Yr 5 transfer - is it the right thing to do?(20 Posts)
Some if this might sound familiar if you saw my recent thread re DC3's reception application, but it's a different dilemma so please bear with me!
DC2, currently in year 5 has just been offered a place at a school (School 1) we've been on the waiting list for for some time. Background is: DC1 started reception at school 1. Two years later we applied for DC2 but were unsuccessful, she was given a place at school 2 (current school). DC2 was miles down the waiting list for school 1, didn't realistically stand a chance of getting in within the next year, so we decided to take the place at school 2 and move DC1 there. For the record, DC1 had been happy at school 1, no major problems. DC1 has now left and just started secondary school.
DC2 is now in year 5 at school 2 and it's not been plain sailing for her. It's a lovely school and she likes her teachers and works hard, but has had various friendship issues/low level bullying that really knocked her confidence. Last year, when she was at a low (very personal comments being made about her appearance, very low self esteem) I put her on the waiting list for school 1. She was keen to move but no spaces.
Now a place has come up but - whilst not against the idea as such - she's a bit more ambivalent. Things are complicated because, ironically, over the last two months, after five years of not having any really good friends at school, she has buddied up with another girl in her class and is seeming more settled. In case it matters though, there is no chance of DC2 and new friend going to the same secondary.
That aside, there are still advantages to school 1. It's much more local (15 mins walk as opposed to 2.5 mile/25 min drive) - so added bonus of local friends. She does know children there - her best friend ever is there and she probably knows around half the class to a greater or lesser degree. It's also a named feeder to DC1's secondary so she would be guaranteed a place (not the case at present- likely to be an anxious wait next year to see if she's in) and also would have better liaison/transition in year 6 and (hopefully) more friends on starting. We have just applied for DC3's reception place and she should be starting school 1 in September, so they would be at the same school for a year instead of different ones.
The more I think about it, the more I think it's the right move, but I'm very very nervous. Is it the right thing to do? At 9.5, will it be really traumatic for her? Any tips for how to deal with it?
There's no way I would move a happy year 5 child unless I had no choice. I've been in that situation before, primary school had gone from good to inadequate, not just ofsted saying so, but it's was clear there were major issues, we had already pulled our other child to a different school and we knew that the second school would offer a far better academic experience. However, we kept the DC there until the end of year 6 as felt that the upheaval would outweigh the benefits and we topped up with tuition.
The only reason I would move would be for the feeder school school status if you think that without it you might get a secondary you aren't happy with.
I was totally in two minds, could see pros and cons, until you got to the secondary feeder part.
if moving her will be the only way of being sure you get the secondary you want, I would move. UNLESS your second choice secondary is as good.
The other thing that would massively make me change my mind is that her best friend is at the new school, and she has had friendship issues.
While I would give her lots of input into the decision, ultimately I think we have to make the choice, as we can see things far more objectively and with long term benefit than the kids can.
We did move a very reluctant yr5 DS. We moved our daughter to a local school as she didnt settle at all in the school 7 miles down the road. When a place came up for DS it was a though decision. He wasnt happy at all to be moved, had good friendships but would have done well at any school as academic able child.
The cycling to school, local friends and a better school made life much easier plus more importantly he made friends for local secondary. He told me a few times he's glad we made that decision for him.
Have been in that situation, the nay sayers convinced me of the things that could go wrong...
I regret not moving them, worst decision of past 10 years. Seize the moment, do the best you can for your DC,
The secondary issue is a big one; this is the only way to guarantee her a place at DC1's school (which is excellent). DC2 is unfortunately part of a large birth year in the area and getting her a place is likely to be tricky (albeit not impossible).
Our other potential choices for secondary are:
1. a very good school quite a long way away (about an hour on the bus), we are out of the area of responsibility for this one so again it's a risk as to whether she would get a place. DC2 went to an open day at this school and didn't like it It is an excellent school but she would know no one.
