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admissions - how important is it to start with some friends?

(21 Posts)
phoenixrisingeversoslowly Mon 09-Jan-17 14:49:14

We're considering moving to the neighbouring town

My daughter has been at a nursery in this town since she was 1, full time so there are kids in the nursery, and staff, that she knows really well. She has done very well there, is very bright, very settled. Our home life has been a bit disruptive so I'm glad she has had this stability.

If we move, she won't know anyone when she begins school - no one to walk through the gate with, other children she knows in the class. How important is this?

Also in terms of wrap-around services, if we stay where we are the current nursery offers before/after school services so she can have that element of continuity too. Whereas in the new area I would have to find a new nursery or possibly childminder.

We have to make a decision imminently.

Can anyone who has been in a similar position advise?

An alternative is to wait and move next year once she has started school but I'm worried that would be worse, and don't know how that affects the school she could get into - will she then just have to go to one with availability in the catchment rather than the one we want as 1st/2nd choice?

AmeliaJack Mon 09-Jan-17 14:52:57

I haven't been in your position but will say that neither of my DC stayed friends with the children they'd been friends with in nursery. They both made new friends within weeks of starting school (even though the nursery was the main feeder for the school).

I would think that moving her after a year would be harder.

Good luck with your decision.

OhFuds Mon 09-Jan-17 15:00:14

My DD didn't stick with her nursery friends when she moved up to school, she formed friendships with new girls pretty quick. For my DS I sent him to the nursery beside his gran for childcare reasons so when he started school he didn't know anyone at all and had only had one short visit. It took a few days longer for him to settle but when he did he has stuck with the same group of friends through out primary.

A move would be better sooner rather than later.

phoenixrisingeversoslowly Mon 09-Jan-17 15:30:25


A third option we have is renting in the new town if we don't buy this place. From what you are saying, that's better if it means DD is in the new school from the start - though we might not find a place to rent by the deadline.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Mon 09-Jan-17 15:46:53

Not school but my child didn't know anyone when he started nursery and it didn't matter.

SquedgieBeckenheim Mon 09-Jan-17 15:50:03

My DD will be starting school in a whole new county at the opposite end of the country to where she's been at nursery. I'm not worried, as I think they make friends pretty easily at the start, there'll be lots of kids there from different childcare settings. I'd be more worried about starting new school in later years than at the start.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 09-Jan-17 15:51:06

Not important at all.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Mon 09-Jan-17 15:55:46

DS1 didn't, so on the parents meeting for new parents in the June I got the numbers of some of the other parents of children who would be in his class and we arranged to meet up for the children to meet to play a few times during the summer. It worked very well. I am not very extrovert so it wasn't that easy, but made myself as I knew it would make life better for DS1 smile

LIZS Mon 09-Jan-17 15:58:33

Dd moved country before reception. All but 6 had come from the school nursery. I wouldn't worry too much. They make new friends at school and it will be easier to move now than later.

Crocky Mon 09-Jan-17 16:14:54

My ds knew no one when he started school. His nursery friends all went off to different schools. It wasn't an issue. My dd had to change nursery at aged 4 after being at the previous one from 9 months. She settled brilliantly. Then went on to school with some of the new nursery but a few weeks in to school already had a different friendship group.
I was more anxious than they were.

BendingSpoons Mon 09-Jan-17 16:47:11

At 4 children make friends quickly, so I wouldn't worry about that. However are you applying for her to start school in Sept this year? I'd check carefully with admissions. They usually go by your current address, so the fact you are about to rent/move probably won't be enough. It might mean your application won't be looked at until you move, by which point it will be classed as late. If you do apply to move schools once she has started, it will be like you said, you will only be offered a place in a school with space.

smellyboot Mon 09-Jan-17 18:24:04

One of mine started with friends in their class and one didnt as they were all in a different class. Both made new friends and loads of DC start knowing now one.
Move sooner rather than later for definite to get into a school from the start

BackforGood Mon 09-Jan-17 19:20:00

Not important at all. Friendships are very fluid at that age.

HardofCleaning Tue 10-Jan-17 13:26:22

I agree with others, having nursery friends will make things slightly less daunting for the first week or two but won't be a long term issue at all. I would have thought it would be definitely preferable to changing school after a year.

Mamabear12 Thu 12-Jan-17 11:08:54

I think a lot of people say their children are friends with different kids then from who they were friends with at nursery. But in my DD case, she stuck with her nursery friends. Now we moved her to another school, as we wanted her to be bilingual and again, she is sticking a lot with her nursery friends (several of them went from her nursery to the first school she was at and the current one she just started). She is still in Reception though, so this could change in the next few years. She does speak to other kids and of course makes new friends, but she tends to play a little more with the ones she knew from Nursery, even though now, they are all in a different class. She of course plays w some of the kids in her class that are new, but during lunch break and recess, I have heard she goes to play w the other kids a bit more. However, both classes mix so a lot of the kids tend to mix with each other. I would not depend the move on wether or not she will have friends at the school. Bc like others say, she will make friends anyway. If she knows no one, make an effort on the first few days to meet the parents, set up play dates with some of the kids. That is what I did when my daughter started nursery not knowing anyone. Good luck!

SternlyVoice Thu 12-Jan-17 21:41:37

We were in the process of buying a house and weren't close to completing before the January deadline. We rang our local LEA, explained the situation and they recommended that we apply for the school in the area that we were moving to but under our address at the time. We had to provide evidence from our solicitor that we were buying in the school's area. In fact, we got confirmation of the school place within a couple of weeks of moving! So, talk to you LEA - their advice was great for us but could be different for different LEAs.

Our dd also didn't know anyone at her new school but has made some lovely friends, we've made friends with their parents and it's helped us really settle into our new area.

Good luck!

MrsBungle Thu 12-Jan-17 21:43:41

My dd knew no one when she started school. We moved again and ds knew no one when he started. At age 4 and 5 they make friends so quickly. I really wouldn't worry about it.

Chewbecca Thu 12-Jan-17 21:43:44

Not important at all. DS didn't know anyone at his primary school when he started. I only realised just now when reading this question.

Not something that should be a deciding factor for you at all.

PippaFawcett Thu 12-Jan-17 21:52:41

It shouldn't be a deciding factor. But our v confident four year old really felt like a fish out of water when he started school in a new area, we moved during the summer before he started school, and it was quite hard to see him missing his old friends quite so much. He is more settled now but he isn't as happy as he was at preschool with his buddies. I'm sure he just needs more time, but I was expecting it to be easier than it actually was.

HelenDenver Thu 12-Jan-17 21:54:26

"will she then just have to go to one with availability in the catchment rather than the one we want as 1st/2nd choice?"

Yes, the former.

HelenDenver Thu 12-Jan-17 21:55:30

"third option we have is renting in the new town if we don't buy this place. "

Do you own your current place? If you do and haven't sold it, that address may be used anyway by the LA.

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