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Children starting secondary in September 2013; support & hand-holding, tips and advice...

(135 Posts)

This is a thread for those of us with children who are starting secondary in September 2013; nerve-racking enough even when a child doesn't have SEN.

Hopefully we can give each other support and encouragement.

It would also be great to get some advice and tips from parents who have already seen children through this; what do you wish you had known etc?

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 13:20:49

Ooo lovely to hear all this good news. Congratulations everyone!

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 14:51:30

moose, as a matter of interest, did you get an email? I know it's academic in your case, but what would you have got?

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 15:05:52

You don't get secondary admissions in our LEA if your child has a statement Ellen, it's all bypasses the main admissions office and goes via your Statementing Officer.

Tiggles Fri 01-Mar-13 15:22:09

Breathing a big sigh of relief here, as DS1 has got into an out of catchment secondary which should be much better for his needs smile. Can't wait to tell him!

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 15:29:43

Great news LittleMissGreen. smile

Still no email...

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 17:42:51

Sounds great, LittleMissGreen!

Must seem like a very long day, ThreeBeeOneGee. sad

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 17:49:38

moose, we still had to go through the admissions system in my LA, just putting the one preference. Funny how each LA does things differently.

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 17:56:22

We could put up to four preferences, but didn't.

I then received a reminder from main admissions to say they hadn't had an application for him. I called and they said that SEN admissions bypass main admissions, but that with his statement being completed from April through July in y5 he'd ended up on both systems. They said to just disregard the reminder and confirmed they had removed him from their system.

(A clear case of arse/elbow as my dh likes to say! grin)

ThreeBee, you must be beyond frustrated. Hope it arrives soon. I read somewhere on the secondary education board that some LAs deliberately set the emails to go out at midnight on the 1st - so tonight, rather than last night, so they don't have to deal with the fall-out until Monday. hmm angry

Hope it turns up soon.

We got the email before 6pm, but couldn't get on here because I was feeding them then getting them to Brownies & Scouts.
DS2 got his first choice; we were 99% certain as he has a sibling there and scored much higher in the test than the usual cut-off, but still relieved to have it in writing (well, email, but you know what I mean). smile

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 19:25:35

That's great, ThreeBee! smile Grammar schools are used to quirky boys...

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 19:36:17

Fantastic ThreeBee! So pleased for you. smile

So pleased for everyone else who has been successful. Also managed to get first choice for ds, he read the email and started jumping up and down with joy, then ran through to tell my dad smile Have been lurking but life is extremely busy and difficult at the moment so havent had time to post on thread. Today's news has been a bright spot in a horrendous year so far.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 20:38:48

Great news, AGlass. smile

moosemama Fri 01-Mar-13 20:49:01

Really pleased for you AGlass. smile

Sorry things are so difficult at the moment. Hope it settles down soon for you.

pannetone Fri 01-Mar-13 22:42:05

Hello - time for me to join this thread - DS3, diagnosed with ASD last November is off to secondary in September. He got his first choice and will be going to the local (very good) comp. However, it wasn't really his 'first choice', because he wanted to go to the local super selective grammar like DS1 and 2 - and is academically able enough to have stood a good chance of getting a place. However, DS2 (diagnosed with ASD at 14) has had extremely poor SEN support at the school - which culminated in a disability discrimination case. (We are still waiting for the decision.) So we weren't prepared to send DS3 there.

So DS3 has had a tough Year6 so far - probably most of his class sat grammar school tests - and they wondered and asked why DS was not. He has also had to deal with well meaning adults assuming he would be off to the super selective like his brothers. The ASD diagnosis hasn't helped DS's sense of self esteem, which had already suffered because he didn't get the 'kudos' of passing his 11+. I'm really hoping that the comp will work out well for him - he should be able to shine there academically.

This evening DS3 has dealt with his friends' news graciously to their faces (well phone and text!). But then had a big wobble at bedtime, declaring he is not going to his allocated school and a general 'not fair' rant. Glad we have the weekend for everyone's news to 'settle' before school on Monday.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Fri 01-Mar-13 22:50:47

That sounds hard, pannetone. You sound like you've made the best choice for your DS3, he's just not able to see it yet. sad I'm really sorry the grammar school failed to support your dS2. My DS3 is going to the same school as his siblings, a comp, but with only one of his classmates, not really a friend of his. His choice over the grammar. You can't always have it all, hard lesson for a 10 or 11 yo, especially one with SN.

Complete proud parent boasting time coming up, so skip over this comment if you don't like that sort of thing.

The cut-off scores for academic places and music places at DS2's future school have become available. If DS2 hadn't had a sibling there, he would have qualified for an academic place (by a margin of twenty points) and a music place.

This also helps us feel more confident in our decision that it's the best fit for him out of all the local schools.

Pannetone: sorry to hear that your DS3 is going to have to put up with everyone else's opinions for a bit. Once he is settled and happy at his new school, he'll hopefully be able to see that you have his best interests in mind.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Sat 02-Mar-13 13:44:21

That's good news, ThreeBee. You must be proud of him. smile

We're proud of them all generally, but this is a notable achievement for him, especially as he didn't finish the VR paper (ran out of time) and did the whole of his audition whilst under the impression that it was a practice run-through!

moosemama Sat 02-Mar-13 13:56:06

So sorry pannetone that's sounds like it was a really hard decision, but you have your ds's interests and heart and he'll come round once he's settled and happy at the comp. I know that's little comfort for either you or him at the moment though. He has done so well to cope with all the gs entry malarkey up until now, sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders. Hope he calms down a little over the weekend.

ThreeBee, well done your ds.

sunshine175 Fri 15-Mar-13 22:22:18

I am just having a bit of a wobble about secondary school. Feeling like lots of promises from different people but nothing happening in reality. E.g. Help with her anxieties etc. I have no idea how we are going to persuade dd to leave house and get on bus to school. It is a hard enough job to get her to go to primary. Today I had a bit of a rant at senco and just feel a bit rubbish. And then dd had a meltdown after school about sats. Im just feeling a bit sorry for myself. Is it just me feeling like this? Im starting to dread the thought of September.

sunshine175: I have times when I feel really positive and optimistic, alternating with times when I just don't see how any of it can work.

Because the younger two are away for the next two days on a residential trip, I am trying to persuade DS2 to walk to school and back without me. Half a mile, two residential streets to cross, lots of children he knows walking the same route.

I finally persuaded him that he was capable, but now he says he wants to walk there now (at 7pm) let himself into school (hacking the alarm system?) then he'll read in the school library until 8.45am tomorrow. <sigh>

sunshine175 Wed 20-Mar-13 19:57:54

ThreeBeeOneGee I love the way their brains work. The walking to school business hasn't happened for us yet as Dd is scared of cars and there is a busy road to cross - no crossing either. Often leaving the house bit is challenging. I'm trying to be positive for her but it struck me there is only 4 months of yr 6 left and then I get anxious again. It really is an emotional rollercoaster ride. Good luck for tomorrow and I hope he can do it.

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