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Inspiring stories about moving an unwilling DD from state to private in Y5?

(19 Posts)
Gileaddy Wed 05-Feb-14 12:33:04

DD isn't getting much out of the state school socially or academically and I am thinking of moving her into a local private prep. I know it's not ideal timing, but I think she would love it - small classes, no disruptive kids, challenging lessons, more kids like her, and it would probably significantly increase chances of getting into a good secondary school. But she isn't keen to go, because she's an introvert, not a risk taker/adventurer and is intimidated by the idea of a new environment and new people. The private school realises that DD is nervous and have said they will make sure DD is looked after during break, lunch etc. But I realise it's a risk that she'd be friendless and miserable in an unfamiliar environment. Does anyone have any positive stories about moving schools so close to the end of primary?

desperatlyoutnumbered Wed 05-Feb-14 15:09:43

Yes! We moved our son at a similar time this time last year in year 5 to a local independent school because of concerns over his progress. He is exactly like you describe your daughter he wouldn't do clubs outside school or take risks. The first week was hard re adjustment and three were a few tears at nighttime but after a week or two he settled and is now in year 6. He has made massive progress and is such a happier boy it was definitely the best decision. Like you I wrestled with what to do but in the end I went with my gut and I was right. I hope that if you decided to go for it that she thrives

diabolo Wed 05-Feb-14 15:34:45

We moved DS at year 3, after half a term it felt like he'd been there since the start.

I don't know about where you are, but his old prep had 1 or 2 joiners every year, mostly from state schools. I only know of one boy who didn't settle and he came from another private school.

LIZS Wed 05-Feb-14 15:36:44

small classes, no disruptive kids, challenging lessons, more kids like her not necessarily , do your homework really carefully . How many in a class/year ?

whattodoforthebest2 Wed 05-Feb-14 15:45:23

I moved my DD14 into Year 4 - the school went to great lengths to ensure she settled well. I'm so glad I did, she was very happy, made several very good friends who she's still in regular touch with now, 4 years after moving on to high school. The school was small, friendly and welcoming - it was a great environment.

Gileaddy Wed 05-Feb-14 16:33:17

Thanks so much. According to my research all those things are true but who knows really? It is certainly a risk. But your stories are inspiring and helps me see the potential advantages rather than focussing on potential disasters ( which is what I generally tend to do).

Fantasyfootballfan Wed 05-Feb-14 16:46:55

I know of a couple of girls who have moved in year 5 but in both cases the girls were extremely unfaltering and desperate to move and it has worked very well for both of them both socially and academically. However we moved a younger child state to private and left her sibling who was in year 5 at the state school even though we are not happy with it academically as we felt that it would be counter productive to move a happy child so late in primary just for 2 years and they were adamant they didn't want to move. We topped up the gaps with a tutor and feel that we made the right decision.

Gileaddy Wed 05-Feb-14 17:34:19

Thanks that's interesting. DD not particularly happy atm (no close friends) but is very anxious about new environment so that's something we are trying to factor in.

motherstongue Wed 05-Feb-14 18:41:34

We moved DS for Form 5 and it worked great. He was very academic and thrived in a very competitive environment. Move on 6 years, we wanted to move DD to his old prep at form 5. She just didn't want to go. She made a good case. She knew the school day was going to be 8.30 until 6.00 every day and we would have to factor in travelling time too, this meant giving up her dancing, music lessons with her current teacher ( whom she really likes) and the Brownies. She knew that come scholarship time her brother was at school 3 nights a week until 8.00 and she just didn't want this. She felt it was too big an ask so after much discussion we all agreed to compromise and not to send her to an independent school until secondary. So, after all that, what I think I'm trying to say is that each child is different and you know your child best. Discuss it with her and do what makes you all happy

herdream1 Wed 05-Feb-14 19:54:41

If your DD is year 5, I presume there is not much time for preparation for exams for secondary at the new school? Even just to bring her levels up academically, other than for exams, I would double check with the private school what sort of levels the pupils are really achieving. (I say this because my dd's private school has been disappointing in terms of teaching maths. They had said they teach a year ahead of state schools, but the truth is far from it.) They will say all the nice things to get more students, but when they failed their words, you can not really do anything.

