changing schools in Yr6 or Yr7?(8 Posts)
We're moving house within the same district in July, and my DS2 will be coming to the end of Yr 5. He's finally, after struggling at the start and many years of excellent, supportive teachers, found his self-confidence both socially and academically over the last 18 months or so. It will be possible, although involving a 25-minute drive each way, twice a day (hmm), for him to stay at his current primary for Yr6. I'm wondering whether moving him now might help the move to secondary next year, or whether being new among everyone else new will make the whole thing easier - any advice/experience?
It may be nice for him to make some friends in year 6 before secondary school but he will miss out on all the end of primary school fun in year 6- we had a few children join in year six and it is a hard year to join - friendship groups are established and so are sports teams etc. So unless the child is very outgoing it can be a tough time to join a school - depends on the child and the school. Then going into secondary school there was a fair mix in the schools that children went to so you can't guarantee those children he makes friends with will go to the same secondary - it might be easier to get him involved in a local sports club or scouts group as a way of getting to know local children.
I would go for leaving him where he is - at least he will be able to build on his improved self-confidence and have Y6 with all his long-term friends. They often make new friends in secondary anyway, so I think moving then is much less of a big deal.
I'd say it depends if whether the secondary takes DC from loads of different primaries or just a few.
For instance, at my GS (1973!), out of 30 of us, I recall 6 or 7 came from one primary; another 16 or so of us came from a primary where we had one other DD in this same class (and not necessarily your mate- it was all strictly alphabetical!); the rest were the only one from their primary in this class. So in this instance, it didn't really matter a most of us knew few if anybody there, we were all 'newbies' as it were.
On the other hand, my DSs go to a big comp with a 270 intake and a rigid catchment, 'fed' from just 6 primaries plus a few singlies from local privates. They're selected very carefully in each class for gender mix, ability mix, ex-primary mix but it does mean DS1 has 4 other DC from his primary in his class and only 2 from other non-feeder primaries. DS2 is with 5 others from his primary Y6 and has no DC who aren't from a feeder though there are some in the year group, of course. Both boys 'know' 57 other DC, more or less, in their respective year groups from their primary.
In the second instance, I'd say you'd very much want to have done a year in a feeder, as DS1 did because I anticipated a possible issue. Neither of my DSs are Confidence-Central so it was important to 'buy' them any little advantage possible.
It sounds as if he is happy and doing well and you are happy with the school so for one year I would do the drive. There is a lot of rejigging of friendships over the move to secondary so you would be putting your DS through that twice most likely if you move him now. I agree though with getting him into Scouts or a sports club nearby is a good idea.
I would second leaving him where he is for y6 then starting afresh in Y7.
THanks for all of this: I raised the idea with him of just having a look at the new school, and he was very unhappy about it. The new secondary is a small one (400 total) and I don't know what the make up of feeders is, but can probably find out. He would definitely be the only one from his current school going there. But looking at DS1, he's in Yr 7 and has made a lot of new friends from different schools since starting - his 2ary is much bigger but he only has 2 other boys from his primary in his form.
Thanks very much for all advice, much appreciated
DD2's Y6 were a very tight knit bunch, she choose to go to the catchment school with several of them.
In fact nearing the end of Y7 all the sleepovers and birthday parties have involved new friends because that's who she's in lessons with.
So my choice would be move Y7 if you don't mind the driving.
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