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moving child during secondary school

(18 Posts)
whataboutbob Sun 03-Apr-16 15:37:12

hello, I have 2 DS2 1 in year 8, other in year 4. I am seriously contemplating a move, out of London to another city. This is something we wanted to do 4 years ago, but were held back by my father's serious illness as I could not move away from him (he is now in a care home). Really we want more space and to get out of the sometimes stressful environment we live in.
DS1 is not the most academic boy but tends to get his work done on time and to the required level, nothing more unless he is very interested in the subject. DS2 we have been advised should try for the local grammar schools in Surrey.
If we moved we could aim to get DS2 into a selective state school, DS1 I suspect wouldn't , but the priority would of course be for them both to adapt well to the change and to be happy. I have a couple of cities in mind.
I would welcome any comments and thoughts from those who have moved kids during secondary school. Many thanks.

mummytime Sun 03-Apr-16 17:46:37

You mean a London borough with a Surrey postal address, not Surrey. Surrey (LA) has no grammar schools. On the other hand Surrey has some excellent comprehensives, and manages to get a lot of students to top Unis.

What are you looking for in a move out of London?

whataboutbob Sun 03-Apr-16 18:31:44

Well yes I meant Sutton grammar school etc.
We are looking for more space, less pollution, access to countryside but the benefits of city life, in a smaller city that nonetheless has a cultural life. Not much to ask for!

Ancienchateau Sun 03-Apr-16 18:35:25

We moved at end of year 8. DS has found it quite hard to make friends.

PettsWoodParadise Sun 03-Apr-16 20:49:30

Have you thought of moving to the edge of London so the best of both worlds? I live in zone 5 in Petts Wood and we have access to grammars (Newtead Wood for girls, St Olaves for girls, all the Bexley grammars including outstanding Townley, plus some Kent grammars). We are on the edge of the green belt, nice parks and woodlands, good shops and restaurants, but as not a fully grammar area the comps are still good such as Darrick Wood.

PettsWoodParadise Sun 03-Apr-16 20:50:09

Oops, meant St Olaves for boys!

mummytime Mon 04-Apr-16 07:02:51

Does somewhere like Sutton really provide what you say you are looking for? I would find it far too suburban. And places further out can provide quicker access to London by train, and have their own theatres and concert halls etc.

If you are going to move now, it will not be that long until your sons have left home. So where do you want to be living then?

Could your younger son commute to a grammar school if that is really the best school for him. I also think your older son will resent the move unless he is either not settled in his present school or you can show how he would positively benefit from the move.

LIZS Mon 04-Apr-16 07:16:05

A lot of children at independent prep schools move at the end of year 8, if mainly to independent secondaries. They have to hit the ground running socially and be prepared to make gcse options choices within 6 months of starting.

whataboutbob Mon 04-Apr-16 13:30:50

Mummytime, I agree, I am not thinking of moving to Sutton, it's just the school has advised DS2 should aim for Sutton Grammar school. I want to move well out of London, possibly to Bristol. But also make sure DS2s academic potential is given the right opportunities if we do move out
Pettswood- thanks for the information. I would consider those places and they seem very nice, but we are looking to move out of London's orbit completely. I just need to weigh up how DS1 (he's in yr 8) would cope.

mummytime Mon 04-Apr-16 16:03:35

Okay!
Well in that case. You want to look for somewhere with great Comps and maybe access to a super selective. (Although in my experience a totally comprehensive area if the schools are big enough, can do just as well with the brightest.)
You could look at the Bournemouth Poole, Dorset area.
But you do also need to be careful/get a move on, as even schools who used to do a normal 3years KS3 and then 2years of KS4 are sometimes changing to 3 years KS4 for year 8 due to the new GCSEs.

whataboutbob Mon 04-Apr-16 17:24:32

Thanks mummytime. I was also thinking of Oxford but it seems like Oxford high school is the one to go for there, they select by catchment area (and basically that's the most expensive areas in the city so we may be priced out).
There is a lot to learn and take in with this process. I grew up abroad and came back to England when i was 15 and so was a year behind my peers as I had to go to 4th form not 5th form. It was a bit of a struggle at first, but I was transiting from the French to the UK school system as well. My no 1 worry is DS1 will be unhappy and so any adivce on how to make it as easy as possible on him would be welcome.

mummytime Mon 04-Apr-16 17:34:11

Oxford High School is a fee paying girls school!
In Oxford there are no State Grammars. The two Comps that I have heard are the best are Cherwell and Matthew Arnold, some of the Comps outside town are good too, and I'm not sure about the new academy. It's a great city, if a bit expensive. But it doesn't have state grammar schools, the selective schools are all fee paying.

whataboutbob Mon 04-Apr-16 17:53:22

You are absolutely right mummytime, I was thinking of the Cherwell school. As far as i can see admission is by catchment area (from the most expensive areas of town).
I am also considering Plymouth, there is a boys' Grammar school, good comprehensives there and I believe the city is improving with the (relatively) new university and medical school. Property values are markedly cheaper there too.

mummytime Mon 04-Apr-16 19:31:51

As far as I know Marston is in catchment for Cherwell too, as is Wolvercote. Matthew Arnold is a similarity good school, but far more "traditional" eg. School uniform. There are quite a few Oxford MNers around. I know some of the village Comps are very good too.

antiqueroadhoe Mon 04-Apr-16 19:57:59

If you're going to do it then do it before your son moves into year 9 because many schools now start GCSE courses in year 9.

homework Mon 04-Apr-16 21:51:33

We moved ds when he was in finishing year nine , into a Utc school in year ten but he was badly bullied in previous school and living on his nerves .
He's made a group of very nice friends who have helped and supported him , took him a while to settle and he now a very happy young man .
He so needed the change especially for his mental health , but you know your boys the best and will have a good understanding on there feeling and emotions / dependability on friends they already have . Younger child will have to move schools for secondary anyway , you might end up in area with middle schools where they both move at this age any ways.

whataboutbob Tue 05-Apr-16 13:16:12

Thanks for your insights. Homework I am glad it came good for your son. Bullying is terrible, my brother still bears the scars at 47. Thanks for the advice antique. I t does look like I need to get my skates on.

CodyKing Tue 05-Apr-16 16:48:39

In year 9 there will be big changes due to GCSE groups - so it won't make that much difference as his groups will change -

Why so flexible with cities?

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