My husband and I are in the early stages of considering a move to London with our 3 kids and a dog. I am curious about where US expats typically live in London and the surrounding areas. Our 2 oldest children will be in primary school. We are considering an American or Catholic school. Would our US kids adapt well to British schools?
Most people expats included, choose a place to live in London based on how easily it is commutable to their place of work and that's a good place to start. However, St. John's Wood is often referred to as the American ghetto because of the large concentration of Americans who live there. That's due to 2 things: 1. The American School which is located there and 2. It is as easy commute on the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf which is one of the financial centers and a large number of American expats are employed in the financial markets. There is even a small grocery store which stocks some American products if you ever feel the need for an £8 box of Lucky Charms.
If your move is going to be temporary, say a couple of years, or you fully intend to return to the US and you (or your employer is paying) can afford it, your kids will have a much easier time if they stick to American curriculum and aren't faced with adjusting to a different system and then 2 years later adjusting back. They will likely be behind kids of their own age if they are enrolled in a UK state school. They will be placed strictly by age. Catholic schools and other faith schools are state schools as well and follow the same curriculum albeit with more religious education thrown in.
There are other American schools in Surrey, which is commutable to London and you will probably find a concentration of Americans there as well.