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DD is starting sixth form in a new country(13 Posts)
My family and I are moving from Canada to the U.K. in August, just in time for my daughter to start sixth form. Everything’s sorted out with her future school and we’ll be in the country in time for her to register, so there’s no problem there.
Instead, the issue is she’s going to know nobody at her future school, and it’s really stressing her out. Her future school had an induction day for the future sixth formers, but that was in June, and we were unable to take a quick trip over to the U.K. during that time because she was busy writing her exams (Ontario high schools have students write their exams at the end of each semester).
The thought of having to start up conversation with people in her classes, who she thinks have already established solid friend groups, absolutely scares her.
There are plans for her to do a few extracurricular activities, so she will have opportunities to make friends outside of school, but she really wants to have friends at school.
If anyone has any tips on helping DD during this time, or any advice for her starting a new school where she knows nobody, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Tell her she'll be the toast of the class! A new and foreign classmate is a delight to kids isn;t it? And Canada is particularly attractive to UK kids I should imagine...the accent alone will thrill her classmates.
There will be some clubs and sports she can join in with...advise her to do as much as she can.
Also to just remain open minded and friendly to all...and to watch out for the first girl who tries to befriend her. They're almost never the ones you end up with!
She almost certainly won’t be the only new person, or the only one who missed the induction day. UK kids won’t have their exam results until August and so some will chop and change sixth forms depending on results. And of those already at the school there will be plenty who are ready for a change in friendship groups and dynamics after five years, so I’m sure will be glad of a potential new (and excitingly Canadian!) friend
In terms of extracurricular, something like Rangers (Girl Guides equivalent for 14-18) could be good for meeting others in a fairly chilled environment.
I doubt friendships are really formed on a single induction day, so she won't be at much of a disadvantage there. Is it a school (as opposed to sixth form college)? She will probably have a form/tutor group who she has registration with and different pupils in different lessons, so even pupils who know others there won't necessarily have friends in their lessons. It is nerve wracking at first but she should quickly make friends.
Eve now if a lot of students already know each other friendships will develop according to the classes they will be taking together. Plenty of people will not have been to the induction day, either.
Your daughter will be absolutely fine, and probably very interesting for being Canadian!
Is there no pre-term informal induction day (dd was one of continuing pupils who helped on the day for newbies at hers) or sports pre-season training days? They also had teambuilding activities for the whole year in the first week. There were also a number of joiners, probably at least 25 of 150 ish, so reassure your dd she will not be alone. If you contacted the school again, maybe they would arrange for her to come in and meet other pupils and staff beforehand.
Just this morning I was talking with my daughter, also about to enter 6th form. She's been doing a couple of holiday activities related to her interests, and one of the things she commented on is the social aspects - she has tended to be somewhat isolated the last few years due to non-overlapping interests especially with other girls at school. In discussing this she noted that a big advantage of 6th form will be that she'll be in classes where everyone else has chosen those subjects - that connection will immediately make getting along / general conversation easier.
Is your daughter going into a state school or an independent school? Either way, there seems to be a LOT of movement between schools for 6th form at most schools; perhaps least so at more selective schools but even they will tend to have additional intake at that point so plenty of new students. Class groupings will change substantially and often be smaller, depending on subjects.
If you are willing to post the region you are moving to maybe one of us will have a daughter nearby we can put in touch with yours! Or what subjects she is planning to do. (we're a science-oriented family trying to get to grips with a
child young lady who is planning to to English/History/Maths; and daren't say too much as there is a "risk" maths might get swapped for Geography or German! )
And bear in mind 6th form places are not confirmed until after gcse results come out on 22nd August so she may well not be the only one starting who did not attend the earlier induction.
We're not in the same situation as you but my DD is starting a new 6th form college where she will know nobody. I think it's quite common at that age. She's not worried and is looking forward to the opportunity to make new friends.
We moved house then DD1 started 6th form. She knew no one. And she started on her birthday. They had the first day as a team building ice breaker type event and soon got to know people. Others in her cohort were also brand new and many had come from other countries. I think that is quite normal really.
Agree with other posters - every school I've come across has some sort of shake up at sixth form: some leaving, and new entrants. New classes, new position in the school.
And no, most new entrants definitely won't have formed lasting friendship groups on an induction day.
There were quite a few new overseas entrants at the beginning of sixth form in my youngest DCs school. No problems- if anything they were seen as more interesting.
Put your DCs mind at rest: it's going to be great.
My DD really wanted to go to a new sixth form so she wouldn't know anyone and could start afresh! Also sixth forms often have intake from different schools so there's lots of people who don't know everyone. Your DD will be fine!!
My ds started a new sixth form and didn't know anyone, his choice. He has made lots of friends and there were many others in the same boat.
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