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My DS should be going to school in Sept but isn't - I am worried

(21 Posts)
Shugarlips Thu 30-Jul-09 21:19:53

We didn't get one of our 3 choices for our DS to start school this Sept - v disappointed. We got a school out of our area which I really don't want him to go to. He is on 3 waiting lists and his birthday is 17.08.05 so he is one of the youngest anyway and doesn't have to legally go to school til Sept 2010 but would have to go into year 1 of course.

I thought I was OK with him starting later, when a place came up but now all his friends are going and the parents are getting their little ones ready to go I am starting to doubt myself. He goes to nursery for 4 sessions a week and likes it.
Will he be disadvantaged by starting school later? Am I holding him back? Is 4.1 too young to go to school anyway?

poopscoop Thu 30-Jul-09 21:26:14

i had an aug baby who went to school a year late. He was just 5 and went into year one. No problem .

Also had a May DS and did the same.

Both did an extra year at nursery. although they were both on 5 sessions by the end.

You will still get the nursery funding too

mrsruffallo Thu 30-Jul-09 21:28:41

Were your children the oldest at nursery then poopscoop?
If so, did they handle it okay?

poopscoop Thu 30-Jul-09 21:31:23

yes in the end, but only by a few weeks and they didnt notice at all.

MummyDragon Thu 30-Jul-09 21:33:02

Hi Shugarlips,

I am no expert, but I will tell you my experience of primary school so far.

My DS is a summer birthday boy too (born in June). He started school last September in Year R.

He coped fine, although he was knackered when he got home from school - probably for the first two terms.

Yes, I believe that 4 is too young to start school. However, your DS would be very, very disadvantaged by starting school at age 5.1 in Year 1, without having gone into Year R first. Whatever his nursery might say (and I don't know what they say, but bear with me!), going to nursery is not the same as being in Year R at school. For a start, the pupil:teacher ratio is different. The whole structure of the day is different. Whilst they still learn through play in Year R, the children are expected to go to the toilet on their own, put on their own shoes, carry their lunch tray or packed lunch to the table (with help available, of course) .... so many more things are expected of them.

Ultimately you won't be holding your DS back if you keep him out of Year R, but remember that it is designed to introduce children to the concept of school, and that whilst many children do learn loads in the first year in terms of reading and writing, many do not really get going until year 1 or Year 2 but would not have done so if they hadn't done the Year R foundation year first.

WHy not start your DS at the school out of the area and, if you're not happy with it when a place becomes available at one of your 3 waiting-list choices, move him to one of those in due course? I have just moved my DS - actually at half-term in the summer term - to a new school, and he coped brilliantly, not a tear was shed and he is very, very happy - so I don't think that moving schools should necessarily put you off.

I hope this helps you in some way. It's big decision; good luck.

MummyDragon Thu 30-Jul-09 21:35:17

x-posts with poopscoop!

Sorry, we've given you totally conflicting information!!

Glad your kids coped with going straight into Y1 poopscoop smile .. Did you manage to get a place at your first choice school? Was there a waiting list? When did you apply? (sorry, am being nosy)

mrsruffallo Thu 30-Jul-09 21:40:36

Message withdrawn

poopscoop Thu 30-Jul-09 21:42:31

Not sure about the 'very very disadvantaged by starting school at age 5.1 in year 1' bit.

Not in my case. smile

poopscoop Thu 30-Jul-09 21:47:44

It was fine about the friends at nursery because they were all ages together, so some left but many stayed on.

It was just something I felt was right for mine, but agree it is not a decision to be taken without much thought.

I think you will know what is best for yours.

cazzybabs Thu 30-Jul-09 21:50:03

I wouldn't worry about the eucation side more the social sie, but if you would him as and when a place came up then it would be better to wait because tranistions can be hard

poopscoop Thu 30-Jul-09 21:52:39

agree cazzy. Best not to start him off at one school then move him. That just upsets everything, and we found that out the hard way when we moved house and school.

Shugarlips Fri 31-Jul-09 09:27:25

It is a hard one isn't it. I really don't want to put him into one school and then move him. We have turned down the place he was allocated so he doesn't have a school place now anyway so we will just have to wait for a place to come up which is a nightmare because you have no control over the whole situation.

