When DD1 started at grammar, 12 of the year group were forum posters and about half (parents and girls) got together beforehand. It's a school with a very high number of feeder schools so many girls knew none or very few others. It was nice for them to know a few friendly faces and just as useful for parents to do so.And yes, everyone was very normal ..... Apart from their EPE addiction
Having said that, the schools are very good at induction days at helping the kids break the ice. At DDs school they also mapped out where they lived so that they could locate others that lived nearby which was useful.
By the way, I was away when you posted your Bucks news, faitaccompli. Can I add my belated congratulations.