relocating to UK -school help!

(4 Posts)
popmimiboo Wed 16-Apr-14 10:46:08

I'm British but have lived abroad (Europe) for 15 years now. I have been homesick on and off for the biggest part of the those 15 years but now that DH has got the chance of being transferred to the UK, I have mixed feelings due to the ages of our DC!

DS is 14 (turned 14 in December) and in his last year of seniors where we live. He will take his gcse equivalents in June and is due to start college in September.
DD1 is 12 and in her 2nd year of seniors. She skipped a year of primary as she has a high IQ.
DD2 is 8 and in primary.

All 3 are bilingual so there are no language issues as such. We speak English at home and they have been to ex-pat English classes so are ok with reading, writing etc in English. DD1 is exceptionally bright and will probably be able to transfer her French knowledge of science, history etc fairly easily, DD2 is young enough for her to catch up easily (I think) but I am worried about DS who is fairly bright but easily stressed and a bit defeatist.

Does anyone have any advice re. schools? Do you think they (DS in particular) would be given any extra help to catch up or will we need to think about tutors? (DS would HATE that as he is very much a bare-minimum type of teenager!) Would he be kept back a year? What sort of questions do I need to ask prospective schools and how do I go about enrolling them.

Private education is out of the question, financially so we'd be looking at state schools. I think the system is very different where we live now and it will be a culture shock for the kids. On the bright side, DS has been saying he wants to live in England since he learnt to speak and they always make friends and fit in well at summer camps and play schemes when we stay at my parents in the summer holidays, so hopefully, the social side of school will be ok...?

Thanks for any thoughts...

LIZS Wed 16-Apr-14 10:55:09

Unlikely they would be placed out of year in state system although that may be negotiable with a private school for your dd1. ds would probably be fine as most GCSE courses are 2 year (Years 10/11) and he'd currently be Year 9. Until you have an address in UK what you can do is limited , but in the first instance contact the Local Authority (Borough or County Council) and ask about the in-year application process.

popmimiboo Wed 16-Apr-14 12:18:48

Thanks. I don't want DD1 to stay a year ahead of her peers. It's something they do over here as they rigidly stick to the syllabus and can't be pestered with bright children getting bored (or less academic children struggling.) With the change of country, she's going to be challenged enough!
I'm more worried about DS struggling to keep up with his peers as he'll likely be behind in everything. Even maths is done differently.
I think DS would (if we managed to get sorted by September) go into y10 (will turn 15 December 2014) so will have a couple of years of seniors left before college? Maybe he wouldn't have to do gcses as he will already have the equivalent (French brevet)...

popmimiboo Wed 16-Apr-14 12:19:58

OK, re-read LIZS -so he WILL be in y10 in September. So 2 full years until GCSEs. That is good news :-)

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