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tiger mama Apr 29th 2013 7:43 pm

Primary education
Does anyone know if they do the same/similar phonics scheme that they've been doing in primary schools here in the last few years? Those who've migrated with LOs in the last few years how did yours get on with the transition from NZ to UK schooling? And how long did it take them to feel fully settled socially? Feeling very guilty with anticipation about moving our eldest, who's in reception.

MrsFychan Apr 29th 2013 8:34 pm

Re: Primary education
no reception classes here, they start on their 5th birthday. Don't think they do phonic's(?) but as mine went into year 2 he had already done all that in the UK. What I must say though the handwriting of the children over her is beautiful from such a young age, really blow my mind to be honest. Classes are a lot more social and creactive here and relaxed. My son, 6. has settled in really really well and the constant requests for play dates can be a bit of a juggle but he loves it here, lots more out doors play and just being kids

MOSO Apr 29th 2013 10:00 pm

Re: Primary education
Some kids end up doing reception (New Entrant) it depends on their birthday. If kids are 5 towards the end of the year, they will start school on their birthday (sometimes literally!), they will then move to year 1 the following February.

As for phonics, it depends on the teacher and/or school, there is no overall or preferred system as there is in the UK. The curriculum is far less prescriptive and the targets are different. There aren't SATs exams although there is assessment of course. I've seen Jolly phonics, Letterland and whole word being taught at the same school at the same time by different teachers. There is a lot of emphasis on reading for meaning and comprehension and far less on moving through the reading levels.

My youngest repeated the last term of year 2 here because of his birthday (my daughter skipped to the next year up because of hers). He was ahead in decoding because of his phonic knowledge but behind in comprehension. As a teacher myself I can see the advantages/disadvantages of both systems. Education in New Zealand is different with a different curriculum. As Mrs F says there is more emphasis on play and creativity and my kids both commented on the amount of sport they did when they got here! They are allowed to be kids here, health and safety is not the same and there aren't locked gates etc. We're in a small town and kids walk/scoot to school by themselves at all ages. This of course won't be the case in some areas.

Depending on where you're planning on moving to the teachers and school will be used to having British kids in their classes. There's one or two (or more) in each of the classes my kids have been in as well as kids or parents from other parts of the world. I'm sure your child will settle fine as they're still young. Good luck with the move.

HeatherGirl Apr 30th 2013 12:47 am

Re: Primary education
Hi there

I think as previously stated, it depends on the school. I'm a primary teacher in a Yr 1 class over here in NZ and we use Essential Phonics. My own children went to nursery in Scotland where they were taught using Jolly Phonics. There is less emphasis on phonics here than there was in Scotland but I don't necessarily think that is a negative, they just encourage children to learn to read using a variety of strategies such as using visual clues, reading on etc.

My own children are 7, we arrived in August and since then have just made another move and hence are about to start fresh at another school. Fingers crossed it'll go well:fingerscrossed: They settled into the first school so I'm joining you feeling guilty at moving them again but hopefully this will be the last move as we love it here in New Plymouth.

It's natural to have concerns but I think it's a great age to make the move and I'm sure your child will settle in really quickly.

Good luck!

ellenarosemary Apr 30th 2013 12:50 am

Re: Primary education
Agree with Mrs F my daughters handwriting has improved greatly and is really quite lovely now, great and clear. My son started in reception in November but moved up two classes in January, as did my youngest daughter.

Loads more outdoorsie type things, our children love it here, they were the 'newbies' with 'odd accents' when they started (no other british kids at their school), but now others have started they arnt the newbies anymore.

My eldest daughter loves arts and crafts and there seems to be more of an emphasis on this, which she loves.

M_and_M May 5th 2013 7:32 am

Re: Primary education
come back to me and ask again in a few weeks, I am about to start my new job in a primary school as a special needs outreach teacher tomorrow!

tiger mama May 5th 2013 7:50 am

Re: Primary education
Thanks for those insights - that has settled my mind a lot! I feel so guilty about the thought of taking him out of school when he's so settled but I know he is only five and will adapt quickly once the painful but is over.

Also crap timing but he was referred to the paediatrician with a question mark over autistic spectrum disorders which we've just been told thankfully that all looks fine, but they do want to do an assessment for adhd which will take at least six months they say. I'm now worrying this will be underway when a job offer comes and we have to leave half way through, or if it would even endanger our chances of having the visa applications accepted, or if it would be better all round for continuity and stability if we put off the assessment until we are in nz. Head scratching!

Oooh good look M_and_M - how nervewracking and exciting all rolled into one! Hope it goes well for you!

M_and_M May 5th 2013 7:51 am

Re: Primary education
Thanks! Stay in touch - in the UK I was a special needs teacher too - my specialism is AUTISM :)

Steve88 May 5th 2013 8:23 am

Re: Primary education
Hi, it's Steve's OH Becky here! My son is in a similar situation - he is 6 and has a ? over whether to be assessed yet..... the SENCO lady said they won't assess him until they have tried other interventions (they have currently introduced a reward star chart to see if his behaviour improves....) just wondering if it will affect our visa application too....?? My other son is seeing a physio for toe walking at the moment too.... nothing too serious - just got to get out of the habit and do excercies.... Just hope there are no other health issues when applying!!

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