Classlist Parents

Hear from mum Emma Dowie: a heads-up on secondary school

Parent Quote: Communication at the school is different.

Emma Dowie, Mum of Charlie (Year 7) and Louie (Year 9), Hilmarton, Wiltshire


“Charlie settled in really quickly. He just tagged along with his older brother Louie.”

“Where we live, learning how to cross the road to get the bus is a big deal. Most of the local parents practised the route five times with their children before the start of school. I still worry everyday. Children don’t seem to have so much experience walking around and crossing roads these days.”

“Making sure they have their bus pass and money ready is important. You need to make sure they can use their phone appropriately too. They have to turn them off in class but then they need to remember to turn them on again. We didn’t get a contract phone as we heard about some children accidently running up huge bills. Instead we started giving them pocket money each month and they take money out of that to top up their mobile phone.”

“You also have to think about things like: Do they have a frontdoor key? Are you going to be in when they get home? We have rules about what they are allowed to do when we are out. And, I’ve never spent so much time at the lost properly office. Charlie left his trumpet at the bus stop once. Luckily an old lady picked it up and called me as I’d left our number inside. He likes to  take his scooter to school and has an iPhone but they aren’t really aware of how much things cost.”

“Charlie plays Rugby so he started school knowing a few friends in his class and I know a few of the parents. Louie was different as he’s not into sport. I don’t really know the mums in his class. The girls tend to be a bit more sociable organising sleepovers etc. You’ve just got to feel confident that your child will choose good friends.”

“Charlie joined Instagram this year, even though he’s too young really – but all his friends are on so he’d feel excluded if he didn’t. You have to police it. Everyday I ask him to show me who his friends are on there. Mostly he just posts silly pictures such as a photo of our cat drinking out of a glass. But I always tell him not to include any names or personal information.”

“Communication at the school is different to at primary school. You’ve got to check your emails all the time – the emphasis is on the parent to keep on top of this. We can email the form tutor and have to pay for everything online.”