Moving schools at any age can be daunting. Children may feel a little worried at entering an unfamiliar environment and meeting new people. It’s important to remember that all children either move schools at some point in their school career, or they move from one key stage and building to another. Change is an inevitable part of life and learning how to cope, dealing with it well and looking forward to the exciting aspects of change can gift children with a strong resilience for approaching life in general.
Some people worry that children will feel insecure in a brand-new school and miss their old friends. Others feel that their child is not achieving enough where they are and that a change would be beneficial for their educational progression.
An essential fact to keep in mind is that you want to make the best decision for your child’s future. Although at first it may seem like a huge step, changing schools in Year 9 may be advantageous in setting your child on the right future path. There may be certain GCSEs they want to study that are not available in their current educational setting so moving schools would be necessary to ensure excellent academic progression. You may be feeling a little dissatisfied with their existing school in that the education is not as rigorous and supportive as you would like it to be.
You may be witnessing your child underachieving and feeling very concerned that they won’t reach their potential in GCSEs, A levels and even beyond this. Moving schools in Year 9 could be the start of a new lease of life for your child academically, pastorally and in their extracurricular life. They could experience a whole new world through a school move that could make all the difference for their future emotional and educational wellbeing.
At first, you might think that moving schools in Year 9 is not naturally the right time. Your child has been at their current school for a while and has made their friends, knows the staff and understands the systems in place. The challenge is to be open to the thought that just because this is the status quo, doesn’t mean that it is the optimum place for your child’s future achievement and happiness.
Often, there are signs that your child is in need of a fresh start in a new school. Their academic progression may be stalling or not developing at a rate that you and your child are happy with. There may be issues in certain classes that are inhibiting your child’s success with subjects. They may be struggling to access the best material and resources to help them reach or exceed their target grades. The school may have difficulty providing the subjects that they really want to study at GCSE and A level as they are limited or not on offer. Talking to your child about their experiences in school and in lessons is vital in gaining a full picture about what is holding them back.
A house move may be on the cards or perhaps you want to live in a different area or region of the UK. Changes in family circumstances may play a part in your decision-making. Your child’s current school may not offer the right mix of sport, community or citizenship activities and certifications that you would like to enhance your child’s educational experience. Considering practical reasons fully and discussing these honestly with your child will help you make a decision about whether moving your child to another school is the right choice for your child and your family as a whole.
Having conversations with your child about friendships and how they feel about school can be tricky. Nevertheless, it is so important in helping you understand what their life is like in school and why they may be feeling left out, pushed to one side or not fully part of school life. Changing schools in Year 9 could be exactly what your child needs so that they can meet new people, start afresh with making friends and flourish in their academic environment. Embracing their future, developing a pioneering spirit and learning skills with confidence are key to your child fostering resilience and independence for every aspect of life.
Your child will no doubt feel a range of emotions at the thought of moving schools. It’s likely that perhaps they will feel a little anxious at the prospect of meeting new people in an unknown environment, but they may also feel excitement at the idea of starting something new. Some children start GCSE type work in Year 9 to prepare them for the rigours of the GCSE curriculum. It’s probably a good idea to move schools in Year 9 rather than wait until Year 10 so that your child has the benefit of beginning their examination courses at the same time as their peers.
There are so many positive aspects to starting a new school: extending friendship groups, experiencing a different environment and being exposed to fresh, stimulating opportunities both inside and outside the classroom. Discussing why a move might be a positive event with your child will show them that you are putting their future, their academic success and their emotional evolvement at the forefront of your decision-making. This will help them to see the value in changing schools in Year 9, allowing them to consider what a wide vista of opportunity could be theirs for the taking. You will show them that you want them to be happy, that you think they would thrive in this environment and that their achievement doesn’t have to be restricted by their target grades; they could potentially attain far more in a new educational setting.
There are many aspects to consider when you begin to think about changing your child’s school. At first, it may be quite a surprise for your child when you first bring up the subject. They may have never thought about the possibility of such a change, so introducing the topic lightly and as a possible topic of conversation for a while may allow your child to get used to the subject before you sit down to have a proper talk.
Moving schools can be challenging practically. There are logistical elements to think about: location of home and school, whether a house move needs to take place, if family and friends are close by and your child will still be able to see them regularly. Plus, there are plenty of costs to factor into your decision, whatever type of school you are researching for your child. New uniforms, travel costs and possible school fees will all probably play a part in a school move, so it’s sensible to make sure you have a costings plan in place to ensure a smooth move. Moving to an independent school may incur further costs and may mean you have to forgo a family holiday each year, but investing in your child’s education could be key to a prosperous future for them.