When my DD joined, the first few weeks were great, as she got attentions from children and teachers, but after that she was on her own to find a friend to play with, which was a surprise and tough for her. She has made friends now after 1 and 1/2 terms but not as comfortable as her old school. She says she "likes" the new private school, but she "loved" the old state school.

It is really hard to know which way to go - move school or not. But I think you would need to be quite confident that you are doing the right thing. The state school, at least, is free and you already know what it is like. Also you can get a private tutor with the money saved.

lalasmum17 Wed 05-Feb-14 20:06:35

What happens after year 5? Do they all go their separate ways or is the prep a feeder into a particular secondary school?

I have friends who have moved at year 5 because their child was suddenly "not in the group of friends" and the school did little, if anything to address the bullying issue. They thought it important to get her loving school again and she thrived and was confident about moving to secondary school.

We are moving our daughter at year 3 into a multi site school that runs from 3-18. It isn't London (though I don't think they are short of applications to the junior - a whole class is admitted for the final year) but the headmaster is happy for us to do trial days at the pre-prep (with future classmates) and year 3 to get our daughter excited about the move.

Gileaddy Wed 05-Feb-14 20:50:46

No the private school is only for up to y6. But the leavers seem to go to the kind of places that we'd like for DD and it's very unlikely that anyone from current school would end up at the same secondary schools for financial or for academic reasons. That's one of the reasons. Seems a waste of 6 hours a day (especially in summer term when they traditionally don't do much) when she's not getting prepared for exams or having any close friends and then not going to same schools with any of them anyway after y6. But yes, moving so late ain't good and that's why DH and I have never been more indecisive in anything before!

Gileaddy Wed 05-Feb-14 20:51:32

Thanks for the thoughts... They're really useful.

Gileaddy Wed 05-Feb-14 20:52:23

No the private school is only for up to y6. But the leavers seem to go to the kind of places that we'd like for DD and it's very unlikely that anyone from current school would end up at the same secondary schools for financial or for academic reasons. That's one of the reasons. Seems a waste of 6 hours a day (especially in summer term when they traditionally don't do much) when she's not getting prepared for exams or having any close friends and then not going to same schools with any of them anyway after y6. But yes, moving so late ain't good and that's why DH and I have never been more indecisive in anything before!

Schmedz Wed 05-Feb-14 21:33:22

I moved my eldest DD in year 5. Best thing we ever did. Wish we had done it sooner as she had a bit of catching up to do (despite coming from another private school). Made friends very quickly and was well supported by school.
Private preps are often used to children joining at various stages of their school career and are well set up to integrate the new ones quickly and effectively.

WillBeatFebruaryBlues Wed 05-Feb-14 23:05:23

She doesnt understand yet - find the environment to suit you rather than other way round.

i was moved, dreaded it - a huge thing was made of it, i didn't want to go - in spite of no close friends and so on.

what I wish was, it was come as matter of fact no wishy washy, shall we shouldn't we...just - this is what we do...

within weeks I had made friends I still have to this day. it was a different world but in all the wishy washy should we shouldnt we, how could I a 9 year old possibly realise this....I was crying on my first days, so scared...

saganoren Thu 06-Feb-14 09:52:48

Moved dd1 in y3 because all her close friends were leaving anyway and private school fed into a fantastic senior school. She is (was) very shy and hated change and found the first term very hard going but mid way through term two started to relax and enjoy herself. She's in y4 now and adores the school, could not be happier socially and academically.

So I'd say do it, but be prepared for a tough start and be confident it will work out - agree with poster who says dont' be wishy washy or show you have doubts if the transition is initially tough, keep an optimistic face on things, even if (like me) for a while you're dying inside.

Gileaddy Thu 06-Feb-14 10:03:43

Thanks. I had also wondered if DD was picking up on our doubts and anxiety so we told her today that we'd made the decision to move full stop. We explained the reasons but she cried sad
We will do everything we can to make this work but it's going to be hard for a while isn't it? Thanks though to all your thoughtful posts, they've been really helpful.

NK2b1f2 Thu 06-Feb-14 10:29:25

Keeping my fingers crossed for you. I'm sure they will make a big fuss of the new girl and ensure she settles as soon as possible. Personally I think you've made a good decision. (My daughter is doing a trial day today and moving school after half term, so I know how you feel).

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