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Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Old Aug 4th 2022, 4:51 am
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Default Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Hi everyone,
After living in NZ for 12 years, we are planning on moving back to the UK. However, we have a 15 year old and a 10 year old. Has anyone done the move back with children around this age? What year will they be in at school? And will they be behind in their education? I've heard the NZ Curriculum is way behind the UK.
It's a hard decision because the kids live a good life here but we feel so isolated without family and not having made many friends in all those years.
riends.My main concern is will my kids fit in on return to the uk?
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Old Aug 5th 2022, 6:43 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Depending on when your childrens birthdays are will depend which school year they go into. School years run from September to August. High school goes from years 7 to 11 (ones with sixth form also have 12 to 13) mostly, but in areas where they have middle school, I think it’s years 9 to 11. At the end of year 9 they make their choices for GCSE subjects and sit GCSES in year 11.
You will need to check schools zoning (catchment) areas as it will be easier to secure a place if you live within that area, so you’ll need to do your homework on which schools and areas you want to be in. There’s always the Grammar school to go down if they are in the area you are going to live in ,but they’ll need to sit entrance exams for them.
We moved back to the UK when our daughter was 10. She had 2 school terms in primary school (year 6) before moving up to high school. She found it pretty tough. It could be because she’s a girl and girls going into teenage years are not always the nicest, but she felt as though she didn’t fit in with everyone else. She’d lived in NZ from before she was 2 and felt like she had completely different interest to most of the other girls. When we came back we said we wouldn’t move her from high school as we’d moved around quite a bit before that. If Covid hadn’t hit we wouldn’t have kept that promise and would have gone back to NZ as none of us were happy here. We came back for family but don’t see them anyway, they don’t have or want to make the time to fit us into their lives, but that’s ok, we all make our choices.
I would imagine it’s easier for boys as boys tend to make friends easier, with girls , especially at high school, if you aren’t interested (or good at) sport,clothes,hair,makeup and boys, it tends to be harder
Not everyone’s reasons and experiences are the same, so just do what you think is best for you.
Hope this helps
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Old Aug 5th 2022, 6:47 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Originally Posted by stevenfoster13 View Post
At the end of year 9 they make their choices for GCSE subjects and sit GCSES in year 11.
Or choose in Year 8 - my children's school (and many others around here) do GCSE's over 3 years, not 2, so they start them in the September of Year 9.

Also, FWIW, my daughter isn't interested in clothes, make up, social media, sports and never had any issues. She founds lots of others that had the same interests as her. They'd go camping at the weekends instead of shopping and hanging out at malls.
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Old Aug 5th 2022, 7:01 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

The choices they have in year 8 aren’t the full choices for all gcse subjects, at my daughters school anyway. They had to choose a couple of subjects, but they weren’t the proper gcse choices, they were made in year 9. Maybe things have changed at some schools since covid but at my daughters school their GCSEs were done over 2 years.
I’m not saying all girls like shopping etc. and my daughter does have friends that aren’t interested in those things and has many other interests, you just have to seek them out. Covid and lockdowns didn’t help. 😔
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Old Aug 5th 2022, 7:47 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Originally Posted by Shellz View Post
My main concern is will my kids fit in on return to the uk?
Nobody can answer that and you will probably know your children best. I would assume that there are also many other factors that can make it a success/failure (teachers, classmates, location, your jobs).
The challenges would probably be the same if you moved from Dunedin to a very busy area of Auckland and the opposite. It's the same in Ireland and one example is sport, so if a child that loves surfing in Lahinch but parents decide to move to Tullamore, would the child fit in? Some mange and some don't.
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Old Aug 5th 2022, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Thank you for all your responses. NZ is such a beautiful place to live but such a shame it's so hard to fit into a social circle. We have lived in Hawkes Bay for the past 6 years and although kiwis are friendly, we have never been invited or included into a social gathering. Everyone seems to be locked in with their 'coffee group' circle. My husband and I have become very lonely,
Has anyone else experienced this? And how has life changed for you and your children back in the UK?
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Old Aug 5th 2022, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

