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UK schooling vs Australia for young children

UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Old Apr 12th 2010, 10:03 am
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Default UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Hi. Hope you don't mind me posting but thought this forum would have some insight for me.

We are looking at moving from Australia to the UAE, the school we are looking at uses the UK curriculum which from my reading sounds great. Our eldest is 7 years old.

For those of you with children around the same age who were schooled in the UK, how did you find the comparison with work when you moved to Australia (particularly Victoria). I am wondering if our daughter will come back in a few years ahead/behind/the same as if she had not gone away.

Any comments would be really appreciated.

Thanks so much.

regards
Susan
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 10:55 am
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by indi31165 View Post
Hi. Hope you don't mind me posting but thought this forum would have some insight for me.

We are looking at moving from Australia to the UAE, the school we are looking at uses the UK curriculum which from my reading sounds great. Our eldest is 7 years old.

For those of you with children around the same age who were schooled in the UK, how did you find the comparison with work when you moved to Australia (particularly Victoria). I am wondering if our daughter will come back in a few years ahead/behind/the same as if she had not gone away.

Any comments would be really appreciated.

Thanks so much.

regards
Susan
My 3 spent most of their primary years being educated in the UK. I am not so sure they would have "graduated" from primary school with the level of knowledge they did, had they been educated here in Victoria from age 5. IMO the English curriculum places more emphasis on handwriting, spelling, times tables than the Australian; skills which I consider to be of upmost importance. BTW they attended a very gd school in the UK and the school here in Melb is also highly regarded.

The two eldest were in the "upper set" in their UK primary but were by no means the brightest. Here they are both in extension classes and both came within the top 1% of their year levels in the first year of (private) high school.

The youngest who spent the most of his primary years here (4) left lacking even the most basic skills in writing and spelling.

HTH
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 11:17 am
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by OzSheila View Post
My 3 spent most of their primary years being educated in the UK. I am not so sure they would have "graduated" from primary school with the level of knowledge they did, had they been educated here in Victoria from age 5. IMO the English curriculum places more emphasis on handwriting, spelling, times tables than the Australian; skills which I consider to be of upmost importance. BTW they attended a very gd school in the UK and the school here in Melb is also highly regarded.

The two eldest were in the "upper set" in their UK primary but were by no means the brightest. Here they are both in extension classes and both came within the top 1% of their year levels in the first year of (private) high school.

The youngest who spent the most of his primary years here (4) left lacking even the most basic skills in writing and spelling.

HTH
Ditto what you say!!

My oldest daughter studied in a British curriculum until year 9 in the UAE. We recently moved to Melbourne. DECD (Vic) advised us to put her in Grade 9 here. She was at the top of her class there. Here, she finds she is ahead (in Maths, Science, English and French) of not just Grade 9 but Grade 10 as well.

I also found the UK curriculum to be more structured. I recently got my daughter (aged 7), Year 2 UK curriculum work books for Maths and English and have started teaching her at home as well.
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 11:50 am
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

All of the evidence that I've seen points to woeful teaching of numeracy in Australia.

Much more hit and miss also - very poor teacher accountability (and set to stay so if the AEU gets its way) means that a child in the Australian system could really fall behind.

Having said that, I have been pleased wth my kids' teachers although I still have to do a lot of Maths teaching at home to keep them up to speed.

The emphasis on whole-character teaching and confidence-building is superior to the UK in my view although in older primary kids, this is at the expense of academic rigour.

Overall, I think the Australian system can work well but, as a parent, you really have to keep your eye on the ball - more so than in the UK where your child will often be picked up by the school's own review of performance.
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

From all reports on here Australia is far less academic in early years but it all levels out in the end.

From the 2 major international independent tests it doesn't seem like there is enough in it to worry:

TIMSS 2007 Maths Year 8

England 513 (after 9 years of schooling)
Australia 498 (after 8 years of schooling)
Scotland 487 (after 9 years of schooling)

PISA 2003 Maths (all students approx 15yo)

8th Australia 524
8th Scotland 524
12th Northern Ireland 515
17th Ireland 503
20th Wales 498

* England did not provide enough results for accurate testing in PISA 2003
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by fish.01 View Post
From all reports on here Australia is far less academic in early years but it all levels out in the end.

