My life

Vanessa, age 13, describes her feelings about starting secondary
school following the abolition of a three-tier school system in her

Compared to moving up to a new school year, going to secondary
school can be very frightening. For example: studies, meeting new
people, more responsibilities and the rumours that surround upper
school about things such as being bullied don’t really help. But at
the same time, it can be exciting because of better facilities and
education, meeting new people and more opportunities and so on.

I think the main problem most students are worried about,
including myself, is the social side of school. Most young people
would agree with me when I say that as we get older and move up
through school, more bullying occurs. It doesn’t help when the
school you are going to is non-uniform because you have to be aware
that people are likely to make fun of things like your clothes so
it makes you very self-aware. If bullying didn’t exist as much,
then secondary school would be much easier and we could all worry
about more important issues such as studies.

My feelings are very mixed. One day I might feel very excited
about having a fresh start and a better school. But on another day
I could be absolutely terrified of matters such as bullying or the
hard work that is required at secondary school.

Following the change in Oxford’s school system, from three tier
(with middle schools) to two tier (without middle schools), I feel
much better about moving up to upper school because now I have a
lot of my friends and teachers going up with me so I am not being
thrown into the deep end completely.

Finally, even though secondary school is going to be a tough
journey (people, including myself, have to learn to develop tough
skins, though that’s easier said than done) somehow I feel I
will get through it and I shouldn’t waste my holiday losing
sleep over it.

I hope my fellow students take that on too and who knows, all of
us might be worrying over nothing – we might have the best time in
secondary school. No one knows the future, that’s why we shouldn’t
sweat over it!

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