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foreign child starting primary school in canterbury

(17 Posts)
neslihankarakelle Tue 13-Aug-13 14:21:53

Hello to all.
I'm the mother of a 5 year old girl who is moving to Canterbury this year. The problem is the English school system is new to me. I'm trying to find my way around it but any inputs would mean the world to me right now. Which school are more fitted to accommodate foreign students, which are to avoid. She has a very basic knowledge of English and the second problem we will be coming like january, mid term of schools. I'm even looking for a school nearby to where we live. I cheked form internet Blean Primary and Canterbury primary schools they are looking nice, but they will be not empty i am sure in mid term, That's how concerned i am about getting her off to a good start. A new country, language and school all at once won't be easy. Can any of you please help me in my quest? Any advice would be precious at this point. Are the schools in Canterbury all good, how will we prefer, i am very concerned really.

Thank you

ReallyTired Wed 14-Aug-13 13:09:37

Most schools in England have lots of experience of helping children for whom English is a new language. The fact that she is very little means that she will pick up English really quickly.

Unfortunately I think you will have to take whatever school has places. School choice is a bit of a myth in England even for those of us who were born here.

Littlefish Wed 14-Aug-13 16:18:20

When will your daughter be 5? I'm trying to work out whether she will go into Reception, or Year 1.

neslihankarakelle Thu 15-Aug-13 10:48:00

Thank you for your replies, my daughters birth year is 2008.09 in september she will be 5 years, so she has to start at year 1 i guess,
i checked canterbury schools, but as you say every comment is different, some schools like blean, canterbury primary are most popular and most well known, they will be probably full, i checked also private schools, but they are high cost, most of them, found Canterbury Steiner and St Johns, they are more thinkable, some say private school will be better for a foreigner in england, some say does not matter, the activities are more in private schools a friend said also, do you have any idea of that schools?

thank you very much for your kind interest and replies.

teabagpleb Thu 15-Aug-13 11:25:47

If she was born in September 2008, she will be in Reception, and be one of the oldest in the year. Reception year is mostly learning through play, so should be fine.

I think you need to know your address and then contact the council (LEA) who will tell you where you can have a place.

Littlefish Thu 15-Aug-13 11:32:54

If she was born in September 2008. Then she would be due to start in Reception in September 2013 and would be one of the oldest children

In January 2014 you will still be looking for a place in Reception.

ReallyTired is right - in the State school system, most schools which are graded as "good" or "outstanding" are highly likely to have filled all their places by now as the cut off date for application will have been in January 2013.

The problem is that even if you find a state school with a space now, the school will not be able to hold that space for you. You will not be able to apply for a school place until you have an address to give to the Local Authority School Admissions department.

Having said that, I think I heard that "in-year admissions" will soon be handled by individual schools. I would suggest that you phone the Local Authority Office and ask for the schools Admission department and discuss it with them.

If you are in a position to send your daughter to a private school, then you may have a better chance of getting a place at a school of your choice.

neslihankarakelle Thu 15-Aug-13 12:09:21

08.09.2008 she will be Year 1 isnt she?, reception it writes from 4 to 5, my daughter will be 5 to 6 this year.
thank you for your comments, we have to first settle there and arrange the shools and other things.
thank you for your comments again.

teabagpleb Thu 15-Aug-13 12:36:03

Reception is age 4-5, the school year in England goes from 1 Sept to 31 Aug, so she will be 4 on 1st Sept this year and then turn 5. Trust me, she is a couple days older than my son who is about to start school!

Almost all schools in English towns and cities are oversubscribed so she will probably be assigned to a school rather than you having much choice - but state schools are a lot more experienced with children who don't know much English than some private schools are.

neslihankarakelle Fri 16-Aug-13 07:00:47

Thank you for the comments teabagpleb, Lİttlefish. Sorry that i dont know english system, i am sure she will be reception this year, i understand now.. we will check out the schools first when we get our tier visum and get there.

anthonysharpe Sat 15-Apr-17 16:24:29

Canterbury Steiner School has had 3 different leaders or Heads in three years. The discussion regarding Heads in a Steiner school is for another time.

Pupil numbers are at an all time low, 53 when I last checked.
Classes have merged. Class 1 and 2 are now one class and so on.