From the 2 major international independent tests it doesn't seem like there is enough in it to worry:

TIMSS 2007 Maths Year 8

England 513 (after 9 years of schooling)
Australia 498 (after 8 years of schooling)
Scotland 487 (after 9 years of schooling)

PISA 2003 Maths (all students approx 15yo)

8th Australia 524
8th Scotland 524
12th Northern Ireland 515
17th Ireland 503
20th Wales 498

* England did not provide enough results for accurate testing in PISA 2003
I think anyone comparing Australia with England should take more notice of the trends in TIMMS scores:

Between 1995 and 2007 at Year 8, England improved its standards by 16 points .
Australia declined - i.e. standards deteriorated compared with the rest of the world - by 13 points.

This divergence is my great concern. Although Y4 achievement improved in Australia (although by nowhere near as much as England) - Australia's downward trend at Y8 is in my view a direct result of:
1. A lack of national curriculum and agreed standards at each age
2. Lack of teacher accountability
3. New age educational fads at state level.
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

I think the choice of school is crucial. We moved our daughter (UK yr 4) from one of the top 100 schools in the UK. She had just achieved the highest level possible in every subject on the SATs exams. We chose to put her in an IB primary school (Australian yr 4) in Adelaide. We were surprised to find that she was actually behind her cohorts in some areas - particularly maths and music. She was ahead in some areas - particularly spelling and reading.

IB schools work to international standards. The IB year 12 qualification is recognised as equivalent to A levels in the UK.

Overall we are happy with the school we have chosen as she is a musical child and has blossomed in a school which teaches more than the bare minimum the National Curriculum offers in that area in the UK.

So look at your options in Melbourne and chose a school carefully. Just as in the UK there are bad, medium and good schools. Ask lots of questions and don't get taken in. Some private schools don't offer higher standards than some public schools.

Last edited by Fly Away; Apr 12th 2010 at 1:25 pm.
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by Fly Away View Post
I think the choice of school is crucial. We moved our daughter (UK yr 4) from one of the top 100 schools in the UK. She had just achieved the highest level possible in every subject on the SATs exams. We chose to put her in an IB primary school (Australian yr 4) in Adelaide. We we surprised to find that she was actually behind her cohorts in some areas - particularly maths and music. She was ahead in some areas - particularly spelling and reading.

IB schools work to international standards. The IB year 12 qualification is recognised as equivalent to A levels in the UK.

Overall we are happy with the school we have chosen as she is a musical child and has blossomed in a school which teaches more than the bare minimum the National Curriculum offers in that area in the UK.

So look at your options in Melbourne and chose a school carefully. Just as in the UK there are bad, medium and good schools. Ask lots of questions and don't get taken in. Some private schools don't offer higher standards than some public schools.
I'm glad your daughter is doing great in an Aus school. Can I ask, is it private or state?
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 2:28 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by pomtastic View Post
I'm glad your daughter is doing great in an Aus school. Can I ask, is it private or state?
Uk wins hands down , and its free.
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by NKSK version 2 View Post
I think anyone comparing Australia with England should take more notice of the trends in TIMMS scores:

Between 1995 and 2007 at Year 8, England improved its standards by 16 points .
Australia declined - i.e. standards deteriorated compared with the rest of the world - by 13 points.

This divergence is my great concern. Although Y4 achievement improved in Australia (although by nowhere near as much as England) - Australia's downward trend at Y8 is in my view a direct result of:
1. A lack of national curriculum and agreed standards at each age
2. Lack of teacher accountability
3. New age educational fads at state level.
A definite trend. It does seem to be easing now as between 2003 and 2007 many states educational systems are seeing improvements:

NT +34
ACT +11
VIC +8
TAS +8

So I guess, like the UK, it really does depend which state education system you compare as some of the others have dropped. Lets hope the coming national curriculum helps. It could also be influenced by the fact that the UK has had a labour govt for the last decade and Australia has had conservatives. UK only passed Australia in 2003/2004 so could be the right timeframe
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by indi31165 View Post
Hi. Hope you don't mind me posting but thought this forum would have some insight for me.

