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Moving to a new school in a new area - will my DD be ok?

(13 Posts)
JoJoMummy321 Wed 08-Jun-11 12:04:05

Hi All,
We are moving from Scotland to the South of England in April 2012 due to DH's job. It's a great opportunity and it's also the area where I grew up therefore so far I have felt very positive about the move.

Yesterday was sports day at DD (age 8) school and all of a sudden I felt quite sad. I saw her having fun with all her friends and thought about her having to leave and start again. Due to the distance involved, she won't know anyone at all to start with. She's also an only child so no siblings to rely on either.

Can anyone give me some advice or tell me their story if they have been through the same?

Now I am starting to think that we are being selfish moving her but previously I always thought it was a good opportunity and at least she is still young.

Thanks for listening!

LawrieMarlow Wed 08-Jun-11 12:12:18

We moved last year about 160 miles so DS and DD started at new school (and preschool in DDs case). I was worried but they were and still are fine smile

Is there definitely a place for your DD at the new school? That would be my only concern I think. Although easier for older children as no need to limit classes to 30.

midnightexpress Wed 08-Jun-11 12:21:24

Sorry, I don't have any advice but we are contemplating a similar move for similar reasons so just interested to see what people have to say. When is your DD's birthday? My DC both have winter birthdays and so are among the youngest in the year, but would be towards the older end in England. I wonder what difference that would make to them.

Are your family still down south?

I think it's definitely easier when they are younger, like your DD. Good luck with the move.

JoJoMummy321 Wed 08-Jun-11 13:32:01

Thank you so much for your replies.

LawrieMarlow - thank you for sharing your experience. I know lots of people do it but it's good to hear both your DS and DD were fine! Luckily there is space for DD at the school we are interested in. I think for once we have been lucky and her year group is smaller than normal so they have places.

Midnightexpress - That's nice to hear someone else possibly in the same boat! DD's birthday is in December so we are the same as you. DD is currently the youngest girl in the class. I have to say I quite like the idea of her not being the youngest. For me, this has been one of the positives although I'm not sure exactly why I feel like that as being the youngest girl has never seemed a problem! My family are actually up here in Scotland. We moved up here when I was 16 (a long time ago!!). I have my suspicions that my folks may move back down south too in the next couple of years so they may well join us!

Good luck with your plans too! Do you have family down south?

mumoverseas Wed 08-Jun-11 13:32:07

I think it is easier the younger they are, they adapt better.
We are moving back to the UK in 3 weeks having been in the Middle East for over 5 years. DD (4 1/2) and DS (2) were both born in ME and it is all they know. We thought long and hard before deciding to return to the UK but feel we should do it sooner rather than later.

Where in the south are you moving to? For what its worth, I have quite a few 'forces' friends who move every 2 or 3 years and they have all said it was easier when the girls were younger.

good luck x

JoJoMummy321 Wed 08-Jun-11 13:35:43

Mumoverseas - thank you for your message, it's good to hear positive experiences. I do think sooner is better, in fact I think we should have been a little more proactive and moved things along quicker but I guess DD is still young. I hope your move goes well. Where are you moving to? We are going to be in the Fleet/Farnham area and for the most part I am excited, I just feel for DD as she can be quite sensitive.

Good luck with the move! X

dixiechick1975 Wed 08-Jun-11 13:42:06

Does she do any activities that could be transferred when you move eg brownies - so some parts of her life are staying the same despite the move? Things like swim lessons, dance classes etc often have wait lists - if you can look into things now she would hit the ground running and have a chance to mix with lots of children in the new area.

I think the fact you have got time on your side is a good thing eg maybe your DD could spend a few days settling in informally at the new school - perhaphs when her scottish school is on holiday but english are still in school.

midnightexpress Wed 08-Jun-11 13:45:37

yes, JoJo, I think being one of the older ones is definitely a positive.

Yes, we are both from the SE, so have family there, and that would also be a big positive for us. DP not so keen on a potential commute into London, but in the end, if that's where the work is, then that's where the work is. We were on the verge of moving last year, and then DP got a job up here (he's a contractor, was working in London for a year) so it was all called off. So still a possibility, but not an immediate one for us.

DS1 is quite a sensitive soul too, but I think they are often a bit more resilient than we give them credit for. Does your DD know the area too? Is there any chance of her going to visit the school before she actually starts?

i think there are plenty of pluses to sell it to her too - better weather, nearer to France/London/south coast etc.

Hampshire is lovely.

JoJoMummy321 Wed 08-Jun-11 13:48:08

Dixiechick1975 - Thank you that is a great idea. At the moment her activities are Brownies, tennis and swimming so I will look into getting her name down for those. I think we will also try to make sure that when we buy a new house it is in an area with plenty of kids around.

I will speak with the school about some settling in days as that would also be great. I was pleased with the timings as initially we thought we would be moving Summer 2012 but now it has been brought forward to April she will at least have one term in Year 4 to hopefully make some buddies that she can see over the school summer holidays.

Thanks very much!

mumoverseas Wed 08-Jun-11 14:51:21

jojomummy we will be living on the Sussex/Surrey boarder so not that far from you.
A friend of mine moved to the Fleet/Camberley area last year when her DD was 5 and her DS 2 and they settled in really well at their school/nursery so I'm hoping my DD and DS will settle well too!

pickledsiblings Wed 08-Jun-11 15:02:57

When my DD changed schools at a similar age I made a little photo book up for her (did mine on iphoto) of photos of her with her school friends from nursery right through to YR2, sports day, Christmas play etc. She loved it and still enjoys looking through and reminiscing.

Maybe your DD would like something similar? I even took photos of some of her artwork and writing, oh and the playground. Basically I thought it would help her to leave 'it' behind knowing that this little book would help keep the memories alive for her. She is still in contact with two of her old friends.

She will be fine, I'm sure smile.

goinggetstough Wed 08-Jun-11 15:08:09

jojo we are a Forces family and our children moved schools 5 times before they went to boarding school. As mumoverseas mentioned it does get harder as the children get older. However, I believe that it is important to see it as a very positive experience. As I mentioned on a previous thread this sometimes means that as parents we have to give an Oscar performance in front of the children at how exciting the move will be. As adults we know that it can be scary as we worry about the new schools, will they make new friends etc. I used to turn this round and say to the DC that there will be new children waiting to be their friends, get a new pencil case (as a result we have thousands!!) to take to school and find something in the area to do that they can't do wherever we currently are. Plus there was always a"moving present " that miraculously came off the removals lorry when we arrived at the new location. My DC also used to take a small toy in their pockets (if it was allowed) so that their new friends might be interested if they saw it and if no one chatted to them (my worst nightmare) they had something to play with. the latter never happened I am pleased to say.
Good luck jojo and mumoverseas

zanni Wed 08-Jun-11 15:08:16

We're recently done a big move to south coast and, like you, I was worried about my 2 children starting new school - especially DS (11) who is fairly quiet and unforthcoming. I did give him a bit of a prep talk on how he'd have to make an effort to make friends. Thankfully my concerns were unfounded; they've both been absolutely fine and welcomed with open arms. Within the first fortnight DD (8) had been invited to 2 parties and after school play dates.

Children are unconditionally and unquestionally welcoming and curious. I think you'll find they will all want to know 'the new kid' and it will be up to your children to suss out who they'd like to be friends with. They'll be fine!

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