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Moving from South Africa to England - Advice On Schools - Epsom, Surrey.

(15 Posts)
CindsV Fri 07-Mar-14 14:17:26

Hi ladies,

We are relocating from South Africa to England at the end of May. We will be staying in Epsom, Surrey. Any advice would be appreciated about schools, public transport to schools, will my son adjust (he is now 13), school subjects etc. TIA!!

grovel Fri 07-Mar-14 14:24:54

State schools or fee-paying?

CindsV Fri 07-Mar-14 14:56:16

State schools.

mary21 Fri 07-Mar-14 16:36:54

How old will he be on 1st Sept 2014. If still 13 he is currently year 8 going into year 9 in Sept. If he will be 14 before Sept 1 he will be going into year 10. The current year 9,s/are picking what subjects they want to do for GCSE now it a lot of schools.
Most teenagers in urban areas take themselves to school on public transport. If your nearest school with space is over 3 miles away you are entitled to free transport. More common in rural or semi rural areas.
The local education authority has an obligation to find your son a school place but this doesn't have to at a good school just a school place. You can't apply for schools till you have an address in the UK.
British schools probably aren't as traditional as those in SA. Probably less sport and outdoor education too but it is there if your son is keen. Scouts and d of e also provide outdoor education. + there are many sports clubs teenagers can join if the school doesn't do his sport.
School subjects will be English, maths,science,art, dt which is design technology, some sort of computing, an language of two, often fench,spanish,or German. History, geography. Religious studies with or without then probibly music and drama. When they start gcse courses they continue to do core subjects english maths and science often core and additional but if good at science triple ie biology,chemistry and physics. + re and Pe. Then they pick 3 or 4 other subjects they like. Others can be added in at this stage such as business, child development.sociology. different schools are different.
Worth contacting all the schools in the area as soon as you have an address. Schools are often over subscribed but as I said they have to find you a place somewhere just doesn't have to be a good school

reallifegetsintheway Fri 07-Mar-14 16:46:28

I would say your top 3 choices would be

1. Glyn (boys only) in Ewell Village
2. Blenheim High (mixed)
3. Epsom and Ewell High (mixed)

You may no get a place so may be sen further afield e.g. The Beacon in Banstead. Some people like St Andrews Leatherhead. You may even get Sutton schools such as Cheam High or Overton Grange. A lot depends on your location and whether there are gaps in his year group. Look at the websites for the top 3 I said. I would ring Surrey County Council, ask if they have vacancies or if you know your address what number you would be on waiting list.

CindsV Fri 07-Mar-14 19:14:29

Thank you VERY much! I really appreciate all the advice smile We will have a fixed address in the next month or so. Hubby will be working in Wimbledon, so we are looking at finding a place in Station Approach. My son turned 13 in January. I am a bit worried though if he will cope with all these subjects. He currently only have 6 subjects at school. And he is an average student. AND his 1st language is Afrikaans although he speaks English fluently. I am not really worried about extra curricular activities, he is not very much into any kind of sports.

Asterisk Sat 08-Mar-14 00:27:30

Wow, big lifestyle change for you all! Your son will probably be okay if he works hard. When you are applying for schools, check if they offer any support to help foreign students catch up. If you can afford it, or you have a resettlement package that you can negotiate on, you might want to consider some tutoring over the summer to bring him up to speed. By then, you will have a good idea about where he needs help.

Sterkte! Daar is 'n klomp SAfrikaners in Wimbledon so ek hoop julle maak gou vriende.

YouAreTalkingRubbish Sat 08-Mar-14 00:57:17

How exciting for you. We moved to the Uk when our kids were teens and they went to a local comprehensive school. They all settled in well and found the kids friendly. Three of them are now at Uni here and the last one is doing A levels.

My kids found the work ok but there were a few gaps and their grasp of some English culture/geography was lacking at times in fact, it still is confused.

They are all glad they live here.

Have you thought ahead to University? You might want to do some research on university fee status. It's expensive if you are classified as a foreign student.

nicp123 Sun 09-Mar-14 16:51:32

Then if you find a property we will be neighbours! smile

CherryEmma Thu 13-Mar-14 15:57:51

Hello, could be worth also posting on our Local Surrey talk board:


Local Editor

conwayinkzn Fri 23-Oct-15 08:41:36

Hi all, hoping this thread is still active smile

We are moving to the UK around March next year. My daughters are 14 and 17 and in Gr 8 and 10. Are there any courses they can start doing now online to bridge the education gaps? I'm not sure what years they would be going into at school in the UK.

TIA Lee-Ann

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 23-Oct-15 09:00:36

Lee-Ann: which year group they go into depends on their age on 1st September 2015:

Age 13: Year 9 - This is very feasible. They will be in the process of choosing their GCSE courses to start in September 2016.

Age 14: Year 10 - By March they will have covered about 40% of the GCSE courses in each subject. It might be possible to make up the work with support from the school.

Age 15: Year 11 - I don't see how this would work. In May/June 2016 they will be sitting GCSE examinations on work they have been learning since September 2014 or earlier. My son is in this year group and in some subjects a lot of the marks (up to 60%) have been awarded already, in controlled assessments.

Age 16: Year 12 - In June 2016 they will be sitting AS examinations on work they have been learning since September 2015.

Age 17: Year 13 - In June 2016 they will be sitting A2 examinations on work they have been learning since September 2014.


TheSecondOfHerName Fri 23-Oct-15 09:09:33

If your younger daughter will be joining Y9 then there is no need for her to cover any material as she will be starting courses with everyone else. If she is joining Y10 then she will need to cover some material, but you won't know what GCSE topics the other Y10s have studied until you know what school she is joining, and you can't apply to state schools until you have moved to the UK.

If your older daughter is going into Y12, then she will need to cover some material, but you won't know what AS topics the other Y12s have studied until you know what school she is joining, and you can't apply to state schools until you have moved to the UK.

conwayinkzn Fri 23-Oct-15 10:02:39

Hi TheSecondOfHerName, thank you so much for your help, that's what I thought just worried the schooling here will be a much different level to what they are getting there smile

Very exciting move but also very nerve wracking confused. We are unsure yet as to if we will be in Windsor (or close by) or in Milton Keynes.

Kind Regards,

Devilishpyjamas Fri 23-Oct-15 15:16:57

Depending on ages & year groups & how they clash with GCSE's/A levels it might be worth checking out Interhigh (online school following the British system). There's also brite school.

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