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When is best to move to new school?

(11 Posts)
Meikyo Mon 05-Nov-12 23:39:42

DD, age 9, is in P6 in Scotland (year 5 south of border?). We are moving 5 miles into new house with DP (new house for all of us). New area (East Renfrewshire) has excellent state schools, one of reasons for move. DD not sure she wants to move to new Primary school - says she would prefer just the move to high school in new area in Aug 2014.

I feel it would be better for her to go to new primary in Jan 2013 to get to know new children. There are only 3 feeder schools for new area HS. Her current school is sort of on my way to work so it is possible for her to stay there.

I had a tour/visit to local primary close to new house today and was impressed. They mentioned that DDs year group (in new school) have been doing French for 2 years whereas DD just started in Sep this year in her current school. So already she is behind the children who will be her peers in high school.

I think a move to new school will be a challenge (from a friends/social viewpoint) but would prefer her to do as soon as possible. She will still see some of her current school friends at out of school activities and we plan to have old friends for sleepovers etc at new house.

Any advice welcome

sashh Tue 06-Nov-12 04:22:51

Your daughter has the right idea.

I went to three primaries due to house moves, it was not a good experience. It's not just the social / friends aspect it is getting to know new teachers, possibly different reading schemes, differences in teaching.

As an example I was never taught to do joined up writing. I went from a first school where they taught you to write in the final year (age 9-10) with a fountain pen. Before that you always used pencil.

I went from that to another school where everyone was using a biro and had been for 2 years.

I lost all contact with old friends (I know things are easier now with email and facebook) but the new kids didn't know me so I was never invited to birthday parties. And you know how important that is when you are 10.

I think the ideal IMHO would be for her to stay at her current school but maybe do some activities in the new area, scouts, guides, art club, whatever interests her. That way she has the stability of her current school and friends to go to secondary with.

Nothing is set in stone, if she makes friends who attend a primary near your new home she might decide to move for the last year (I think I have the years right). Mid term moves should be avoided at all costs.

trinity0097 Tue 06-Nov-12 07:24:31

Your child is 9, they should not be dictating what you think is best for them! I would make the move, within a few days/weeks they will have got over it! (as long as you hold off on the inviting old friends round for a few weeks and instead invite round new classmates)

Euphemia Tue 06-Nov-12 07:39:35

Our babies can't be starting high school in August 2014!!! No no no no lala la la! sad

We moved from Renfrewshire to Angus in February, when DD was in P5. There are two main feeder schools for her high school and a few wee rural schools, but despite it being small I'm glad we moved her at primary.

It depends on what kind of child you have, really - DD is quite quiet and not always the most confident of children, so it has been to her advantage to get to know her peers well before high school.

We have kept in touch with some of her old friends - they were one of her main concerns about the move - but she's made so many lovely new friends that she hasn't given most of them a second thought!

CouthyMowEatingBraiiiiinz Tue 06-Nov-12 07:48:32

Don't move in the last year of school. It's pointless. Wait until the following year, and let her start High School in the new area.

High school means EVERYONE has to make new friends. Last year of Primary = established friendship groups, nobody seeing the point in making an effort to make friends.

I moved for the start of Y6. It was awful. I'd moved in Y3, totally different.

I'd let your DD do what she is suggesting, personally. Y6 was miserable for me. And I was used to moving, that was my 4th school move!

maybetimeforachange Tue 06-Nov-12 10:02:54

I agree with your daughter, I really don't think that year 5 is the time to be moving schools unless you absolutely have to. I think that the challenges of finding her feet, making proper friends and then having to move again in 18 months far outweighs doing a bit more french. High school will bring all sorts of new challenges and there will be plenty of children who will be in the same boat so I would leave her to finish primary and then make the move

seeker Tue 06-Nov-12 10:09:25

"Your child is 9, they should not be dictating what you think is best for them! I would make the move, within a few days/weeks they will have got over it! (as long as you hold off on the inviting old friends round for a few weeks and instead invite round new classmates)"

Wow. Just......wow.

cavell Tue 06-Nov-12 12:34:33

I'm usually quite an advocate of chagning schools ... if the current one isn't working for some reason. Both my dds have changed primary school for different reasons (bullying/low educational standards) and it has been a change for the better in both cases.
But it seems your daughter is happy where she is,you haven't spoken of any problems with her current school.... so, in that situation, I wouldn't move her, particularly with just one year to go. (Maybe if she were still in KS1 it might be different).
If you are still keen that she should change school, maybe you could let her look around the new school you have in mind on the off chance that she might turn out to like it. But it has to be so that she can "see what she thinks" without any pressure, IMO.

Euphemia Tue 06-Nov-12 12:42:42

Couthy P6 is not the last year of school.

steppemum Tue 06-Nov-12 12:58:50

but it isn't one year to go, it is nearly 2.

I think you could argue it both ways, but the deciding issue for me would be that when she starts HS, who will she be with?

If she would go up to HS with a group from her new school, then it is definitely worth changing schools.
If there will be no-one from her new school going up, then doesn't make any difference.

Also, don't know scottish system, will she have better chance of getting in to HS if she has been at feeder school? (wouldn't apply in england)

And last thing, has she ever changed schools? If she has already had to change, then I would be more inclined to leave her be. If she has never changed schools, it isn't going to be the end of the world if she does it once.

I work with families who are working overseas and often having to make hard choices about education and when/wether the family return to UK. One piece of advice we always give is that while you should talk about it as a family and listen seriously to your children's view, in the end you should make it clear that you as the adult have made the decision, sometimes because you can see/understand something that they can't. If it goes wrong it is your decision not their'e, as that is too much responsibility for their shoulders at this age.

Meikyo Tue 06-Nov-12 13:32:49

Thanks all for taking time to reply. I should make it clear that DD has almost 2 years to go at Primary School. She has not had any changes of school so far. She seems happy where she is, although she has started recently to mention a problem with a particular boy she sits next to. I'll keep an eye on this.
I have just discovered that a girl in P7 at new local school (final year) will be our new next door neighbour so hopefully DD can get to know her. I have decided to set up a "look see" visit with DD and exH (DD's Dad) in the next couple of weeks with no pressure.

I've also discovered that a work colleague has a DS who got in to the High School via a placing request without going to the feeder primary (very lucky!!) so I will ask colleague how she feels it went for her DS going stright to the high school.

In final year at the new local Primary the High School teachers do a fair bit of liaison with the children moving up so would not want DD to miss this.

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