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Moving back from the U.S with primary age kids

(11 Posts)
chuilc Fri 11-Oct-13 21:22:13

Does anyone have any tips or recommendations for moving kids from the U.S education system to the U.K education system? Our kids are 10, 8 and 4 years. We've been here (the New York area) for 3 years.

nlondondad Sun 13-Oct-13 17:46:13

Unfortunately you are looking for someone with experience of both systems, it may take a while for someone to turn up. Also the UK education system does vary depending on the part of the UK. Wales, N. Ireland, Scotland all different from each other and different from England.

While the UK not federal like the Us its no longer quite the unitary stae it once was...(And actually Scotland was always different.)

horsemadmom Sun 13-Oct-13 19:09:06

PM me.

Michaelahpurple Sun 13-Oct-13 20:22:01

At 4 I don't think there is much difference - the child will just start school earlier. At 8 the gap is pretty wide in my experience - in the independent sector at least things get formal much faster here. I don't think the gap has completely gone yet at 10, but does converge from there, before splitting heavily in the last fee years where we specialise far more. Oh, and worth making sure you little ones don't write in block capitals as seems often the case or Americans

May09Bump Sun 13-Oct-13 20:36:59

Even at 4 I think there is a one year difference in learning a especially if going private (uk ahead). We made the decision to come back to the UK when our son was 4 because of the difference.

We have friends who have also done this move with older children and there has been quite a hard gap in learning to catch-up. You might find you need extra tutors for the older kids, especially for 11 plus. Interestingly, our current head teacher indicated it is quite hard for older children making this move in terms of academic gap too.

Good luck with the move!

May09Bump Sun 13-Oct-13 20:40:20

Speak to the school's you are thinking of moving too - they will be able to advise what curriculum stage the children are working at and then you can compare to your child's current level.

lljkk Sun 13-Oct-13 20:55:13

Don't return if you ever again want to take the kids to go visit American friends or family outside of the restrictive English holiday periods.

mummytime Sun 13-Oct-13 23:05:42

I wouldn't panic.
The trickiest will be your 10 year old, depending on when their birthday is. If they were 10 by 1st September (and you are thinking of England) then they will be going into year 7 next year. However applications for year 7 have to be made by the end of October. So you will be applying for a place outside the normal admissions round, which could make things trickier.

Also in the South East of England there is generally a pressure on places, especially at primary school age.

chuilc Tue 15-Oct-13 16:56:09

Thanks for your helpful comments everyone. We would be moving back to the Kingston/New Malden area and probably down the catholic state route. Our two eldest were in a catholic state primary school when we left England and we were v happy with it. Mummytime, our eldest was 10 on Sept 2nd so won't be starting state secondary until Sept 2015. We decided it would be best to move back in time for her to apply with everyone else in Autumn 2014. We'll see, I think it will be a bit tricky for the elder two but nothing insurmountable I hope!

MabelMay Wed 06-Nov-13 03:28:15

chuilc - hi, let me know how it goes. we'll also be moving back to the UK from the US (but not until next summer) with our then 8 year old and 6 year old (so they'll be going into year 4 and year 2 respectively). I'm really worried about how far behind they might be... but again hope that with enough support, over the first year back, they'll eventually catch up.

good luck hope the transition goes okay!

temporarilyjerry Thu 07-Nov-13 20:11:43

Not U.S., but we moved back from overseas when our three were aged 11, 8 and 6. DS1 began secondary school. He was slightly behind in maths, science etc. but he has always been disadvantaged because he has not experienced KS2 English, i.e. has not learned how to write well in English. DS2 and DD soon caught up and are doing well now, four years later.

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