You are in the NZ forum. You need to ask that in the Return to UK forum really
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Old Aug 6th 2022, 1:45 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Originally Posted by Shellz View Post
NZ is such a beautiful place to live but such a shame it's so hard to fit into a social circle. We have lived in Hawkes Bay for the past 6 years and although kiwis are friendly, we have never been invited or included into a social gathering. Everyone seems to be locked in with their 'coffee group' circle. My husband and I have become very lonely, Has anyone else experienced this?
Same here - we lead a pretty lonely life and often just go out by ourselves to cinema or the occasional dinner out. I have a few work related friends I could call up to meet for coffee or have a natter on the phone during work time but under no illusion that if I was to leave my job then those friendships wouldn't last. Although lovely people, none of them would dream to invest any time or money to go anywhere after work, other than maybe a quick drink to farewell someone leaving and even then it would be an hour tops and then always gotta be some place else.

COVID and working from home obviously has not helped anyone's social life over the past 2.5 year and it may be a while before some folks start to venture out again - there's a lot of folks still in hermit mode, doing online shopping, getting food delivered and only leaving the house if they must.

We are friends with a couple of British families who we go out with once or twice a year and usually invited to each others houses for BBQs or dinner on birthdays and special occasions. You could try inviting folks to yours but that can be a hard ask as well, we find invites can often be met with a sharp no as everyone is soooo busy and usually has to juggle their lives around kids activities.
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Old Aug 6th 2022, 7:06 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Originally Posted by Shellz View Post
Thank you for all your responses. NZ is such a beautiful place to live but such a shame it's so hard to fit into a social circle. We have lived in Hawkes Bay for the past 6 years and although kiwis are friendly, we have never been invited or included into a social gathering. Everyone seems to be locked in with their 'coffee group' circle. My husband and I have become very lonely,
Has anyone else experienced this? And how has life changed for you and your children back in the UK?
Have you thought of moving somewhere with more immigrants? We are in Perth, WA and the culture here is that Aussies are very friendly, but as you say, are locked into friendship groups that often go back to primary school. So most of our friends are also immigrants who are looking for social circles - mix of nationalities, mostly Asians.
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Old Aug 6th 2022, 8:36 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

We lived in Hawkes Bay for 4 years and then the west coast of the South Island for 4 years. It took us a good 2 years to make any friends, but that was only because we had a young daughter and my wife eventually made friends with other mums. As you say everyone is very friendly but it does take time to gradually make friends. We then joined the gym in the South Island and made friends there through the various classes we did (we were not gym people), but not friendly enough to pop round for a cuppa.
Its been the same experience back in the UK. We’ve been back 5 years and don’t have close friends. The ones we had before we left have all moved on with their lives and don’t have time to fit us in like before, but that’s our experience and everyone has different ones
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Old Aug 6th 2022, 11:03 am
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Originally Posted by stevenfoster13 View Post
We lived in Hawkes Bay for 4 years and then the west coast of the South Island for 4 years. It took us a good 2 years to make any friends, but that was only because we had a young daughter and my wife eventually made friends with other mums. As you say everyone is very friendly but it does take time to gradually make friends. We then joined the gym in the South Island and made friends there through the various classes we did (we were not gym people), but not friendly enough to pop round for a cuppa.
Its been the same experience back in the UK. We’ve been back 5 years and don’t have close friends. The ones we had before we left have all moved on with their lives and don’t have time to fit us in like before, but that’s our experience and everyone has different ones
You are right and it doesn't matter if in in NZ, UK or in my case Ireland, people just have their friends and family, so very hard for outsiders or those who have been away for longer. Although I have family in Ireland (Uncles and cousins), I rarely see them and they are either only interested in going to the pub and the others have school children and don't do that much. I do get invited and play soccer now and then, but everyone does their own thing after that. Personally I also can't be bothered planning things and we like to be flexible. As Bo-Jangles said, Covid hasn't made things easier either.
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Old Today, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to the UK with teenagers...

Totally experienced it. I do feel for you. I only have 5 friends here after 17 years. All five are from Europe and I made all those chums in my first 2 to 3 years of my 17 years here.

I have found that whilst Kiwis exude a chummy veneer they will not let you into the inner sanctum of their social life, they just won’t, no idea why. I have made HUGE efforts to curry relationships with kiwis to no avail. Ironically one of my close mates is a Cook Island Maori who I met in the U.K. 30 years ago. He has lived in the UK for 17 years now.
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