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 Post subject: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 7:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 820
The realisation that my baby boy is leaving primary school in just 9 weeks (how did that happen?!??) has just dawned on me and I seem to be in major panic about it all - not helped by the fact that my job involves working with children who are often struggling / miserable at school.

There's only him and one other going to his school from our tiny primary and there are a couple of big primaries locally who will be sending much bigger numbers there. DS isn't sporty at all, not an aleph male, also physically quite small and whilst bright has never thought of himself as anything other then average.

I'm just flapping about whether he'll make friends / survive in a competitive environment. He has a big group of friends at primary - his year group is very close and with them he is v confident but with new people he is very shy.

He will be ok won't he? Any hints and tips? Feel free to tell me to stop flapping :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 8:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2814
The feelings you have are completely normal. Two years ago we were exactly the same and ds1 was going with two boys from his very small primary. The school split them up deliberately so everyone was in a class on their own and in the same boat. Every child in the year had the same worries, "will I make friends?" and every parent wondered if their children (and indeed they) would. And every child does - maybe not the same deep bond as with primary school friends - but in different settings different pals. At athletics, ds1 has met boys from all ages who have become athletic friends, rugby he has his team around him, he has his class mates, his language pals (split German and Spanish depending on their options), he has boys he meets up with because I have become friends with their mothers...he will be fine. A bit like birth when the health visitor tells you that the first 6 weeks will be the hardest...this is true of school, for you and him. He is tired, emotional, as are you, he will tell you he hates it and you will beat yourself up..but stick with it till half term (that is what we persuaded ds1 to do when he collapsed in tears one night early on, asking to go to the local comp as he felt he had made a mistake)... He wouldn't change it for the world now. He is bus buddies with one boy from his primary but hardly sees him in school and the other one has nothing to do with as they do not do the same things at all...he will be ok, I promise you.


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 8:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
Posts: 2248
kittymum wrote:
The realisation that my baby boy is leaving primary school in just 9 weeks (how did that happen?!??) has just dawned on me and I seem to be in major panic about it all - not helped by the fact that my job involves working with children who are often struggling / miserable at school.

There's only him and one other going to his school from our tiny primary and there are a couple of big primaries locally who will be sending much bigger numbers there. DS isn't sporty at all, not an aleph male, also physically quite small and whilst bright has never thought of himself as anything other then average.

I'm just flapping about whether he'll make friends / survive in a competitive environment. He has a big group of friends at primary - his year group is very close and with them he is v confident but with new people he is very shy.

He will be ok won't he? Any hints and tips? Feel free to tell me to stop flapping :lol:


I'm in the same position as you kitty mum. I have twins, both finishing at a tiny primary in 9 weeks, both going to different schools, at two weeks over age 11! Both will be going with no one from their current class, as I say including brother! The less socially confident one is off to KES and I also feel really nervous for him, esp as he will need to get used to the bus. He is confident enough in his ability but is not a natural mixer. Add to that that it will be the first time ever he is separated from his twin...........
His brother got a place at another grammar, but then got offered a scholarship at a small indie which he much preferred. He is very good at making friends, but has no confidence in his ability AT ALL and thinks he is thick (constant unfounded self comparison with twin bro), so I really worry about that.
BUT
We all have made decisions based on the schools we liked, and more importantly the schools our dc liked. It felt pretty nerve wracking when they began at primary, but they did fine didn't they? There might have been some wobbles, but routine and peer group won the day. I am sure it will be the same at big school. There might be some wobbles at first, but they will grow up amazingly quickly :( , what with the expectations of the schools and a new, equally motivated peer group. I am not sure what kind of children you work with, but are there generally issues at home too that mean their challenges at school are not ameliorated by home support?
And surely secondary schools are kinder places, at least in support, than they were when we went?
Can you tell I am trying to convince myself as well? But I am sure that our belief or otherwise, in them also influences their ability to grow into it, so it's teeth and **** all the way here! "You can do it!!". I avoid the "you will love it" line, it is school after all, and didn't we all prefer weekends!? Don't want to set them up to be disappointed, but we are stressing a lot the more interest, more mature, more ways to stretch elements.
Where is your dc going?


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Quote:
He will be ok won't he? Any hints and tips? Feel free to tell me to stop flapping :lol:


Your lad is a hugely intelligent, girl confident, independent little man. Stop flapping he will be fine.

My son told me after a week that he suddenly felt like he was twenty or something, catching buses, walking round high wycombe, going into corner shops and buying junk food, getting off the bus at different stops to drop in on friends on the way home. Suddenly they have wings!

For us the first six weeks were cool, as everyone was new and shy, then as stronger characters got their confidence back son number one crept back into his shell. He will never be Mr in your face, but has settled and when I watch him with peers at the rowing club I can tell he is relaxed in their company and they enjoy his, far more than he is with the rugby gang.

So I guess it is finding his thing that is important, particularly if he is not mad on sport. Son number one finds commercial sport and the sky sports world all rather dull, he admits this isolates him from the trendy kids, along with the fact that we do not go and watch matches etc. However at big school there is always some one else who matches, it is just a case of finding them.

