Moving to Cambridge, seeking advice on our 5-year-old's School/Kindergarten

(9 Posts)
kikyjo Mon 19-Jun-17 22:29:46


We have a five-year-old son, who will be 5 1/2 in spring. We are contemplating to stay in Cambridge for half a year from Spring next year. We are in Germany now, and will move back to Germany after half-a-year stay in Cambridge.

Our problem is that kids don't go to school until they are 6 in Germany, but if we move to Cambridge for half a year when my son's 5 1/2, he has to go to school, correct? Could anyone give me some advice on how to do this? My son doesn't speak much English.

Thank you so much!

jaynebxl Mon 19-Jun-17 23:50:26

Yes he needs to go to school but it will be very play based. You need to contact cambs county council to enquire about school places. When is he 6?

CityCentre Tue 20-Jun-17 12:12:36

Or if you'd rather he didn't, then you could home educate him, and you can do that in whatever way you think would benefit him most.

I guess it depends if you want him to get the social/language/cultural experiences that he would get out of going to school, or whether you think that the change and disruption of trying to fit in to a school for a short time would be harder for him.

absolutelynot Tue 20-Jun-17 15:04:45

we had some children start our school who had attended a Steiner school, eldest was in year 1 (older age range), he couldn't read or write. They worked with him, he bounced between classrooms, staying in his own for lessons except his phonics/writing/reading, I think he has now caught up. We also had a young boy who could only speak arabic, his eldest brother spoke Arabic at home but learned English at school. They went down the same route with youngest. The school should work with you on an approach to handling this. Don't be disheartened. The first thing that you may be able to do is if one parent speaks in German and the other completely in English, even in conversation. So he gets used to it audibly but he would also be able to follow the conversation based upon the German responses.

You need to contact the county council with regards to space availbility in the area you will move to. School places have already been allocated overall for the children resident here already, so it may well be a relatively straightforward process in terms of your application.

kikyjo Tue 20-Jun-17 22:19:33

Wow, Cambridge mums are awesome! Thank you all so much for your advice! Now we feel more assured about the prospect of staying in Cambridge. We will contact the cambs county council very soon.
Thanks again!

orchardy Wed 21-Jun-17 19:38:30

Your son will be school age by UK rules, but you could choose to home educate if you think school in English will be too much for him. That said, Cambridge is very, very international. Schools will be well used to children arriving with no English, and the children will understand that "X doesn't speak English and you need to be kind and show him". It might be tricky for a few days but he will settle and amaze you with how much English he learns if he goes to school. Welcome in advance - Cambridge is a great place. (We're not much into the whole Brexit thing here...)

cammel Wed 21-Jun-17 21:13:23

Will he be 5 before 1 September?

This will determine whether he goes into reception (play based) or year 1 (more formal).

kikyjo Wed 21-Jun-17 22:40:54

Thanks again, everyone! And yes, he'll be 5 end of July.

Bellabunny14 Fri 23-Jun-17 15:15:39

Hi! I have a friend with a child at Landmark International School in Fulbourn, Cambridge. She is VERY happy with the school, which is very supportive of all children. I know there is a German boy there, the same age as your son. He started last November without a word of English & had never been to school. He has settled very well, is fluent in English & doing very well.
I hope that helps.

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