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We will. I'm actually more than happy for the oldest to do this as he's currently one of the youngest in the year and although he's very bright he's not the most confident of kids so I think it will be good for him. The youngest however I'm not so sure about, but we're going to see what the school say and what they advise. From what I can gather from what I've heard from my husbands relatives the school system in Aus seems a bit more relaxed about moving kids around the year groups if they feel it necessary, but we'll see what they have to say when we get there.
Your kids are certainly not going back or forwards a year, they are coming to a new country with its own education system and years at school. Therefore they are usually slotted into the most appropriate slot. Schools do usually place your children with their own age group and also it depends when your children are going to start. Although it is a valid point that if your child arrives here and spends a term at primary school then goes onto high school the following term, they are going to two new schools, it is also necessary to acknowledge that all the children entering yr 8 are at a new school. Your child may have some familiar faces to go up to high school with from primary, but also all the children in yr 8 are settled into the new school, not just your child coming in at the end of the first year of high school where friendships have been established already over the year. At this age friendships fluctuate rapidly and groupings from primary school don't necessarily stay together as the children change so much at this time and also meet a whole bunch of others from different primary schools. I think you have to look at your children and take into account their social and emotional development. Some of our children in yr 7 are too mature for it and it is not a matter of having spent half a year at a secondary school. Some of our yr 7s by term 4 are actually 13.
The thing to remember is your children are no different really from Australian kids and Aussie kids don't start school until they are 5. By choosing to upsticks and move here with your children you are placing them in the Aus education system which also turns out doctors, lawyers engineers as well as brickies, shop assistants, labourers and the chronically unemployed. Your kids will be in the school system here and will be educated in it. Education is about length and they will finish it sooner or later. It really is not worth stressing about. Aus education becomes quite rigorous by the end of secondary and is aimed primarily at entrance to Aus tertiary institutions, so it doesn't really matter if your kids seem to be behind their UK peers unless of course you plan to move back.
Plus the biggest piece of advice I can give is ...if your child is bored at school, has done the work already ask the school to extend and challenge them sideways, read books at an appropriate level. Also it is your responsibility as a parent to enrich your child's life, it doesn't all come from school. If they finish work quickly then this means they have more time after school to pursue other interests, sports etc. Education is for life and not just academics.
My children have all finished school now, they were educated solely at Aus schools. I came here at 10 and was ahead in a lot of things but way behind in some things. So just remind yourselves your kids are entering a new system and the grades may not correlate to what they have left. If you stress then your kids will stress. There is plenty of time for them to be noses to the grind with schoolwork when they are approaching the last years of high school.
Sorry rant over.
Sailed SS Australis out of Southampton 1977.Arrived October in Adelaide via Melbourne 1977.Liverpool/London 1987 - 1992
Adelaide 1992 to eternity:)and one day you'll wake up and stop counting how long you've been here.
We are coming out in october intentionally before the aus achool year ends. We anticipate that, although they will have 9 weeks of 5th and 3rd grade her in the US, when we enroll them, they will be finishing out 4th and 2nd grade for about 6 weeks. We look at this as an advantage, as this will give them an opportunity to make new friends before the long summer break (when these friendships can grow stronger), and also because they are "back" a grade, they will not be under super amounts of scholastic pressure to perform while orienting to the new sytem. This also will give us a short time, with a natural end point, to see if we need to work with them over summer to do any remedial work to prepare them for their "re-start" of 5th and 3 grades (if that is where they are put). You are coming down at a similar time, and I think that this could be a great opportunity to find the right fit for your kids as far as friends, school process, and a generally lower stress situation after such a big move. I hope it works out for you guys, and I think it can be as positive, or as stressful as you make it. For us, we're chosing "positive transition" as our approach.
Robert and Sarah
Oliver (10), Alexander (6) and Nathaniel (4)
Backpacked round Australia 1992. Married Australian husband in Adelaide 1994. Lived in Adelaide 1994-1997. Moved back to UK & lived in Essex/Herts 1997-2009. Returned to Adelaide November 2009. 2 kids dual nationality.
It's kinda funny that people get so hung up on the number attached to the Year. It surely doesn't matter if your kid is in Year 4 or Year 5 etc if the other kids in that Year are in the same age bracket.
My kids 'went back a year' and even though they were appalled (lol!) it worked well. They were at the same maturity level as their classmates, enjoyed the social side and they were fine academically because we - the schools and us - made sure they were.
I am very proud of all my kids have achieved and I could not be happier with the schools they attended. Which, btw, were state schools.
I must say sorry for saying (going back a year) as long as the children are with the same age group as them, it should not matter. on the world education list OZ is above the UK in all studies so as long as my boys are happy then I'm happy.
I would think that your 12yo would have to do the last term of the year at primary school and the 13yo would do the last term of yr 8 in high school. You could contact DECS here and ask if they could go up a year - it's worth a try.
In general, Oz schools are a year behind the UK based on our experience.