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to think the whole "phasing in" thing at school is just a PITA!

(293 Posts)
Maggietess Sun 01-Sep-13 12:14:32

DD2 starts school tomorrow, the equivalent of reception class. We have first day she stays for an hour with mum or dad (great idea). Rest of this week shes in for 2 1/2 hours a day (OK I'm still with the idea in general).

Then some more kids start next week so we've another week of in til 1130.
Then the week after its 1230.
Then finally in the 4th week it's full day til 2.

And this is the improved version of settling in, it used to take nearly til halloween to get them all in with a couple of kids starting every day.

I can understand the teachers needing a couple of days, even a week to properly get to know everyone but is 3 full weeks of it not a bit ott???

They then repeat a slightly shortened version of this in P1.

Add to that that our junior school finishes at 2 and senior school at 3 and you have some parents doing collections at 12.30, 2 and 3. Total pita.

Surely its all just a bit unnecessary given that most kids these days will have been at some form of nursery before??

Or AIBtotallyU?

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 12:19:14

you are right most kids- not all. so for those that haven't the phasing in is very important if they are to have as positive start to their schooling life.

it isn't about you- it's about the children going through a massive change and the teachers wanting it to be a gentle and non daunting experience.

Fakebook Sun 01-Sep-13 12:22:08

4 weeks to "phase in" seems too long to me. That must be annoying for working parents too.

Our school did it in 2 weeks last year for dd. one week 11.30 pick up, next week 12.30 pick up after lunch, third week 8.45-3pm.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 12:24:39

i think OP talked about 3 weeks not 4. the forth week is when they're in til 2.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 12:25:06


MamaTo3Boys Sun 01-Sep-13 12:25:24

My DS starts reception on Wednesday too. He has wed-fri in until 11.45. Then the week after until 1.30 staying for dinner, then after that its full time.

I can understand the awkward pick ups though. For the past nearly 2 years ive been dropping off at 9, picking up at 11.30 then picking up again at 3, which was quite annoying, as I couldn't really go anywhere other than the local corner shop.

soverylucky Sun 01-Sep-13 12:26:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fakebook Sun 01-Sep-13 12:26:43

Even 3 weeks is too long.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 12:26:48

I know, it's ridiculous. DS's nursery school are doing the same thing, then we'll have to do it all again next year for Reception.

Stephen, but why should all kids have this long phasing in just for the one or two who need it? Why not have everyone starting in a week except for those whose parents/teacher agree need longer?

DS is desperate to get started at nursery. Making him wait ages to start and then have to come home after an hour or two is not in his best interests at all.

aGnotherGnu Sun 01-Sep-13 12:28:19

Ridiculous. How on earth are working parents supposed to cope with that? Children who have been in nursery won't need anything like that amount.

Not sure that a lot of primary schools actually realise that most women have to work these days.

cashmiriana Sun 01-Sep-13 12:30:04

It is a PITA for parents, but the system is organised for the benefit of the children. Even if a child has been in a nursery before school, they need the time in small groups not to get used to separation from parents but to learn the rules, expectations and environment in their new setting.

In a good quality Foundation Stage/ Phase/Early Years class, the children will have a high level of autonomy for a significant part of the day. Throwing 30 3 or 4 year olds in at the deep end for a full school day with no gradual introduction is a recipe for hell, quite frankly. They need time with adults in small groups to learn where everything is, how to use it, take care of it, put it back safely etc. The staff ratios are shocking too, as legally a Reception teacher does not need to have any support in class. Even in a nursery class, with children barely 3 years old (and many not toilet trained) the ratio is 1:13.

Staff also need the time to get to know the children properly, do baseline assessments and plan for their individual needs. At the end of the year those staff will be held individually accountable for the progress of every child across several curriculum areas. If you don't get the time to do the baseline assessments when the children are in small groups, you spend a whole year adjusting expectations, which doesn't help the children's progress.

