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 Post subject: Advice re an unhappy Y7
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 6:06 pm
Posts: 3
My DD is deeply unhappy in Y7 at a super-selective grammar. The issues are:

She is near or at the top of her class in core subjects and finds lessons tedious partly because the level of disruption from other pupils takes up so much teaching time and reduces the opportunity for any interesting activities. She prefers Art, PE and PHSCE because they are allowed to talk so the teachers "don't shout all the time".


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:51 am
Posts: 1161
Oh i do feel for you. You are right there is no guarantee things would be betterif you moved her school. Does she say she would like to move? I have a friend who's dd was very unhappy at school, it was a good comprehensive and my friend managed to have her tested and moved her to one of the grammars where she became happy almost immediately and made good friends. But obviously this was a move to what would be considered a "better" school, so the decision was eaier. Your dd is already at the "better" school and i can understand why you would be apprehensive about moving her.

I think you need to find out what "other school" options you have - just on an inquisitive level and sit down and have a heart to heart with dd to see where you both go from here. I know its not very helpful, but i wish you luck and expect there are lots out there in a similar situation :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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is there a form tutor or head of year you could talk with? I've since heard from both of ours that a lot of children have problems settling in so your child is not alone in that. There will be SOMEthing with all of them. With mine it was far too much socialising and chat at the expense of work but now in y8 he's really settled down much better into the work side. But when I spoke to the form tutor and head of year, in some despair that I would never make him get to grips with an academic attitude, they told me about the number of parents phoning up and worried about all sorts of things, from being billy no-mates through to hating school etc etc. It was strangely reassuring to think that I wasn't the only fretting parent. His friend was really unhappy throughout y7 for various reasons but has come into his own through Y8. It's frustrating having to wait or feeling that all this time has been wasted, I know, but maybe that's part of the process. High hopes being slow to be realised...

So, I know this isn't much help and is just a generic answer; it's more to reiterate that not alone, will (hopefully) get better! you know she CAN make friends (as has in past). I would want to be getting to the bottom with this disruption, too. Sounds terrible! The discipline at my boy's school (all boy's grammar) is v hot but v necessary. If they can't shout, they don't. Makes for a happier school.

Good luck and let us know what you do.


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:33 am
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We had a similar issue with DS at his primary - bullying led to demotivation which led to poor performance and damage to his ego. In his orginal primary they weren't that great. We moved him to a more nurturing school and they were absolutely fantastic - he hasn't looked back since.

My view was that the disruption of moving him was worth it.

If you want to keep her in the School (which you obvously do) I would suggest that the school policy on bullying and their attitude to it is key to your decision to keep her in or move her - what is the school's attitude?


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I have a friend with a DD at a local comp with similar friendship problems in Yr 7 (her yr 9 DD has been fine, but the younger one has often fallen out with friends dramatically in the past). There is such a range of physical and emotional maturity amongst 11-12 year olds, with some of the girls no doubt well into make-up, boys, shopping etc and others still perhaps yearning for their Polly Pockets or (especially if bright) reading children's literature voraciously. Is there just one other girl she could suggest as being a suitable potential friend, perhaps the quiet one in the (other) corner, or someone she meets in the school chess club/library/choir. Can you invite this other girl home if at all possible and encourage a friendship to develop? I suspect there will be lively fashionable thoughtless "popular" girls whichever school she goes to, although if lessons are being disrupted perhaps a phone call to the head of year might also be in order.


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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Please dont take the very drastic step of moving your DD before you have explored all the possible steps that can be taken at the current school.
Make an appointment to see the Head of Year and talk through the problems & come up with a plan of action.

My Ds took time to settle in to secondary school & while there wa soem low level bullying that the school dealt with he also had to learn to try to keep his head down a bit & not make himself a target. I am not saying there are ever any excuses for bullying & I would always expect the school to take it seriously but its a fact of life that it goes on so we also need to encourage our children to avoid trouble where they can. With my DS that included being less vocal with his opnions sometimes!

If your DD could find just 1 or 2 like minded friends it really would help as it stops them feeling isolated.

I hope that the school are receptive to your worries as its awful when Dcs are so unhappy. I do hope you see some improvement soon.


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:43 pm
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Location: Twells
My DD has a friend at school who was very unhappy in yr7, her mother broached the school about it, she moved forms and is subsequently very happy. I know you have said this is not what your daughter wants but it may be a way forward.

I hope you sort this out soon, we (parents and children) go though so much stress to get into these super schools it must be heartbreaking when it doesn't live up to the expectation in one way or another.

Best of luck.


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:36 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Rugby
I do feel sympathetic towards you and your daughter! There is a lot of good and well meaning advise from posters on this forum and I urge you to consider it very carefully.

My youngest in year seven has always been resilient and fluid in fitting in at her various schools but the change to senior school has been a watershed. Her academic performance up to now has been better than expected but her social comfort and her health have both taken a nose dive and I as parent am seriously worried her present school may prove not to be the best choice for her.

I think the issue of discipline and behaviour is so important and I am amazed to find how much bad behaviour even good schools will tolerate. I have been following my daughter's FB conversations with her friends and frankly the language is disgusting and the attitudes just as unacceptable.

I think the problem of girls fitting in and finding school life acceptable is hardest of all. Sadly I have no solutions but I do wish you the very best!


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 6:39 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
I agree with all the advice on here. My son has been up and down since starting in year 7, for various reasons since Easter things have improved a bit. I would have no hesitation in speaking to the form tutor, I did when concerned about some little bullying issues, and these were very firmly nipped in the bud at school, without him even being aware I had got involved.
It can be a very big step moving from a small primary to a much larger secondary school, and some children find it very hard indeed, if some of this is due to others upsetting her, then something can and should be done by the school to make things better for her.

Good luck x


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 7:00 am 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
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Location: london
I'm so sorry you are in this position which must feel awful and urge you to act on the advice to you have received here, particularly in terms of contacting the school and giving them the opportunity to resolve the issue.

Sassie's Dad, I am so sorry and surprised at your comments because you always seem so happy with the school. In a perverse way I found your comments comforting as reassurance that it is not 'just me'

Sassie'sDad wrote:
I think the issue of discipline and behaviour is so important and I am amazed to find how much bad behaviour even good schools will tolerate. I have been following my daughter's FB conversations with her friends and frankly the language is disgusting and the attitudes just as unacceptable.


Me too. Nothing in my parenting life has shocked me as much as this. I went to an 'average' comperehensive but standards of accepted behaviour were eons above what seems to be regarded nowadays as acceptably letting off steam or high jinks and hormones. Particularly galling is the way the girls are prepared to behave towards each other, but also a general overcurrent of ******** precocity underlayed with, it would seem, the self respect and self esteem of a dead rabbit. Perhaps it was ever thus, but I am worried that nowadays there is so little to balance these things as technology, magazines etc etc are so pervasive.

Sorry, rant over, facebook row already before DD1 left this morning. grrr

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