school query

Old Sep 7th 2013, 9:29 pm
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Default school query

Hi all. I'm moving to rural Alberta in the next 2-3 months. I have an 11yo who has just started year 7 in a UK Grammar school. He is grade 6 age for Canada and will probably need to go back to elementary school, but apparently he can be assessed for grade 7 (junior high school) as well.

I am in two minds; (1) if he goes back to grade 6 he is unlikely to be challenged with the work but will be with his age-matched peers and could concentrate on settling in. (2) Alternatively we could try for high school where he will be more educationally stimulated but will be the newbie and the youngest in the school.

I am thinking of doing option 1. Has anyone had a similar scenario and what option did you choose? If any teachers are reading this, your opinions would also be appreciated.

Additionally there are the choices of a K12 Catholic school with very good ratings and a high school with ratings. I like the idea of "leaving behind the elementary school mentality" but is this an issue with K12 schools?

Thank you
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Old Sep 7th 2013, 11:37 pm
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Default Re: school query

Originally Posted by docrcc
Hi all. I'm moving to rural Alberta in the next 2-3 months. I have an 11yo who has just started year 7 in a UK Grammar school. He is grade 6 age for Canada and will probably need to go back to elementary school, but apparently he can be assessed for grade 7 (junior high school) as well.

I am in two minds; (1) if he goes back to grade 6 he is unlikely to be challenged with the work but will be with his age-matched peers and could concentrate on settling in. (2) Alternatively we could try for high school where he will be more educationally stimulated but will be the newbie and the youngest in the school.

I am thinking of doing option 1. Has anyone had a similar scenario and what option did you choose? If any teachers are reading this, your opinions would also be appreciated.

Additionally there are the choices of a K12 Catholic school with very good ratings and a high school with ratings. I like the idea of "leaving behind the elementary school mentality" but is this an issue with K12 schools?

Thank you

When is his birthday in relation to the school intake years. In Ontario it runs with the calendar year, our youngest son has a January birthday, he is advanced one year, not too much of an issue as if he had been born a few days earlier he would have hit that year anyway. Our oldest went in with his peers ( end of July birthday so he would have been 18 months younger than some of his classmates). I would be inclined to go with Option 1, let him settle in without being overly challenged academically, provided he isn't the type to cause trouble if bored.
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 1:56 am
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Default Re: school query

I don't know about Alberta, but here Grade 6 is Middle School or Junior High, not Elementary.
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 1:59 am
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Smile Re: school query

Hi, we arrived 6 weeks ago youngest, 11 went into grade 6 which is 1st year of Junior high or middle school. Our oldest, January birthday and very mature for his age, (14 1/2) 'academically' was enrolled into year 10. He started school this week and by the end of his first day found the age difference (up to 2 years) difficult. A call to the school on Friday morning and he was moved to year 9, where he should have gone for his age. After the huge transition of moving we felt it best he got time to settle into the canadian way of school . He came home from school on Friday buzzing happy child = happy parents
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 2:44 am
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Default Re: school query

Option 1. At that age it is better to trade off academic achievement for emotional and social well being. This is particularly the case when the person is going to have to adapt to a different culture.
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 4:04 am
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Default Re: school query

Year 7 in England doesn't equate to Grade 7 in Canada in any case. Year 7 may be Grade 6 for all we know.

As for him entering elementary school, this is trivial in the big scheme of things. I know that Grade 7 is the last year of elementary school in some school districts in Canada, yet it's already the middle year of middle school in others, and it is the first year of junior high school in others. There is no absolute.

The age of his peers will likely matter more in this case, as others have discovered. Put him into grade 6 and he'll discover academic strengths in some areas, academic challenges in others, and that schooling in rural Alberta is a completely different experience than English grammar school. While he's learning to navigate this new school system, I agree that it would be best to put him in with his peers, especially at that age.

Last edited by Lychee; Sep 8th 2013 at 4:07 am.
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 4:05 am
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Default Re: school query

Originally Posted by Lychee
Year 7 in England doesn't equate to Grade 7 in Canada in any case. Grade 7 is the last year of elementary school in some school districts, the middle year of middle school in others, and the first year of junior high school in others. The age of his peers will likely matter more in this case, as others have discovered. Put him into grade 6 and he'll discover strengths in some areas, challenges in others, and that schooling in rural Alberta is a completely different experience than English grammar school. While he's learning to navigate this new school system, put him in with his peers, especially at that age.
Ya reckon?! :
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 4:07 am
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Default Re: school query

Originally Posted by Shard
Ya reckon?! :
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 5:11 am
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Default Re: school query

Not sure what part of Alberta you're headed but where I am in Alberta Grade 6 is Middle School, not Elementary. High School here commences at Grade 9.
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 9:27 am
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Default Re: school query

Thanks for all the responses so far. I didn't realize the variations in grades across Canada. The elementary school is definitely K-6 (Wainwright) and the high school is 7-12 with 7-9 being designated "Junior High" or "Middle school" but all in the same building.
You have reassured me that putting him back to elementary isn't an unreasonable step.
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: school query

This age cut off thing in classes can be terrible for kids....we are lucky, as our son was born on Jan 5th, and has so far always been the eldest in the class. He has a friend who was born three weeks earlier and she has always been challenged but in the next grade up!
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: school query

His birthday is March 29th. I think Alberta runs by the calendar year as well, not the school year.
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 3:42 pm
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Default Re: school query

Originally Posted by docrcc
His birthday is March 29th. I think Alberta runs by the calendar year as well, not the school year.
Do you have any qualms about moving him from a highly competitive grammar school to the relatively relaxed Alberta school system? It is a very different ethos, not better or worse, and it will probably be quite different from results-driven selective British schooling.

BTW, welcome to BE!
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 3:54 pm
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Default Re: school query

We went for option 1, and there were a few teething problems and utter boredom in a couple of subjects (English and Maths) for many months. However, socially it was completely the right decision, and moving and settling and making new friends, and learning other new subjects was all completely fine.

And I suspect it will be you parents that will need to make the biggest adjustment viewing the relaxed school atmosphere in Alberta versus a UK grammar school.

Best wishes with your move.
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Old Sep 8th 2013, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: school query

[QUOTE=Shard;10891400]Do you have any qualms about moving him from a highly competitive grammar school to the relatively relaxed Alberta school system? It is a very different ethos, not better or worse, and it will probably be quite different from results-driven selective British schooling.


to be honest I am a little apprehensive but there is a lot of time. There seems to be more emphasis on having well rounded students in Canada rather than exam results, but the nation is doing well so they must be on to something!
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