Mrs Chilton
Head of Student Wellbeing

Term 1 and the start of a new year bring inevitable changes in friendship dynamics between girls. This term, the Pastoral team have seen friendships shift and change between the girls. This can be tricky to navigate for the girls (and for you as their parents!).

Here are some of the messages that we communicate to the girls about friendship:

  • Encourage open circles. It does not matter how long the “group” has been sitting together. At Meriden, we encourage the girls to have groups where girls can come and go without judgement.
  • Be flexible because interests change, particularly during the six years of high school. Sometimes the interests of groups change, and girls feel stuck because they have been sitting with the same friends since Year 7.
  • Encourage the girls to navigate challenges themselves with honesty. Friendship groups have the best outcomes when the girls take it upon themselves to have gentle and honest conversations when problems arise.
  • Friends are meant to listen and be supportive and caring. That goes for you too. If you do not have this mutual kindness in your friendship group, it is probably not the best place for you to be.
  • You only need one or two good friends. Go for quality over quantity.

If your daughter has had a tough time with friendships this term, here are a few things I would encourage for the holiday break:

  • Use the school holidays as a chance to chat with your daughter about what has been going on at school. Term time is busy, and school holidays provide a great opportunity for side-by-side car chats. Do not ask too many questions. Provide opportunities for your daughter to share with you. Time is key.
  • Limit time on social media. Girls need a break from the friendship dynamics of school during the school holidays.
  • Encourage your daughter to organise a catch-up with a friend (or someone your daughter would like to spend more time with) in the school holidays.
  • Try one-on-one catch-ups rather than encouraging your daughter to go out with a group.
  • Sign up for a new cocurricular activity next term as an opportunity to meet new people.

If your daughter is feeling worried about returning to School next term due to friendship issues, please reach out to her Year Coordinator so they can take a proactive approach to support her at the start of Term 2. The start of a new term is a good time to help students find new friends if they need help doing this.