First Leave Weekend - a Post Mortum??!

Area for current parents, past parents and future parents of Blues or Old Blues.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Jo
Button Grecian
Posts: 2230
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:36 pm
Real Name: Jo Sidebottom
Location: Milton Keynes
Contact:

Post by Jo » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:11 pm

I've resisted responding up till now, partly because I'm not a parent myself, so can only imagine how you've been feeling, and partly because I'm afraid my response probably fails your criterion of nothing along the lines of "this is how it was for me" - but I hope it might be some comfort.

I must have expasperated my parents. For about the first three or four years I hated going back to school after days out and holidays. I remember the sinking feeling about a week before the end of hols, when I would start crying and protesting that I couldn't bear the thought of going back. But it never took me long to settle in again - I think the thought of it was worse than it really was. Several times my parents told me if I was really unhappy I could leave and go to a local grammar school, and I was quite put out and told them I had no intention of leaving all my friends at CH!! They must have wanted to strangle me sometimes. It never occurred to me that they missed me too and that I was probably making life hell for them.

I'm sorry that it's older pupils picking on your son - there is no excuse for that and I'm glad you're getting it resolved. The tightest groups of friends when I was at Hertford were always those in the same house and year - usually about 6 people. These groups often fell out in the first and second years and I remember everyone in my group being sent to coventry at one time or another for some misdemeanour. It's a bit brutal at the time, but it does sharpen up your social skills!! You don't make the same antisocial mistakes again, whether it's dodgy personal hygiene, or gossiping behind someone's back and getting found out for it.

I'm not sure if any of this helps or not, but I would also say that no news is definitely good news. If he was really unhappy, he'd be on the phone asking you to come and collect him. I think someone else said that it might be a good idea to tactfully remind him that you would like to hear good news as well as bad news, so that you don't spend your time worrying unnecessarily.

Good luck in getting it sorted.
Jo
5.7, 1967-75

huggermugger
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:39 pm
Location: Greenham, Berkshire

Post by huggermugger » Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:06 pm

Thanks for the above Jo, I am trying to keep it all in perspective & I know there's bound to be a certain amount of shake-down, that's inevitable when a lot of people start living together. I remember the early days at Uni!

I think one of the things that upset me most was that my DS had been looking forward to going so much and has been really enjoying the whole thing so the hostility of other boys came as such a shock - he truely is really disappointed. However, he did go back willingly, happily & resolving to give it his best shot. I can't ask for anymore.

I do feel much happier all round and - surprise- he hasn't contacted me all this week tho I have sent him a number of e-mails (and a letter!). I had an e-mail forwarded from him this evening with the briefest of messages "hey Mum I got a commendation!!!!" It's in Drama & the teacher said "Great energy in his class"! Not sure quite what that means! But whatever it means it will boost his confidence and that is probably half the battle at the moment.

I know I am not alone in finding this transition hard & it is hard for our kids as well tho no doubt in a very different way. Up until now we have gone through things together & now it is a very seperate experience. At the moment I do still think it's worth it & I can only hope it will continue to be.

huggermugger
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:39 pm
Location: Greenham, Berkshire

Post by huggermugger » Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:09 pm

Great Plum wrote:What I found the best thing to do whilst I was at CH, if I was in difficulties, I would immerse myself in things I did like (which in my case was mostly music and scouts) - as I was away from the house so much, people stopped worrying me and I got a lot of my friends through other outlets...
You're absolutely right, of course and it is a good lesson to learn anyway. Unfortunately at the moment he is really feeling his way and not sure exactly what he does wnt to get involved in... I am trying to encourage him to try as much as possible. :)

User avatar
Great Plum
Button Grecian
Posts: 5173
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:59 am
Real Name: Matt Holdsworth
Location: Reigate

Post by Great Plum » Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:02 pm

A commendation is the opposite of a detention and is given for good work. It used to be a blue slip which you would hand to your housemaster. If you got 5 commendations in a term, you would go to the headmaster to receive a Headmaster's commendation - they weren't anything more than a pat on the back really but still nice to have!
Maine B - 1992-95 Maine A 1995-99

Momto2
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 10:47 pm
Real Name: Mom2Two

Post by Momto2 » Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:49 pm

The children do get a little printed certificate for a Commendation and a better one if it's a Headmaster's Commendation :)

I'm sure in his Second Form my son got a big bar of chocolate for getting a certain number of Headmaster's Commendations but obviously that was under Dr S so not sure if it still happens!

Well done to your son HugMug - I'm sure it will have given his self-esteem a massive boost :D

huggermugger
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:39 pm
Location: Greenham, Berkshire

Post by huggermugger » Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:00 am

An update on my way to bed... heard from DS this evening (finally tracked him down..) much more settled, bullying dealt with beautifully - housemaster spoke to 2nd form about how bullying would not be tolerated, gave them a piece of paper & asked them to write down anything that had happened to them that they were unhappy about. What a sensible approach! Of course, many of them including my DS were astonished to dicover that things had happened to other people. There have been some pretty severe consequences for those involved and my DS and no doubt many others feel much more safe & secure. He has also been befriended by a number of older pupils which has also helped greatly. :D

So, guys & gals, thank you muchly. You got me through a v sticky patch. Ready for the next one now! :roll:

