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6yrs moving to uk

(25 Posts)
BeeandSon Tue 14-Dec-10 10:03:13

Calling for help from teachers and parents with similar experience
I lived in the uk for many years but my son was born abroad where he is attending a Steiner School. We will be returning to the uk next June so I am applying for schools in the uk right now and I am a bit panicking!
I have tried to speak english but he is not bilingual in the least and with the type of education he is receiving he cannot read or write. He is going to be 6 in the new year so he should be in Key Stage 1 Year 2 where all his peers will be able read and write. Steiner Schools in the Uk are far too expensive. (Still applying to find out if there is any chance of a reduced fee for my family status)
My uk friends tell me not to worry too much and that my DS will most probably catch up within a year but it seems really a daunting task for the little one.
Any thoughts and advice and experience will be very much appreciated

figcake Tue 14-Dec-10 10:05:28

There are many Steiner Schools in the UK if you wanted to carry on with that type of education

chatee Tue 14-Dec-10 10:06:21

no only ks1 year 1(if not yet 6)now

don't worry

NoahAndTheWhale Tue 14-Dec-10 10:07:16

If he's going to be 6 in the new year then he will be in Year 1 next June rather than year 2, which gives more time for catching up.

LB29 Tue 14-Dec-10 10:08:27

Don't worry too much about the reading and writing as it will be easy enough for him to catch up. I would make a start on getting him to speak english. He will need to be able to understand basic instructions and ask questions.

BeeandSon Tue 14-Dec-10 10:08:49

FIGCAKE yes there are but they are all independent schools with a minimum fee of 5.5k a year, (london) do you know of any school state founded ?

Chatee, he is going to be 6 in january 2011, should he not be in year 2? Well if its year 1 is actually a relief

BeeandSon Tue 14-Dec-10 10:11:41

thanx for the quick response this is great as my new post on the forum! :-)
He always refused to speak english but latley he is showing an interested since last summer and recently we have spent time in London where he met a few children

chatee Tue 14-Dec-10 10:12:01

definetly year 1

mamaloco Tue 14-Dec-10 10:13:38

Beeandson
I think you are right, you are looking to book him for sept 2011 (?) and he is born in jan 2005, so should be year 1 this year and year 2 in sept. Isn't it?
DD1 was born in jan 2005, I am looking at the UK year to see how late she is too, if we have to go back. (will be happy to have make a mistake too...

missmehalia Tue 14-Dec-10 10:19:32

I totally agree with you about the cost of Steiner. I've got a friend who home schools, and she'd love to send her kids to Steiner, but said 'only the rich can afford to be peasants.' I happen to agree with her.. though there is now Govt funding for more free schools to open, so things are continually changing here.

I totally understand your reservations. If I were you, I'd work out what all the options are in the area you're going to move to. It can vary hugely in the UK. I personally don't like church schools, for example, but our three nearest primary schools are all church-sponsored.

When you know where you'll be, there'll be people on here from that area who can give you first-hand opinions on the local schools, and what provision they have for E2L (English as a second language, as it used to be called..) It can be very, very good in more diverse communities - usually inner city. In rural communities, a bit patchy. e.g. a little boy from Poland has just started in my daughter's rural school. Much as they try to give him help, I do think it's been a huge culture shock for him, though they phased in his attendance (he did half days for two weeks at first). Nobody working in the school speaks Polish, but despite that he has done extraordinarily well, and seems to thrive most during playtimes and with games generally where there is less formality and more laughter (less pressure to 'get it right'.) (Am ex-primary teacher, so have some working knowledge of the way schools here work. Also moved here from Australia, so understand a tiny bit about the shock/excitement of moving here.)

If you manage to find what you consider to be a good school, so much of what is good about Steiner is applied in mainstream too. Our school uses the outdoor classroom a lot, and does a less formal style of activity in the afternoons. Wish they did more of the arts and PE, though - that's what I think has been squeezed out the most by the National Curriculum pressures.

Come here for a visit, go to see all your options with DS. You'll have an instinctive response about all of it, and so will he!! Whatever you choose (even home schooling for a while?) if he gets to know some of the children who go there before he starts, he may find it far, far easier.

missmehalia Tue 14-Dec-10 10:22:27

PS Just re-read my post, and apologies if you feel my friend's remark about rich/peasants is a huge disrespect to Steiner pupils/families! It's a slightly strange way of saying it's not really fair that some of the best inclusive education available is actually only available to those who can afford the fees. Is that really inclusive? It's not the fault of the Steiner schools, obv...

midnightexpress Tue 14-Dec-10 10:23:09

AFAIK, at least some Steiner schools in the UK do a sliding scale of fees according to parental income, so if you wanted to continue in a Steiner school, it might well be possible.

