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TOO YOUNG TO BE STARTING SCHOOL

(30 Posts)
HIPPYFLIPPY Wed 03-Sep-08 22:46:00

DS2 is a July baby and I feel quite strongly that it is TOO BLOODY YOUNG to be starting school tomorrow. The school doesn't promote a January intake as some other areas do, and he goes straight in full time and that is it. Feel like he should be at home with me for another year. Emotionally and socially it has to be better to be at home, like most other continental countries who dont start them till 6 or 7. Very good reason for that. DS1 and DD1 were both older children in the year and both seemed ready. A part of it could be because he is my youngest and my last and we do have a very special bond, but he looks so tiny and small in his uniform and I so do not want him changing his basic sweet nature. My other two definately both got a bit more cocky and laery by the 2nd half of the year!! Opinions please!

TsarChasm Wed 03-Sep-08 22:50:53

sad I really feel for him and agree with you.

I think the system needs to be more flexible for Summer birthdays. Some are ready, some need more time.

I also think we launch into ft education too soon. Why the rush? hmm

Heated Wed 03-Sep-08 22:53:51

Steve Biddolph in Raising Boys agrees with you & gives compelling reasons why a lot of boys shouldn't start until 6 or 7yrs old.

DS1 started today, sad and [happy]

ChasingSquirrels Wed 03-Sep-08 22:56:33

he doesn't HAVE to start though (as in he isn't legally required to). but there are other problems in keeping him out and and then joining yr 1 next year.
also would feel :(

ravenAK Wed 03-Sep-08 22:59:56

Conversely, ds is an August birthday, can't start till January where we are, & he'd be well up for starting now!

The obvious solution would be 'We have x places in the September intake, & y places in the January intake, please let us know your preference & we'll try to accommodate your dc'

HIPPYFLIPPY Wed 03-Sep-08 23:12:43

Yes that is the problem chasingsquirrels, all my in laws are ex teachers and are horrified at the age kids start school as they just didnt in their day, but as you say would not want him to start in year 1. Also legally, yes can keep him out until January but should imagine he would be the only one. Seems parents cant wait to get rid of their kids and it pips me. Loved reading that book Heated, tho it was some time ago, need to re read the bit on education. Glad your son is happy. Agree RavenAK, that way no one is singled out and parents happy. Think its far too much for convenience of school and not about the children. Agree in FT education for a long time. They should be playing and being little children!

AbstractMouse Thu 04-Sep-08 00:02:04

I agree somebody suggested a 2 month leeway on the starting month. That is such a good idea, july/august borns could defer till the next year if not ready and september/october borns could go a year earlier if ready. Makes so much more sense. I have a september born girl who really should be starting year 1 now, not reception.

sleepycat Thu 04-Sep-08 12:36:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

witchandchips Thu 04-Sep-08 12:46:53

my preference would be to keep the system as is but have same ratios as in nurserys/child minders (so three teachers per class and not one). The younger children (or those that needed more hugs) would have more support AND there would be the resources to teach at varying levels.

tiredemma Thu 04-Sep-08 12:49:14

My DS2 was the same last year, totally unprepared for school (even though he had been at nursery since 14 weeks). However when he returned after the Xmas holidays, he flourished and now loves school.

memoo Thu 04-Sep-08 12:50:38

Are you aware the Law states that a child has to be in education by his/her 5th birthday. Legally if your child is only 4 you don't have to send them to school.

We had a july birthday in our reception class last year. The child missed loads of days but the EWO told us that there was nothing they can do because the child isn't 5 and so didn't legally have to be in school

memoo Thu 04-Sep-08 12:50:38

Are you aware the Law states that a child has to be in education by his/her 5th birthday. Legally if your child is only 4 you don't have to send them to school.

We had a july birthday in our reception class last year. The child missed loads of days but the EWO told us that there was nothing they can do because the child isn't 5 and so didn't legally have to be in school

scattyspice Thu 04-Sep-08 12:56:42

sadHippy. I don't know what i think. Ds (also july) started reception last yr. He was just 4 and his new best friend turned 5 in the first week of school.

TBH he loves school, loves his friends, loved his teacher and loves PE!

He struggled with the work and getting him to sit down and do his reading has been difficult.

Hi teacher was totally understanding, there are 4 July and august kids in his class so he's not the only young one.

My main concern is that he should progress at his own pace, and feel stupid if he can't keep up with the others. But this is true of any child. In Ds class there are children who don't speak English and a child with special needs as well a bright kids (the youngest in the class is actually one of the brightest!) So all children have different needs.

Good luck.

AMumInScotland Thu 04-Sep-08 13:02:27

I think this is an area where the Scottish system is much more suitable.

