
I'm planning to leave buying most of the uniform until a couple of weeks before school starts. Is this a bad idea?
Also DD1 will have a bit of a commute to school on public transport ( 1-2 buses, then a train). How many times would you do a run through of her route before school starts?

ChippyMinton Sun 12-May-13 18:05:38

Vivacia - really trivial things at the moment smile
What kind of school bag?
Are velcro shoes a no-no?
Do they ever wear coats? Or jumpers? DS is always cold - does he need to toughen up?!
Does sports kit stay at school or go in when needed?
How often will he lose his Oyster card?
Are they allowed to carry their phones around all day (presumably switched off?)

FiveHoursSleep Sun 12-May-13 18:21:25

We've already been told at our school that if a teacher so much as sees their phones they lose it for a week. Then they have to go to the Head to get it back....

ChippyMinton Sun 12-May-13 18:25:31

That's quite a journey FiveHoursSleep. Are there any others going from your area?

scaevola Sun 12-May-13 18:31:27

I saw DS2 off to secondary last autumn. The biggest difference is that they will need to sort out just about everything all by themselves.

My take on questions:

When to buy uniform - when you feel like it (unless in the middle of a growth spurt in which case worth waiting until last convenient moment). If you can get to a second hand sale this term, do so - invest in new when they've stopped growing.

How many dry runs of the journey - until DC is confident (possibly eye rollingly so)

What kind of school bag? -look now to see what pupils already at the school are carrying. You can probably manage with a primary school backpack for first couple of weeks if you need more time you get your eye in.

Are velcro shoes a no-no? - yes
Do they ever wear coats? - no grin
Or jumpers? - maybe
Does sports kit stay at school or go in when needed? - ours stays for the week. You need to remind DC to ask - they will be told, but also need to listen and remember.

How often will he lose his Oyster card? - goodness only knows!

Are they allowed to carry their phones around all day (presumably switched off?) - depends on school; they should make it clear. I think the most usual arrangement is they keep phones with them but have them turned off.

lljkk Sun 12-May-13 18:37:44

N2B is off to a new high school, I never went thru this with DC1, so am enjoying the initiation.

In my experience:
They will tell you in great detail about bags & uniform
Many will have velcro shoes; I need to confirm Kickers okay for DD, we live on a snowy lane, I refuse to put her in those ballet slipper style shoes!
Forget coats, a lightweight pack-away waterproof is good idea, though
Mine has yet to lose his train pass (amazing)
Most schools allow phones but must stay off all day, confiscated if seen or used

lljkk Sun 12-May-13 18:38:34

We can hire lockers for the year for sports kit, life saver. Comes home very smelly about once every 6 months.

FiveHoursSleep Sun 12-May-13 18:46:23

There are 10 going from our school, plus will be at least another 10 going from the surrounding areas. So quite a herd.
Some parents will probably drive their kids as it's 20 min in a car but around 1 hour on public transport.

Vivacia Sun 12-May-13 18:50:39

"Really trivial" is very normal in my experience! Secondary is very different to primary in so many ways, including the nature of the relationship between parent and school.

Shoes - I think velcro is a 'no-no' at this age.

Coats and jumpers - I've never seen this to be an issue. However, some schools have strict uniform rules about whether coats can be worn inside or what jumpers are allowed. By year 9 lots of teenagers seem to have become allergic to warm or rainproof clothing of any description.

Phones - rules vary between schools.

School bag and uniform? I always recommend having a look at what the students are currently wearing now. What you see and hear at open days/evenings might be what the school aspires to rather than the actual norm.

PersonalClown Sun 12-May-13 18:51:35

I'll join you even though mine is slightly different as he's going to a SN secondary.

We have already started the transition already with visits from teachers and social stories.
I have no idea how long transport will take, who it will be or what time he will be collected and dropped off.

piratecat Sun 12-May-13 18:58:38

hi, my dd is going in September too.

Has already gone with her class for a few afternoons to big school. Has an all day visit on July 1st, parents go for an evening thing the same day.

It's walkable from home, she's been practising a bit.

ChippyMinton Sun 12-May-13 21:14:25

<waves> to everyone.
Any pre-SATS angst going on in your house tonight? DS is a bit grumpy, but that might be because his football team lost this afternoon.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 12-May-13 21:21:28

Why are Velcro shoes a no no? Finding shoes that fit dd is hard enough without them having to be no Velcro?


Dd's friends are already discussing which designer bags they are having. Dd said oh ill probably get a backpack I can't see what's wrong with my junior scho backpack actually - good girl.

scaevola Sun 12-May-13 21:23:44

No Velcro because it's considered babyish. Girls are in slip ons anyhow and boys can tie laces. And for sport, they need to proper support of a laced trainer.

Casey Sun 12-May-13 21:26:28

Tips: I was astonished how much time I spent with ds1 in the first couple of weeks; talking about his experiences, the school rules and set-up, helping organise his routine and his equipment, handling his money for lunches and bus tickets, managing the buses, establishing a pattern for homework, etc.

But it paid off; after the first couple of weeks I was pretty much able to step back and let him get on with it.

Grammaticus Sun 12-May-13 21:31:13

Velcro is fine at my kids'' school in year 7

mumofthemonsters808 Sun 12-May-13 21:31:36

PFB DD starting in September she is looking forward to it but I am secretly dreading it. She has never used public transport alone and I'm not even sure she is able to cross the main road safely where the bus stop is. During the holidays we will have to do lots of trial runs, even then on the day I will be worried that she has forgotten to get off at the right stop.

So much for her early night routine, sent her up at 8.15and she is still awake now.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 12-May-13 21:35:01

Dd can't wear slip on shoes due to her high instep (we are considering orthotics). She is a dancer and has been told slip ones with an elastic strap are OK for the occasional party but not for everyday and she us determined that she needs to look after and strengthen her feet

She is a Size 1G and its really hard to find supportive shoes with enough depth.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 12-May-13 21:36:49

The netball teacher at school said about supportive lace up trainers but we can only find two brands of trainers that fit, Clarks (too pink and babyish) and Nike (one style only) and her size doesn't fine in laces. She can tie laces (learnt at an early age with her jazz and tap shoes. )

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 12-May-13 21:38:30

Ill still be taking her to school as its next door to the junior school where ds still goes but I'm looking forward to not having to traipse her and her friends to dance class afterwards. They can walk.

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