September 2023 brings a new academic year and with it, a new year seven cohort. Moving up academically, whether from year nine to ten or from year three to four always brings chaos: new teachers, new complexity within lessons and possibly a new timetable. However, year seven brings an entirely diffrent environment; what is a massive step up may feel like a step down as one goes from the oldest in the school to the youngest in just a matter of weeks. Moreover, secondary school often brings a newfound sense of indepence- understandably it’s a lot to adjust to. However, even in early October, it seems that the year sevens have a better handle on things than some of the people in my year, who, after four years of experience, still find themselves in a predicament when they come across a push or pull door.
Despite their many worries, the year sevens have settled in with ease, which is likely to be because of the fantastic support they have received from their peers, teachers and everyone else at the school, as we take pride in community being one of our principal values.This significant stage in their lives has been enriched with dozens of clubs, team-building activities and engaging lessons. In fact, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing the Spanish alphabet at least four times so far, even when on the opposite side of the school building. The year sevens sang with great vigour and passion as I’m sure they will do in their upcoming autumn concert where they will channel their musical talent into the song ‘Somewhere There’ alongside many others.
As always, the year sevens seem to have a particular affiliation with the canteen, seeing how the queues have practically doubled in the span of time that they have been there. They have demonstrated strong admiration for its many delicacies, especially the popcorn, which, according to Annushka, one of the year sevens with whom I’ve spoken to “was just too good”.
Although the year has been full of thrills, this doesn’t undermine the fears that still exist amongst the new students. My brother, for example, following his start to year seven at another school, has discovered his greatest fear:
A daunting word for my brother, who has been dreading the mere idea of staying late after school, or even more atrociously, coming in on a saturday dare he slip up and earn himself a detention. All of a sudden, the boy who I remember as someone who would endlessly watch Harry Potter marathons as soon as he got home (I will never understand how he didn’t get tired of it) is at his desk, scribbling away with caution determined to create a piece of work that goes beyond the standard of perfection. Like a shadow, the thought of a detention lurks in his mind. Nonetheless, this hasn’t limited his enthusiasm about the school year. Even after coming home with a grazed knee, he looks forward to tomorrow, keen to see his friends or try something new in the canteen. Moreover, he has divulged into activities like football, chess and, one of his all time favourites: basketball. He has taken up plenty of opportunities with his sights now set on becoming the sports captain of form. However, I don’t doubt that he will be fine as he has consistently been exhibiting his diligence and merit as a student. If I had one piece of advice for him for year seven, it would be to continue as he is; to make the most of his time and explore his opportunities, because every experience could be a rewarding one.
And that’s what year 7 is about, new beginnings and opportunities – a chance to develop into the person you become. Even if it is scary at first it is so fulfilling to meet a whole group of people who you can continue to get to know over the coming years. If you are in year seven or approaching it, remember to enjoy it because the memories you create are often some of the most important.