Doesn't stop it being a nightmare for parents though, I do sympathise.

kungfupannda Sun 01-Sep-13 12:30:07

I understand the phasing in theory - but it's a spectacular pain in the arse!

We have a full month of part days. Our childcare arrangements are probably more carefully planned than a military operation.

Tiptops Sun 01-Sep-13 12:30:12

YABU. The phasing in is not for the teachers.

AnneUulmelmahay Sun 01-Sep-13 12:32:05

Parents can request full time from the start now regardless of what suits sch. Buried in legislation, do a search on here in Education. Came in three? Years ago. Apols for brevity, crappy mobile, sigh.

Bunbaker Sun 01-Sep-13 12:32:08

When DD started in reception we still had a two tier intake. As her birthday is in July she started in the January. Her school didn't do a phasing in system, it was full time from day one. As far as I know it didn't cause any problems for anyone, but then there weren't any children who were only just four years old.

coco27 Sun 01-Sep-13 12:32:42

I thinklegally you have a right to insist your DC is there fulltime from the first day.

everlong Sun 01-Sep-13 12:33:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 12:35:09

Anne - I have a feeling that Gove recently re-did the admissions code and took out the words "full time". 4 year olds have to be offered a place but not sure you can insist on full time anymore.

I understand that it is much easier for teachers to have the children start in dribs and drabs but it should be about what works for children and their families rather than just the teachers imo.

ModeratelyObvious Sun 01-Sep-13 12:35:32

If there is a "best" way to do it, why is every school different?

Ours started a few at a time but only had three half days for each set starting.

If they'd gone for half days for a month, I would have been looking up the Education Act.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 12:36:04

ha!! yet another person who thinks school is there to accommodate their career!

it is not about what is convenient for your employer!

most children that start school in September have never attended that school before. new teacher, new classroom, new friends, new routine, new journey to school (for some), new food, new toys, new rules. there's a lot of new going on and when a lot of the children are starting after being out of nursery for 6/8/10 weeks then it can be quite tiring to suddenly spend 6 hours in this new setting taking in all the 'new' everything. my son started on Friday and was in for 3 hours- he came home and fell asleep! it doesn't do anyone any good (teachers or children) to be trying to cope with all that whilst being tired and grumpy or whingey.

it's 4 weeks of your child's school life- if you don't like the way the school does it then why on earth did you send your child there? you knew this was going to happen. if you need to be at work then arrange childcare for the first 2/3/4 weeks. it's really not a massive chunk of your life.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 01-Sep-13 12:37:29

We couldn't have coped with that as do & I both work & dh is a teacher do can't book holiday

Both mine went full time from day one.

I'd keep them in nursery for a bit longer rather than faff about with all that

hermioneweasley Sun 01-Sep-13 12:39:47

My DCs school staggers the start days over a well but they go "full time" (9-3!). nobody seemed scarred by it, in fact they all seemed perfectly happy.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 12:39:59

School is no use to anyone if it compromises a child's financial stability. Schools these days have to take into account that in most families the parents work. Children's best interests need to be looked at as a whole, not as something quite separate from the functioning of their family unit.

coco27 Sun 01-Sep-13 12:41:37

'ha!! yet another person who thinks school is there to accommodate their career!

well to be fair the government does take that view with regard to getting parents back into the work place.

aGnotherGnu Sun 01-Sep-13 12:43:03

Erm I don't think it's about "accommodating your career" what a ridiculous and insulting thing to say. It's a fact that most women have to work, and a lot of them full time, with a limited amount of annual leave. (which presumably is best spent in full days of quality time with one's offspring).

It's a fact that lots of people don't have much other support, from families etc. and it's a fact that childcare is often not flexible to accommodate dribs and drabs. So for people who have to use wraparound care and holiday clubs, there is no provision for periods which would normally be within the school day.

So for people who have to work, to feed and clothe their children, this is a very difficult situation which goes way beyond affecting their career aspirations.

Your post makes you sound like a twat Stephen

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