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Switching from State to Private

(10 Posts)
TessRA Tue 11-Mar-14 14:26:30

My DS may be going from State primary to Private secondary, could anyone advise how long it could take to adapt and settle into a quite different environment, especially as none of his state school classmates are going.

JustADadHere Tue 11-Mar-14 16:29:30

My son is doing that for next year. I think there will be many other boys that are in the same boat and I am sure that the school has experience in handling the situation. I think the bigger change is primary to secondary, not state to private, and all the boys will be experiencing that...

nibs777 Tue 11-Mar-14 16:39:50

if you choose a indie school that has a balanced intake of both state and private at 11 or 13, then he should be fine from the outset. There are many such very good indie schools.

muffinmonster Tue 11-Mar-14 17:08:35

I agree that the bigger change is that from primary to secondary . My DS was the only student from his state primary to move to his private secondary and settled in quickly. The school were very good at making sure the boys mixed and organised ice breaker activities such as a football tournament and an activities day off site.

One of the big differences for you will be reduced contact with the school teachers and the lack of a 'school gate' culture (thought that could be a bonus, depending on your point of view). DS's school circulated parents' contact details (with their permission) within each form, and one enterprising mum organised a meal out for all of us. This was very popular and has been repeated now a few times. I would strongly recommend it if you are able to contact other parents.

ATrueBeliever Tue 11-Mar-14 17:34:07

There is probably a bigger gap between primary and secondary in general than in state to private to be honest. The biggest stretch in both is the amount that the kids have to do for themselves - organising their books and lockers, getting round the different classrooms and teachers, managing their timetable and homework. Some prep schools are operate closer to senior schools in the top years (eg in year 6 children have specialist teachers for all subjects, lockets in a hallway, move from room to room for lessons), whereas many prep schools are much small than their state neighbours (ds will be coming from a prep school which is essentially 2 semi detached houses which have been connected).

In terms of getting used to a private school setting, I would say that the biggest jump is probably in the amount and level of sport. It may be worth looking at the range of sports which your secondary actively play (usually, but not always, rugby, hockey and cricket will be amongst the main sports, but there will be a large variety). It may also be worthwhile looking at the feeder prep websites to see which sports they usually play. There will be lots of courses and time over the summer to get used to playing one of those sports if he doesn't already which will give him a head start or at least a familiarisation.

purpleroses Tue 11-Mar-14 17:54:27

I don't know but am wondering the same thing for my DD who'll be moving from a lovely, friendly but quite laid back state primary to a very academic private secondary. Moving from one sector to the other does tend to mean they don't know anyone else. And it will be a change in the social mix - she's used to her friends saying we have a big house, but I think the friends at the private school will consider it very modest!

muffinmonster - that sounds really nice to get to know some of the other parents. I do feel quite nervous about whether I'd fit in with them though.

My DD will love doing more sport - and fortunately as she's a girl it's a continuation of hockey which she already does (the boys do rugby which her state school - like most - doesn't teach)

TessRA Tue 11-Mar-14 18:45:14

Thank you for all the replies, very helpful. Not being at the school gates will be a huge bonus actually. I guess I have similar worries to other state school parents in this situation, ie we are quite well off by my son's current school standards but I suspect we'll be pretty ordinary at the new school. It's not selective so there will be a mix of abilities. We have a middle class lifestyle but I am from working class background and to be honest some of the children look very posh, like little prime ministers, and I do sometimes think, Oh heck is this for us. My son is pretty bright and has been awarded an academic scholarship. I guess I am looking for assurance as my DS is a born worried, rather like mesmile

Teddingtonmum1 Wed 12-Mar-14 12:20:37


my DS will be coming from state weekly boarding at an Indy in September , don't really know what to expect except I'm going to be extremely busy with the name tape !!.

Got an invite to the parents tea party am going to have practice my etiquette and brush up on the small talk

Beastofburden Wed 12-Mar-14 12:21:58

DS did that aged 11; there were tons of other state school kids swapping- in fact that whole intake was state kids; the fee paying kids didnt come until they were 13.

biggest issue was the compulsory Latin, but he got over it grin

muffinmonster Wed 12-Mar-14 13:44:12

muffinmonster - that sounds really nice to get to know some of the other parents. I do feel quite nervous about whether I'd fit in with them though.

Don't worry too much about the other parents being 'posh'. What you really need to know is who is nice and who is not (which is not the same at all). Anyone who responds to an invitation to get together is at least interested in being friendly! The parents at DS's selective private school are quite a mixed bunch.

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