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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?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Sun 01-Sep-13 12:43:32

Yanbu. It is a fuck on. Kids who have been to pre school can cope with a 'normal' school day. If you have not sent your kid to pre school then you have failed to prepare them properly

GrassIsntGreener Sun 01-Sep-13 12:44:30

Wow that's a long time. My girl starts on weds and just goes full days. She had two half days and a full one before summer holidays.

BrokenSunglasses Sun 01-Sep-13 12:46:56

I work in reception, I think the way your school is doing it is overkill!

But maybe it helps them have time to get to know the children properly if there are a lot of them and it's more than one form entry, my school is quite small so we never have to deal with large numbers of four years olds all starting at the same time, and I can imagine its very different when there are a lot of them.

I think for the vast majority of children, a few days of going home after lunch before doing full time is enough.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 12:48:36

" It's a fact that most women have to work," most men do to. did you mean parents?

dreamingbohemian Sun 01-Sep-13 12:48:55

It does seem a lot!

Where we live the kids can do a full day from the start (and this is at 3, not 4). You can pick them up before or after lunch if you like, and they don't have to go every day. The parents stay with the kids for much of the first day to help them get settled but then that's it.

My understanding is that for any kids that don't settle well, the school works out a plan with the parents for that specific child. But they don't assume everyone will have problems.

TravelinColour Sun 01-Sep-13 12:49:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iwouldgoouttonight Sun 01-Sep-13 12:56:06

3-4 weeks of settling in does sound a long time. My DD is starting school next week, she just goes straight in full time, the only settling in she did was before the summer holidays when they did a morning 'meet the teacher' where parents could stay with them or not, depending on how the child felt.

When DS started school he had just turned four a few days before he started full time. Our school seem to like the in at the deep end approach!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 01-Sep-13 12:57:00


School is not free childcare. It is education for your child, and for the majority of children this is the best way to ensure they have a positive start.

samu2 Sun 01-Sep-13 12:57:11

My dd starts reception and it will take four weeks until she goes full time.

It is annoying. I like the sound of the way dreamingbohemian's school does it. My dd is more than ready to go all day.

samu2 Sun 01-Sep-13 13:00:15

Also, my dd already goes to nursery so she knows all the children going into her class, she has already spent four hours with her reception teacher and she had dinner at school twice just before the summer holidays.

I don't think she needs another 4 weeks of half days.

indyandlara Sun 01-Sep-13 13:01:07

Most children have not been in Nursery FT before. Some have but far from a majority. It is nothing to do with what suits the teacher but what is best for the children. Our P1 teacher is still working FT as she sees all the children individually to do their Baseline Assessments. Our after school club is open for extended hours to accommodate childcare problems during those few weeks.

Barbeasty Sun 01-Sep-13 13:01:51

I don't know what the school we're looking at for DD does now, but last year phasing went like this:

Week 1: 1hr on Wednesday, with a parent.

Week 2: 1hr plus lunch on Wednesday, with a parent.

Week 3: half days, no lunch.

Week 4: half days with lunch.

Week 5: full days.

Week 6: half term.

The half days are random, so not a week of mornings or afternoons.

No childminders who pick up or drop off at the school.

I don't know what the point of week 2 is, if you aren't going to give them lunch for another week and a half. I don't know why they have to use utterly random half days. And, when plenty of nurseries won't take children for one session a week, how is 1hr and then another week before the next contact with school in the children's best interests?

I'm not going to not choose a school for the next 7 years of my child's life solely because of ludicrously inconvenient settling arrangements. But I will feel justified in moaning.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 13:02:47

Of course school functions to allow parents to work - even lone parents are expected to find work once their children are of school age.

The attitude that schools have nothing to do with childcare or parents working is an outdated one.

dreamingbohemian Sun 01-Sep-13 13:03:26

samu -- yes my son is ready too, which is why I'm particularly happy about it. But I'm glad that if for some reason he does struggle, we have the option to take him out.

Why not give the kids a chance before assuming they need all that phase-in time?

indyandlara Sun 01-Sep-13 13:03:44

Pre-school is 12 and a half of 15 hours a week. Not the same as a school full day. Only children who have gone to private nursery will have had longer days.

Loa Sun 01-Sep-13 13:04:09

Was 6 weeks with my eldest 2 - they used to be in full time just before they broke up for half term. Was the same time of day or amount of day either but constantly different.

It used to cause all kinds of issues for all parents especially the working parents.

It used to unsettle the DC as no routine could be maintained and a lot had no idea who they'd be with rest of timeas the were shuffled round family and friends.

Thankfully it now down to two weeks.

Loa Sun 01-Sep-13 13:04:48

Was the same time of day - was not the smae time of day

GibberTheMonkey Sun 01-Sep-13 13:06:43

I don't work and even I find it a pita as I don't drive and it's 2.7 miles so mine get bussed in. I can understand a couple of days so they can have mum or dad to help them settle but I've had to find a way to pick mine up for those few weeks

Almostfifty Sun 01-Sep-13 13:06:59

OP, this is pre-school if your child is going into P1 next year yes?

So your DC isn't going into reception equivalent, he/she's going into nursery.

I'm not surprised they're phasing it in slowly.

indyandlara Sun 01-Sep-13 13:07:09

Hettienne my job is nothing to do with childcare, it's to teach. They are not the same thing. If it was simply to keep kids out of the way so parents can work I wouldn't have to spend quite so much time planning.

indyandlara Sun 01-Sep-13 13:09:32

If this is Nursery in Scotland (pre school year) then it is not the same as Reception and its no surprise the settle in is over a long period of time. Many children will never have been in Nursery before as not all ante-pre kids are able to get a place these days.

aGnotherGnu Sun 01-Sep-13 13:10:08

Of course it applies to men too. But I think that the flexibility some schools assume is possible to accommodate is based on the presumption that there is a parent able to rock up at the school at any time of day, ie a SAHP. And the transition from 1 SAHP to 2 WOHP over the last 30 or so years has largely involved women going back to work, not men.

So whilst it is clearly both parents' responsibility, my thought is that these policies are based on someone playing a traditional SAHM role.

More than anything, it is simply a practical issue though, irrespective of what you think the rights and wrongs are; how are you supposed to sort it out?

Doubtitsomehow Sun 01-Sep-13 13:10:33

There was an article in the Times last week I think, about a parent who had challenged this sort of induction, and the LEA was legally required to offer a full time place from the start I.e no graduated start.

So may be possible to challenge.

It is a PITA for working parents whose kids are used to full days at nursery.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 13:10:49

indy, I'm sorry if you feel my comment devalued what you do as a teacher, but education is not the only function schools perform (or have ever performed). Schools have to understand that most parents work now.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Sun 01-Sep-13 13:13:02

shock at the faff it is to "settle them in" in some schools! DD had a week of mornings, a week of afternoons then full time. I've heard that if you wanted a different approach for your own child the teachers were happy to accomdate it where possible which I think is fair enough. 6 hours of school from the start was fine for my DD who is a September birth but might be a very long day to an August child.

Think its massively unfair to accuse people of caring more about their jobs than their own child because they're confused at the long settling in process. I'm sure most people would struggle to work round those school hours for 4 weeks (or more!) if both parents work full time and they had no family to help them. Not to mention if youre single parent working full time with no help from family/friends.

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