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jawood67

Relocating end of yr9 - Enter Yr 11 UK - home school catch up or...

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    Hi there - It is very likely that we will be relocating back to the UK in Feb/March 2018.  We have a son in Yr 9 and a daughter in Yr 4.  Whilst less critical for our daughter as she has time on her side to settle in, we are trying to work out what will be the best option for our son considering his age when entering the UK school system in 2018.  He does very well in some subjects but struggles with working memory issues which means subjects such as maths and english literature/comprehension are more challenging for him.  Generally I would say he is an average student in these subjects but in other areas which have a more practical or creative component (creative writing, hard tech, sports) he does well above average.

    We are considering giving notice to finish school at the end of Yr 9 (Dec).  We then have 3 options we are looking at and would appreciate your thoughts:-

    1.  Start studying GCSE English, Maths (+maybe 1 more) online from Jan 2018 and have some home tutoring in this area up until we leave Australia.  Continue 'home schooling' with he aim of completing 4-5 GCSE's ahead of the Sept 2018 Yr 11 start.  He would be 15 (turning 16 in December).  This would mean of course being accepted by a school to enter in the final year and reaching agreement about which GSCEs he would need to complete before enrolment.

    2.  Jan - Aug 2018 - home school/tutor to brush up on weak areas and enter Year 10 in Sept.  He would be 15 (turning 16 in Dec) which would make him older than his classmates (i.e. must be 14 on Sept 1 to enter Yr 10).  He would be 16 starting Yr 11 and would finish his GCSEs at 17.5.  Again, would all depend on finding a school that would accept this arrangement which might be impossible.  

    3.  Start Yr 10 March 2018 and combine with home tutoring to catch up.  Whilst I see the benefits of getting him into a school environment quickly my fear would be that he would be under immense pressure which is why I put the option to home school/catch up in a one-one environment ahead of this.  He is very likely to 'overload' based on the challenges he has (not officially classed as a learning difficulty btw).

    My head is spinning.  Is he even destined for A-levels/Uni?  Do GCSEs even matter?  Any other options/thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for any experience/advice you can offer.

    J

     

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    I honestly don't have much advice to give.

    What I would say is much could depend on the school choice. It could be you will need to shop around to find one that suits your wants and needs and is accommodating to your situation and happy to have him go into a year below as it were on the move back. I'd hope they would if its the best thing for your son. I'd probably push for it if you went for that option given how the systems are slightly different with their school year groups and leaving ages. 

    Have you schools in mind? Areas? If so I'd be contacting the schools and seeing what your options are with them. It could be they'll offer more support than you are expecting, perhaps not. 

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    I agree with Snifter about contacting schools, for me though .... don't over look the social aspects of being in school rather than home schooled and establishing some friendships with a peer group.

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    I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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    Thanks Ali and Snifter.  Great advice on next steps.  We do have an area in mind and schools so will start to contact them now to discuss our situation and see what they would be willing to consider.  Ali, I totally agree with the social aspect and it's something my husband and I have discussed as very important to establish in other ways if not at school i.e. sports clubs (he likes many sports but particularly football, mountain biking and would dearly love to get into motoX).

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    We came back in March and our children had just started Years 7 and 9 in Australia. For the end of school year in the U.K. our son went back to Year 8 and will start a full year of Year 9 in September. Daughter is going to Year 8 in September as she still has time to catch up. Both June birthdays and have just turned 14 and 12.
    The school was fully supportive of our request to hold back a year.


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    Hi Martinbjulieb - that is really helpful and very similar to our situation.  Whilst your son would be almost 17 when finishing Year 11 ours would be 17.5yrs.  It is certainly something to pursue.  Out of interest, what part of the UK are you?  Also, is your son in a government or public (fee paying) school?

    Thanks again for sharing your experience.

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    Hi Martinbjulieb - that is really helpful and very similar to our situation.  Whilst your son would be almost 17 when finishing Year 11 ours would be 17.5yrs.  It is certainly something to pursue.  Out of interest, what part of the UK are you?  Also, is your son in a government or public (fee paying) school?
    Thanks again for sharing your experience.

    Jawood67- Glad to be of help! We are in Nottinghamshire and the school is an Academy. This means it is still a government school but they have more input on things including admissions. If you are going to a normal government school you need to go through the local council to get permission to hold them back a year. A process you might want to instigate sooner rather than later.
    I have done some previous posts on this but no idea how to link it, you might just have to search for my posts


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    Similar situation to us, we have a boy in YR7 (AUS) but would jump to YR9 (UK).  Also have a boy in YR5 but less concerned about him at the moment (he's the smart one :) )

    With the YR7 we've noticed that he struggles in Maths so we've opted to remove him from Australian YR7 term 4 and home school for the rest of the year and up until we get back to England (likely Feb / Mar next year).  We've picked up a subscription to IXL so that we can get him up to speed on Key Stage 3 maths and english.

    When we get back (and decide on school / area) we'll then talk to the school about what he needs, figure we can private tuition in areas he's lacking.

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    Best of luck ajcooper.  It sounds like a well thought out sensible plan.  At least going into YR9 is the year prior to GCSEs which will help.  we are definitely pursuing our son starting year 10 in Sept in UK (would have started yr 10 in Jan) - so going back a little but the only way we can do it to enable him to complete his 2 yr GCSE course.

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    Hi I am a high school  teacher in a school here for 5 yrs and was previously in UK and I agree with ajcooper above. UK curriculum is ahead of the ones here unless you are in one of the top schools here, however, in UK most govt schools are different and depends on your area and where you live as to the quality of the school. A very good school tends to raise house prices well over their real true value / cost because parents want to get into the catchment area for best schools it drives up the cost of living. The best schools though may not support students who are transitioning from AU.  Ideally find out about them before you get there . When you have chosen where you will live look at Ofsted school ratings and talk to those schools as ajcooper said above to find out what they are prepared to do. Primary tend to care more at the social level, but at secondary not so much generally as teens can be independent , so you must focus on the football teams and sports groups to help him settle in.

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