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Help! Possible move back to UK, DD not in school yet, will she be able to catch up?

(16 Posts)
kindersurprise Tue 04-Sep-07 22:56:14

There is a possibility that we might move back to UK next year (very vague at the moment, but this is an important part of our decision).

Our DD will be 6 in April 2008 and is currently in "pre-school" in a German Kindergarten. I am worried that if we were to move to England, then she would be far behind her age group. She is not being taught to read and write, but is picking it up on her own. We are doing some exercises at home at the moment because she enjoys it and is curious.

What class would she go into in UK? What would she be expected to do? Can I order the books and teach her at home this year?

We would not be moving till next summer, so I would teach her at home if need be.

Finally, DS will be 4 in on July 5th next year. When would he have to start school? Next year too?

Really worrying if it would screw him up to put them to school so early (compared to here where they go to Kindergarten from 3 - 6 years, then school)


kindersurprise Wed 05-Sep-07 08:24:47


Budababe Wed 05-Sep-07 08:49:02

It will depend on when her birthday is as to what year she would go into. If 7 before 31 August (I think) then she will go into Yr 3.

My DS is 6 and has just gone into Yr 2. You can get great resources to help her with her reading and writing and maths - lots of workbooks you can buy over the internet. For info DS's school gave word sheets with the 1st 100 words, 2nd hundred words and 3rd hundred words. It sounds a lot but he had gotten up to 200 by end of Yr 1 and we were given the 3rd sheet to do over the summer (not that we managed it!). You can do 5 a day and I found that typing them in a large font and cutting the words out and sticking them up in the kitchen helped.

Your DS would go into Reception.

If you are thinking of private schooling they may be more flexible with your DD although she will catch up really quickly I'm sure.

janinlondon Wed 05-Sep-07 08:52:57

Are you coming back to England? Scotland? Wales? Any idea of Local Education Authority? Different rules in different places.

bozza Wed 05-Sep-07 09:01:57

In England your DD would go into Year 2 in September 2008. My DS has just started year 2 this week. IME most children can read or write to some extent by this point although there is still a fairly wide range of progress. DS can write although he is fairly untidy (but I think that is him) and he can read well and independently but I know his friend is not at that stage with the reading yet.

Your DS would start reception in either September 2008 or January 2009 dependent on whether the area you move to did one or two intakes. And he would be just as screwed up as all our children. hmm Thought that was a bit of a strange remark. Although he doesn't have to be legallly educated until the term after his 5th birthday so you could keep him out until year 1. But then that has other implications.

kindersurprise Wed 05-Sep-07 09:04:06

England, most likely Leicester area.

DD will be 6 in April, so that would mean year 2, right?

DS would be in reception? Do they start to read and write then already?

Hope that DD would cope with DS going to school too, it feels a bit unfair, she is the big girl and he gets to go to school as well.

Also feel a bit sad about taking them away from their friends here, DS just started kindergarten and loves it. I am so torn. I would love to go back to UK and it would be good for their English but it is such a huge step for the DCs.

kindersurprise Wed 05-Sep-07 09:09:56

Screwed up was a bad choice of words. I had had a few glasses of wine last night when I wrote that, sorry.

It is strange for me to contemplate DS going to school next year as the school system here is so different. DS would be in Kindergarten for 3 years here and not start school till he is 6 years old. I know that the schools in UK are geared up for 4 year olds, it just seems such a huge step.

Logically, I know that there is nothing wrong with going to school when age 4 (I was 4 1/2 when I started school). In my heart though, I still see DS as my little boy, God, the thought of him going to school next year!

LIZS Wed 05-Sep-07 09:21:15

Your dd would be year 2 and ds Reception age (but not necessarily start in September and/or go part-time intiially). You may find this site useful if a bit daunting as to what is covered by term during the infant school years. this site is mroe generally informtive.

tbh most of schools we spoke to said as long as they had good verbal English and could read a little (for older one not younger) the academic level was less of an issue. You might want to speak directly to any potential schools to ask what additional help your dd might get to catch up on the basics or suggestsions as to how to help in the meantime but your ds is at a good age to make the transition (we moved in time for dd to start Reception). hth

Budababe Wed 05-Sep-07 09:35:18

Sorry just realised I didn't read OP properly and your DD is still 5 - I though she was 6!

Budababe Wed 05-Sep-07 09:36:10

"thought" even!

bozza Wed 05-Sep-07 09:47:39

Sorry for picking you up on that kinder, I just thought that you were being a bit less than tactful, but we've all done that. Can you look on the Leicester LEA website and see if they do one or more intakes per year? Where we live they are currently doing two intakes but there is talk of going to one for next year. So for my DD who is the same age as your DS (she will be 4 in May) I don't know if she will be starting in September next year or January 09. And, of course, as I said you reserve the right not to send him at that age.

admylin Wed 05-Sep-07 10:10:06

I think you are going back to the UK just at the right time. Any later and the gap would be much bigger and more work for your dd to catch up. Going into year 2 she'll be able to catch up even though she has missed year 1 altogether.

I had hopes of going back a few years ago and I got my sister to get me some of the school work her dd had been doing in year 1 and one book which they used was quite helpfull - Letterland. You can go online and order books or I think do some of it online, print out, colour in etc to get your dd used to the alphabet and forst words, soundsetc. It helped us alot.Try or

By the way, we are still in Germany and dd is in year 3, ds in year 4 of German state school but I still live in hope, one day...!

bozza Wed 05-Sep-07 10:13:33

I have been on the Leicester LEA website and it says they have two intakes Sept and Jan so your DS (being young in the school year) would not start until January 2009. Also it says you can delay by up to one term without risking losing a place - so he could start at Easter 2009 if you wanted. He would be entitled to some form of nursery education prior to that. this is where I got the info from

LIZS Wed 05-Sep-07 10:46:44

Have to say the Jolly Phonics approach has largely outmoded Letterland and it develops from the basic phonic sounds to grammar and reading if you follow it through. Materials are readily available from Amazon who deliver to Europe, and would appeal to both your children's age groups. Many UK nurseries and schools now use it for the basics but even that is gradually being superseded. If you search MN re: teaching phonics, synthetic phonics it might steer you towards the latest materials and methods. hth

kindersurprise Wed 05-Sep-07 10:56:46

Thanks loads, you have really helped a lot. I have just ordered the Jolly Phonics as I know my SIL's son learnt with that. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed that everything goes well with the job.

I will start teaching DD this year anyway as she has been asking about reading and I think starting at 6 years a bit too late.

scienceteacher Wed 05-Sep-07 20:54:47

My DD came to the UK from the US when she was 6. She had completed a year in a US Kindergarten (non-Academic) and went into Year 2 in the UK. She was a non-reader on starting, although knew her letters, name etc. By half-term, she was in the top group for everything. At age 6, it seems that they are in peak 'sponge' mode and are ready for learning anything. I don't think it's too much to worry about (although I was concerned at the time).

Basically, in the UK, they go into the class that matches their chronological age. Therefore, your DS will go into Reception. This is not a compulsory school year - they only have to start the term after their fifth birthday - in practice, however, if you don't accept the place in Reception, it vanishes.

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