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school starting age

(17 Posts)
racingsnake Tue 26-Aug-08 21:14:57

Is there anyone else out there who doesn't/didn't want their child to go to school at the age of 4? My DD would go into reception when only 4 years 2 monts and I think that is too young for formal schooling. Has anyone else missed out reception and how did it go?

CountTo10 Tue 26-Aug-08 21:22:07

No experience personally but I was told you're not legally obliged to send your child to school until they are 5 or in the term they turn 5. My advice would be speak to your local school or wherever you would send them and talk through all the options. Perhaps also speak to your Local Education Officer/Dept?

LittleMissTickles Tue 26-Aug-08 21:27:23

Racingsnake, my DD1 is an August baby and used to be extremely shy in new situations. We just happened to temporarily move to the US when she was 3, and she has just (yesterday) started school at age 5 years and 3 weeks, as they start a year later here. I am so relieved that she got this one year's reprieve, and absolutely cannot believe the difference in her either. A year ago she would have been petrified and an absolute wallflower, this week , despite being the youngest in her class, she is a confident, happy and excited little girl.

I would really not worry too much about what they may be missing out on, just do some letters, numbers and phonics with her at home and be sure to have her do something where she interacts with other little ones. If you feel she is not ready, she's probably not ready. Good luck to you.

LittleMissTickles Tue 26-Aug-08 21:28:44

FWIW a year ago, I would have sent her to reception if we were in the UK, but the hindsight a year offers has shown me that for her, that would not have been the best option.

baffledmum Tue 26-Aug-08 21:29:58

Agree with CountTo10. Your LEA is best placed to advise as you do not have to send them to school until the term after their 5th birthday. However...your child will then start in Year 1 and NOT reception AND if the school year is already full (due to other parents sending their children in the reception year) then you will have to apply elsewhere. Basically, as I understand it, you are handled as a late entrant. Tricky one if the schools in your area are over subscribed. Both of mine will be 4 years and 6 months when they start sad

PortAndLemon Tue 26-Aug-08 21:32:18

LittleMissTickles -- the trouble is if OP's DD doesn't take up a place in Reception she may well not get one at her preferred school in Y1 (if it's full) and may have to take whatever school has vacancies even if she doesn't much care for it.

chocolatespiders Tue 26-Aug-08 21:35:21

DD an aug baby she started last year was way to early

i would have waited til this year if she could have started reception this year abd not year 1

as this year i dont think she is ready for year 1

LittleMissTickles Tue 26-Aug-08 21:36:50

Ah yes, forgot about that. We are London based and I stressed about it for months (spot at decent school when we return), ended up calling a few local schools and they all said that in that area so many people move, it is actually easier to get a place later than at reception entry. BUT that would vary from year to year and of course where you are too.

Hope you can come to a decision and have some peace with it too. Does your DD want to go to school? Does she have friends going?

racingsnake Tue 26-Aug-08 22:15:54

Actually she is only 2 at the moment - we just worry ahead. Many parents i know around here have already put their children down for schools at this age. The friends thing is another issue - she could feel very left out.

onwardandupward Wed 27-Aug-08 11:35:03

It's absolutely true that you don't have to start educating your child, at school or otherwise, until the term after she becomes 5.

One way around anxiety about friends is to get yourself integrated into the local home eduction scene as early as possible, because that's a great way of meeting other children who won't be going into school at 4 (and that is a social scene which would completely give you confidence about starting your child in school when they are ready rather than at some arbitrary LEA-determined point).

On the question of getting a place at your preferred school - I'd always lean in the direction of doing what is right for your child now and then in 6 months/1 year reassessing and working out how to do what is right at that point rather than doing what you believe to be wrong now in order that they are in a position you believe will turn into being right for them in a year. After all, we have to live now, we don't live in the future, and small children especially live fully in the present!

Anna8888 Wed 27-Aug-08 11:38:08

My daughter is 3.10 and, after one year of half-days at pre-school, will be starting all day pre-school here in France this September.

I have been buying all the supplies that school is asking for - lots of exercise books, pens and pencils. She can already write a little and school will be doing lots of prep for writing this year. I am sure she will be fine and just love "formal schooling".

Anna8888 Wed 27-Aug-08 11:39:16

racingsnake - have just seen your DD is only 2.

Wait a little - she will grow up and need friends and a structured environment by 4 - before, in fact. And will be very happy. There is a massive difference between 2 and 4.

bogwobbit Wed 27-Aug-08 11:39:58

I, personally,think that just over 4 is pretty young to start school.
Not that it's a lot of help to you but here is Scotland, we have different starting ages. Dd is 4 1/2 (Feb 2004 birthday) and we had the option of her starting this August (and being one of the very youngest in her class) or next August (when she will be one of the very oldest).
After much consideration, and for various reasons, we have decided to leave it until next year. Main problem is that it will cost us a fortune on nursery fees for hte extra year.

Clary Wed 27-Aug-08 23:28:35

If you miss reception most schools will insist yr child starts in yr 1 (unless there are SEN reasons for late start), so they miss out on all that learning (very gentle introduction to school) and chance to make friends etc.

My older 2 are both June born so were quite young but it was fine; our school streams them by age for FS2 and really it is very play-based.

I would go and look round school and see what you think.

Roisin's 2nd DS missed reception and she has a positive tale to tell IIRC.

Anna8888 Thu 28-Aug-08 18:49:33

Another thing: my daughter (3.10) is very excited about going back to school next week. I can understand how mothers might be apprehensive about sending their children to school for the first time (I was, a little, last year - she was only 2.10 and the feeling didn't go away for quite some months) but really, once they have settled in, it really is lovely for them smile and they learn so much in preparation for "proper school".

racingsnake Thu 28-Aug-08 20:03:53

Thanks everyone. Lots to think about. I am a primary teacher and rather doubtful about what I see in reception classes - ours is very formal and individuality is frowned upon. As you say, need to see other schools. (Need to see what they do, not what they say) The idea of getting involved with the home ed scene early is a good one, even if that's not my plan for her whole schooling.

lingle Thu 28-Aug-08 20:19:18

sorry to sound like a scratched record.

In the Bradford LEA you can hold back your summer-born child a year then enter them in reception. Sir Jim Rose's report is due in October and may save you if she's just had her 2nd birthday.
See my multiple other posts (rants?) on this subject.

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