Would you move tweens/teens from UK to NZ for 12-18 months + questions on Secondary

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Would you move tweens/teens from UK to NZ for 12-18 months + questions on Secondary

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Old 19th January 2020, 11:20 AM
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Default Would you move tweens/teens from UK to NZ for 12-18 months + questions on Secondary

Hi, I would really appreciate some advice. My husband and I have 3 kids aged between 9 and 14 and we are some way through serious consideration of a move to New Zealand (Auckland area). We have thought very carefully through our reasons for wanting to go, remembering that despite beautiful scenery etc. this will still be real life, not a holiday. We've come to the conclusion that we really want to move for the adventure and experience of living in a different country for both our kids and ourselves. We have researched finances, visas etc. and we are fine on those fronts. I have also read as much as I can about other people's experiences of moving from the UK to NZ.

But we are in a different position to most people I have read about who are dealing with a permanent move. Although of course it's possible that we'll choose to try to stay permanently if we all love our life out there, we not so much moving for a better life as because we want the experience of living in another country so realistically I am expecting us to stay for 12 (or possibly 18) months and then return to the UK. In some ways this makes things easier - we don't have the same worries about leaving friends and family, we're keeping our house in the UK, we don't have to buy in NZ etc.

But it also means we have to make sure we are future-proofing for reintegration into the UK education system. I know the NZ education system is supposed to be excellent but I am concerned from a curriculum perspective and more concerned having read the education sticky on this forum which says topics tend to be covered later in NZ schools.

I am most worried about my eldest son who will miss year 10 at school in the UK and potentially return at the start of year 11. It would mean having to do his GCSEs having missed a whole year of the curriculum. Is this feasible? On the one hand, I don't want this to stop us going because it is something we really want to do but on the other hand, I don't want to be unfair on him and this is something we need to work out. He is at a very good grammar school in the UK at the moment. I have questions like he is doing computer science GCSE which is very important to him - I can see this has recently been added to the NZ curriculum but is it likely to be taught in the same way as a separate subject? Can I assume that Maths and Sciences will be taught to the same level?

The alternative is to come back a year later so we arrive back for the start of sixth form which I think will mean he has level one of NCEA under his belt but will that have any value? Doing that would also impact our ability to get our youngest into the good secondary school in the UK because he will have missed the standard admissions window.

Finally, the ages for school years seem quite vague in NZ - am I right that if my son is 15 in November, he would be most likely to go into year 10 in NZ in January?

Thanks for any thoughts and advice - concerns about my eldest are keeping me awake at night at the moment!!

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Old 27th January 2020, 11:34 PM
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If you’re able to find a school that does IGCSEs then I would consider it. Some of the grammar schools and private schools now do.
Otherwise they could school on line with someone like the Woosley College and keep with the uk curriculum.
The curriculum
Over here is vastly different.
I personally wouldn’t put a child into the NZ education system for a short period of time expecting them to go back in a year or 18 months to the UK education system and not have missed a lot.
My personal experience and opinion is that that NCEA isn’t on a par with British exams and you will be plugging a lot of gaps, even in that short time.
As I say though it’s only my personal opinion. And also only for children approaching teens and going to take options and exams etc.

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Old 17th February 2020, 04:28 AM
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It is feasible but he will be disadvantaged.

I speak from first-hand experience (20 years ago), and as a parent who has just moved my kids to NZ. As a kid I remember doing UK-NZ-UK again and having to work twice as hard, and some subjects I simply did not bother (languages and history etc as these were totally different and too much to catch up on). Would I change things ? absolutely not. I still regard that time as one of the best in my life (in NZ) which is why I have ended back here.

Speaking as a parent of a 10 year old kid in year 6 (that moved to NZ 3 months ago) The education system in New Zealand is very good, but very different. To an extent, it actually worries my wife ! The focus is far more upon developing a well rounded person, rather than simply getting them through exams. Far less pressure, little or no homework, and stress far more effort to give kids more confidence and core abilities. Contrast with her facebook friends doing SATs at the moment it could not be more different.

This relaxed approach continues in years 7 and 8, and its only once they hit year 9 that they start to really push the kids academically. My daughter could not be more happy and the transition this way has been really easy.

If we were planning on heading back to UK though I would have some concern.
Although could consider international school, personally I would simply bring over a load of GCSE practice text books, find the online distance content and spend an hour a day be prepared.

As for the year your son goes into, he would be going into year 10.

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