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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:29 pm 
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I'm struggling over what would be best for my 14 year old and would be grateful for any thoughts/experience any of you can share with me.

We are moving from the US to the UK, we will be moved at the latest by August of this year and possibly a bit before then - so tale end of this school year.

There is currently a place available for my dd at a good GS however the place is in the current Year 9, which is the correct year for dd, but I'm concerned that switching from the US system to the UK at this point is going to be a challenge for her. She is academically strong so had she been moving in Year 7 or 8 I think she would have been fine as there would be plenty of time for her to adjust and catch up in any areas where it might be needed and prior to choosing GCSE subjects.

However, at this point (if she stays in the correct year) she will be moving into the either the last few weeks of Yr 9 or starting in Yr 10 in September. I "know" (via an expat forum) of a family who facing the same situation chose, with the schools support, to have their DC start in Yr 8 instead of Yr 9 and that is what got me thinking.

My dd was initially resistant to the idea, first because she would loath being "held back" a year in her current school and having to repeat work she has already done (and she is right there would be absolutely no reason for it here) and also because she views the students in the year below her here as being much younger/less mature than her year. She definitely doesn't like the idea of being the oldest in a class. I explained why I thought it might be good and that at a new school no-one would see it as her being held back a year and she is now okay with joining Yr 9 or Yr 10 in September.

I'm going to ask the school if they think there is any likely hood of a current Yr 8 place opening up. They had no objection to my dd starting in Yr 8 just didn't have any space.

I'm also going to speak to two other GS schools in the area to ask whether they have any space in Yr 8.

Am I correct in thinking that even if there is no space in Yr 8 I can put in an appeal?

If you were in this situation would you try to find/appeal for a place in current Yr 8 or go the path of least resistance and take the current Yr 9 place? For which I should say I know we're lucky to even have available!

Not sure how well I've explained any of this but I'd be grateful for input.


Last edited by Lizzie on Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:33 pm 
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Location: Reading
The one thing I’d watch out for is that some schools start GCSE courses in year 9 and do them over 3 years and some start in year 10 and do them over 2 (as was intended).

This means they may have chosen their gcse options in spring of year 8 if starting in year 9.

This varies from school to school. Local to me it is a even split between them.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:37 pm 
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When in the year is her birthday? That makes a difference. If she is September born she will be almost 2 years older than some of the other pupils.
If you can, I would accept the year 10 place, and appeal for the year 9 one (if you honestly believe she would be OK with that). You never know, a year 8 place might come up anyway. As Tinkers said, many schools start GCSEs in year 9, so that might influence your decison (although i would have thought that would be a problem for the school, so presumably they would have mentioned it).


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:41 pm 
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Thanks Tinkers, I will double check on that with this school and also the other two I'm going to contact.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:44 pm 
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Friendships are important and a whole year older can make a difference for some children, especially if they are already more mature for their years. I know I couldn’t do that to my son.
At my sons’ school they start their GCSE program in year 9, but there is a lot of repetition.

Good luck!

Salsa


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:45 pm 
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Should the heading be "Year 9 or 10"? It's slightly misleading at the moment (unless I have misunderstood).


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:14 pm 
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Scary mum, she is a very early Feb birth date and yes, you are right I should have put Year 9 or Year 10 in the heading! (just edited it)

Salsa, yes it is the social aspect that I'm unsure about and the moving countries makes me less certain. We are in a very small rural town in the US and to me it seems in general that the UK students are a bit more worldly wise than their counterparts here but I could be wrong.

My dd is mature in the sense that she is very responsible about homework, is irritated by some of the boys in class who she views as "noisy/silly" (hence loves the idea of single sex school) , she reads voraciously and some is quite mature content so in some ways she seems more mature than some of her peers but in lots of other ways she is young for age. I know I'm asking you all a question you can't really answer for me.

I think the thing is that "I" would like her to have that extra year to settle in, get used to what will be a different school environment than she is used to even down to subject names/splits and to make up gaps that she is going to have but I just don't know about the social aspect.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:25 pm 
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It’s going to be difficult to judge how she is going to fit in and unfortunately you won’t really know until she starts. And that’s before you look at age and the cultural differences after living in another country are factored in.

My DD is a July born and actually is one of the more mature girls in her friendship group (some of her friends call her ‘mother’ apparently), so even actual age doesn’t always help when making a decision.

I suspect in your position I’d be tempted to start her in a Lower year for educational reasons, but I can understand why she wouldn’t want to from a maturity POV.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:22 pm 
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Tinkers, you are right the social/maturity aspect of it is what we just can't really know until she starts.

I really appreciate everyone's comments they are very helpful and actually even writing it down to post here has helped me clarify it a bit for myself. I think that current Year 8 would give her some breathing space and I "best guess" is that she would be okay socially with the younger year.

I will see what the other 2 schools say, it might be that they don't have any Year 8 spaces either in which case I'd probably take Scary Mum's suggestion and accept (gratefully!) the Year 10 place for September while putting in an appeal for the Year 9.

Thanks everyone and if anyone has another view/comment to add please do :)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:00 pm 
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Might be worth asking the school for some samples of the Maths/English that they cover in Y10 and Y9. I might be wrong but think generally the UK system is ahead of its' US counterparts so that may help her accept if she "has" to go down a year and be with the younger Y9 students.

Alternatviely (and I muct confess to be being a bit confused when I read it!) could you consider moving before the end of our academic year, taking up the space at the end of her correct year (Year 9) now, and getting her used to the (older) classmates and the system already - then she has the whole summer to keep up with friends, and catch up with any work if needed, and goes back in Sept in Y10, her correct year, not feeling like a newbie?

Just thinking aloud, really....!


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