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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:35 pm
Posts: 125
Hi

My daughter is in year 7 at a KE school and really enjoys it. She has settled in really well and made some new friends. She also enjoys her studies and the general academic environment.

I know it's still early days but I feel a distance between the school and parents. There's not much of a community feel or relationship so far. It's our first child at a secondary school so I have nothing to compare to. Is this normal?

There was much more of a welcoming feel at our former primary so maybe I'm basing my view on that. So far the KE school doesn't seem very welcoming and a little clinical even "hand over your daughter to us and let us get on with it, you can leave now" sort of vibe.

Can forum members share their experiences about transition from primary and how they found the schools. Is there also a difference between main stream comps and grammar school attitudes towards parental engagement and relationships.

I would like to feel more involved with the school but don't know how. Any ideas?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
Posts: 583
What you are feeling is entirely normal, we thought the same too. It soon evaporates. Get involved with parents association with the school activities, school governor elections and offer to interview upper sixth formers as they prepare for ucca interviews etc. The main difference is that there is no communial playground to meet other parents when picking up kids. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 8:30 am
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I suspect you are reacting to the difference between primary and secondary, rather than anything about a particular secondary.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 874
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Other differences too: there are far fewer calls for parent volunteers to help with trips etc or in the classroom/library - your child has many different teachers rather than one you might be able to chat to every afternoon at pick-up time in the junior school classroom, your child wants to make their own friends who might live miles away over the other side of the city, not be parents you first met at the toddler group. And parents evenings can seem like a scrum as you try and negotiate a queuing system from **** in order to have 5 minutes with teachers who suddenly start to seem very young!
Certainly parents can feel much less involved - as someone with offspring whose DC played in bands/orchestras etc we made probably more visits to school than many others for concerts etc but it is still much more "hands off" than at Juniors - and part of the years-long process of "letting go"

And yes this is I suspect the same (to a greater or lesser extent) with all secondary schools: they will be more attentive to parents when there's fundraising to be done of course....


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6252
Completely different area but exactly the same feeling! I think it is a normal reaction to the move from primary to secondary school; bigger year groups, no playground chit chat etc etc! Join the PTA and do a few bits for them (nothing too arduous) and things soon change as you get to know faces.

Don't worry it's very early days.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:35 pm
Posts: 125
Thanks guys...

From what you're saying, it seems this is the 'normal' anxiety about the move from primary to secondary school. New school, new relationship, new everything...

Whilst we have been busy preparing our dd for secondary, we had forgotten that we too were about to go through a change. Well it's hit us now and we have to go through this just as many of you have done....

Thanks for the tips.... Really useful...


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11931
Go to as many events as you can. You will then meet staff and get to know other parents.

I helped with events too and that was another way of meeting teachers, parents and DS's wider circle of friends.

When DS played for the school I supported the matches when I could.

It's even stranger when they are at uni ...


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
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One fantastic tip and this one is a good un, worked for our little Johnny.. It's guy Fawkes night soon so buy about half an hr's worth of fireworks and invite chd's friends over in the evening. This way the parents will drop and pick up their kids. Some may stay and help out. It's a starter for ten, and a fantastic draw for kids.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11931
A organised firework display is far safer .. perhaps offer to help the school run one with food as a fundraiser?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:30 pm
Posts: 583
Nah, not really; too formal, noisy, crowded, can't open up etc.

Home ones are way safe now, pizza and chips with pop for the kids. Cups of tea for the parents and talking about the journey into school etc.

It's the best way, tried and tested formula. Horses for courses now


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