LB29 Tue 14-Dec-10 10:23:30

Could you download some english cartoons or kids programmes? He will be in year 2 next school year. I have helped out in DD's school (year 2) listening to readers and there are kids still reading the lowest level books that contain just a few sentences made up of 3 letters words.

BeeandSon Tue 14-Dec-10 10:37:43

mamaloco this is what I am referring too, but 2 mums (teachers?) are saying year 1. Both our kids will be 6 in Jan 2011

Key Stage 1 (in an Infant or Primary school)
Year 1, age 5 to 6
Year 2, age 6 to 7

Missmehalie thanx for lengthy answer. It is true what you say about Steiner School am I afraid. We are the true ''peasants" in our school right now but the fee is affordable comparing to uk fees

I am looking at the South East (Brockley, Ladywell, Lwisham area and loosing sleep over the oftead reports... Fairlawn being my favorite at the mo)

BeeandSon Tue 14-Dec-10 10:41:45

missmehalia no offence taken I hear it all the time smile
and I can say first hand it is generally true in particular because of the reduced school time (the ethos doesnt allow for more than 25 hrs away from home)

Lots of children from his school will go to traditional schools because the parents dont fully believe the method and freak out at the thought that children will do very little literacy and math till they are older but they do like the fact of sending small ones to the school in the woods [small]

mamaloco Tue 14-Dec-10 10:59:28

I had a check and it is definitely year 2 in sept 2011, if you place him in june, end of year 1.

SuzieHomemaker Tue 14-Dec-10 11:12:19

Hi
I dont know about Steiner but we moved back to the UK after 5 years in the Netherlands with DCs attending the local primary in Dutch.

DD1 went into the last year at primary as she was 10. The transition was fine on the whole, her teacher was helpful with the things that she struggled with - spelling was a problem.

DS really struggled - he went into year 3 (I think) - he was 7. His teacher was a mean minded bully who said he was lazy because he couldnt read/write (in the NL this had only just started as it is left a bit later). We didnt find this out until DS became distressed and didnt want to go to school.

Whichever school you choose make sure that they fully understand what sort of education your son has been through. Our experience was that they wont ask and will just assume that they have been through the same system as in the UK.

This is now 4 years ago - DD1 is now taking A level Dutch - she's 15.

DS is now settled into secondary school where he is much happier.

sevenseas Tue 14-Dec-10 14:23:10

Hi, suggest you try this site

http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/

when we were in Dubai the teachers often used it to help the non-English speakers (majority in the class) learn English.

sevenseas Tue 14-Dec-10 14:24:32

sorry, will try again www.learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/

mrz Tue 14-Dec-10 19:21:10

It depends when your children will be 6
Children born between September 2003 and August 2004 are now in Y2. Children with birthdays in Sept 2004 - Aug 2005 will start Y2 in Sept 2011.

homeboys Tue 14-Dec-10 19:34:08

Message withdrawn

smee Tue 14-Dec-10 20:03:59

A Columbian girl joined DS's class at the start of this term who spoke barely any English, but the other day I heard her happily chatting in pretty fluent English to her gaggle of friends, so she's obviously picked it up really quickly. Also one of DS's closest friends started with him in reception with no English, but now (they're in Yr2), you really can't tell. But then as others have said the school is geared up for ESL as there are lots of kids for whom English isn't their first language. Am sure that must make a difference.

crazygracieuk Tue 14-Dec-10 20:13:05

We live in the London suburbs and have children from families where no English is spoken at our school. They all pick up writing and speaking- especially if the parents are able to support their learning at home.

The language they pick up at first tends to be playground language like "You're it" "Chelsea rules" etc

My son was at Kindergarten in Germany until the Easter of his Year 1 year when we returned to the UK. I started teaching him phonics in the Christmas of his Year 1 year and he made fast progress because he was older and because I was able to support his reading at home.

Good luck

mamaloco Wed 15-Dec-10 05:03:20

Oh! forgot to tell, we moved out of the UK when DD1 was 3. Went to the local kindergarden, was fitting in within months and was fluent within a year. With no support from us as we don't speak the language...
Don't worry, your son is probably a passive speaker (he does understand english but doesn't want to speak) it will be even easier for him to pick up.
DD1's french is not good, but it improves a lot if my mum comes or if we have a trip there just in a few weeks, I would guess she would have no problem to catch up if we move to France. Even if at home she answers back in english when I speak french to her. wink

BeeandSon Tue 21-Dec-10 17:28:39

oh dear
I had posted a msg but must have made a mistake as it is not showing
Thanx for your msg, any more experience I would like to hear

I am looking at areas for affordable property and good schools, mission impossible or what? If I want to ask about particular areas should I open a new tread or carry on here?

So far it looks like the SE part of London could suit our needs and I am waiting to hear from Steiners Schools

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