2. Local school which really isn't doing great at the minute. I would be very reluctant to send her here. It's nowhere near the same league as DC1's school.
If DC2 stays at her current primary, the vast majority of her class will be transferring together to the secondary school next door. This isn't an option for us because again we're out of the area and history shows she won't get a place. It's also had a lot of issues over the last couple of years so isn't really a school we would choose. If we move her to the new school, most of the class will be transferring to DC1's secondary.
I would definitely move her. A few years ago I perhaps wouldn't, but DD3 had to move schools at the start of Y5, and we have no regrets. The secondary situation would completely tip it for me, never mind the existing friends there.
I feel it is a no brainer tbh.
When I got to the part about her best friend ever being at school
1, and knowing half the class already, it seemed really clear to an outsider that moving her is a really really good idea.
And I'm normally a 'stick at current school' person. But I vote 'move' - it's like school 1 should have been her school all along really.
I would move her. I moved mine a year ago in Y5 to go ore local and she settled so quickly. The friendship she has in the present school is very new and won't last beyond primary, as the new friend is not going to the same secondary. But in the new school, she'll have the chance to make the transition with friends, which is soooo important.
I would move her because of the secondary, it is too big a risk, and too important a decision.
But doesn't dd1's school have any sibling priority?
I'd move now to get into secondary - with friends who will go too
steppemum DC1's school does have sibling priority to some extent - but they rank below pupils from feeder schools. In a "big" admission year they aren't even able to admit all the applicants from feeder schools so it doesn't always help (however as a sibling at a feeder school and because she meets faith criteria too, DC2 would be at the top of that category and guaranteed a place).
toomuchofeverything yes that's how it feels, as if she should have been there all along!! But obviously it's not that simple for her.
New school have offered for her to spend a morning or afternoon there before she moves, which I'm all in favour of. Do you think it would be wise to also ask if she could have a quick tour of the school early this week before we confirm for definite? I just wonder if it might help for her to feel she has some input (although the reality is that it is our decision). She is not against the move btw - but nervous about the unknown and sad about potentially leaving her new friend.
visits and tours are all good, and you could say that we will look before we make up our minds, so she feels that she has some input.
But I wouldn't draw it out, if you are going to do it, decide and then move. I would say that this week is last week at old school and begin at new next Monday.
I would move her -purely on the secondary school issue.
Kids that age are very adaptable - and while moving her might not be absolutely ideal, odds are that she'll settle easily.
We moved DS for the start of year5 because we really didn't want him going to the secondary school that school fed into. We thought that primary was very good for learning & pastoral care, but not much sport & no male teachers. He vaguely knew 2 other boys at the new school through outside sports. DS was nervous but settled in quickly and we have no regrets.
Given all the factors, yes I'd move her. My DD moved last year in year 4, and has absolutely flourished at her new school. There were very low-level friendship issues at the old school but despite those we would have said she was happy and settled, but it's a whole different experience now. She adapted really really quickly.
I'd move her. One friend isn't a good enough reason not to IMO. The feeder to secondary (is a place guaranteed?) is a good reason too. And yes I'd do a visit and tour.
I moved (quiet, shy) dd in year 3 because I felt a smaller school would suit get better. It did and she was happy there.
She wanted to go to a different secondary to the one we chose and although she had input, it was our decision. She was very upset at the thought (started year 7 last September). This morning she told me "you made the right decision, this was the right school for me" - woo hoo! I'm happy about that! Good luck.
Quick update: DD went to the new school for the afternoon today, loved it, wants to start Monday
All the girls she knows at the new school were watching for her at the playground fence, and came rushing round to the office to volunteer to show her to her class. She was quite the celebrity
I know it won't always be fun, especially when the novelty wears off, but after the initial shock she's been really positive about it all. Hopefully it will prove to be a good move for her.
Thanks to everyone for the advice
Great news - was going to add my "move her " vote and then saw it has happened!
I hope all goes smoothly
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