Changing Schools – Well That Happened Quickly

So it became, that yesterday was H’s last day at the school with classmates she has been with since nursery. Things are moving quickly, much quicker than I thought they would and we’re having to deal with changing schools.

Changing schools isn’t a quick process overall. We’re changing boroughs, so once we knew we were going to move, got the paperwork in place. Croydon borough have an in-year transfer which was straightforward to fill out. We got H’s old head teacher to approve our application, emailed it over and that was that.

Nothing could be done in the meantime as schools went on holiday – which meant lots of waiting and wondering what would happen. As it was, Croydon did some general waiting list tidying and we were told where our position on the list would be a few weeks later.

At that point she was third on the list for our preferred school. Once we sent over confirmation of our new address she moved to first in the list.

So we knew a place was imminent, but that would depend on someone leaving the school and that’s impossible to gauge.


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I settled into a routine with a 25 minute a day drive home from her old school, hoping for change. Shaun lost two and a half hours of his day driving her into school on days when he worked from home. Not ideal.

On Wednesday the call came. There’s a space. I may have jumped around excitedly, asked a billion questions and made viewing appointments; we couldn’t go during the holidays for obvious reasons – there was nobody there!

That was that. We decided to switch quickly though this gives very little time for goodbyes. A new start, a new school. New school uniform too, though most of her old uniform is fine.

So now we have a weekend buying new school uniform. Our new school uses the Tesco embroidery service so I’ve ordered. We’ll get other bits so we can get through the next couple of weeks until our order arrives.

My trusty Stamptastic pad is ready for more labelling too – my review is five years old and we’re still going strong.

Emotionally, H was shocked. I had brought up changing schools several times in conversation to get her used to talking about it. This is the reality now – she has left her old friends behind, but thanks to mobile phones and emails they can stay in touch.

The new school looks amazing too – we finally have a school with a playing field, rather than an inner-London playground. We’ll all miss the old school a lot, while looking forward to new adventures as we move forwards.


Going to Junior School

I hadn’t really thought much beyond H starting school when she was offered her place three years ago.Yet here we are at the end of her last term, and I’ve had to think ahead for some things, if only to save a bit of money and spare H’s anxieties. Here are some top tips for starting Junior School.

back-to-school, junior school

Junior school covers the next four years of H’s education – from Year 3 to 6. (they were never called that back in my day).  I’ve found myself being prepared almost a year up-front. Here’s my top tips if you’re in the same position or heading that way.

  1. Know your new school uniform. We’re changing from a red uniform to blue which is slightly annoying, as you end up forking out for new jumpers and cardigans. However, there are still lots of things which can be worn across both schools. There are common colours with things like socks and tights and trousers and skirts stay the same colour. If H grew out of any of her red jumpers and cardigans I replaced them with cheaper ones from the supermarket. I’m looking forward to ditching all the white socks!
  2. Visit the new school fairs! We didn’t know until April whether we had a space at her new school but having her familiarise herself with the building and what could be has meant she isn’t anxious at all about the change. For H it was her first time visiting her school so the idea of it became less scary. She had her first proper visit with school last week (in June) – it can feel like a long time to wait when you haven’t been before. She walked around like she’d been a million times when she finally got to go! We did this with her current school as well.
  3. If you’re offered the chance to tour the school but you can’t make what’s on offer, it’s worth getting in touch with them to see if you can organise an alternative time. We couldn’t get the time off work, and organised another time when we could. It meant we could point out things we’d been shown and teachers we had met.
  4. Sign up to Facebook/Twitter groups relating to the school. While you’re not yet there, it’s handy to find out about things like second hand uniform sales. We picked up a waterproof school coat and a PE bag for £1 each. We’ve ordered uniform for when she starts, but from doing that we’ve saved ourselves almost £20.

Do you have any top tips for making that switch to Junior School? Let us know in the comments!

School Choice Day

I hope everyone got the schools they wanted. We got our results today too.

See, we’re in this slightly odd scenario of H being at the local Infants School, and having to apply for the Junior school that most of the kids go on to. They even keep them in the same classes (which is a relief, I’ve only just memorised the names of the children in her class) – so it was a fairly safe bet we would get a place there.

Except, of course, we don’t know what’s happening with our house. As I posted about way back when I was still a bit in shock of it all, we had the leaky flue in the loft. I haven’t felt sick once since our heating was turned off, and our landlady is mulling over whether to get central heating installed or replace the flue. If the latter happens we’re never switching the heating on again, so will leave this house. If the former happens, we’ll stay. So having to think about moving house and getting the school place has happened at a confusing time. We don’t know what’s happening and probably won’t for another week or two. We’re great tenants, but unfortunately great tenants who have been exposed to carbon monoxide does not equate to wanting to keep us in the house. But that’s another rant for another place.

Because now we know H’s Junior School! Yet strangely I didn’t feel as stressed, probably because I don’t know what’s going to happen these coming months. The result came through at 5pm when I was at Rainbows, so had to irresponsibly hide under a table to check the text from Shaun, then let H know everything is fine and she has the school she wants.

The Junior School choice was a bit weird anyway. There only seemed to be religious schools who *might* offer places – her current school isn’t a church-affiliated one. That or they were over the other side of Sutton. So really, anywhere else wasn’t happening. Slowly word is coming in and most of the class are all confirming they’re moving over the road too.

Now if only all decisions could be like this, it would save us a lot of stress! So that’s two half terms left to go at this school, and making sure I replace any uniform with things that will be worn at the new one – who of course, being an academy have a completely different colour for their uniform, and you can only wear official school jumpers or cardigans – not cheaper shop ones. Whatever happens we’ve got our Bandino Cup Bands and our Stamptastic stampers both still going strong and labelling clothes and drink cups perfectly.

That’s one less thing to think about anyway.