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A Message for Year 7 Parents

By now most of you will be aware that both AQE and GL have cancelled all transfer tests planned for this month.

The situation remains under review and we can expect significant announcements in the next few weeks.

Irrespective of our diverse views about academic selection, it is clear that this news will come as a massive shock and disappointment to you and your children.

I know the sheer volume of work and effort our children have put into their transfer preparation and their readiness and determination to sit the tests this month. It will be a devastating blow to many of them.

They need to know that their work has not been in vain. This work will be the foundation for Year 8. It is the grounding for their future study and will stand them in good stead.

I understand the pressures your families have endured, trying to navigate a path through transfer in the midst of Covid and many of you will feel shattered by this news and the uncertainty it brings.

However, now more than ever, is a time for cool heads and great parenting.

You will know that great parents are not all singing all dancing super humans who arrange helicopter rides for their children’s birthday parties.

Great parents are like mother hens (dads too) shielding their chicks in the eye of the storm whilst building their resilience and readiness to face the trials of every day life.

Today your little chicks need the embrace and security of mother hens.

Right now Yr7 parent and pupil WhatsApp groups will be going crazy. Social media will be going into meltdown, every man and his dog will have an opinion. The news will be wall to wall transfer and there will not be answers to the big questions today.

We must therefore circle the wagons and protect and reassure the vulnerable. They need us (despite our worries) to let them know it will be okay. It will be okay.

Like you, my head is in a spin, but our children need to feel security and calm in the midst of this latest storm.

Breathe, take time to collect your thoughts.

We don’t have the answers but our children need reassurance and security. They need to understand that a way will be found through this debacle.

The same number of Yr8 school places still exist and our children will find their way to the same range of schools as they have in the past.

We don’t yet know how transfer will look and what precise system will be in place, but a system will be found.

Our first duty is our children’s mental health and well-being.

You will need to find some quiet time alone with them, to talk through their feelings. We need to be watching and understanding their mood swings. We need them to know they can be totally open and honest with us and that we are here to listen to them.

Things will be come clearer in the days ahead and as a school and parents we will be able to plot a pathway through this together.

Maybe tonight or tomorrow night would be a good time to have a family film or pizza. Just to change the dynamic.

Come what may, Yr7 will get through this, and we will be here to help make it happen.

R. Greer