First-day worries on moving up

11th July 1997 at 01:00
Katherine Faulkner, 10, is in Year 6 at St John's Highbury Vale C of E School in Islington, north London

I'm a bit scared that I'll get lost on my first day at secondary school because that's what happened when I went to primary school. My first day is before the rest of the school comes back. It's just showing you around, so that you know where to go and you get a map. I'll still get lost because I've got a terrible sense of direction.

I'm going to Dame Alice Owen School, a mixed comprehensive in Hertfordshire. I've already visited it and it's brilliant. I had to sit maths, English and verbal reasoning tests. My mum paid for extra tuition. I don't think I'd have passed without it.

I think the most important thing in a secondary school is that it is mixed because that is what the real world is like. I didn't like the private schools because they are single-sex and I don't think that prepares you properly. I didn't think they would suit my personality either.

I liked the school because the teachers were friendlier and I got on with them and so did my parents. The teachers have had a lot of experience of children switching schools so I think they know how it feels.

No one from my class is going to the same school as me. A girl I know is going but I don't think that we'll be in the same class. I hope I will make new friends because there are after-school and lunchtime clubs where I will meet people who are interested in the same things as me.

We are in groups according to our ability, so I'll be in so many different classes that I hope they will help me to make more friends. I'm not worried about being bullied but I'll cope even if I am. It seems very friendly and I'm sure I'll fit in quickly.

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