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 Post subject: Moving to UK
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:23 pm 
Double problem here; we live in Canada, and will relocate to the UK (probably Devon) in summer '09, just before my eldest starts secondary education.

The Canadian primary system is very different to that in the UK, (including school entry a year 'late') and we are trying to access some UK primary teaching plans, so that the Canadian teachers can compare standards and prepare properly for our return to UK. Can anyone help? (2 kids; we are looking for Years 3 through to 6).

Our second issue is that of preparation for and sitting of the 11 plus itself. Does anyone have any good ideas for preparation/tutoring/applying for the 11 plus exam from abroad?

 Post subject: Moving to the UK
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:39 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 374
Location: Bucks
Dear WayoutWest

I am not the person to help you but there is a really great Forum Member called USA who DIY'd the 11+ for her son from guess where, the USA!!!

If you registered I am sure she wouldn't mind you sending her a personal message (PM) or failing that she seems to pop in most days so will hopefully pick up on your question and be able to give you great advice.

Good luck - I would imagine it currently seems like a minefield!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 8:48 am 
We too are just in the process of relocating to Devon (but only from the other side of England!).

Our son passed his 11+ for Colyton Grammar, in East Devon and although we had to apply via our then "home" Local Education Authority we found the adviser at Devon LEA and the school really helpful.

Our son was allowed to take the 11+ at his "old" primary school as we were 200 miles away at the time. The only disadvantage was that he could not take the "practice" tests that the other children sat at the Grammar 2 weeks before the real thing, as they do not send these out. The school suggested I bought some NFER 11+ tests instead.

Although we had not found a house in Devon at the time we applied (October), we had already sold our own house and I was able to tell the adviser exactly the area we were looking in. We kept them up to date on our Devon house purchase and finally completed the same day that we got our son's 11+ results: it was our first piece of mail!! I think you have to have a definite Devon address by Christmas (just after the 11+ test), but do check, obviously.

Which part of Devon are you relocating to? I believe there are at least 3 education authorites which cover Devon: Torbay (for the Torquay grammars): Plymouth ( Devonport/ Plymouth) and Devon (Colyton grammar only). I found the council website very helpful. I would suggest you contact the school and then the relevant LEA adviser and take it from there.

One last thing: I know nothing about Canadian education but we lived in the US for a couple of years when our children were very small and our ex-pat friends over there reckoned that the US system was 1 year behind the UK, so you may have a bit of catching up to do, but you've plenty of time. A few years ago we had to apply for UK primary school whilst still living in the US and had no problems at all, we were just very open about our situation and plans and kept the school informed.

I found this website and the books from it a brilliant resource: v. useful as my son was the only child I knew doing an 11+ as we came from an area with no grammars! Best of luck. Keep us posted.

(I still pop on to this site every now and then because although DS1 is sorted DD1 is next on the list for 2009 and it gets q addictive!)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:49 am 
Hello Wayout.
We moved to the UK from the USA when our oldest was due to start year 3. We were in NJ which doesn't have the earliest start when it comes to education. It's a half day kindergarten program in the equivelent of UK year 1, so she had only had 1 year of full time school before she entered year 3. That is in contrast to the 3 years her new classmates had had.

Like you I was concerned about how standards would compare but we actually found that she was ahead of her UK classmates in both literacy and maths. In maths, in particular, she was about 2 years ahead although her strong suit is actually English!! Having said that, she was "working above grade level" in the US (as they put it).

I am lucky enough to have a sister-in-law who teaches in a primary school and she sent me a copy of the national curriculum guide for primary school teachers. This set out everything the kids were meant to know (both facts and skills) in lengthy detail. It was even broken down term by term and contained explanations of how to assess what level a child is at in every area. Assuming this is still being published each year you might want to get hold of a copy. My child's US teachers found it quite interesting reading...

If you want something a bit less bulky, you can buy practice (past) SATS papers over the internet from such as WH Smiths or Amazon UK. These are sat by all state school pupils here in May of years 2 and 6 so should give you an idea of where your child is at in relation to UK peers.

As far as the 11+ is concerned there is a wealth of material available from the bookshop section of this site and you can use it just as easily in the US as the UK. Find out what papers your child will be sitting (by phoning the schools concerned) and buy accordingly. Don't worry that you will be at a disadvantage compared with UK kids as, despite the impression you might get from this site, most do NOT receive coaching either at school or from professional tutors.

Good luck.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 10:53 am 
Last "guest" again. I meant you can do stuff just as well in Canada not the USA!!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 11:59 am 

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:49 am
Posts: 448
The documents that Guest refers to have been replaced by an on line resource. This from http://publications.teachernet.gov.uk/, searching for "Numeracy Framework for Teaching Mathematics: Numeracy Strategy":

"The original Framework for teaching mathematics (1999) illustrated the intended range and balance of work in primary mathematics, making sure that pupils became properly numerate. It was intended mainly for day-to-day reference by class teachers and has been tested extensively in schools of different types and sizes. This Framework has been replaced with the Primary Framework for literacy and mathematics, a web-based resource available at www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primaryframework/"

So if you go to www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primaryframework/, you should get the info you want. You can also phone +44 845 60 222 60 (that's just 0845 60 222 60 from the UK) for the DFES publications hotline, for further info. In the UK, they'll post you publications you want for free. The publications are useful for any parent sometimes puzzled by the purpose of their children's homework, and there are lists of terminology available, whether for maths or grammar (Ever wondered what an adverb phrase is? You can find it there!)


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:27 pm 

Thanks very much to all for the advice. I have checked out the links Y kindly provided to the primary framework site. It is full of really useful info that I hope the Canadian teachers can use to make sure the kids get properly prepared for our return. (by the way, the link has a typo that stops it working properly - you need to pluralise it to: .....primaryframeworks.....).

I'll try to get in touch with USA as well; it sounds as if she has useful experience of this - thanks Ambridge.

Once we have the syllabus issues sorted out we can look at the 11 plus bits. One question I do have, is whether DD1 will need to get ahead of the Nat Curriculum based syllabus? ie does all Y6 material fall within the 11 plus syllabus, or just that expected to have been taught by the time the 11 plus is sat? (hope that makes sense) By the way, Jen, we will probably be looking at Plymouth LEA (Devonport/Plymouth) although the location is by no means certain yet). I just hope they have an adviser as helpful as the one you found!

If anyone does have any further advice to offer, it will all be very gratefully received, as the whole field of 11 plus preparation is unknown territory for us and certainly seems to be a minefield!

By the way, what a great resource this site this is; wish I had found it earlier!

Wayout West

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