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Has anyone found that their child found it difficult to settle in reception if they didn't attend nursery attached to school?

(15 Posts)
chiswickmum Mon 17-May-04 22:40:39

I have a real dilemma. My daughter attends an excellent Pre-school, which is expanding, so that it can take children until they are 5. I am extremely happy with the quality of the provision. However we have also been offered a place in the nursery class for our catchment area primary. The staff/pupil ratios are very different (1:5 in the pre-school v 1:12.5 in the school).

I did think that there was no contest and that I would keep her where she was. I've since thought about it more and wondered whether it would be more difficult for her to settle in reception if she didn't go to the school nursery. Also, I feel that perhaps she should experience the 'rough and tumble' of being in a large group. She is very confident with other children, however when I raised this on my visit to the school, the Deputy Head alluded to the importance of 'friendship' groups formed in the nursery. Common sense tells me that this can't be the whole story, since many children attend other forms of nursery provision before reception. What do you think?

jampot Mon 17-May-04 22:46:38

DD went to private nursery and started reception school not knowing anyone at all at the school - settled straight in and won the first star of the week for settling in so well. Your daughter won't be the only "new" child so go with it if it's what you want.

Slinky Mon 17-May-04 22:55:14

All 3 of my children have stayed at their private day nursery until they started school.

Older 2 started in the September (DD1 was 5 that October, DS1 was 5 that December) and DD2 will be going in this September and again she will turn 5 in October.

They have had no problems whatsoever settling in and have made friends very easily. They are both doing very well with their school (they're now in Year 3 and Year 1).

Our school doesn't have a "nursery" attached anyway so I don't have that choice, but you've highlighted one of my concerns if they did include one - the fact that the Staff/Child ratios are so different. A few years back, the school Headteacher was under pressure to open a nursery but he refused explaining "he was there to teach children, not to provide a babysitting service for toddlers!!".

The Deputy Head is talking a load of rubbish regarding "friendship" groups. At that age, it really doesn't matter - and I talk from my 2 - their friendship groups chop and change from one day to another

Some of the other schools in my area do have nurseries attached but many parents still keep their children at the day nursery my DD2 attends.

I think the Deputy Head is "selling" the importance of "attached nurseries" - after all, the more kids she gets in through her doors, the more Government Nursery Funding she can get

After all, how on earth did we all survive our first year at infant school?? Some of us went to playschool at 4, some of us didn't yet we all managed to get through school

princesspeahead Mon 17-May-04 23:25:43

I wouldn't worry about it. Slinky is spot on - they don't get into set "friendship groups" at that age. If you are happy where she is, then I wouldn't move her until reception.
My dd moved schools in the second term of reception (we moved out of london) and she slotted right in. In fact on the first day a little girl who had been at the school since the nursery class came up to her and asked to be her best friend and they have been inseperable ever since!

ScummyMummy Mon 17-May-04 23:34:41

Mine had settling in hiccups for a couple of weeks because they'd formed such close bonds with the nursery staff and were used to being top dogs as the eldest kids in their small nursery. That was slightly exacerbated because they were January entrants and had to find their feet as newbies in a settled class. They really seem to have settled fine in reception now though and I am glad they got that time to be cozy and bossy before the real work of finding their feet at big school began.

Marina Tue 18-May-04 11:49:01

Scummy's description of her big boys ruling the roost at nursery sounds very familiar!
But don't worry, Chiswick mum, we had the same concern about ds, who was one of a small number of children in his reception class who didn't attend the school nursery beforehand. He settled just fine - only some of the nursery mummies seemed cliquey, I have to say . Maybe that was what the deputy head was alluding to...but as far as the children's wellbeing is concerned she is talking nonsense.

Batters Tue 18-May-04 12:00:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

neetsmassi Fri 21-May-04 18:00:06

Very spooky - I have just been wondering about this today and found this thread. There doesn't appear to be anyone at my dd's pre school who is going to her primary school. I was a bit concerned that all of the children are in the nursery attached to the school! Even considered moving her but that would leave me with no real childcare when I need to work. Glad to read that generally it's a new experience for them all and that they all settle in quite easily.

SoupDragon Fri 21-May-04 18:21:21

DS1 went to private nursey and then onto Reception last September. He had absolutely no problems settling in whatsoever.

fee77 Sat 22-May-04 12:48:43

I taught in Reception for five years and have never had problems with children settling in. Reception is just that - welcoming children into the school, and the first few weeks are usually spent encouraging the children to get to know each other. In fact (this sounds mean!!) i would try my hardest to "break" pre-formed friendships, so that the children didn't rely on one friend, and formed larger friendship circles.
Stick with the pre-school, making the most of the good adult:child ratio. They will work on her basic skills and encourage independence, preparing her for school.
Good luck!

jmg1 Sat 22-May-04 13:05:06

This thread has made me think of something.
My son is in reception and one of my daughters will leave nursery to start same school in September.
The school visit local nurseries and then put children who are known to get on well in nursery into the same class in reception. Whilst this can be reassuring for the kids, as pointed out here it can also hinder them when it comes to making new friends.

Would it be better for the kids (in the long term) if the school did the opposite and put the kids who know each other into different classes?

fee77 Sat 22-May-04 13:32:02

I don't think there is a problem if children start school with friends in their class - it can be reassuring for them. And as i said there is usually a load of work done on making friends and seeing how children interact with each other. There will always be kids that are best mates, but equally kids that don't get on for one reason or another. Most teachers tend to sit casual friends together, as best mates either mess about, or help each other way too much! And then they are all lumped together at playtime to pick friends from any class or year.

Jaybee Mon 24-May-04 12:33:01

Chiswickmum - our school has a nursery attached and about 70% of the reception children have been there - so those that haven't are in the minority. Mine did go to the nursery (went to grandma's afterwards) as I wanted them to get to know some friends before school. we live in a small town where alot of the kids have been to NCT clubs, swimming clubs and playgroup together and I wanted mine to make new friends. Those that didn't go to the nursery soon settled into reception though.
The school did arrange for those children about to start in reception to attend a few nursery sessions as well as the welcome sessions at the school in order to get a feel for the place so it may be worth asking your school whether they do anything similar.
I feel that them going to nursery helped me as much as them, as I got to know a few school mums prior to them starting school.

Soulfly Mon 24-May-04 12:38:39

Both mine went to different nurserys, one is still there now and goes in september but my dd who started last september settled in well and there was afew from her nursery going. She settled in really well and i wouldn't get too worried about it.

Kittypickle Mon 24-May-04 12:55:32

Similar story here. 18 of the 24 in DD's class went to the school nursery (including my DD). The six who hadn't been settled in very well and made friends. She has a best friend from nursery but is very friendly with two of the girls (one is coming tonight as her Mum has to go somewhere today) who hadn't been there and I get on very well with both their Mum's.

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