Surely if he went in year 1 his class teacher would know that he hadn't attended in Year R and help him a bit more for the first few weeks?

If he had got the school we wanted he would have gone in September because it is small and I would have been happy even though he is so young but I am not happy about him going to the other one because I think he is too young to go there as it's bigger and not so welcoming - do you see what I mean?

I find the system so rigid - it would be so much easier if he could go into Year R at 5.1 and be the oldest!

flaime Fri 31-Jul-09 14:24:13

Reception class isn't exactly hard work, but they do learn their letter sounds and start to put sounds together to start reading and writing.

If your DS goes straight into year 1 without this he will be way behind the others which may make him feel very left out.

Your DS would probably only be doing half days for the first term or so, and sometimes you can arrange that they do half days for longer if they are getting to tired, or the teacher will let them have a snooze in the book corner or something as they are very used to having very young ones there.

Mine DD2 is the oldest in her class but was still having a nap each day until a few weeks before she started and she coped fine being at school full time.

ommmward Fri 31-Jul-09 17:58:01

Here's an idea: get yourself in touch with local home educators. They'll probably have weekly meet ups and it'd be a lovely way of meeting other families whose children aren't all off to school in september.

Just a little warning: HEers tend to hole up a bit in the summer holidays [sez me, whose family did not one but two trips to big child-packed local attractions today]

pugsandseals Fri 31-Jul-09 19:52:19

DD started at Easter age 4.8. Like you, she had a beautiful nursery school to go to & lots of friends.
I don't believe it was a problem for her because:-
1 She was already learning to read with me
2 She fits into new groups/situations easily
3 She wouldn't have coped with school before then anyway
Don't feel you HAVE to do anything. Your childs happiness is the priority & if he is happy where he is, surely this means more than going to a school which may not suit him?

acebaby Sat 01-Aug-09 12:28:14

It isn't a clear cut decision by any means However, I'm sure your DS will gain confidence from being a 'big boy' at nursery. A good nursery would also expect their 4yos to start to develop independence about the toilet and dressing. DS1's nursery certainly did. Also, I would have a chat to the reception teachers of the school your DS is going to, to find out what they expect of the children. You could implement a lot of that at home and encourage the nursery to do the same.

How about looking around for holiday play schemes with older children (DS1 goes to one for children between 3 and 8 and has come on loads)? That would give your DS some experience of being with older children and being more independent.

It's certainly a toughie. I agonised over what to do with DS1 (July birthday). He seems so young for school sad

AbbyLou Fri 21-Aug-09 12:57:02

"Surely if he went in year 1 his class teacher would know that he hadn't attended in Year R and help him a bit more for the first few weeks?"

As a year One teacher I know that, sadly, this is not possible unless you are very fortunate that your school has incredibly small class sizes or lots of TA support. This is not necessarily my pov but the school will think you are crazy. They may well see it as you not anting to let go of your little boy at school age. I agree that 4.1 is very young to start school , we still have a January intake here. However, there are so many things children learn in Reception that are vital. As I said we still have two intakes and when the children start Year 1 there is still a significant difference between September and january starters in terms of academic learning and social skills. Also, the children will have formed very strong friendship bonds during YEar R as a lot of emphasis is placed on the social side and learning about how to be a good friend etc.
I can understand your dilemma but I think in your situation I would send my ds and wait until a place came up in the school I really wanted. You never know, you might be pleasantly surprised and end up liking the schol you've got!

MANATEEequineOHARA Fri 21-Aug-09 15:17:55

My DS started school (having been in a Steiner Kindergarten doing no formal learning) at 5 and a half and caught up within a term of only going in 3 days a week. That was the last term of reception, he started full time in year 1 and is now going into year 3 ahead in most areas. I think 4.1 is too young for most children anyway.

IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Fri 21-Aug-09 15:22:45

I haven't got anything more helpful to say than that 4.1 is very young, and if you don't think he's ready wait. It might be worth trying though - is there no possibility of him starting in January - do any of the schools have a Jan intake?

twopeople Sun 23-Aug-09 15:40:36

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PixieOnaLeaf Tue 25-Aug-09 20:43:24

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