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    • 1 Post By kildorragh

    Thread: School Advice

    1. #1

      School Advice


      I'm new to the forum and this is my first post.

      We've just submitted our visa app to the DIAC this weekend after obtaining our SS in March with the intention to hopefully get our visa's stamped in October and move to Adelaide next year sometime.

      I have a daughter who is 13 tomorrow who is not sure if she wants to come with myself and my (second) husband or to stay in the UK with her dad and join us later as she is concerned about leaving her school and what she will leave behind as she is in year 8 here and seems quite settled. She had a friend who moved abroad last year and seems fine with another friend moving to USA shortly so does know a bit about the process.

      We think she will be fine and adapt really well and have assured her if she doesn't like Oz she can return to the UK and live with her dad. The problem also is her dad currently lives about 50 miles from us so for her to move to him or for him to relocate to where we live won't be easy either.

      We have suggested we get our visas as a holiday so she can take a look for herself as she has never been to Oz before where as we both have and loved it.

      Can anyone offer any advice on schools for a 13 year old and what the curriculum will be like and whether it will be harder for her to move at this age just as she is settling in to her GCSE work over here?

      Any advice would be most welcome.


    2. #2

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Mar 2008
      South Plympton, Adelaide
      1114 times
      It would not be hard for her to settle into an Australian school at 13, there are no equivalents to the GCSE's. There are no public exams until the final year in yr 12. Our kids don't start high school until yr 8 when they are for the most of them just 13 or turn 13 during the first term or two. Usually the first two years at High school are very broad with the kids able to try a little of everything. At the end of yr 9 they choose subjects a bit more formally for yr 10 but science and maths are usually general. In year 11 they begin to narrow down their subjects. The final year of school is year 12, so you can see that your daughter would have ample time to adapt and be comfortable in our school system, well before big decisions have to be made.
      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.

    3. #3

      Join Date
      Jan 2009
      Happy Valley
      91 times
      Our eldest was 11 when we arrived. He took the longest to settle at school compared to the two youngest BUT out if the three, he is now flying. Wild horses wouldn't drag him back to the UK. All three found the actual school work quite easy - I believe it's because they focus more in the early years on personal responsibility as opposed to a set curriculum. I wouldn't worry at all about the school work side of things.
      I guess that if you give her a get out clause (with moving back to dad) if she doesn't like it, she will take it very early if things don't work out in the first few weeks. How about reverse psychology - let her spend a month at her dads prior to coming. She may find that too difficult and decide to come with you with with an open mind.
      Difficult situation - no easy answers.

      Good luck.
      Kingpin likes this.
      Short term fully furnished 3-bed rental in Happy Valley.
      ABN 23916701051

    4. #4
      Our youngest was 13 last week, she was 11 when we came. She has just started high school in February (yr 8). School year is Feb to beginning of Dec. She's made loads of friends really quickly and it's important to say that Australia concentrates on important things in school like social skills, communicating and friendships. She goes to Southern vales Collage ($4000 a year) and it's worth every penny, absolutely fantastic, she just loves going to school. Just bring her she'll love it. If you live south bring her round ours and we can have a chin wag and a cuppa.

    5. #5
      Thanks for the replies. It gives me piece of mind.

      Is there anything else I need to think about?


    6. #6

      Senior Member
      Join Date
      Aug 2007
      44 times
      Hi Leanne,

      SO difficult! We moved in 2009 the week my daughter turned 13, son turned 11 and youngest was 5. I was most concerned about my daughter and she settled the absolute quickest! She came from a grammar school in UK and ended up skipping year 8 immediately but that was great for her. She has excelled, made fantastic friends and had far less pressure than the UK. Transitioning here is easy academically. However, we are aware that she couldn't have gone back easily into the UK system without being quite far behind. That said - you could probably get away with a year or so here and go back with limited problems but not much more.

      You never know how the kids will fare and quite frankly that's usually the most difficult aspect. It's easy to realise as adults that it's simply an adventure and transition takes time but to a teenager it can be the end of the world. I have to say - expect the unexpected. We thought eldest would struggle - youngest actually did and even now would probably tell you he would return to UK in a flash. Interesting! For your daughter - the big thing is that she will be starting over in both places so - why not take a leap and try another country? We always say to our kids that they are privileged to have had the opportunity to do so much travel and explore different places and they will have the opportunity to live in the UK, Australia or US when they are adults. Nothing is irrevocable and if someone or everyone is extremely unhappy, we will do what we can to make adjustments so they are. We have tried to show them life is about compromises and making the most of your situation. We spend a lot of time getting our kids to talk about the positives wherever we are (especially our middle child who specialises in the fact that life is not fair and he is always mistreated... LOL) but that's just our strategy to survive teen years in general.

      Good luck!



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