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Helen77

Relocating AUS Yr3 - UK Yr5

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Hi all,

I'm stressing myself right out and could really use some friendly advice.

We moved to Sydney in Dec 2017.

My son had completed nearly a term's worth of Year 3 in the UK and got put into the beginning of Year 2 in Jan 2018 in Sydney. So he's effectively repeating the whole of year 2 and a term of year 3 (once he gets there).

He's a July baby and we were advised he should go into Year 2 and that he'd be too young for Year 3 (turns out he's not too young, he could have gone in according to their cut off dates but we went with the advice we were given at the time).

We are worried that we should have insisted that he goes into Year 3 in AUS because when we return in Sept 2019 he'll end up going straight from Year 3 AUS into Year 5 UK. FYI we didn't know we'd be returning back to the UK when we put him in school here.

Does anyone have any experience of moving back and basically your child skipping an entire year's worth of school? Thoughts?

I figure these are our options:

  • We insist the school put him into Year 3 and get a tutor to bridge the gaps (they still think he should be in year 2). Obviously this will be more unsettling for him as he'll have to start a new class, new friends again for the second time in 6months. Not ideal...but is it better to bridge the gap now or later?
  • We keep him in Year 2 and then get a tutor before we go back to make a start bridging the gaps and then get one when we get back as well. He'll go into Year 5 having missed all of year 4 (UK) and a bit of year 3 (UK and AUS).

Am I over-thinking this? My OH says it's only primary school, he'll catch up and be fine. Socially he's very adaptable and he's always been on target with his studies.  I don't want to break his confidence either way.

I don't know what to do for the best.

Thank you in advance xx

 

 

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I don't know where in the UK you are moving back to, but would holding him back be an option, so he goes in to year 4?  I don't know what the possibilities are in England, Wales or NI, but we moved back to Scotland in September last year, in part because it means that our girls got held back a bit due to the different cut off dates and starting ages.  Had we moved back to England, eldest would have gone into high school, but in Scotland she went back to the start of the last year of primary.  Our youngest had a birthday close to the cut off, so she would have gone up a year, but we requested she be held back to the year below, and that was no problem, since we were coming from overseas.  I'm not suggesting you move to Scotland (unless that is where you're going) but more that you might have the opportunity to hold him back, since his July birthday is close to the August cut off (assuming you're heading to England), and that with the mitigating circumstance of moving back from Aus, they might allow him to be held back.  It has done wonders for our daughter to be the eldest in the year!

That said, your husband is probably right, and he will catch up if you put him in to a supportive school environment, so choice of school might be key, with some extra tutoring if he is having trouble catching up.

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1 minute ago, LKC said:

I don't know where in the UK you are moving back to, but would holding him back be an option, so he goes in to year 4?  I don't know what the possibilities are in England, Wales or NI, but we moved back to Scotland in September last year, in part because it means that our girls got held back a bit due to the different cut off dates and starting ages.  Had we moved back to England, eldest would have gone into high school, but in Scotland she went back to the start of the last year of primary.  Our youngest had a birthday close to the cut off, so she would have gone up a year, but we requested she be held back to the year below, and that was no problem, since we were coming from overseas.  I'm not suggesting you move to Scotland (unless that is where you're going) but more that you might have the opportunity to hold him back, since his July birthday is close to the August cut off (assuming you're heading to England), and that with the mitigating circumstance of moving back from Aus, they might allow him to be held back.  It has done wonders for our daughter to be the eldest in the year!

That said, your husband is probably right, and he will catch up if you put him in to a supportive school environment, so choice of school might be key, with some extra tutoring if he is having trouble catching up.

Hi LKC, thanks for answering my post.

My son will be going back to the school he left in the UK so I think holding him back a year when all his old mates (who he's still in touch with) will be in the year above would have a massive effect on his confidence / behaviour and everything. So that's not really an option. I think that would cause more stress than anything else.

My gut tells me I should insist he goes up to Year 3 in Aus but the school isn't really up for it, I'd have to push for it. But then I also think that it'll be more upheaval for him to move classes again. So, if husband is right, maybe I am stressing out a bit too much over this. He's only young, he's bright and socially confident....perhaps he'd just need a bit of extra tutoring....I just don't know what to do for the best. 

