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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm looking for advice or a bit of insight from someone who has moved UK to SA with young children. My wife is South African and desperate to move home, and I'm very keen to go with her. The only thing we're not sure about is the timing of education for our five year old daughter.

Basically, she's about to finish her second year at primary school where she's doing really, really well. Because she's very young for her year (July baby), if we move in Jan as planned to coincide with the new SA school year, she'll essentially be back in reception, or learning with children much, much older than her.

I'm worried that moving to the SA curriculum will mean she'll get bored and irrevokably damage her attitude towards school and learning for the future. Has anyone else here made this move with kids of a similar age? Am I overstating the problem? I would really, really love to hear about your experiences positive and negative.
 

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Moved here jan 2011 with 2 kids from the uk aged 15 & 11.
15yo was in final year at school due to sit gcses in may 2011. He arrived to start grade 10 having already completed 4 months of UK year 11. At fiirst he found the whole thing complicated, was he repeating a year? No, the system is graded differently. He matrics in dec 2013 instead of finishing his a levels in June 2013 the only issue we will have is if he attends a uk uni he will havemissed the 2013 start date so will be forced to take a gap 10 months. He is also now the oldest child in his school with a jan bday which has given him a great boost.
 

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SA Schooling

Hi all,

In South Africa formal schooling starts rather later than UK. Essentially there are twelve grades ending at roughly age 17-18. Before that pre-school covers the basics, so if you 5-yr old arrives in this country she will be accepted into Grade 1 in a Government school. Obviously private schools are a bit more flexible. It may be an idea to consult an education consultant. I know of one but I think the advertising restrictions on this site prohibit me from giving you her name. Try Googling Education Consultants Johannesburg.
 

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Hi all,

I'm looking for advice or a bit of insight from someone who has moved UK to SA with young children. My wife is South African and desperate to move home, and I'm very keen to go with her. The only thing we're not sure about is the timing of education for our five year old daughter.

Basically, she's about to finish her second year at primary school where she's doing really, really well. Because she's very young for her year (July baby), if we move in Jan as planned to coincide with the new SA school year, she'll essentially be back in reception, or learning with children much, much older than her.

I'm worried that moving to the SA curriculum will mean she'll get bored and irrevokably damage her attitude towards school and learning for the future. Has anyone else here made this move with kids of a similar age? Am I overstating the problem? I would really, really love to hear about your experiences positive and negative.
If you are considering private schooling at all you may want to try the International Schools as they follow the UK curriculum and it would make it easy for your daughter to come back if things don't work out there. She is very young so I really wouldn't worry about her being put back a year. I think they start kids far too young at school here in UK. My daughter is a Dec baby so she had 2 years at pre-school (started at 2 and 9 months) before going into Reception but some of the other children who had just turned 4 in July/Aug were very overwhelmed by it. She is now in Year 3 so we have the same situation in that if we go to SA for the start of Jan year I am not sure if they would put her in a lower grade. Glad your daughter is doing so well in her school - they will take that into consideration at her new school as I have been asked to take school reports etc with me. Isn't it lovely to think of them doing their sports outside in the sun though!???
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies all. Very reassuring. We're just looking into schools in the area now - I'd love to use an international school (I hear they don't start so insanely early...) but I don't think there are any where we're looking. On the flipside, we've had really good feedback about some of the government schools in the area...
 

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We're also looking at schools now (in Cape Town), but our son is a year younger - due to start Reception here in September, so we'll just not let him start so that he can start Grade R in SA in January.

Where are you looking for schools?
 

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We are moving to Cape Town at the end of this year with our 5 year old twins (will be 6 in January) and I think it's a perfect time to move with them since they still have not started "real" school and will then start there in January.

Good luck!
 

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In our school (private South African school in Johannesburg), a five-year-old would be in Grade 0, which is a mix of kindergarten and school. They learn the alphabet, but not reading.
Our daughter is in Grade 1 now, and she loves it!
 
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