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Anxious ds - transition to secondary school

8 replies

wellies · 18/06/2014 11:04

Ds is a young year 6 (he's 11 in August) In September he'll make the move from our small village primary to the large secondary school 10 miles away. Although several friends are going to move to the same school he is a sensitive boy and is fretting about the change. He's started feeling very wobbly about it which is expected in many ways but this is much more so than dd who moved up to the same school two years ago (restless at night, moody, weepy, bedwetting etc) His main friend is not moving to the same school which is upsetting but he seems to be happy and comfortable about the friends who are going with him.

Does anyone have any tips for easing the transition for a sensitive boy?

Main factors he worries about are -

He's physically small (just a bit behind with a growth spurt compared to his friends who are several months older) and skinny therefore he worries about defending himself against bullies. Obviously we hope he won't need to defend himself but this is a very real worry to him.

He'll be travelling to school on a bus with some boys who moved up from our primary school last year who were mean to him at primary school.

His work won't be good enough (he does have shocking handwriting!)

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Flyonthewindscreen · 18/06/2014 14:54

Are there any end of year transition events that he hasn't been to yet? My DS went up to high school from a small village primary last year and they had several days at the high school in the last few weeks of term, including meeting their new form class and travelling in on the school bus. I think these really help although in my DS's case in confirmed his worries about the primary school classmates in his new form! Although at least we were able to sort this before the start of the new school year.

With regard to your DS's smallness, it might be worth reminding him that he might be the tiddler in his small primary class but he is going into a large year group where there are bound to be smaller lads then him.

wellies · 18/06/2014 19:47

Yes, there are some transition days coming up next week. Dd loved these and was really motivated after spending a couple of days going to the new school but ds will hardly even let me discuss the fact that the days are imminent. They have been able to list a couple of friends who they hope to be in a tutor group with - dd got one of her requests and was v happy; ds is hanging lots of hopes on getting a crowd of familiar faces to be with.
I have explained his smallness won't be obvious once there are another 8 year 7 tutor groups but that's not currently easing his worries.
I really hope next weeks transition days go well but as I say at the moment he's too anxious to even talk to me about them- very quickly weepy/withdrawn.

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Takver · 19/06/2014 16:41

One small point - dd who has shocking handwriting & pretty dodgy spelling found the work side of things much better at secondary as there's more focus on content, and less on presentation.

TheFirstOfHerName · 19/06/2014 18:47

Bless him.

DS2 is currently coming to the end of Y7. He is small for his age (wearing age 9 school trousers) and his handwriting is nearly illegible due to SEN.

So far, Y7 has been fine. He hasn't been bullied and he is allowed to type most of his homework, which makes it easier for the teachers to read it. He is enjoying secondary school much more than he did primary school.

wellies · 19/06/2014 20:18

That's reassuring, Takver, as teachers have always said the content of his work is good (if only they could read his writing!)

TheFirstOfHerName - comforting news too.

I had to go into the secondary school today to see dd do a presentation and was reminded how nice it feels there. Hopefully ds will pick up on this feeling when he goes next week.

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CheshireEditor · 21/06/2014 17:32

My DS started at High School and was anxious for different reasons, dyslexic,worried about workload etc and meeting new people etc. Now practically a tthe end of his first year, it could not have gone better! He loves the freedom of movement between different classes, male teachers who he thinks are brilliant, the different subjects that he finds exciting and fun, they also get talked too and dealth with like adults with really ups their game and stature in general. My DS is very tall and his best new mate is much smaller and neither of them have had any issues from anyone about height etc. In fact bullying has not been an issue anywhere with anyone I can glad to say.

He's also had first class support from the SECNO, with learning to type, in class coach to help with wiritng, using speech to text software. The pastoral care and support they have offered has given him bucket loads of confidence in his abilities and at parents evening I was so happy with everything they said about him.

He's made loads of new friends and all his worries were gone more or less on the first week. He had found the organisation side hard, so just help him as much as you can up to Christmas, it's hard enough starting high school without being expected to be great at everything from the get go. My DS had learnt that being organised reduces stress and worry and I will always help him with that.

Also when the get back from school they are KNACKERED and just want food and to be left alone, it's weird as you are so there at primary school and you are so not at high school!

Tell your DS that mine felt the same and it worked out great, mine has thrived on it all and I am sure yours will too. My DS is even jelous of those who get on a coach to a from school (he walks) because they have such a great laugh on the coach!

CheshireEditor · 21/06/2014 17:37

Yes and I agree the handwriting being neat is not an issue, it is the content they are intetested in.

For now I would not even talk about it anymore, just wait until he's had his intro days and gently try and talk to him about it all then. We did not speak that much about it over the Summer hols, just let him chill, only in the 10 days or so before we talked, we even practiced the walk together a few times, maybe you could do that in the car with him over the hols?

When he left the house on the first morning to walk to high school, I had to really hold myself together as not to blub and not to fuss over him too much to make him worry, I really wanted to follow him all the way there! Had such a huge lump in my throat and knot in my stomach!

wellies · 10/07/2014 10:59

Induction days last week. Ds went very happily with a crowd of friends to catch the bus and, although very tired by the end, he enjoyed it very much. Tried on some of his uniform a couple of evenings ago and he was really chuffed - feeling much better about the move up now.

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