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Moving your dc to a secondary school none of their friends are attending

(15 Posts)
WalkingInMemphis Fri 14-Nov-14 15:37:14

Crap title sorry, couldn't think how to word it.

I am thinking way, way in advance here (dc are 4 and 6!) but dh and I have been planning/thinking a lot about the future lately.

We're planning to move house in about 3 years (waiting for an investment to mature so we have the money to buy somewhere bigger) and are considering where we'll go. DH and I have decided on the area we'd like to live, which also has a fantastic Secondary School we'd like the dc to attend. It's about half an hour away from us.

We think we'll be moving when the dc are going into Year 6 and Year 4. So we have two options:

1. Move the dc's primary school, when in Year 6 and Year 4, to one in our new area. Pro's - they'd meet some of the dc that would be moving into Secondary with them. Cons - Years 4 (and especially 6) is quite late in the day to be transferring Primary Schools.
2. Keep the dc in their current primary school until they reach Year 6 respectively. Pro's-they get to see out their Primary education all in one place. Cons - the commute (3 years for ds2) of 35 minutes each morning.

I want to go with option 2. There are two nearby Secondary Schools where we are now, and there tends to be a pretty even split in where the dc go. So at the end of Year 6, there will be lots of goodbyes anyway as no one in the class will be moving en masse to the same Secondary. So I feel this is...kinder?...than pulling them out of Primary half way (or at the end in the case of ds1).

Has anyone done this? Moved to a new area but commuted further to allow their dc to finish primary in the same school? Or are we crazy to consider it?

We did briefly consider that moving ds2 at the start of year 5 to a local Primary would be an option but if we'd allowed ds1 to stay at his current Primary, we wouldn't 'make' ds2 move unless he wanted to (which is unlikely!)

AlpacaLypse Fri 14-Nov-14 15:48:30

So long as the move is made at the beginning of the academic year I don't think it'll be the end of the world no matter what you do.

Also this is a long time ahead, and schools can change a lot. I'd consider your options when you get to a year or so to go before your move.

ixos Fri 14-Nov-14 15:54:47

In my (somewhat bitter) experience primary school friendships can fade away/disappear at start of secondary school.

RabbitOfNegativeEuphoria Fri 14-Nov-14 15:55:54

DD2 went to a secondary school with none of her friends. She has made a lovely new group of friends and is very happy.

DesperatelySeekingSanity Fri 14-Nov-14 15:58:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bunbaker Fri 14-Nov-14 16:01:36

"In my (somewhat bitter) experience primary school friendships can fade away/disappear at start of secondary school."

Ditto.

newgirl Fri 14-Nov-14 16:11:23

I think I'd keep the eldest there til end y6 then move the youngest at start of school year. Y6 odd one as so unsettled so it might be tricky to make friends in a new school in y6. Also Sats might make it a stressful year (plus moving) which seems mean for the eldest

meadowquark Fri 14-Nov-14 17:02:26

I am moving 2 miles away from our current primary in 1-2 months. DC are 6 and 4 years old. I am planning to keep DC in their current primary unless the commute becomes unbearable. Then they should go on to local secondary where they will know no one. It seems cruel but it will be walkable distance so I hope it will be easy to make friends. As opposed to secondary schools miles away if we stay were we are. It is a compromise but I believe worth it. Keep your DC in the current school.

MilkRunningOutAgain Fri 14-Nov-14 18:37:31

Hello walking, we did what you are planning on just over 2 years ago. We choose option 2. At the time we moved the dcs were just starting yr 5 and yr 2. It is a 30 min drive to the primary school. Dc1 started at the excellent secondary this September , just 1 other person went to it from his primary, and they moved house too and did the same thing as us. DS was unhappy to be going to the secondary as he did want to stay with his friends, it caused the family a lot of concern last school year. But he has settled in, made a few friends ( he's not the type to have loads of friends) and is enjoying it and so far we are experiencing a long honeymoon period with the secondary, long may it continue.

