7 Things that will Definitely Happen in Year 7

Tips for Starting Year 7

So your precious baby is about to start Year 7, and secondary school?

Get ready.

I say get ready because you have NO idea how much things are going to change over the next 12 months.

Your little kid is going to transform into a borderline teenager right in front of your eyes. Or rather, just out of sight – because you’re going to be seeing a LOT less of your child once they start Year 7.

There are lots of tips about getting your child ready for secondary school. I remember lots of helpful articles about practicing taking the bus, and mobile phone etiquette and so on.

But today I’m dropping some truth bombs. Oh YEAH.

Like, saying the word “truth bomb” and making a drop the mic gesture? Is the single best way to get the living room (and thus, the remote control) to yourself when you have an 11-year-old. You’re welcome.

OK. So here are seven things I think you need to be ready for if your child is starting senior school this September:

They will lose 40% of the uniform

So, you’ve probably just spent the best part of £500 on a new school uniform, and your child looks SO perfect. Take a photo. Treasure it. In a month’s time, half that uniform will be gone.

secondary school hectic

First to go was Flea’s sports hoodie, left behind after a hockey match. Then another kid “borrowed” her kit from the sports hall changing room. Shirts got lost during PE lessons, drama shoes, the list goes on (and on).

My first tip therefore is buy cheap, and consider anything your child takes off during the school day to be 50% disposable. My second tip is to get a lock for their PE bag. Oh, and invest in a Tile tag (aff link). These are little Bluetooth trackers that you can hook onto things you don’t want to lose – and find them via an app on your phone.

The bag you bought is ALL WRONG

When Flea started Year 7, we spent lots of time choosing a sturdy back pack with broad straps, and lots of little pockets for her phone, and stationery.

It quickly became apparent, though, that those are “little kid” bags and the goal for today’s tweenager is a tiny, expensive handbag, ideally with a designer logo attached. Most of the girls carry bags that are about big enough for one maths book and an iPhone. The upside is that they won’t get spinal damage, I guess.

There are Mean Girls

Social media in senior school is brutal, and I hate to break it to you, but even the “nice” kids are powerless against peer pressure. If they’re not involved, they’re at least seeing it.

Whether it’s comparing likes, falling out and blocking each other, or sending catty messages, it happens.

The latest thing in Flea’s social circle is sending a Snapchat with two names, and the kids have to say which person they prefer, or who’s prettier, or funnier. Ugh. It’s gross. Make sure your kids are prepared for this nonsense, and try to be involved and observant.

Walking Home is the Best Thing Ever

Flea’s school is about 2 miles from our house, but when she first started, I drove her while she “settled in”.

Then she became the hockey team goalkeeper and I needed to drive her because sports kit + goalie kit + school bag is basically more luggage than I take for a week’s holiday.

But in summer term there was no hockey and suddenly Flea was DESPERATE to walk home. I’d get text messages like, “please please please can I… everyone else is…. I know the way.”

And I’d be like…. “YES!!!!”

(Until It’s Not)

About a quarter of a mile away from school, Flea realised that walking home from school involves – ya know – walking.

After that it’s a non-stop stream of excuses why I need to go and pick her up from school. It’s raining. I’ve got a heavy bag. Nobody else is walking. It’s too hot.

You will HATE at least one of their friends

This one’s complicated.

When Flea started Year 7, I decided that I wouldn’t worry about grades in Year 7. All I wanted was for her to settle in to this new environment, get involved, have fun – and make friends.

Then she made friends. And I didn’t like them all. Most of them are beyond lovely. They’re great kids. But there are kids I just don’t really… like.

I know, right? SHOCKER.

I loved Flea’s friends in primary school. She had an amazing group of girl friends who were smart, and fun, and kind.

end of school

In secondary school, be prepared for your child to make friends with kids who swear, or who are boy-crazy, or have more freedom than you give your child. Pre-teens with attitude, and issues.

If this happens to you, be prepared to not say a word about it. Just keep in mind they’ll continue to make new friends, and try them on a bit like clothes.

Everyone’s a Cheater

In senior school, most of the kids have phones and they’ll set up “group chats” where they exchange daft messages.

But the most shocking thing to me was how quickly they fall into cheating on homework.

Pretty much once a day, some kid will post, “Someone send me a photo of the maths homework”. And whoever has done the work shares with the group.

I’d be appalled, but mostly I just think it’s funny that it doesn’t occur to any of them to wonder whether that kid has the answers right.

It’ll Be Alright

Year 7 is a big change, but it’s equal parts scary and lovely to see your child growing into this new stage in their lives.

This past year, Flea has blossomed. She’s tried new sports, new clubs, new subjects and new friends. She’s happy. And – if I can just work out a way to staple her uniform to her body – so am I.

Bring on Year 8.

7 thoughts on “7 Things that will Definitely Happen in Year 7”

  1. Ahh! This is all so true ….My girl will be going into year 10 in September. Year 7 seems such a long time ago but I found myself nodding along. Year 8 is great. They’re not the youngest in the school anymore. hehehe x

  2. Ha, yes, ALL this. I’d just add to be prepared for the disappointment of knowing that your girl is not doing some of the extra clubs that she typically would have enjoyed because she just hasn’t clicked with those teachers… and resisting the urge to march into school and ask to talk about it.

    1. Gosh yes we have this Steph. There is one subject that my daughter has declared she hates. She’s a smart girl, but she refuses to even try. All because of one teacher, who was inordinately unfair with her, she’s totally switched off that subject for life. It’s so painful to see and such a shame. I can only hope she gets a change to someone who will reinspire her. Because when they’re inspired they fly!

  3. Ohhhh the bag thing! The handbag bun brigade are the cool girls in our school. I can’t believe how much I agonised over bag choice only to find it was totally impractical. Kudos on finding a tag that shows you where it is though – I need that on every item my daughter owns.
    And yes to everything else – with bells on! But that’s life, I guess!

  4. ah this brings back memories. I remember the school bag being such a big deal! I have a way to go yet until my little ones will be reaching the dizzy heights of year 7 but this was such a good read and so true. Good Luck!

  5. Love this! I have two boys in secondary school (going into year 9 and year 12), but I know it will be a very different ball game for a girl. My baby girl starts next week. I like to think that as she’s going to a girls’ grammar that everyone will be nice (they certainly are at my son’s mixed grammar), but I also know that I’m probably deluding myself. I’ll be watching out for those mean girls…

  6. Great post, you make it seem fun and breezy which is not how I feel quite yet, given my eldest starts in just 5 days (who’s counting?!). But actually some of the list already seems familiar from primary school, minus the social media nightmare which I’m guessing is really unavoidable. Glad she’s settled in so well. Wish us luck! *downs wine*

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