What I’ve learned about year 7

Well, we’ve survived it. A whole year of  secondary school. And what have I learned about year 7 and secondary school? We could keep this pretty brief. We could sum it up in one word.


Secondary school is a big place. In our case it’s not just down the road. We don’t take our son there every day or pick him up. So we don’t feel a part of it. And in our eldest, we have a child who is unwilling to share information. So we really don’t know much about secondary school at all.

It started off well – I felt confident that this was going to be the making of my son. But it hasn’t been.

He’s the same as he always was, but, either down to his age or down to school or down to his friends, he tells us even less about what’s going on his life. To be honest, I feel he’s not quite as happy as he used to be, but I can’t be sure. Because he gives nothing away. I hoped he would make new friends, but it’s rare I hear any new names. There’s still plenty of time, though. Six years, to be precise.

For what it’s worth, here is the handful of things I have learned:

A cool bag is a worthwhile investment – it helps your child to fit in.

If they go on the bus, you really have no idea when the bus goes or when they will be home. Or even if they’re actually getting the bus or getting a lift from a friend.

Letters from school are non-existent – or they simply don’t get passed on.

At 7.45 on a Thursday morning they will suddenly demand £15 for a bus ticket, despite repeated reminders to give a little bit of notice as it isn’t always possible to come up with £15 immediately.

Fruit is not cool. You can put it in the lunchbox, but it will come straight back home again.

Ditto suncream. Don’t even bother putting it in their bag, even if they do get sunburn on an almost daily basis (grrrrr!).

Teachers don’t know your child half as well as their primary school teachers did.

They will carry absolutely every book to school every day, even though it makes their bag weigh as much as they do, for fear of forgetting anything and getting into trouble.

They hardly do any homework, less than their year 2 sister, despite other parents sighing and lamenting about the sheer volume of homework their little darling in the same year at the same school has.

So that’s pretty much what I’ve learned. I doubt it will be of much reassurance or use to parents of year 6 children about to make the transition to secondary school, but I thought it was important to mark this milestone in my son’s life.

Onwards and upwards.

For more useful and reassuring posts on year 7, check out The 40 year old domestic goddess and 3 Children and It

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Ha ha hilarious! I think some of our points do overlap a little but remember I have a girl and you have a boy – 2 very different species!

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  2. They certainly are! Although my two boys are very different species too. I know when my younger son starts he will give me far more information – was just the same at primary. I had no idea what was happening for three years. Now the younger two give me far more information than I need!

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  3. Ha! You’ve written about me when I was in year seven! You’ll find out plenty more as and when though, I’m sure. 🙂

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  4. That transition from being involved and included to being on the outside looking in is a difficult one for parents to negotiate. It’s perfectly natural and necessary as they become more independent, but still takes some getting used to!

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  5. Oh dear, not reassuring, I do hope things become clearer…dread the transition myself as J isn’t the most communicative child! Not sure the fruit in lunch box is an age-thing though, or the lst minute requests (although it does appear the amounts go up!)

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  6. I can almost guarantee the letters are given but not taken – it’s not cool! Our school ended up e mailing letters cause of this. They were generally littering the school 2 mins after being handed out!

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  7. Haha! I read cool bag as something to keep packed lunch cool, not something with superdry on the side. Duh!

    As a teacher of Year 7 this behaviour seems normal. From the end of year 6 they begin their early GCSE in speaking monosyllabically, scuffing as they walk and swearing in front of their friends. Oh, and perfecting the art of eating some chips with their ketchup..


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  8. A very funny post Sarah. No reassurance to you I know but at least you can take an entertaining view on year 7. Mine isn’t at school yet but I’m sure I was the same as your son 🙂

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  9. I found the same when Betsy moved up to middle school in year 5, much as Max will do in September. You have virtually no interaction with the teachers- bar parents evening, and hardly set foot in the school. Quite different from the nurturing environment of primary. Shame really.

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  10. Hehe this actually brought back memories of when I was at school! I was a bit of a sulky teen at times and you’re right, it’s such a big contrast to primary school even when secondary has some of the most crucial years!

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  11. Yes I think you have it spot on when you said ‘ nothing’. Secondary school is a vast and murky few years and a big shock for parents after the lovely nurturing place that is primary

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  12. Thanks very much everyone, interesting to know adults remember being like this themselves! I wasn’t like this at all.
    We’ve certainly got the walk and the monosyllabic thing going on here, Sarah!
    I feel sorry for Max having to move two years earlier, Sonya, but I’m sure it will work out for him.

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  13. Wow! That sounds hard. I used to talk to my mum about school lots but I know my siblings were far more reticent. Hope next year is better x

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  14. Thanks very much. I think I need to get the hang of it a bit too. Hopefully he will feel more relaxed when he’s not the youngest in the school any more. x

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  15. I teach Year 7 too. The boy stuff is so true. What I know about Year 7 girls is that if someone looks at someone else in a funny way all hell will break loose.

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  16. Thanks, Tim. Good to know he’s normal. And good to know I’ll have the girl rubbish to deal with in four years! Sigh.

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