We're moving back to South East England. x

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Keep him with his age peers. Reports from returnees suggest that U.K. schools are very good at helping kids catch up - the Aus system at that age is well behind anyway. If he’s reading well, then encourage that and once he’s fluent the amount of “learning” is minimal. Encourage writing, getting him to write a journal, emails back to his mates etc. The biggest “gaps” will probably be with number skills and concepts. You could try getting some U.K. level maths books and working through them with him in a non stressed way so that he’s got a few more skills under his belt. Bottom line though, I wouldn’t stress it but share with his U.K. school that there may be gaps and they’ll support him. It’s not that he’s “missed a year of education”  because education is broad and Aussie education is not U.K. education. He’s been educated for that year, but differently.  As long as he understands that foreign countries label their school years differently and that he’s leaned different things regardless of the year level, he will be just fine.

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3 minutes ago, Quoll said:

Keep him with his age peers. Reports from returnees suggest that U.K. schools are very good at helping kids catch up - the Aus system at that age is well behind anyway. If he’s reading well, then encourage that and once he’s fluent the amount of “learning” is minimal. Encourage writing, getting him to write a journal, emails back to his mates etc. The biggest “gaps” will probably be with number skills and concepts. You could try getting some U.K. level maths books and working through them with him in a non stressed way so that he’s got a few more skills under his belt. Bottom line though, I wouldn’t stress it but share with his U.K. school that there may be gaps and they’ll support him. It’s not that he’s “missed a year of education”  because education is broad and Aussie education is not U.K. education. He’s been educated for that year, but differently.  As long as he understands that foreign countries label their school years differently and that he’s leaned different things regardless of the year level, he will be just fine.

Oh thank you so much. I think that's sort of what his school was trying to tell me. Really appreciate your advice. 

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41 minutes ago, Helen77 said:

Hi LKC, thanks for answering my post.

My son will be going back to the school he left in the UK so I think holding him back a year when all his old mates (who he's still in touch with) will be in the year above would have a massive effect on his confidence / behaviour and everything. So that's not really an option. I think that would cause more stress than anything else.

My gut tells me I should insist he goes up to Year 3 in Aus but the school isn't really up for it, I'd have to push for it. But then I also think that it'll be more upheaval for him to move classes again. So, if husband is right, maybe I am stressing out a bit too much over this. He's only young, he's bright and socially confident....perhaps he'd just need a bit of extra tutoring....I just don't know what to do for the best. 

We're moving back to South East England. x

Hmmm, that does make it more tricky.  I suppose the way to think about it, is that they are two completely separate education systems with different curriculums, and different styles of teaching.  You can't really compare like for like.  It isn't exactly like he will go from one curriculum, miss a whole year of that, and then start again in the next year with that whole year of knowledge missing.  It's more that there will be pockets of information that he's missed, but other bits that he hasn't.  

In our experience, teachers seem to teach to stages rather than years.  What I mean by that, is that in a particular stage, kids are taught the same thing, but at varying levels, so that by the end of the level (which contains a few years of school), they are all up to speed.  When we moved back there were things the kids were ahead in (as you'd perhaps expect, given that they moved back a year), but also things that they were behind in.  The teachers weren't worried, and just taught some of those missing bits to bring them up to level.

As I said before, a supportive school is probably key, and if he is going back to the same school that he left he is going to be on a good footing to start with.

I'd do what Quoll suggests with some extra maths foundation work at home (that will probably be the main sticking point, since you need the foundations of maths to build on), and then maybe a tutor if school think it necessary.

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1 minute ago, LKC said:

Hmmm, that does make it more tricky.  I suppose the way to think about it, is that they are two completely separate education systems with different curriculums, and different styles of teaching.  You can't really compare like for like.  It isn't exactly like he will go from one curriculum, miss a whole year of that, and then start again in the next year with that whole year of knowledge missing.  It's more that there will be pockets of information that he's missed, but other bits that he hasn't.  

In our experience, teachers seem to teach to stages rather than years.  What I mean by that, is that in a particular stage, kids are taught the same thing, but at varying levels, so that by the end of the level (which contains a few years of school), they are all up to speed.  When we moved back there were things the kids were ahead in (as you'd perhaps expect, given that they moved back a year), but also things that they were behind in.  The teachers weren't worried, and just taught some of those missing bits to bring them up to level.

As I said before, a supportive school is probably key, and if he is going back to the same school that he left he is going to be on a good footing to start with.

I'd do what Quoll suggests with some extra maths foundation work at home (that will probably be the main sticking point, since you need the foundations of maths to build on), and then maybe a tutor if school think it necessary.

His school in the UK is great and I'm sure they'll be supportive. Thanks so much for this advice, I really welcome it and you and Quoll have both made me feel 100% better about the whole thing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

PS I'm actually quite liking the idea of getting a tutor. My son loves maths and science so I reckon that'll be an easy sell!

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