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making sense of primary school stuff

(19 Posts)
sleeplessinderbyshire Sat 06-Aug-11 21:10:47

DD is 2 next week (so I know I have ages before this stuff is important). SHe'll stay at he rprivate nursery until she's at least 4 as I work 4 days a week and can't cope with no school holiday care and the early finishes/late starts of preschool. Also I hate the idea of formal education at 3 and 2 friends have 3 yr olds who attend (different) preschools which are referred to as "school" and involve unifoirms and lots of sitting at desks which breaks my heart

Thinking back to my school days (in the UK) we started in "kindergarten" which was poncy private school's name for what is now year 1. There wasn't any reception. Is it a new thing? since when? is there any point in sending to reception rather than keeping at nursery til after aged 5 (dd's nursery is fab and run by an ex-primary school teacher and the 4-5s room seems to be the perfect balance between learning and playing)

belledechocchipcookie Sat 06-Aug-11 21:16:44

The state schools have a reception class. Private schools tend to start formal teaching earlier. Usually, they start school at the term before they are 5, so if your child is a summer baby then she will be 4 when she starts reception, if she's born in September then she will be 5.

I'm in Derbyshire also if you need some help with the schools. smile

MrsShrekTheThird Sat 06-Aug-11 21:25:54

Regardless of where she goes, she will follow the EYFS early learning goals and curriculum. Reception isn't a 'new' thing - unless you're in your seventies grin if you haven't heard of it, it's here. FWIW I havent; heard of any foundation stage, anywhere, sitting at "desks" hmm. I went to poncey private school, and kindergarten was the same as current reception. 40 years ago.

An0therName Sat 06-Aug-11 21:46:39

My DS1 has just finished reception (state) - it was FAB - loads of playing including outside - he had to sit down for about 1/2 hour each morning and afternoon - and the rest of the time could do what he wanted -
he has also made a great start on learning to read and with maths
I would go and visit some primary schools nearer the time - but in my view is a great tranistion from nursery/pre-school (no sitting at desks at my DS's preschool) to more formal learning in Y1 - although even then the teacher said there will be plenty of play

Saracen Sat 06-Aug-11 21:52:17

Some working parents may prefer to send their children to Reception rather than keep them at nursery because it usually reduces childcare costs.

As you probably know, your daughter will be eligible for the 15 hours of state-funded nursery per week until she reaches compulsory education age in the term after her fifth birthday. That will reduce your nursery bill.

On the other hand, LAs are now required to offer a full-time place in Reception to all children from the September after their fourth birthday. I imagine that finding wraparound and school holiday childcare might prove to be a hassle, but it still may work out cheaper for you to do that because you'd be getting more hours of childcare provided free by the state than if your dd is at nursery and only getting 15 hours.

If your preferred school is oversubscribed, you may want to send your dd to at least the last part of her Reception year there. You can accept a Reception place and then defer your dd's school start until later in the year, and the school place will be kept waiting for her. However, it won't be kept waiting until Year One: if you want her to start in Year One then you'd have to re-apply, and the class may already be full of all the children who started the previous year, if you see what I mean. (Personally I don't see how this policy can be justified. Compulsory education age starts in the term after the child's fifth birthday. This policy in effect forces summer-born children to start school before they reach compulsory education age or be disadvantaged in the choice of schools. But there you have it, that is the policy.)

...or were you planning on private school? I don't know how the cost of having a four-year-old at private nursery compares to Reception class at private school plus top-up childcare. But the nursery vouchers for 15 hours of preschool can be applied against private school fees, until the term after the child's fifth birthday. That's if the school is willing to jump through the necessary hoops to be an eligible provider and claim the government funding. Apparently some schools aren't too bothered about helping parents save money in this way.

sleeplessinderbyshire Sat 06-Aug-11 22:12:54

she'll definitely be going to state primary (no local private chools even if I did have the cash)

Still wondering about this "reception" thing. when I went to school we had kindergarten, transition, form 1, lower 2 upper 2 and lower 3 (the upper 3 was 1st year secondary school)

so definitely no reception there

I think sh'ell go to reception with out of school club at nursery in the holidays (and perhaps an au pair or something between 3pm and 6pm)

Runoutofideas Sun 07-Aug-11 07:53:30

To me, the names of your school years are completely different from what I am used to and I started school in 1979. You only have 5 years listed for primary school when there are generally 7 primary years (named Reception, Yr1, Yr2, Yr3, Yr4, Yr5, Yr6). My primary school was Infants 1,2,3 then Juniors 1,2,3,4 - but it still corresponds with current year groups.

