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(6 Posts)
cvcrabtree Mon 17-Nov-14 14:04:13

We currently live in the UK with our sons, S is 11 years old - Year 6, and B is 6 years old - Year 1.
We are trying to decide when to return to New Zealand to live. We have been in UK for four years. S is very bright and self motivated learner.
Options are
a) return at end of Year 6 so S moves back to NZ before moving to secondary school/KS3 here in UK.
b) move back to NZ halfway through Year 8 so S can start Year 9 in NZ. (i.e. after S been at secondary school here for 15 months). S would be aged 13 years at this point.

Would love advice from anyone out there about this. My husband and I have different opinions on it. I feel moving him part way through secondary schooling and at 13 years would be very tricky for him with puberty/teenage angst etc to deal with, plus having made friends at secondary school and then having to leave them.
Unfortunately one of the other tricky points is that if myself and boys move back to NZ, hubby would have to commute for at least a year i.e. be away from us for 3-4 weeks at a time. My parents and in-laws are around and available which is great in NZ, but obviously time without dad is not ideal. They are used to him travelling however and being away quite a lot.

Look forward to hearing from mumsnet land!
Thanks lots

gottasmile Mon 17-Nov-14 14:16:51


We're in a similar situation and have decided to move (to Oz though) at the end of ds' year 6.

Then he can start a new school with other new kids. Because we'll move in August, we're even thinking of putting him into the end of year 6 there so he can make friends who might be going to the local secondary.

Still undecided too though! My dd will be in year 3 so hopefully she'll make friends easily.

Although hard being away from Dad, it's only a year and having parents around would be a such a bonus (something I've missed A LOT being so far away from Australia).

Not sure if that was helpful! But good luck whatever you decide.

catslife Mon 17-Nov-14 14:30:39

I have family in NZ OP. The main thing to watch out for is that in NZ (and Oz) is that the school year there starts in January whereas it's September here. So if your child is 11 now and has an Autumn term birthday they will be in a different year group (one year ahead) in NZ from January.
I would look at schools in the area you wish to move to more closely. It looks as if in some areas there is a middle school type system where children attend primary, intermediate and then secondary school with the move to secondary at year 9. In this type of area you may already been past the application time for the intermediate school. This may fit in best with your plans.
In other areas children stay at a full primary school until Y7 (or even Y8) and then move straight to secondary school.

Leeds2 Mon 17-Nov-14 18:35:36

I have no experience of this, but I would move when your eldest leaves Y6. He will leave school with all his friends and, hopefully, join a school where they will all be new. I think it would be very hard to be the only one to walk away from Y8.

The work in Years 7 and 8 will also be geared to the children doing English GCSEs. I presume work in NZ will have a similar basis, but possibly with a different emphasis.

It will be hard being away from your OH, and the children's dad, for a year, But, it really isn't that long and he could come to NZ for his holidays and you and the children could presumably come to the UK for whenever the long NZ school holiday is.

CastlesInTheSand Mon 17-Nov-14 19:16:08

Depends whether you believe 11 is too early to start secondary school, and middle schools are a good thing or the opposite.

Intermediates in NZ are still primary schools with 1 teacher.

CastlesInTheSand Mon 17-Nov-14 19:17:07

For most children I think intermediates are better than starting secondary so young.

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