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Tips to make changing school mid year easier please

(14 Posts)
ThePriceOfMagic Sun 10-May-15 09:14:36

When we applied for a Reception place for DD 2 years ago, we applied for our 4 closest schools. Unfortunately, she didn't get a place at any of them and the LA allocated her a place at a school 5 miles away. We have been on the waiting lists of 8 more local schools for 2 years.

It's not been easy (her journey by taxi takes 30mins in rush hour) but we've made the best of it and DD - now nearing the end of yr 1 - likes her school.

BUT the LA phoned me on Friday to say that a place has finally finally become available at a more local school. I obviously accepted it and will go to visit the school on Monday to discuss the move. They would like her to start quite quickly- the lady I spoke to suggested Monday 18th May.

Any tips on how I can make the transition easier for DD? I'm going to emphasise that she'll be able to walk to school instead of sitting in traffic. I'll tell her we can still keep in touch with her old friends. Anything else? We know a couple of children who attend her new school but none of them is in her year.

ThePriceOfMagic Sun 10-May-15 12:34:41

Bump. Anyone?

temporarilyjerry Sun 10-May-15 16:45:40

Not exactly the same as my son is 13, in year 9 but he recently changed schools rather reluctantly. It has been a very positive experience and one we do not regret.

As a KS1 teacher, I have seen many children move mid year and almost without exception, it quickly seems as if they have always been there.

Your DD will be able to socialise with her classmates more easily if she attends school near to where you live, and will encounter them at out of school activities.

I hope it goes well tomorrow and that you are reassured by your visit.

Mopmay Sun 10-May-15 19:20:43

Try and arrange so play dates quite early with friends from new school. Make her see how lovely it is to have local friends

Swimmingwithsharks Mon 11-May-15 08:12:09

Go shopping (together if you can can) for the new uniform, lunch box, school bag. It might make her more excited about the move.
My son has changed primary school a few times and each time was absolutely fine, in the beginning the new kid is something exciting in class! Yes, as Mop said, try and invite new school friends over quite quickly ( it might mean having the parents over for a cup of tea as well as the kids play). Try and get those friendships developed because summer holidays are coming up and it would really cement her friendships if she has play dates through until the start of year 2.

18yearstooold Mon 11-May-15 08:28:04

I'd be inclined to ask if she can start straight after the half term rather than next week as going for a week, then having half term may be more unsettling

Straight after the half term they will generally be starting new topics in class so it's a more natural transition

ThePriceOfMagic Mon 11-May-15 11:24:30

Thanks everyone for the reassuring words and tips.

18years I wish she could start after half term too but our LA has a rule that says the child must start within 10 school days of the offer being accepted or the place is withdrawn. So not an option i'm afraid. Hopefully it will work out in that DD will get the stressful first week over with and then have a rest before going back to what is hopefully a more familiar environment.

Arranging play dates over the summer is a very good idea. Will defiantly try and do that!

The uniform is virtually identical to her old school Swimming so apart from a new book bag, I have nothing to buy! I have however, agreed to get her a scooter for the journey to school and let her pick out the one she wants from the John Lewis website. This has gone down VERY well and she is thrilled about scooting to school with mummy rather than sitting in traffic in a taxi!

Moonatic Mon 11-May-15 11:34:51

My dd2 changed school not long ago (a mid-Year change) and it has been absolutely fine from the word go. At primary school, a new child in the class is quite exciting and there is no shortage of children who want to help and play with the new arrival. In my opinion, it's a better time to change than at the start of a new school year when a new child can be slightly overlooked due to the other changes going on with new classes, new teachers, new classrooms etc.
Good luck to your dd. Hope all goes well for her.

Mopmay Mon 11-May-15 11:47:57

I would also consider getting involved with the school itself - PTA or whatever. The new to school parents who I have seen do this get to know other parents and quickly end up on party / play date / night out / park meet up circulation lists!!

MyFirstName Mon 11-May-15 20:16:47

My DS started about the same stage as your DD. He was absolutely fine. I bigged up the shorter journey but didn't say too much - it was more of a "Isn't it great, fait accompli, matter of fact". Exciting but nothing "big" iyswim so that it did not become too daunting.

It was also his birthday 3 days into his new school and I had already planned/booked/confirmed his party with his old school friends. I kept that exactly as it had been planned - too early to invite new people and a reassurance from him that his wouldn't suddenly be ripped from friends he already had.

A hour long post-school park meet with old friends a week or two later also reassured him. He still does occasionally see some of the old friends now - but the 30 minute drive means it is stretching to months and months. It is not really because he asks to see them - more we are in the area. We are 2 years in. He never mentions the old school really now.

So through that waffly post (sorry) the only thing I would recommend is maybe a meet up with old school friends fairly soon after the move just to ease the transition - she will feel less wrenched away.

ReallyBadParty Mon 11-May-15 20:21:13

It will be so much easier than you think, she'll be fine.

Ds moved schools two weeks ago, he went for a trial morning and asked if he could just stayshockgrin

They said yes, and even though he liked his old school, he's been great.

We've had friends over from the old school at weekends and it's been great.

ThePriceOfMagic Mon 11-May-15 20:36:54

Good idea MyFirstName. I think I'll see if I can arrange a couple of play dates with her old school friends for half term to reassure her she'll still see them.

Glad your DCs had good experiences of a mid year change ReallyBad and Moonatic. That's very reassuring! I'm probably being a bit PFB about this but my DD has had a bit of a tough time recently (her dad and I split up a year ago) so I really want her to feel happy and safe and settled at school. But I guess every parent feels like that! Hopefully the new school will be a positive change.

takeallday Tue 12-May-15 14:22:36

Dc changed school in yr3. After a couple of days she already felt as if though she had been going to the new school for years. She really loved being the NEW girl because everybody wanted to talk to her and asked her lots of things.

Theresadogonyourballs Tue 12-May-15 14:35:26

My DD, also year 1, changed schools a couple of months ago due to a house move. Our situation was almost identical to yours - she was previously at a school 5 miles away, had to get a taxi, not many local friends etc. We are now 5 minutes walk from school, and most of her classmates live on our road, which is wonderful. In the main, she has settled beautifully, made lots of friends, and is doing well. What really helped was another new child started 2 weeks after her, so all the attention she'd had for being the 'new child' shifted over to him, which meant she felt like she was now part of the 'gang', if you see what I mean. We haven't regretted the move at all, and I'm certain she's now in the 'right' school. Good luck! smile

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