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Helping year 3 DS move to new school

(12 Posts)
stilllovingmysleep Fri 06-May-16 06:03:26

As the subject says, DS (7.5 years old / year 3) was just offered place in local school and we have accepted. We moved house about 6 months ago and it's been hard driving 30-40 min each way to take him to his old school. Local school in which he got a place is 10 min walk away, and a really nice school (equally good to his previous).

I've kind of been preparing him for a couple of months just by saying 'if a place opens you'll move there' and he had so far been interested / discussing it calmly once in a while. When the place was offered (just a couple of days ago) he again reacted calmly and actually he knows another child in the new school who will be in his class (local child he plays with). However last night he started crying and protesting that he's 'not moving / not leaving his friends etc'. It took ages to get him settled into bed and he was very upset but also angry. It's worth saying he has no siblings to help him in this transition. Also, he has to take the new school place within a couple of weeks or at the latest after half term (although I'm not sure I want to drag this whole thing on for a month).

Please hold my hand in this and tell me it'll be ok! I think it'll be so much better for our family life long term and also for him to meet local friends and have an easier transition to secondary in a few years. Driving 30-40 min each way has really taken its toll (on him too). What did you find worked if you made such a change, what helped your DC settle? My DS is generally a friendly, sociable child but he understandably is very attached to his (lovely) school where he's been since reception, his friends etc.

sunnyoutside Fri 06-May-16 06:30:17

My ds1 moved in Year3, dd moved in year 6 and ds2 moved twice in year1 within the space of a couple of months. Honestly they were fine, I however cried on their first day at their new schools worrying about them. They were all made a big fuss of, probably because they were they the only new child. If their birthdays were coming up I made sure we had a big old fashioned and cheap party rather than a more select gathering to say bowling or something. I had a catch up with the teacher after a couple of weeks. Without exception each teacher told me they were settling in fine and had made plenty of friends.

Honestly, he will be fine. Does he get to have a transition day? 2 of mine did but dd didn't.

A good school will make sure he has almost a "buddy" to show him what's what at school, will take some out of their schedule to make sure the class learn things about your ds and vice versa.

I know how hard it is though. flowers It will be fine smile

sunnyoutside Fri 06-May-16 06:39:07

Oh and ds2 didn't want to move to his current school. He had only been at the previous school a couple of months but loved it. But then he hadn't wanted to move to that school either! Now he loves his new school and it was definitely the right choice for our family.
Already knowing someone at the school will definitely help too. Nice time of year to move too - the weather is better so they are all happy and running around in the sun (well, here they are - depends on where you are I gues.s)
I would say, as soon as he starts mentioning some names regularly then invite that child round to play or for tea fairly quickly. That can help with him feeling as though he is fitting in

stilllovingmysleep Fri 06-May-16 06:50:06

Thanks sunnyoutside. Good idea about inviting classmates over once he's starting to play with a few. DS is generally friendly / sociable / makes friends easily, however he can also be stubborn / intense (tantrumy grin) so I worry he will protest hugely. Last night to be fair was the first night after finding out plus he was tired so perhaps over weekend he will process it more / start accepting.

Would you move him before or after half term? I'm thinking 1 week before half term. Half term starts 30 May here.

sunnyoutside Fri 06-May-16 07:00:49

Hmm not sure. Speak to the teachers? DD had to move straight away (as in within 3 days) due to sats coming up and the new school didn;t want to delay and wanted her to "hit the ground running" don't like her school and wish I could move her again

ds1 moved at the beginning of year 4 because that was due to a house move.

ds2 moved (the second time) after Feb half term but had his transition day before the holidays. That is just how it worked out.

Personally I think once the decision has been made then just get on and do it. Less time for it to build up in their head. Plus if you move him before half term that means you could arrange a get together with his new friends over the holiday?

When a new mum joined dcs previous school she put a note in all the kids bookbags saying she would be at a certain park on such and such a date and everybody was welcome so she and her dc could get to the other children and their parents. It was a great success. Not sure I would have the bollocks to do that though incase nobody turned up!

stilllovingmysleep Fri 06-May-16 07:04:06

Sunnyoutside: hit the ground running?! confused Gosh!!