We are looking at moving from Australia to the UAE, the school we are looking at uses the UK curriculum which from my reading sounds great. Our eldest is 7 years old.

For those of you with children around the same age who were schooled in the UK, how did you find the comparison with work when you moved to Australia (particularly Victoria). I am wondering if our daughter will come back in a few years ahead/behind/the same as if she had not gone away.

Any comments would be really appreciated.

Thanks so much.

regards
Susan
My kids started school in Australia and have been at school here in the UAE for a couple of years. They are now 11, almost 9 and almost 7. The seven year old has almost finished Year 2 in the British Curriculum, in Australia she would only have started Year 1 in January. So obviously with starting school earlier, kids seem ahead when they go to Australia, but in my opinion, the education in Australia is much better and more rounded than in the UAE. Kids actually get to go to school for a decent amount of time for starters, here the school year is so interrupted with Islamic Holidays, mid term breaks and everything else, they don't have the continuity they need. I'm not worried though, when we leave at the end of this summer, they'll just be put into age appropriate classes in Australia and will probably have one or two terms of the years they've just finished to be able to assess how they're going.

Out of interest, what school's are you looking at in the UAE and have you visited any. If you need any advice, PM me and I'll be glad to share my views on particular schools. My kids started in an international school before moving to the British Curriculum.

Last edited by Kim67; Apr 12th 2010 at 4:57 pm.
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Old Apr 12th 2010, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

We live in WA the level of education has been shockingly behind and poor. If I had known this i would never have left Scotland.
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Old Apr 13th 2010, 1:23 am
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by Kim67 View Post
My kids started school in Australia and have been at school here in the UAE for a couple of years. They are now 11, almost 9 and almost 7. The seven year old has almost finished Year 2 in the British Curriculum, in Australia she would only have started Year 1 in January. So obviously with starting school earlier, kids seem ahead when they go to Australia, but in my opinion, the education in Australia is much better and more rounded than in the UAE. Kids actually get to go to school for a decent amount of time for starters, here the school year is so interrupted with Islamic Holidays, mid term breaks and everything else, they don't have the continuity they need. I'm not worried though, when we leave at the end of this summer, they'll just be put into age appropriate classes in Australia and will probably have one or two terms of the years they've just finished to be able to assess how they're going.

Out of interest, what school's are you looking at in the UAE and have you visited any. If you need any advice, PM me and I'll be glad to share my views on particular schools. My kids started in an international school before moving to the British Curriculum.
I have to add, my youngest is enjoying school a lot more than she did in Dubai. She is more confident and has become more outgoing. And with school being just a couple of minutes walk from home, she is more relaxed and gets so much more time at home.

I will however have to spend a lot more time with her helping her with Maths and writing.
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Old Aug 14th 2010, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by evelyn oneill View Post
We live in WA the level of education has been shockingly behind and poor. If I had known this i would never have left Scotland.
ev
I'm concerned at WA standards and considering returning and this is part of the reason. My kindy child has an unbelievable teacher so far and has been encouraged and given work for his ability but my daughter hasn't been as lucky in my opinion. I've looked at private schools and although there is a difference it isn't so dramatic.

I might be wrong but I think the teachers in UK seem to deliver the curriculum better to. Here with a new school with young teachers I think it is still working out how to deliver fundamental lessons. Again my opinion only. I feel for the kids because things like reading could have been learnt in a more fun way and earlier. Year 1 here still has many children on low level books. My year 1 has learnt a lot of her reading skills from sight and phonics lessons seem very slow. I think phonics is a good way for a child to learn to read. The school does seem to changing but I think it might be a very slow hard process.

Good luck
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Old Aug 14th 2010, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: UK schooling vs Australia for young children

Originally Posted by IndieG View Post
I have to add, my youngest is enjoying school a lot more than she did in Dubai. She is more confident and has become more outgoing. And with school being just a couple of minutes walk from home, she is more relaxed and gets so much more time at home.

I will however have to spend a lot more time with her helping her with Maths and writing.
One of my concerns with three kids is if I'll have the time to fill the gaps. Having three children to me feels like I need a good system to support me. I can do the homework With them etc but I don't want to be their school teacher / assistant. I want to be mum
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