The upper school is shut so no GCSEs. The official line is the "upper school is in hibernation" !!!!!

Almost all of the good teachers have left.

There are staff members currently at the school who actively trawl web sites like google in an effort to promote the school. Their posts often contain untruths and serve to distort and prolong the thread. Just try and guess which reviews here on mumsnet are from current staff members!!

If you want to send your children there then ask yourself (and the school) the following questions
1. Why 3 heads in 3 years?
2. Why is the upper school closed?
3. What happened to the new school at the top of the hill that was PROMISED to current and future parents/pupils?
4. What is the current number of pupils?
5. Why have a large proportion of people left over recent years?
6. Why do staff regularly post on review sites and not disclose their interest, leading to misinformation.
7. Teenage female pupils refused to be taught Eurythmy by the trained Eurythmy teacher some years ago. Ask Why? and what action was taken against the teacher?
8. Why have classes of different ages merged when a core principle of the school is age appropriate learning. How can you teach to children of mixed ages in one classroom ( e.g. 8, 9 and 10 years old) and maintain age appropriate education?
9. Why did 3 of the most senior members of the school (including the head) all take early retirement (jumped ship) in 2014 and all at the same time?

If you care where your children are going then you should, as a minimum, ask the above. We were at the school before we asked even some of the above. BIG MISTAKE. ASK BEFORE YOU SEND YOUR CHILDREN THERE.

At the very least, why use your children as an experiment to check if the school is good or not? There are other schools nearby, some even formed by decent ex-Canterbury Steiner teachers - search and you will find. Other schools do not attract the negative comments that Canterbury Steiner School does.

There are reasons why LARGE numbers have left the school over the recent 4 years, these people are not stupid.

Do not pay any attention to posts that have a whiff of propaganda put out by current staff members of the school.


The school is in crisis.

mrz Sat 15-Apr-17 16:31:41

You're over three years late I'm afraid

anthonysharpe Sun 16-Apr-17 10:47:33

Hi miz, three years late for what? The school is currently in crisis and is currently actively "asking" current staff members to trawl web sites to leave positive reviews.
Some staff members have also tried to gain membership to closed groups by pretending to be someone they are not in an effort to attract business.

The purpose of my post is to alert parents who are thinking of sending their children to Canterbury Steiner School to the facts and to ask questions before they commit rather than after the event.

At best you have to prise the truth out of the school. And if you aren't aware of the issues you will not ask the questions and the school will certainly not make you aware of the issues in my original post, any of which you can ask the school about. If the school denies any of the points then post what they say and I will post back the relevant information.

You can PM me but I prefer it be posted on an open forum for all to see.

Your childrens' education is important, otherwise you will not be reading/contributing to this and other posts.

My point is simply, ask and find out before you send your children to a school as described (by myself and others) in my original post.

You must make your own mind up as to which of the 5* "What a fantastic environment for children" reviews are genuine.

The posting rules exclude businesses from leaving reviews for themselves, for obvious reasons. Despite this clarity, Canterbury Steiner School and its staff members seen to think this rule doesn't apply to them and are institutionally encouraging staff to leave "fake" reviews.

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans Sun 16-Apr-17 10:52:10

Since the OP was asking her question in 2013 you're highly unlikely to get the audience you're looking for here. Most people will either see the thread is from 2013 and close it again or just reply to the OP.

If you're really desperate to get the point across about this school I'd start a new thread.

mrz Sun 16-Apr-17 11:01:26

Perhaps starting a new thread with that clear objective rather than one abandoned more than three years ago might be more successful Anthony

anthonysharpe Sun 16-Apr-17 13:33:28

You're right. I'm still learning how this review/blog thing works.

I didn't actually notice the age of the original post until mrz pointed it out to me, my fault.

However, I found this thread by searching, so others (like yourselves) will find it too.

The point is to inform and not miss-inform, this is all I am doing.

Thank you for your advice, I will try and start a new thread. I have my flame suit ready, I know I will need it!!

anthonysharpe Sun 16-Apr-17 13:36:59

By the way, where else do you suggest I post in order to inform the relevant audience? I'm clearly behind on the on-line scene.

Thanks in advance

mrz Sun 16-Apr-17 13:38:19

Start a new topic on primary so that people can see it's a different topic if you want to get your message across

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