Being able to determine how your child sees a school move and whether they are open to it as a change in their life is vital in making the best decision for your family. Although children can cope very well with change, your son or daughter may struggle at first to leave friends they know, and familiar surroundings, behind.
Also, they may be nervous about forming new friendships and getting to know an unfamiliar school setting and all the structures and routines that go with this change. They may be nervous about getting lost at the new school and asking for help. Once you are aware of which school you are interested in for your child, getting in touch with the school, asking for support with a move and getting to know key teachers, such as tutors, would be a good idea to start the connection process for your child.
Something that every parent has to consider is their child’s personality. Would they be able to adjust well to a move? Will they make friends easily? Can they fit in to a new school structure? All of these questions are valuable ones to mull over and assess when coming to a decision about changing schools in Year 9.
If your child is not entirely happy or comfortable at their current school, then perhaps this is a good time to consider a school move. Is their existing school supplying all that they need? Are they being fulfilled in terms of academic progression, pastoral care and personal development? You may have been thinking for a long time about a move and when would be the right time for your child. If your child is in or coming up to Year 9, then this is the best time for them to move before the challenges of GCSE and A level fill their time.
Location is a key part of decision making in choosing a school. Is it near your home? Will children see their family often? You may be thinking about a house move, too. That’s a lot of change all at once. These things need to be given careful thought before making the right choice.
However, knowing that your child’s educational achievement is so important to you and your family means that you want to ensure the best possible life path for them. It’s vital to give children the freedom in school to follow their dreams and access all the things that will help them become enthusiastic, committed learners and proactive, responsible young people. That’s why researching school options thoroughly and carefully will enable you to consider all available options. This will result in making the right decision in choosing a school which will give your child a lifelong enjoyment of learning and will encourage them to flourish and develop their skills and interests.
Researching the curriculum offer at your potential new school is vital in connecting both you and your child to the setting. Does the school offer interesting subjects that your child wants to study at GCSE and A level? Do they offer an individualised learning programme so that your child has flexibility built into their studies? Make sure you assess how your child will find their academic passions in their new school.
If you have found a new school you are considering for your child, then it’s a good idea to check how the school will help them settle in, especially when moving in a year that isn’t seen as a natural transition point. You could ask if there are additional support systems in place to ensure that your child feels secure in their new environment. Your child will probably be a little anxious about how they will make friends as most other students will have been at the school for a while and will already be in friendship groups. Checking how the school will encourage your child to integrate and make friends and talking this through you’re your child will easy their worries and enable them to understand how they will interact with others.
How does your potential choice of school look after a child’s emotional wellbeing and development? Looking into the school’s opportunities to develop their skills as a future citizen and responsible young adult is important as they grow older and excellent preparation for later life.
Some schools incorporate global citizenship and financial management courses into their curriculum to ensure that children are being well prepared to be an active, conscientious participant in society. Thoroughly researching a school’s extracurricular offerings with your child will help them feel part of their new school and enable them to look forward to taking up activities they feel passionate about.
Developing our pupils’ passions for learning and taking a proactive role in society is at the heart of our vision at Wycliffe. Wycliffe specifically offers personalised study support and individual action plans so that each student can reach their full potential. Pupils can choose from 20 GCSE options and coupled with our robust tracking and assessment of their progress, we regularly review each child’s progress and provide all the support they need to achieve.
Wycliffe’s enhanced curriculum is complemented with an extensive extracurricular programme to enrich and develop pupils’ lives. The Curriculum Enrichment Programme includes a vast array of pupil opportunities; from lectures and workshops with external speakers to a plethora of art, music, sport and literary events for each pupil to take part in. The Scholars’ Society Programme supports pupils looking for enhanced learning opportunities which help them to access the best further education possible.
Learning about leadership and what it takes to be a leader, looking after others and being part of a team are all essential aspects of life at Wycliffe school. As pupils move through Senior School, we encourage every individual to take on a role supporting others in pastoral, academic or sporting activities. Learning to be a responsible young adult that cares for others and their community is a key aspect of Wycliffe school’s ethos.
At Wycliffe, we believe that our robust, enhanced curriculum and excellent pastoral care, partnered with extensive extracurricular activities, can offer pupils an outstanding educational experience. At the heart of our practice is the central policy to help your child reach their full potential – from whatever background or learning stage they are starting from. We sensitively cater for all learners, whether they are gifted and talented or need extra support in various areas of their life.
Studying at Wycliffe nurtures a confident and independent skill set that is vital for thriving in an ever-changing world, enabling our young people to develop resilience in positively facing any future challenges.
If you are based in Gloucestershire or the surrounding areas, why not get in touch to discover all that we can offer in Years 9 to 11.