Children who have turned 5 start in August

Children who will be 5 by the end of February have the choice - either start this August at 4-and-a-bit or not till next August at 5-and-a-bit.

Either way, they all start in P1, no missing out on their first year in school just because they defer.

It means that parents can decide on the basis of the individual child, whether they are ready or not.

ivykaty44 Thu 04-Sep-08 13:06:23

Why can't they move the school intake age from 1 September to the 1 July - that way at least the July and August babies would get another year and the June babies would be at least 5 and two months before they had to start school rather than just 5 - two months makes a big difference when you are little and actaully it is more like 10 weeks as July and August are both nearly 5 week months.

Oliveoil Thu 04-Sep-08 13:09:51

there has to be a cut off somewhere along the line though doesn't there?

dd2 is August 27th and started yesterday

does 2 weeks part time and then is in full time

tbh if she is tired I will phone them and say she 'is under the weather' and keep her off

I would NOT defer until January or whatever even if I had the option as then she will be a 'new' girl whereas if everyone starts in September, they are all 'new' and friendships haven't formed

Oliveoil Thu 04-Sep-08 13:11:10

and also, sometimes I think our children are ready for things that we as parents think they are not

just let them try and see how things pan out

use my 'under the weather/cold' excuse for the odd day off on the sofa cuddling

I did this with dd1 and it was fine

Niecie Thu 04-Sep-08 13:22:23

I have a July born DS1 and I wasn't happy either but he did surprisingly well emotionally and socially considering that I thought he was immature for his age - he loved school from the beginning.

He didn't do so well academically but I made a conscious decision not to push him. I had my doubts about the wisdom of this when he was pretty much bottom of the class at the end of Yr R but when things got a bit more structured and serious in Yr 1 he was ready and did very well, coming on in leaps and bounds.

It was a shame that we couldn't start him later as we would have been able to if we hadn't moved areas but it worked out OK for us.

I think it depends on the school and the teachers as well, They should be sensitive to th different needs of the children and the huge differences a few months can make and not put pressure where none is needed. I have a sneaking suspicion that our head teacher is not necessarily in agreement with children starting at just 4 but she has to tow the county/government line so doesn't have a huge say in the matter. It does mean though, that she is happy to let children develop at their own pace which is great.

FlightAttendent Thu 04-Sep-08 13:27:59

I agree but we deferred (did part time till summer term, then wanted to wait till autumn - initially they agreed but then we lost our place sad)

This is worth a try but do clear it with the school as ours mucked about and now we are HEing as no place.

Quite like hE though wink

pooka Thu 04-Sep-08 13:31:55

DD has a july birthday. Thankfully here they have sept and jan intakes. So she was 4 and a half when she started. Still too young IMO.

Do think that the scottish system is much fairer.

smartiejake Thu 04-Sep-08 13:37:18

Actually the law states that children don't have to be in school until the term AFTER their 5th birthday.

Lots of parents do worry about dcs missing out on reception style work but nurseries and preschools have rising 5 groups where children WHO ARE READY FOR IT (yes deliberate capitals) can start on phonic work and readng schemes in small groups with a better adult child ratio. They also work from the same early learning goals/ foundation curriculum so should all be singing from the same song sheet.

If a summer born child starts schoolin year 1 but has continued in a good preschool/ nursery, missing out on reception is less of a big deal.

onwardandupward Thu 04-Sep-08 17:23:47

Or even, a summer born child with a clued up parent could do similar things to the reception year based at home perfectly well, but at the more relaxed home pace. I'm not seeing missing the reception year in school as a ghastly thing in a child's educational path TBH. Especially when in some places it's a whole reception year whether the child is 5 tomorrow or only 4 last week, and in other places, it's a reception year for the Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec birthdays, but a reception 2 terms for the rest. So are those starting in January disadvantaged for ever by starting a term "late"? hmm doubt it.

Niecie Thu 04-Sep-08 18:06:02

I would have considered holding DS1 back a yesr but we were advised by the Head Teacher that if we did that they would not be able to guarantee a place for him in Yr 1. Since the school was rated outstanding and happens to be our next door neighbour too (so pretty much ideal) it was too much of a risk.

It is something take into account when contemplating doing that if you want to get your child into an over-subscribed school.

onwardandupward Thu 04-Sep-08 18:08:05

Or start them in the obvious September to guarantee the place, and once they start, refuse to take them more than 3 mornings a week? There is no legal obligation on you to have a good attendance record until the term after they become 5.

Niecie Thu 04-Sep-08 18:12:39

Onward, I asked the head if we could do that and she said we couldn't. They wouldn't keep the place open and I wouldn't have considered DS going in less than full time because he would forever be out of step with the other children.

That might just be the LEA here that wouldn't keep the place open though. Maybe they are all different.

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