User avatar
Ajarn Philip
Button Grecian
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 7:30 pm
Real Name: Phil Underwood
Location: Thailand

Post by Ajarn Philip » Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:17 am

Terrific news, huggermugger, and I wonder how much of the credit for that very sensible solution should go to you for persevering?
I know exactly what words I am wanting to say, but somehow or other they is always getting squiffsquiddled around

Phil Underwood Ma A Col A Mid B 68-75

User avatar
cj
Button Grecian
Posts: 1738
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:35 pm
Real Name: Catherine Standing
Location: Devon

Post by cj » Sat Sep 29, 2007 11:08 am

ImagePhew!! I am so pleased to hear that the bullying has been dealt with. It is something that cannot be allowed to happen in house and the housemaster's approach seems very sensible - no names given but he will undoubtedly know who is behind the various acts. When you are not there to deal with these things yourself on a daily basis, you have to have someone who is trustworthy in charge and whom you can approach. After all, this is your son, not just a pupil or a statistic. And you have to follow your gut instincts and not be fobbed off as an overanxious mother (not that I am suggesting for one moment that it has been the case in this instance, but it can happen).
Catherine Standing (Cooper) Image
Canteen Cath 1.12 (1983-85) & Col A 20 (1985-90)

Any idiot can deal with a crisis. It takes a genius to cope with everyday life.

huggermugger
Deputy Grecian
Posts: 252
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:39 pm
Location: Greenham, Berkshire

Post by huggermugger » Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:40 pm

Ajarn Philip wrote:Terrific news, huggermugger, and I wonder how much of the credit for that very sensible solution should go to you for persevering?
Well, not much, actually - I only reported it then followed up. The housemaster is the star here. I said to him that I had no experience of boarding life myself & that maybe he would want to say that it was all part of the settling in process and he very firmly said no- not at all, it was completely unacceptable & that he would sort it, that if my DS gave him the information he would act on it & sort it out. I told DS that we had to trust him to know how to tackle it, so we did. And he did.

It's a hard old job, being a house master/mistress. The hours seem extraordinarily long & the responsibility is huge. I am lucky that DS has got a really good one - he is affable, approachable & warm, but when the serious stuff needs doing he seems to get on with it. He combines humanity with firm common sense. Can't ask for more than that!

User avatar
Mid A 15
Button Grecian
Posts: 2924
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 1:38 pm
Real Name: Claude Rains
Location: The Patio Of England (Kent)

Post by Mid A 15 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:47 am

Great news that the problem has been addressed and that DS appears happier!

Reading that has cheered me up after Charlton Athletic snatched a draw from the jaws of victory today.

(I'd have taken a draw BEFORE the game though!)
Ma A, Mid A 65 -72

kv.taylor
2nd Former
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:08 pm
Real Name: Kirsty Taylor

Post by kv.taylor » Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:32 pm

As a current Grecian, I thought it might help any worried parents to know that the new Headmaster is VERY tough on bullies. I have heard of quite a number of suspensions for exactly the type of behaviour described here, and consequently the problem is very much at the forefront of all teachers' minds.
In my house (Col B) the housemistress is very keen for us to be involved with the 2nd form, and I have been. It definitely seems to help the more uneasy souls when a Grecian smiles and stops to talk to them in front of their friends! My whole year is very conscious of the problem the school faces as far as bullying goes, and myself and numerous among my friends have separated groups of kids who were behaving unpleasantly to lone others, and report it in no uncertain terms to Housemasters and mistresses.
Things settle down quickly, normally by half term, and if not, then Lent term should herald calmer times!
I wish your son the best of luck.

User avatar
jtaylor
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1646
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:32 am
Real Name: Julian Taylor-Gadd
Location: Wantage, OXON
Contact:

Post by jtaylor » Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:13 am

That sounds excellent, and exactly the right approach - why can't peer pressure be a POSITIVE thing, through Grecians befriending second formers and supporting them?

Nice one - what a positive approach you're taking - you should be proud!

J
Julian Taylor-Gadd
Leigh Hunt 1985-1992
Image
Founder of The Unofficial CH Forum
http://www.grovegeeks.co.uk - IT Support and website design for home, small businesses and charities.

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14809
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Post by J.R. » Sun Nov 18, 2007 12:25 pm

I can only echo JT's comments !!
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

onewestguncopse
GE (Great Erasmus)
Posts: 182
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:43 pm

Re: First Leave Weekend - a Post Mortum??!

Post by onewestguncopse » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:04 pm

Bullying is an issue that is high on the agenda for most staff. Very few ignore it and I share the view of the Grecian that the new Head is very keen to impose this zero tolerance approach with quick and significant punishment. Remember this - I have taught at CH for 12 years and my own children are likely to go there too in a few years. The majority (the vast majority) of children here are bright, keen and basically well behaved and caring. A few are not - they are found in every school, office, university and family in the UK! We do our best to re educate them and if they will not learn they will be asked to look for another school.

User avatar
J.R.
Forum Moderator
Posts: 14809
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:53 pm
Real Name: John Rutley
Location: Dorking, Surrey

Re: First Leave Weekend - a Post Mortum??!

Post by J.R. » Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:38 pm

Thats very good to hear westgun
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest