Moving back in to the UK curriculum (from Australia)

(15 Posts)
ifink Mon 09-May-16 05:16:30

Hi everyone, I'm sorry for repeating what has definitely been asked before but I'm struggling to find the relevant threads!
We are thinking of moving back to the UK. Our DD(8) will join year 5 in most likely in January 2016 ( she will be 9 in late August so will be the youngest of the year). She is currently in year 3 in an Australian International school so will effectively skip all of year 4 and a term of year 5 when she starts in the UK.

Her current school have offered us the chance to put her up into year 4 now so that she at least gets some exposure to year 4 work, being with the older peer group for the rest of the year and we are considering it even though she has made some really good friends in her year 3 class.
I guess what I'm asking is if anyone has had to go through this and how did it work out?.....should we find a tutor (if we can, not easy in our country) to prepare her before we leave? I'm wondering whether I go to the UK early (not very appealing leaving DH but its only for a few months I guess) and just get her into year 5 come September rather than miss a term of it. Honest opinions appreciated!!

Draylon Mon 09-May-16 08:55:57

I wouldn't worry too much. If I recall correctly, Australian school years aren't the same as UK ones anyway, so Y3 in Oz isn't necessarily Y3 in the UK.

I note DD is at an International School which hopefully is a good one, so she'll be as up to date as necessary for an 8 year old, though a different kettle of fish if you were transferring age say 13 or 14!

FTR, I have several UK friends with DC who spent between 1-4 years in Australian state schools who, when they returned to the UK, had to help their DC catch up a bit with their UK peers, but all managed OK. The parents invariably said their DC had had a good time in their Australian schools, did loads of sport and even stuff like public speaking, but academically, especially seeing how results driven the UK curriculum increasingly is, they had a bit of work to do.

In your shoes, I'd keep the family together, maybe put your DD up a year if she has the maturity and ability to cope without too much stress- though I remember our next-door private school in Qld had up to 3 ages per year group anyway (as in 'bright' 7 year olds, 'normal' 8 year olds, and 'a bit slower' 9 year olds) in the same class, which of course you don't get at all in English state schools, so she might not be the only Y3 in the Y4 class, anyway.

BoboChic Mon 09-May-16 11:41:51

If your DD is currently in Grade 3 of an international school, that is Year 4 in an English school.

ifink Tue 10-May-16 04:09:44

Thanks Draylon, it's definitely year 3 in Oz equals year 3 in the UK, the school and I have checked and compared the curriculum a few times now, it's similar in many respects.

The issue is that she she started school in QLD later than she would have done in the UK - the cut off in QLD for starting school in January is 4 years old by June 30th of the previous year - all kids are therefore aged between 4.5 and 5.5 on starting. UK children born in july and August end up like DD being out of synch by a year, everyone else is the same just the different school calendar to contend with. I appreciate the honest opinions and take the point about the UK being more results driven. I've spoken to a British teacher here who things I"m over worrying!...that has given me some reassurance too.

chloeb2002 Fri 13-May-16 08:52:57

I agree with your teacher .. Don't stress.
I've known kids move both ways and struggle with curriculum differences.
You can always keep her back a year and be the oldest in the year rather than the youngest. I wouldn't stress tho. Australia isn't a second rate country. Aussie graduates also get high flying jobs. Run large corporations and do well in life. It will all settle down in the wash.

Pisssssedofff Sat 14-May-16 22:26:26

Mine struggled at first but they've caught up really quick, no choice really have they

ifink Mon 16-May-16 11:56:40

No not really Pissssssedofff, you are totally right, they just have to manage.

For my DD it's this whole year grouping thing which is such a double whammy for her. I'm speaking to her school tomorrow about moving into Year 4 for the rest of the year, still unsure whether to do it or not or just take the plunge and see how she goes in January in year 5.....
Thanks for everyone's input.

Pisssssedofff Mon 16-May-16 12:40:35

Mine missed year 3 and year 6 completely and she's still top of her class in English

PurplePetals Mon 16-May-16 20:16:08

Are you certain about her being in year 5? We moved back when our DD1 was 9 (Sept 1st birthday, so eldest in the year) and she started in year 4. The rest of her year turned 9 during that year. If your DD goes into year 5 it would mean she starts high school at 10.
Whatever happens, don't worry too much. We've been back to Aus and back again and our DDs have adapted well each time - youngest went from the end of Aus year 5 to second term of year 7 here. It took her a couple of weeks to get used to having different teachers for each subject and to move between classrooms, but apart from that it was fine.

ifink Tue 17-May-16 08:51:33

yes definitely year 5, I have checked several times - it's the August birthday which does it. She will start high school a week after she turns 11. Thanks for your comments, it's good to hear others have done it and it worked out.

Pisssssedofff Tue 17-May-16 10:21:57

You sure you want to come back lol
We are working our asses off to get back to oz

mummytime Tue 17-May-16 10:40:38

It will be fine! There is a lot of repetition in the curriculum. If she is struggling, seems to have gaps when she gets to the UK, then that is the time to look for a tutor.

I have known children arrive in English schools knowing very little to no English and catch up just fine (and from very different educational systems).

ifink Tue 17-May-16 10:57:22

well Pissssssedofff thats a whole a different thread!!!!!!! - actually there was one not long ago which I commented on about someone trying to decide whether to stay in Oz or go home to the UK..... I have no idea whether we are doing the 'right' thing by going home, but I feel like we need to if only for a few years...kids have missed out on so much grandparent time and watching the decline of my parents health has been hard this last year. Australia remains very close to the heart though....maybe one day they might invent that supersonic jet which gets you there in a few hours.....
thanks for the reassurance mummytime.

PurplePetals Tue 17-May-16 15:47:47

Is your DD going to a state or independent school here? If she's going to an independent, there's usually more flexibility re which year she joins.
Our youngest is summer born too (prem, born in June) and we were offered reception or year 1 for her in the independent, but the state option would only offer year 1, which was quite a huge jump when she'd only done a term of preprimary in WA.
When we came back the last time, I spent nearly two years here on my own with the DDs while my DH stayed in Aus (with the dog!) until a job came up for him here. It was a bit tough financially, but was definitely the right thing to do for our DDs.
Good luck. I'm sure it'll work out fine - our kids are more resourceful and adaptable than we often give them credit for.

ifink Tue 24-May-16 07:19:13

Hi Purple, it will probably be an independent school for the rest of primary and then state secondary....I don't want an issue for Year 7 so I think the independent will have to put her in year 5 so that she can join the secondary with the correct 'peers'. Thanks for the advice/comfort...I am sure she will be fine and in fact we are going to put her into year 4 now in her international school. It will only be for the rest of this year but I'm hoping that it will give her some experience of being the youngest in the class and no doubt will have to up her efforts work wise.

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