Reception is the generally accepted first year at "proper" school for children aged 4-5. If you skip it completely, then, in my area, you risk not having a place at your chosen school, plus your child would enter Yr1 which starts to become more formal, with a group of children who have already been together for a year. Not something I would choose personally.

RitaMorgan Sun 07-Aug-11 07:57:31

Presumably private schools can name their classes whatever they want, which is why there wasn't a reception class.

mrz Sun 07-Aug-11 08:23:23

Still wondering about this "reception" thing. when I went to school we had kindergarten (=nursery), transition (=reception), form 1 (=year 1), lower 2 (=year 2) ...

sleeplessinderbyshire Sun 07-Aug-11 09:13:13

kindergarten = yr 1
transition = yr 2
form 1 = year 3
lower 2 = year 4
upper 2 = year 5
lower 3 = year 6

then onto seniors

upper 3 = yr 7
lower 4= yr 8
upper 4 = yr 9
lower 5 =year 10
upper 5 = year 11
lower and upper 6 = sixth form (A levels)

so definitely no reception

mrz Sun 07-Aug-11 12:50:50

Very odd I've never encountered kindergarten used to mean anything other than pre (compulsory) school certainly doesn't fit in with normal "labels"
When I started school we had reception, infants and juniors and when I started teaching it was reception Infant 1 &2 and Junior 1,2,3 &4 then senior 1,2,3,4,5,first 6th and second 6th.

sleeplessinderbyshire Sun 07-Aug-11 13:22:09

went to 2 different private scools both had forms named this way so i just assumed it was normal

twolips Sun 07-Aug-11 13:27:28

My state primary went reception, Yr1, Y2 etc. My private secondary had the upper 3/ lower 5th malory towers type names. Reception did exist though.

AurraSing Sun 07-Aug-11 13:39:25

I'm as old as the hills and my school didn't have reception, we just started (at 4 nearly 5) in class one. My mother, who is older than the hills, started at 4 nearly 5 too. So, regardless of the name of the class, I assume children have always started school at this age.

It is very

AurraSing Sun 07-Aug-11 13:41:29

I was about to say, that I wouldn't worry about 4 year olds been made it sit in classes in formal learning. It is very play based and includes lots of outdoor play.

DanFmDorking Mon 08-Aug-11 22:52:53

The table on this page sums it up.

sleeplessinderbyshire Tue 09-Aug-11 15:31:38

spoke to my mum who is an ex primary school infant teacher (gave up in the early 1970s) she says when she was teaching all kids started after 5th birthday, there were some half day sessions for 3-4 yr olds called nursery all play based and reception class was definitely what is now year 1

titchy Tue 09-Aug-11 15:48:58

When the time comes why don't you look round some school's reception class and see for yourself what happens smile.

No state school has classes, or ever had, called kindergarten, lower/upper 2nd etc. Obviously as you went to private school you wouldn't have known that.

The age for starting education (school for most children) has ALWAYS been the term after your 5th birthday, so in that respect you mum is correct, though most children currently start in the September of the school year in which their 5th birthday fall. It's always been this way - your mum is wrong to say that there only used to be 6 years in primary - there's always been seven.

Reception is not new - it's just Infant 1 with a differnt name. It doesn;t form part of KS1, but part of the early years foundation, the same as nurseries do.

The vast majority of nurseries, pre-schools, call them whatyou will, do not involve uniforms or sitting at desks formally learning. Your friends have obviously chosen hothouses for their toddlers!

Go see for yourself!

cat64 Tue 09-Aug-11 16:00:27

Message withdrawn

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