The Voice of Experience Talks Secondary School

Continuing my: Voice of Experience series (here is the link to my previous post):

I bring you:

The Voice of Experience Talks Secondary School


The induction process for your little year 7 will burn you out. By the time the summer holiday starts BEFORE they have even started school there, you will be absolutely sick of the place, the other parents and their kids.

Parents will be trying to swap mobile numbers with you to arrange play dates over the summer holiday. Your child will spend the entire summer hanging out with their primary school mates. Save the pleasantries for the kids to sort out in September. Then they will find out who they actually really like.

Buy second hand uniform wherever possible. Invest in a Sharpie and just put a line through the previous owner – they are so gone. Don’t buy everything on the list. Supplies of these things do not spontaneously combust in the first term – it will all still be available (but don’t just send your child in his pants on day 1).

Don’t think you can wing the sizes – get your child to try on. The VofE says they seem to grow a lot from leaving Year 6 Primary to Christmas – buy big. All Year 7’s wear huge blazers, it is an integral part of initiation into Secondary school.

Years 8-13 find all Year 7’s either cute or really annoying. Just accept that you no longer have a child who is top dog. They have been spectacularly relegated.

This relegation does not mean that you have to fuss over them. The most you are allowed to do is walk to within a few feet of the train station with them on day 1. After that, they’re on their own (except that they aren’t because there are loads more where yours came from, all shrieking and being like Year 7’s – see previous point).

You will drown in paperwork. You will get passwords. You will forget passwords. If you have multiple children, you will quite possibly forget which school parent mail is which. The VofE says keep tabs up on your computer and tell it to remember the goddamn password. If you don’t do this you are screwed.

After a couple of months, school e mails will become the e mails you click on ‘mark as unread’ the most. There never, ever seems an appropriate time to read them. You will resort to when you are on the toilet, or when you are waiting in a school car park, waiting for your little darling after a netball match.

You will have no contact with other parents. No, none. It is all your prayers answered. It is a breath of fresh air. (Unless you are foolish enough to join the PTA – in which case you will spend weeks haranguing poor parents who hardly have time to piss, let alone make potpourri sachets for the Christmas Fayre).

They will lose things with such frequency, you will begin to question whether they still have a functioning brain. Some of the things they say are ‘lost’ may well have been stolen and they may be too shit scared to tell you. Try to remain calm.

Remain at arm’s length to the whole school process. Don’t sweat the small stuff with teachers – get your child to sort things out directly because it is character building and they will learn indomitable spirit. Only bring in the big guns if you feel all else has failed – you don’t want to be labelled as ‘that’ parent in the staff room. The teachers are on the whole amazing and want the absolute best for your child, but they don’t want to have to deal with a whinger – you or your kid.

Year 7 will fly by! Before you know it they will be asking for Facebook ‘because all their friends have it’, constantly on Snapchat and in selfie heaven and you will be left wondering where your little cherub has gone.


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18 thoughts on “The Voice of Experience Talks Secondary School”

  1. Oh the paperwork. I hate the paperwork from primary school so I am dreading the secondary school onslaught. With regards to losing things I now make my Oldset pay for anything she loses. I know I am a cruel mother :-/ Thanks for linking up with us at #FridayFrolics

  2. I’ve got a little while to go before my boy enters secondary school but loved reading this as a reminder to myself. Some very handy advice you’ve given me to prepare myself mentally for now! πŸ™‚

  3. I loved this, especially the paragraph that starts with “Remain at arm’s length to the whole school process.” As a teacher, these are wise words and much appreciated! #chucklemums

    1. Thank you. Teachers get it in the neck far too quickly and often, in my opinion. Also, I really do think that kids need to learn how to communicate effectively and this includes putting their points across in a reasonable and clear way to figures of authority. Thank you for commenting.

  4. We didn’t start high school until year 8 down in merry old Sussexshire and I don’t recall knowing a single person until we arrived at the school gates that day. Everything seems to have changed! This is actually very good advice! #chucklemums

    1. It is crazy now! Schools go overboard on year 7 induction – fantastic for the kids…leaves the parents in a washed up pile by the summer!

  5. I still remember starting secondary school – such a weird experience! So true though – once you are in secondary, your parents never talk to another school parent!

    Thanks so much for linking up to #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time!

  6. Hehehe! PTAs are one of the many things in life that are far easier to get INTO than out of…!
    I’ve proved a lot of the things you mention, either as the pupil or the parent (or both.)
    Dropping by from #chucklemums

    1. That’s so true about PTA’s…I’ve stood back and watched parents try to escape and fail…year after year after year!

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