Hi, first post. This looks like a great forum!
We are moving from WA State to Cambridge with 3 kids this summer for a job transfer. DH and all the kids are dual citizens. We don't know how long - it would depend on how well things go. 2 years at minimum - we might even stay in UK if it works out. We have a lot of family and friends in London.
It's an enormous move for our family (as I'm sure you all know), but honestly, the biggest worry I have is the school situation. We have a smart, outgoing 7th grade boy (-->Y9). Also an anxious, but very organized and diligent 5th grade girl who loves playing select girls soccer, which I understand is not nearly as big of a sport in UK (for girls), but perhaps growing? And finally, a 2nd grade boy, who we're not really worried about- he's a smart, flexible kid who can't wait to get a British accent.
The kids are all in a private school in the US, and we assumed we could put them in independent schools in Cambridge.
I'm just wondering what kinds of experiences people have had moving to the UK at Y7 and Y9?
DS (going into Y9) -- independent secondary looks highly unlikely to be an option for him, as we have just missed the application deadlines for the only 2 private secondaries that take boys (The Perse and The Leys), and they don't expect to have any more places.... we would have to look outside of Cambridge. We should get an Education Consultant with the job transfer - maybe they can find another option...
DD (going into Y7) - we may be able to get a spot for her a local private girls school, which sounds like it could be a great fit for her (St Mary's), but I'm just worried about moving her into the UK system in general. She is an anxious one.... She is super diligent in school, but she does not do particularly well on standardized testing, so I worry that a system based on standardized testing (GCSE, A-Levels) would not be the best system in general for her. Part of it is fact that she gets so nervous for exams if she can't study for them - I think she sort of shuts down and just guesses. However, she aces classroom exams that cover materials she learns in class -- the American type of exams. Am I overthinking this? Such a shame to pull her out of school where she gets straight A's and throw her into the great unknown.... I have no idea how she will handle the move -- she likes everything planned out with no surprises.... If she could at least play on a girls soccer team, that would ease the transition, I think.
One other thought - I was wondering if we should try to put DD in Y6? She has end of summer birthday anyway, and if the UK curriculum is ahead of US, maybe that would help? For her to move to another country, and all the sudden be way behind in everything, could just be too much for her to take in at once... Do they even allow this -- I think they are much stricter than in the US. Where we live now, most of the kids with summer birthdays are the oldest in their classes.