Also, things like linking up on play station games with school buddies seems important socially, more for boys than instagram etc. The network sites tend to bore them a bit unless it is disco time or holidays, but there always seems to be about twenty names on the play station of an evening.

Even if he has a packed lunch (more time to play footy or fives plus more food for my lanky lad) make sure there is a bit of cash on his fingerprint to buy an icey, or hot choccy or cake etc with friends.

The first year the teachers work hard getting them settled, in our case this was ruined in year 8 as they split them all up again and gave him a ***** of a form teacher with little empathy towards shyness. I am positive the pastoral is brilliant at your sons gs though.

Anyway, stop flapping, lovely school, lovely town....at least you don't have to worry about him getting jumped on in horrible high wycombe and having his iPad robbed! (My own neurotic worry) :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 820
Thank you both, it's reassuring to know I'm just being normal. KKG I'm pretty sure they will mix the children up - the children from our primary have always been split from their friends before before but I worry that he's going to be with a bit clique of children from one of the large schools. They split yr 7 into 4 classes and they do all their lessons together. But he's going to the school he desperately wanted and the one I believe is right for him. Great advice about what to do if he finds it tough at the beginning, thank you.

Yamin I do feel for you having to do it twice in one school year! You'll need nerves of steel. We're in Bucks and ds is going to Sir William Borlase (SWBGS) which is our catchment school, mixed, 120 in a year group and in our local town. The bus goes from our village - he will know the vast majority of children on it, and he gets the bus to primary so that part should be relatively straightforward.

He has the induction day early July and then a 4 day thing at the very beginning of the summer hol so hopefully he'll make some friends there. There are also a few boys going from Scouts and one from dance so putting my sensible hat on, whilst they may not be his bessie mates he does know a few people.

It just seems so big and daunting - KKG you're right I'm worried about making friends too :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:20 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 820
southbucks3 wrote:
Quote:
Anyway, stop flapping, lovely school, lovely town....at least you don't have to worry about him getting jumped on in horrible high wycombe and having his iPad robbed! (My own neurotic worry) :oops:


Thank you, all great advice, I know I'm being daft and that out of 120 children there will be like minded people. I'm a bit worried about his lack of sportiness (in addition to a disinterest in it he's also rubbish at rugby and football - not sure if they do footie?) but I'm sure, rationally, that they can't all be sporty can they?

I am pleased he'll be in Marlow - he knows the town well and can always meet up with his friends who are going to GMS after school to go to the skatepark / Starbucks.

Sorry for the neurosis :lol: I'm going to be unbearable come September - am already panicking about the new parents Hog Roast in July and the coffee morning in Sept. :oops:


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:47 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2814
You will be fine - "big" school has put on far more events destined to invite and force parents to mix - from Parents Evenings to various fundraisers - far more than we ever got in primary!! As we all dash in from all over the place, everyone makes an effort to chat and, although I can't say that they all float my boat, generally there are people to laugh with and others that I have genuinely got to know and love. You can get involved as much or as little as you like - that is the joy of big school - in primary you tend to have to muck in as it is so small!

And don't let the lack of sportiness worry you - sure that gives them an instant focus but your ds will find his focus - when he knows what after school clubs are on that fit his interests then he will make his own friends - and if the clubs don't exist maybe he can look at starting one up - it takes all sorts to make a world and all sorts to make a school. In my experience the first year, the pastoral side has been second to none as it is in everyone's interest to get the child and parents to settle - far better than it has ever been at primary.

Repeat this mantra 5 times a day and 7 on the weekends: we will be fine, we will be fine, we will be fine!
x


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:28 pm
Posts: 2439
www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/ ... chool+tips

This thread may help.


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 7:51 am
Posts: 124
Yes, all those anxieties and the reverse of Yamin151's twins separation - ours are going to the same school, will they manage to strike out on their own and form relationships apart from their sibling? Two very similar kids in a small school may not make for an easy time... It's going to be an interesting autumn for us all (parents and kids).
kenyancowgirl wrote:

Repeat this mantra 5 times a day and 7 on the weekends: we will be fine, we will be fine, we will be fine!
x

yes yes yes! I shall endeavour to chant this :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Going to Big School
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:42 pm
Posts: 820
I've decided that I'm probably more worried then him - we had a long chat dog walking this morning and he seems a little nervous but genuinely excited at the moment - he even said he wanted to try rowing :shock: at the end of yr 8 when it's offered.

I'm fine with the organising him bit - I'm obsessively into all that kind of stuff :oops: but just want to know that people will be friends with him. I think it's the knowledge that he will have to find his own way (unlike primary where mums can arrange play dates) which makes it all so scary.

I'm trying to show restraint by not buying plastic wallets etc now (although I have ordered his blazer - but only to spread the cost)

In the welcome pack from the school they said we should email if we have any worries / concerns and I keep telling myself that this does NOT mean asking them how they will make sure he has friends and is not lonely at lunch :lol:

We will be fine, we will be fine ...


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