moving to the Lancaster/Lancashire area this summer

(6 Posts)
ldholder Wed 18-Feb-15 18:39:22

My family (husband, 8yo, 10yo) are moving from the U.S. to the Lancaster/Lancashire area this summer. My husband will be working with a friend at Lancaster University. I am seeking any information on local mum's clubs in the area. And, more importantly, I need to find a few sources for information about schools for my children. And nice areas/regions to live for a year that aren't too far from the University, since we won't have a car.

I have no clue on how to find information on what we need to enroll in school. In the US, I just had to produce a birth certificate.
*What documentation is necessary to enroll?
*Will my children have to take an exam to get into a school?
*What are the vaccination requirements/waivers that are allowed?
*How does the school year calendar work? (Here my kids go to school from mid-August until the end of May)
*Are there any local chess clubs? (Both my kids play chess and compete in scholastic tournaments)
*Any recommendations on dance classes? (My 8yo is currently taking a tap/jazz class, but enjoys ballet as well. She takes one lesson a week.)
*Are there any soccer/football programs available?
*Will the kids get more than 1 recess at school?
*Any schools we should definitely look into? (We are okay with public/private.)

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I am very excited about living in the area for a year, but a bit overwhelmed with all I need t find out. Last time I moved, my kids were 3 and 1.5 and it was much easier to make decisions. But, now they are older, and one even wants a pen-pal before we get there so they can make friends.

How cold does it get there? Right now we are on day 3 of snow, I have already shoveled the sidewalk twice. I am wondering how much heavy winter gear I should pack.

Oh, and if anyone has any useful links where I can find out information, please do share them with me.

Thanks again.

RedSal Tue 24-Mar-15 14:35:50


Just a quick reply as I found yr message by chance and was sad to see you had no answers! I don't know the answer to lots of your Qs but didn't want to leave you abandoned. My main tip for you is the find the NCT Lancaster and Morecambe group on Facebook - I don't know if you know this organisation or not but, although the groups they run are aimed at younger kids (babies/ pre-school), quite a few of the mums at the babies' group i go to live in South Lancaster and either work at the uni, or have husbands who do, or use the uni creche, or have older kids at primary schools on that side of town. (I live in Morecambe, on the other side of Lancaster, and my son is only 5 weeks old, so they will have more useful knowledge for you than I do) Emma Drummond who runs the group locally is based in Galgate (a village to the south of Lancaster, right by the campus, lots of uni people live there) and has a boy of primary school age and is super helpful, so I suggest posting in that group and they will probably lead you towards other groups for the age of your kids.

School wise, the year is start of Sept-midJuly. Primary schools often have chess clubs, all will offer football (ie soccer), many will offer dance too as will lots of local dance schools (look up Ludus, I have heard good things about them). I don't think any primary schools will need exams, but if your older child is 11 before the summer they would normally go to secondary school the next school year and in lancaster there are two grammar schools ( a boys' and a girls') which do have exams). However, there are also excellent non-selective secondary schools e.g. Ripley in lancaster or (this one is about half an hour out of Lancaster but is a fantastic school. I am biased though as I was a pupil there and now work there!).

Anyway, I don't know if you will even get this as yr msg is a month old, but as I say I didn't want you to have no answers.


RedSal Tue 24-Mar-15 14:39:14

PS 2 other quick answers - Once you find a school, I'd ask them for a suitable penpal. i am sure there will be plenty of keen pupils and then yr child already has a ready made friend.
winter - we tend to have cool and damp and windy here, snow is a rarity (maybe a couple of times a year, but rarely enough to shovel!). if i was going out on a winter day, a typical outfit would be a warm waterproof coat (but not a ski jacket or anything!), a jumper, teeshirt, jeans, warm shoes (but not normally boots).

JillStephens Tue 09-Jun-15 20:15:22

Hi, the local government website has some useful information on schools

A lot of families working at the university live in bowerham or scotforth, both on on very regular bus routes to campus and town.

Good wishes, Jill

WhenYouGottaGo Sat 13-Jun-15 07:59:52

I live near the uni and have an 8 year old and a 10 year old if they still want penpals

ldholder Sat 13-Jun-15 18:17:32


I apologize for not getting back to you earlier. We went down south to let the kids see their grandparents one last time before we left. The kids are very interested in this still. We are scheduled to arrive in the UK in about 32 days. My 10 year old is still not looking forward to the move, so maybe this might cheer him up a bit.

(I am not sure how to send you a private message, but if you know how to do that, just let me know and we can exchange email addresses or something.)


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