After yesterday evening I'm starting to think also that the sooner the better but I think the 23rd is the earliest as there's school trip at old school on week before which DS is hugely looking forward to

sunnyoutside Fri 06-May-16 07:10:45

I agree don;t make him miss his trip. But he also doesn't have to start on a Monday.

Speak to his new school and see what they suggest.

Children at that age really are more adaptable than we give them credit for. I think as parents we find it harder than them! It is a big thing for him - leaving where he knows, the routines, the rules etc and going into the unknown but honestly,if it is a decent school, within a few weeks it will feel like he has been there forever.

stilllovingmysleep Fri 06-May-16 07:24:58

Thanks sunny. Could be Friday after Thursday school trip or Monday: I'll ask both schools. In a way there's no ideal...

Yes for us adults it's certainly very hard. Last night DS was crying and saying 'he heard us saying it was fine doing the drive / and we had found a shortcut (in the commute) so what changed'? It's true initially we had been willing to keep him in same school but after months of rush hour commutes it became so hard. I didn't tell him (thankfully) that there was a choice and we applied, just have said there's a waiting list when we move house and that's what happens as children go to local schools and we just don't know when a place will come up (his response: take my name off the waiting list!! While crying)...sad

sunnyoutside Fri 06-May-16 07:40:17

Awww sad I know it is easy for me to say but he really will be ok.

We had a long travelling time to get the dc to school (think train then bus, took nearly 2 hours - 3 different schools) ) then we moved house and despite now being only 6miles from their old schools it still took us an hour with buses. The change to our life having the school a ten minute walk away is immense. We go to the park or the shop and the dc see people they know. They have friends calling for them and their time after school has changed so much that they have time to playout, have tea, do homework etc. The positives have been immense.

It is a scary time for him. When I was questioning whether to move ds2 for the second time this year (and he didn't want to move) the FSW at the school said can you really let a 6year old decide something so big? I knew his new school was amazing, and local, he has fitted in just fine. Oh and he isn't very sociable, has delayed development but the school have been fantastic.

I just asked ds1 how he felt leaving his old school at the end of year3 and starting a new school for year 4. He is now year 11 and he said he can't remember, he was sure he was nervous but it w asfine then he left for school moaning about why I ask these kind of questions first thing in the morning and "I bet it's Mumsnet" grin I can still remember crying when taking him on his first day though blush

stilllovingmysleep Fri 06-May-16 07:51:34

Sunny thanks! Very helpful thoughts. Well yes that's my thinking exactly that 1) it'll make a massive difference in our daily life being 10 min walk from school and 2) he can't be the one making the decision, DH and I need to be deciding this and hopefully helping him through it.

Easier said than done though blush

sunnyoutside Fri 06-May-16 10:28:39

stillloving Just to give you my comparison. Used to leave home at 715am. Constantly worrying about traffic and finding somewhere to park (that was when I had a car) then had the worry of the train and bus not being late in order to get to school on time (when I became carless)
This morning - left the house at 0835, ds2 cycled to school, met lots of friends on the way, chatted with some parents got there in time for him to have 5 minutes playing in the playground. Took a leisurely stroll back home with dc4 out of the buggy so he could walk.
I know it won't be that easy when I go back to work but at the moment it is fab.
Oh and dd left at 0830 when her friend called for her and she will be home just after 330 this afternoon - unless she is walking and gossiping with friends!

Honestly, it has been such a positive change for us!

Would love to hear how he gets on when he starts. Hopefully you will be wondering what the hell you were so worried about! grin

stilllovingmysleep Fri 06-May-16 16:59:40

Thanks for that sunny!

I just wish it wasn't happening in May and could wait until September sad. DS's teacher called me today and we had a chat: he was tearful at school today and low and talked to her about what's going on. He also kept falling and being clumsy and hurting himself. Poor DS!

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