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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:18 pm
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My family might be moving to the West/ North Greater London area from North America and I am not sure where my daughter would fit in best. I know there is an International school in Hillingdon and this school might work. However, we are English ex-pats and are a little biased towards the British sytem! My child is currently in grade 4 at an academically selective school. She is a very strong student and will do well in an academic school. What can you suggest? Thank you!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:39 pm 
There are many schools which might suit your daughter. A good starting point might be to contact one of the educational advisory services which you can find online (e.g. Gabbitas). They should be able to advise on possible schools and the initial service, including arranging for schools to mail you prospectuses, may be free; it was when I contacted an advisor prior to moving back from the US a few years ago. If you then want a more detailed consultation they will charge for their time. Alternatively, you can subscribe to a guide such as the Good School Guide online. It is a starting point but to be taken with a pinch of salt in my personal opinion.

I'm not sure where in N America you are, but please be aware that 4th grade in the US is equivalent to year 5 in the UK. Most girls transfer to secondary school at age 11 for the start of year 7. Private secondary schools will be closing their application lists for 2011 (the current year 5s) in the next 2 or 3 months. Entrance exams are likely to be just after the Christmas holidays. If, therefore, you expect to return to the UK in the next 15 months there is an element of urgency. If you move later than that you will have the additional/different challenge of finding a space other than at the normal entry point. Good, academic schools in London tend to be oversubscribed so you will be dependent on a child leaving.

There is a second major entry point at age 13 via common entrance but, as it is mainly boys who transfer to secondary at this age, most girls' schools don't use it. Less of a problem if you want co-ed of course.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:29 am 
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Thank you. My daughter is 9 until the end of the year, so I think she is in Year 4 in the UK system. That is one of the problems of her going to the International school - she would be in Grade 3 now, not 4. We live in Canada! Therefore, she would possibly repeat a grade.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
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Location: Maidstone
I guess it depends on what your medium to long term plans are. If you planning on going back to North America then an International School may be better. Another option if you arent sure where you will be is you can let your daughter finish her primary education under the UK system. I assume in september she will be in Year 5 is she turns 10 end of this year, then consider a seconadry school which offer IB at A level as that is more portable. They will still do GCSE but the curriculum will be geared towards IB.

I dont know much about London schools but some of the highly academic ones I have heard of are Bute House, St Christopher and some ones that have senior schools like City of London Girls and HABS. These schools are extremely competetive to get in and getting in half way means someone needs to have left and also depends on what position you will be on the waiting list. Others not so academic but still worth a try are Falcons Girls and Francis Holland. I am sure Londoners may give you details of some more schools. To get a general overview about the school and the inspections you can use this http://www.isi.net/

By the way if you decide on International schools in London you may find more feedback here http://talk.uk-yankee.com/ for the schools you have in mind.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
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Location: Hertfordshire
Hi

Have you contacted/emailed the Canadian Embassy in London. You should be able to find someone who's really helpful and has been in the same situation as yourselves. They might be able to put you in contact with someone who has recently moved back to the UK with DC's about the same age as your own.

We moved to the US when DS was 1 and then back when he was 2 1/2. I really wish we had found someone to give us guidance before and whilst we moved as if you're doing all the ground work yourselves it's stressful.

Good Luck

Ally


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:10 pm
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Location: Trafford
We made a similar move (to Manchester not London though) with a child a similar age - I will send you a PM.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:07 am
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Location: London
I found the Good Schools Guide very useful, though some reading between the lines is needed.

One approach might be to look for a mixed Prep School and aim for 13+Common Entrance, taken in the summer of Yr8 . Yr 6 is when preparation starts so quite a lot of solid learning goes on, compared with girls schools going up to 11 where much of the last year is endless preparation for 11+. (Mainly VR, non VR, maths and English.) Even the most academic day schools will have a few 13+ places as girls drift off to boarding, and so will probably prefer candidates who have Common Entrance, rather than those attempting to transfer in from the state sector.

Also once you have found your bearings and have an idea of what you like, you can register your daughter for occasional places which may crop up during Yr 7 and Yr 8 in secondary schools. If she is doing Common Entrance she would not be behind.

Alternatively you could look at GDST and other schools who have junior schools, so you can start in Year 5/6 and stay on through to 18. There are lots dotted around London, some very academic, some less so.

In part it depends on how long you intend to stay. Some of the International/American schools have a pretty hefty turnover. Which may mean they are good at looking after new-comers, but perhaps not so great for a child who will be around long enough to want to make and keep friends.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:18 pm
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Thank you for the help everyone has given. I was wondering if schools that do the IB would be an option. I hear that St. Helen's GS does IB. So this is another avenue to explore. We will have some guidance through my husband"s company as we move forwards on our new venture. I am sure there will be a lot of paperwork and red tape to get through! Anyway, many thanks again for your help. It is much appreciated.


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