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 Post subject: Child having a wobble
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:45 am
Posts: 77
I wonder if any of you have advice or reassurance to offer. Although my DS knew what to expect and was really keen to both try for grammar school and apply when the results were in he is now starting to get anxious and panic about not knowing people. There is another child from his school going but they are not friends and my DS finds making friends a real challenge. His best mate is going to STR and he is off to Pates.
We have had tears at bedtime and I am dreading this going on for several months. Most of his year group are divided between 2 comprehensives locally and some low level teasing has started towards DS (and his best mate according to other childs mother) about them going off elewhere.
I am starting to doubt the wisdom in this plan...


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:32 am 
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Just when you think everything is sorted...something else happens to worry you !

My son also is quite anxious about starting grammar..but felt better once we had looked around the school a couple of times...found the bus stop etc......now the places are allocated there will be induction days and hopefully he will then feel a bit better.I told my son that secondary is so big, even if you start with children you know you may not be in their class and some big schools also have staggered breaks....I remember starting school feeling sick I was so nervous...but after a couple of days with people in the same boat it was fine...we all have to go through it !

Can he travel with this other boy? Meet up at breaks initially ? Someone on here may have a son starting you could meet up with ? I found my son is better at pushing himself forward and making friends since starting scouts etc...maybe get your son to do some holiday clubs to give himself a bit of self confidence ?

You will just have to be firm and reassuring...he has got into a good school and if he has made friends at primary then why wouldn't he at secondary ? ! :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:04 am
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Are you taking him on Wed? I am going to be encouraging ds1 to talk to as many dc's as we can. He had a hard time through some of his primary school years and is loving the fact that he gets to start over and is looking forward to making new friends (possibly your dc?). Keep positive and I am sure it will all work out in the end.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:57 am
Posts: 233
Yes positivity is key.
Although all is ok here(with DS-not me!)He's so looking forward to it,Im the one wobbling about friends/buses/work load/French(!)

We are going Weds too-with the same as turtleglos-TALK to everyone DS!!! Im sure everyone is in the same boat.Hopefully we can force each others dc's to be "friends"at least initially :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:57 am
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Should have also added that DS1 will know no one from his school going to Pates.
He does know a yr 8 there and they also get the same bus as he will need to but otherwise he's going it alone.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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Don't know if this helps at all but in September my DS started at grammar. He was the only one from his school that went to that particular school and as he was at a prep school he was one of the few that was leaving (most of his mates are still there). He was very nervous, he is quite a sensitive soul (!) and has always had a few but good friends, if you know what I mean, and he missed the induction day too!! But, he has been fine from day 1. Don't know what happened but over the remainder of Yr 6 he got used to the idea of leaving his friends behind and moving on.

We also really "bigged" up how he was growing up, what a fantastic time he was going to have, how he had outgrown his old school (bit hard that one given that the majority were staying!). Highlight something that your DS enjoys and explain how much better it will be at the new school - with us it was Rugby, or what great new things he'll be trying - this one for us was DT.

The schools are very good at settling them in, they've been doing it for years, and his school have a good 6th form prefect system in place. What also suddenly dawned on him was that EVERYBODY was new and nobody knew where the loo was or how to queue for lunch.

Please reassure your ds's that it will be OK


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:02 am
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From the perspective of new parent at Pate's (DD1 yr7 - loving every minute!! :D ) - I have to say that the school themselves really integrate next year's intake from now, making them feel a real part of the school before they even start. Personally can't fault the pastoral care and sense of belonging, right from Allocation Day, so as others have said, hopefully your DS will feel more comfortable about his excellent achievement after Wed. By the time September came round DD had already started referring to Pate's as "my school", had met up with her classmates several times, and was familiar and comfortable with the layout and procedures at school, and from what I gleen from other DCs, the same is true across the board.

