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Moving back to the area - schools
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apple


Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
11-03-2012 01:34 PM

Hi,

I know there has been several posts about schools so sorry if this is a bit deja vu but just had a few questions.
We are moving back to the area (where we already have a property) after having spent 3 years abroad (US)
My children will be going into Year 1 and Year 3. My daughter is used to being in a big school (her current school has 5 classes per year of about 23 kids) but my son may be behind as school doesnt start in US until 5 years old so at the moment, he is turning 5 but is in pre-school where they learn to write letters/numbers etc etc but they do not learn to read. I will start teaching him to read so he is not too behind. Worried a big school may be too much for him? at the moment he is in a class of 10 kids! with 2 teachers!
I remembering having a look around horniman school in 2008 and wondering if they have a bulge class, where did they put that class as the school already looked small?!!
Do they have a teaching assistant in the classes or is it just the teacher with however many kids?
which one would you recommend out of the 2? I'm sure i won't have a choice but interested to hear from whoever is there. And is there much movement in the schools, have kids left and joined since you've been there?

thanks so much for any advice/info.

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ladywotlunches


Posts: 147
Joined: Dec 2007
Post: #2
11-03-2012 01:58 PM

Hi Apple

welcome (back) to the area!

Horniman built a new building out the front of the school to house the bulge last year.

Fairlawn (is that the other school of the two you are thinking?) had a bulge class the year before (2010 intake) and also had a new building - but they moved the library into this and shifted some classes around.

My son is at Fairlawn in Yr 1 now. He loves it, and he has 3 FT members of staff in his class, the teacher, the teaching assistant and another teaching assistant who is there for SEN. The other classes have a teacher and TA at least.

I've found the teaching really good. There is a broad range of reading ability and lots of support at each level (and the staff are always keen to help parents who want to do more too).

There has been some movement at the school. Don't know about further up but give them a call and they can let you know direct.

hope this helps!

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apple


Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #3
11-03-2012 04:19 PM

thank you so much for your reply and the info. Am nervous about starting again but hopefully the kids will slot back in.. Good to know about the teaching assistants. Will give them a ring, thanks again

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #4
11-03-2012 05:06 PM

I spent three years in the US - there is about six months difference in terms of schooling. So when we went there, when my daughter had just finished year one, she ended up going into first grade, repeating about half of year one, and when we came back to the UK, she went straight from third grade to year 5, and was about six months behind. We were concerned, but she caught up very quickly, with no extra help or tutoring.

For younger children, they pick up reading and writing at their own pace anyway so I'm sure your younger one will adapt quickly. Going from a small class to a large one is similar to the transition from pre-school to reception in any case.

I started my son at school early in the US (which we had the option to do at their elementary school) because I new we would be coming back to the UK, and I regretted it, because he was only four in a class of five year-olds. The age difference was much harder to deal with than differences in what they had been taught in ther pre-schools.

Now the only difference for my kids is in their accents - we've been back four years and they still sound American.

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P1971


Posts: 816
Joined: Feb 2009
Post: #5
11-03-2012 06:05 PM

Hi Apple
My kids have been and are at Fairlawn and both love the school! My son is in year 4 and gets a lot of extra help as he is dyslexic and he was also getting extra help before he was tested as myself and his teacher thought he might be dyslexic when he was in year 1 which the school didn't need to provide. So I'm sure your son would get extra help until he caught up with the other kids. I would apply to any schools you are interested in straight away as there may be a waiting list, I would imagine most year groups have waiting lists at Fairlawn. Good luck and welcome back to Forest Hill.

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apple


Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
11-03-2012 10:02 PM

Thanks p1971 and rshdunlop,am feeling more reassured now. Good to hear others experiences, fairlawn sure does sound fantastic.

I had heard that about the schooling and the US being behind. What school did you come back to and was it the same school as the one you'd left behind? How was it settling back if you don't mind me asking?

p1971, wish i could apply now, we aren't back until the summer so will have to wait which is very frustrating as there is nothing can do at the moment.

Thanks again Smile

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #7
11-03-2012 10:11 PM

We came back to the same school, which was Our Lady and St Philip Neri. I kept in touch with the head teacher by email while we were away. I'm sure you could contact the heads of schools you are interested in by email. Applying for places in year groups other than reception can be handled directly by the school and there is no reason why you can't get in touch with them now.

Settling back in took a few weeks, but was easier than settling in to the States. Good to be back in familiar surroundings, but like any big upheavals, it takes a while to settle back. There are still things I miss about the States but we are very glad to be home!

This post was last modified: 11-03-2012 10:13 PM by rshdunlop.

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apple


Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
11-03-2012 11:05 PM

Ok thanks - was told to contact the LEA and they would provide me with a list of schools and availability and put me on waitlists once im back and paying council tax but will email schools too.
Thanks for your help

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #9
12-03-2012 07:33 AM

I don't know if things have changed since I can back (in 2007) but I didn't go through the local authority at all. LEAs don't exist anymore, so it would be Lewisham council that would deal with it if you go the official route. It certainly can't hurt to contact the schools directly.

Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have any other questions about the logistics of coming back.

This post was last modified: 12-03-2012 07:34 AM by rshdunlop.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,356
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #10
12-03-2012 10:08 AM

You do need to go through the Local Authority now to obtain a place. But you can still contact the schools for information etc..

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Satchers


Posts: 262
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #11
12-03-2012 10:58 PM

Most primary schools in the area seem pretty good.
However, there is a chance you have to think a bit further afield as most schools seem pretty full at the moment. I know numbers do change though, so good luck!

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #12
13-03-2012 07:34 AM

It's true there is a lot of pressure on reception places. In older year groups, there are usually a few open spots each year, even in oversubscribed schools, with kids moving away or to different schools (for whatever reason).

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derbybill


Posts: 122
Joined: Jan 2010
Post: #13
13-03-2012 02:07 PM

Sorry, rshdunlop, don't follow your previous remark that "LEAs don't exist anymore".

Did you mean that the ILEA (Inner London Education Authority) doesn't exist anymore (Maggie Thatcher abolished it, along with the GLC, mainly to get rid of "red Ken") or is it just your anticipation of what Michael Gove (Sec. of State for Education) would like to do, ie get rid of LEAs through free schools, academies, private schools and so on.

The LEAs are still responsible for the most schools in the UK, as the NHS is still looking after our health!
Long may they continue!

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #14
13-03-2012 02:12 PM

Indeed, derbybill. Sorry if my post was misleading (I was being a bit slapdash).

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,356
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #15
13-03-2012 02:50 PM

They tend to call them LAs (Local Authorities) now.

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rshdunlop


Posts: 1,111
Joined: Jun 2008
Post: #16
13-03-2012 03:15 PM

My initial comment about LEAs was really in response to the OP stating they would contact the LEA. As Sherwood pointed out, it is the LA that has responsibility for placing children in schools and it is the LA that the OP needs to contact.

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