The drive is a problem but I drive a long way for work in any case, so the problem is more tiredness for dd than anything else, as an hour to and from school for several years is not ideal. Dd is now in yr 4 at the primary. We may move her to a more local primary to start year 5. But we havn't decided yet. It isn't so much moving schools, as I think we could get her into a good primary locally and her current one is fine too, it's her excellent child minder, I'm not at all convinced we'd find such good before and after school care if we moved her.

All in all I am delighted with what we've done, though if I had written this time last year, when DS was unhappy about going to a secondary without his friends, I would have been uncertain whether we'd done the right thing.

TalkinPeace Fri 14-Nov-14 20:48:35

parents divorce
parents relocate
life changes
there is a constant turnover in every school
kids cope

WalkingInMemphis Sat 15-Nov-14 09:58:28

Thank you for all the replies.

It's nice to see that what we're considering isn't that 'out there'.

My thinking is that when we move we can look for some local extra-curricular clubs with local children so that the dc could meet some in readiness for the move.

But, I'd also want to see what the local schools were like at the point when I was actually moving - things can change quite a lot in a few years

We will definitely keep an eye on this ^. But, the Secondary schools local to us now are middling to low in terms of achievement. We're in Wales, and in the ranking they did in 2012 one of them came 200 out of about 240, which was based on loads of factors and much more than just GCSE results.
Wheras the one we'd like to move to has consistently been in the top 10 schools in Wales for years, and the top in our County, so it's unlikely to change much IMO.

ContentedSidewinder Sun 16-Nov-14 14:25:33

We did this but didn't move as far. My sons were in an outstanding primary with an okay secondary that their primary school feeds into.

We wanted a bigger house (another bedroom for DH to work from home in) and of course anything near the outstanding primary was expensive. I can always take the children to school so we cast the net far and wide as to where we could move to for an outstanding secondary.

We moved 4 years ago and I still run ds2 to his primary school. Ds1 started secondary in September and has made lots of new friends. He walks as it is close by so has made friends with someone who walks the same route too.

At my son's school there are a lot of children who haven't come up from a primary school with their mates. The head of year 7 transition told us that they make sure they mix up the groups as much as possible to get new friendships made.

skylark2 Mon 17-Nov-14 07:54:58

Loads of kids are the only one from their school starting at a particular secondary (or one of very few, if they've come from a small primary). It's really a non-issue.

senua Mon 17-Nov-14 10:32:20

I would think you should go for Option 1. Secondary school doesn't start in Year 7, there are various inductions and getting-to-know-you in Year 6.

AmberTheCat Mon 17-Nov-14 13:08:54

We did something similar - moved in the summer holiday between Y5 & 6 for DD1, and between Y1 & 2 for DD2. We moved about a 20 min drive away from their primary school, near what is now DD1's secondary school. We always said we'd keep both of them at their primary until DD1 went to secondary, and think about moving DD2 to a more local primary at the same time. As it turns out, we've actually decided to keep DD2 at the same primary. We haven't ruled out moving her at some point, but we may well just keep here there for the whole time.

A few things to think about:
- Make sure you're moved by the end of Oct of your eldest's Y6, as that's when you'll have to apply for secondary school (and you're much more likely to get in if you're living nearby).
- Most secondary schools are really good at helping kids get to know each other. My DD went to a week's summer school there, and by the end of that was super confident about starting school proper.
- Think about what factors really make a difference to your convenience. We'd thought that moving DD2 to a local primary school would be more convenient. The more we thought about it, though, the more we realised that the convenience really came from knowing lots of other parents we could call on in an emergency, her current school having a really flexible after school club, etc. - rather than just being about location.
- The only thing I feel a bit sad about is that most of DD2's friends are now a car journey away, rather than being round the corner. It's not quite the same, but we try hard to make sure she still gets to see lots of them, even if it has to be more organised and less spontaneous.

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