Pate's intake is so vast that the majority of children won't know more than a few people. I seem to remember Mrs Blackwell saying current Yr7 came from 93 primaries - much travelling and many visits for her in June/July as she tries to see all new pupils. Senior school is such a huge change for them, they're bound to be uneasy (not to mention how you feel as a parent!! :shock: ) - keep calm, keep reassuring him, reinforcing his fab result!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:57 pm 
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livviloo my DD2 started grammar school last Sept and didn't know anyone. She has settled in well now, the school arranged several after school club sessions in the summer term for the children to play rounders and get to know each other and there was a residential fairly soon after the term began. Also an induction day too.

This is just a thought...
I don't know if this is out of the question or too late to change but are your ds and his friend going to Tommies really great friends? Would/did you consider sending your DS there too? It is also a good school and I guess the friend may not have passed for Pates so he hasn't got the option to change. They could travel together and have a chum on hand. I am only saying this because my ds has a great mate he has gone through primary with and they have always got on well, my ds is less socially confident than my DD who went off by herself and I might seriously consider opting for same gs as his friend if I was in the same situation (which I might be in next year). I probably wouldn't change if it was a one passed 11+ / one didn't situation but might if it came down to the choice of 2 good grammar schools. It is something I have thought about with the test coming round in Oct for DS and his friend.

btw DD1 went to (a different to DD2) GS with a girl she knew but is friends with other people now (in fact knowing 1 other person at school can sometimes be a pain actually) so it very much comes down to what you and your DS feel would be best and I would say how close/similar the boys are and how much you think they are likely to stay very friendly. Are you friends with the other boy's mum? Shared lifts, someone to chat with about school etc can sometimes be a good help. If you are not that close then you probably won't get too involved with this anyway so won't miss out.

Hope I haven't confused you more and don't forget they DO soon make new friends so whatever you decide things will likely work out fine. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:45 am
Posts: 77
Thank you for all your helpful comments.
I actually have no idea where this other boy from DS's school who is going to Pate's lives.
In October I gave mum my number and tried to arrange a get together for the boys but she wasn't forthcoming. I think they live a little further away from the primary school as she drives in. The school is near her husbands work so that may be why he is there. He joined during juniors.The boys tbh haven't really hit it off (different interests etc) so I think it's a nonstarter.

I considered STR for my DS but he definitely works better in group work when there are girls in the group ( according to teachers over the years) and when he has a girl talking partner he seems happier. He however says girls are not his " friends" YUK! So for this reason I ruled out STR and Crypt.

We visited our local comp and he and we liked it very much so that was our second choice. The bus ride to the gloucester grammar schools is also about 45-60 mins depending on which one and I though this was too long for him.

I would think differently for my DD when it is her turn as she is a totally different kettle of fish.

Plus my DS is a bit of a "one friend/best friend" type and this kid will still be his friend even if they are at different schools as we get on as parents,little sisters are friends and we live very close by each other. In fact when he was off school sick he became chums with someone else and this really helped him branch out.

Turtleglos and Mumintewkes we are going on Wednesday. He has a list of questions which so far include
What time does school start?
What time does it finish?
What can I buy for lunch?
How much does it cost?
When can I learn Mandarin? (favourite uncle lives in Beijing and is married to chinese lady so he wants to be able to chat to them in Mandarin on skype!)

Would love to be able to find you in the crowd?
Are your kids going in mufti?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 7:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:57 am
Posts: 233
My child has no questions!!...now should I be worried about that??!!!lol!

Im presuming DS will be in his primary uniform as we'll be dropping him back after-bottle green jumper-blond surfer dude hair.

Ill also have dh with me-large man,no hair...and smallest DS-in a sling,screaming most probably.

Ill be the shattered looking curly haired one,trying to look poised and intelligent.

Easily spotted.

I do know the answer to a few of your boys questions :D ..lunch is £2.20 i think..and usually eaten at first break(11ish?)for some reason-possibly lunch clubs etc.
DS1s friend further up the school explained this was most important!


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