Returning to the UK for year 8 - what to do?(5 Posts)
We're in the USA. DS1 went to a state primary in London until we moved to the USA for work during year 5. He has been in the US system with some supplementation from me to keep pace, more or less, with the UK curriculum. We also have two younger DCs who have only ever known the US system.
We were expecting to return to the UK later (for GCSEs and beyond), and were thinking we could run to an ind/private college for that with careful saving. However we are set to return during year 8 (prob next march), for DS1.
Now, we have no particular ties to any area - we own a property we rent out in London but we couldn't live there for long as it's a 2-bed flat on a council estate. Is in a 'bad' area for schools (bermondsey).
We were thinking we'd relocate in any case, but it would have to be to somewhere with good schools of course and in reasonable commuting distance from London. But we really don't want DS1 to be disadvantaged. Nor so we want the younger DCs to suffer, though (they will be coming in to years 2 and 3).
We can't afford to go private really, so staying in London probably wouldn't work unless it was just for a little while (DS1 could maybe attend Hill House or somewhere similar - if there is somewhere similar? My intention would be for him to get 'up to speed' with the UK system) - while either waiting for a place in the area we settled in or to move to another area with good year 10+ provision.
My parents, who live near Hammersmith, have offered for DS1 to stay with them during the week if that would facilitate anything.
Does anyone have any thoughts? Sorry if this is a bit disjointed but it's reasonably surprising/sudden news for us!
I wouldn't worry! Honestly, a friend returned from the US with kids in year 8 or 9, I think going into sixth form and year 2. They joined normal state schools and coped.
If you are going to stay in the UK system now, I wouldn't worry about the younger ones at all, they will quickly adapt.
For the older one year 8 is much better than year 9 or above, as it is before GCSE courses have started or options.
Where to live: I would start with looking at St Alban's and Guildford, and then work from there. Just try to get him into the best school you can in the area you choose. Do not panic! UK schools (even in affluent areas) are used to receiving pupils from overseas, often who do not speak English. Your children will settle fine. I would save your money to use on any specific tutoring that your son might need (but it could be that he doesn't need any).
A few years ago we moved back to the UK from the Netherlands. All three DCs had been attending the local primary school. Oldest had done 5 years of education in Dutch. Younger ones a bit less time.
From our experience I would strongly recommend talking to teachers directly and explaining precisely what your DCs have covered and what they havent. Depending on where you end up some teachers will be more enlightened than others. Our middle child was effectively bullied by a teacher who called him stupid and lazy for not having learnt to read and write (this is started later in the Dutch system).
Listen to your children to help them settle.
Hammersmith has a number of really good schools (check out the council website and OfSted reports). In terms of your child arriving in Year 8, that really shouldn't be a problem. From my experience of the US educational system, he will probably be marginally behind, but nothing that he can't catch up with pretty quickly (especially if he's been having these extra lessons).
how far out are you prepapred to go? I have friends in Watford and the schools there did well by their children. There are schools in Sutton and Kingston that you could consider and Kent has a lot of grammar schools. I know nothing of those but other people here will know them.
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