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Starting School in Scotland at 4 1/2!!

(18 Posts)
tyrone Thu 03-Sep-09 14:20:21

My DS will be 4 mid February 2010 and is due to start school August 2010 but i am already stressing big time about sending him or not hmm. Everyone i speak to has an opinion and most people say keep him at nursery another year. I think socially and academically he will be ready for P1 in August but my worry is about later on in school when he will be the youngest (and maybe more imature) teenager in the class .

would love to hear from anyone with similar worries or experience of younger kids further on in school (espec boys) and how they are coping.

I feel like i'm being judged for thinking about sending him at 4 1/2 but I think he will be ready, just the High School issue is the problem. We also pay for pre school childcare at a private nursery as we both work full time so that needs to be taken into account as was hoping to have another baby next year but money would be pretty tight if DS was still in paid nursery.

Sorry i'm rambling now!!!

weegiemum Thu 03-Sep-09 14:26:32

Hi there.

I have 2 feb babies and a Nov one. I'm also a secondary teacher.

We kept our Feb kids back to 5 and a half and are delighted with our choice. So when it came to sending dd2 at 4y9m she seemed so young. And she really hasn't coped with school as well as the others did at the same stage - despite being in many ways more mature.

I do see a difference from a teacher's pov with kids coming in a not much past 11 - and you're not going to like this, but especially boys! They are always the ones to forget homework/lose the thread of the lesson/leave folders and books at home. I realise I'm grossly generalising, but that is my experience.

I totally get your reasons for sending him at 4 and a half, and would never judge you for that. Saying that, however, I know several people who said "I wish I'd kept X in nursery" but no-one who said "I wish I'd sent X earlier".

Its nice to have the choice though, adn good luck with it whatever you decide!

deste Fri 04-Sep-09 22:31:02

A boy in my sons class at school was born 28 February. He was by far the smartest boy in the class. No problems no hiccups and he is now a Surgeon. I think he won most of the prizes in junior school. My son was a March birthday and had to wait. By the time he went he was fed up waiting. Saying that he could read the alphabet before he was 18 months and was quite advanced for his age. He would have coped if he had gone the year before. He missed the cut off by 4 days.

Prunerz Fri 04-Sep-09 22:49:42

We kept our son back a year because of who he is.

In his class, there is a good mix of boys between 4.3ish and 5.7. Nobody is judging and there is no pressure.

If you think he'll be ok - send him.

Everyone has an opinion because everyone has an opinion about every aspect of parenting grin

sweetkitty Fri 04-Sep-09 22:56:37

DD2 has and end of January birthday and will start next year, there is no way I could not send her as she has a sister 18 months older than her and thinks she is her twin, she is already doing DD1's homework with her and her writing is actually better than DD1's. She is extemely bright just lacks a little bit of maturity but I don't think she would look out of place being at school now. I know I am a Mum saying that but what I am saying is it depends on the child, if it were DD1 I would have really thought about deferring her a year.

You know him best so you should make the decision.

poppysocks Fri 04-Sep-09 23:14:01

I had been thinking of starting a thread about exactly this! My DD1 will be 4 in 2010 and is a late Feb birthday (although should have been born a good bit earlier!).

Coming from south of the border, the idea of DD not being a school until she is 5.5 doesn't feel right but like you, I find that everyone has an opinion and most seem to advocate holding her back.

I agree with everyone saying it's down to the child. The difficulty I have is that DD1 is my first child and I just can't tell. Does that sound really awful? blush

I don't feel that DD1 is super bright, but nor do I feel she may have problems. Her nursery have been no use and very non-committal and say she'd be fine either way. I'm inclined towards starting her at 4.5 but then also hate the idea of being so young at high school.

FWIW, we're currently erring towards holding her back. I'll be watching this thread though with great interest and would be great to hear experiences. I seem to hear fewer good things about sending them earlier.

Prunerz Fri 04-Sep-09 23:17:09

Personally, having been 11 starting secondary, and 17 starting university (gap years not the done thing for normal Scots families at that time!), I felt more strongly about deferral. I could have done with that extra year at those ages, but at 4 I was fine starting school (apparently).

That doesn't help the OP though. grin

CarGirl Fri 04-Sep-09 23:20:16

I am so envy that you get a choice, with 3 summer babies in England they started at 4yrs10 weeks, 4 years & 10 days & 4 years and 3 weeks respectively....they will all finish secondary school at 15.

weegiemum Fri 04-Sep-09 23:20:41

I think the thing about them not going to school until 5.5 not feeling right is intensely cultural....

England and Wales start children at school earlier than anywhere else in Europe, but children there don't do any better academically than those in the rest of Europe where extended nursery/kindergarten then starting at 6 or later is normal.

I love the fact that I was given the choice about school start though. I have a friend in England who's ds is 5 months younger than my dd1, but he had to start school a full year earlier than she did.

I'm a great fan of deferring!

bosch Fri 04-Sep-09 23:23:29

ds2 was 4yrs and 6 weeks when he started school, but mornings only.

Personally I take the view that children don't know what intake policy different schools and areas have and just go along with what they are asked to do.

TBH, ds2 did virtually no work whatsoever in reception but he seemed to have quite a lot of fun and made some good friends. I would have stressed about the no work thing if I hadn't seen friends of ds1 doing no work and that being considered 'ok' by their parents and the teacher.

Ds1 on the other hand was just two weeks short of being 5 when he started school full time and he has 'sailed through' academically and coped emotionally (he's a very precious first born and a natural neurotic as far as I'm concerned grin).

Oh, and all children get tired at school. Not just the littlies. Have you tried talking to the school about your concerns?

MrsMuddle Sat 05-Sep-09 00:09:13

My sister has a Feb baby. She is a primary teacher and wanted to hold him back, but was persuaded by the nursery that he was "ready", so he went at 4.5.

All was fine in primary school, but now he's in S2 and by far the least immature emotionally and physically and she's really regretting her decision. There was research done a couple of years ago that says that boys benefit hugely from starting later.

I've been out tonight and I'm too drunnk to find it, but if you can't find it on google I'll dig it out for you tomorrow.

bigstripeytiger Sat 05-Sep-09 09:56:38

I think it depends on the child, though TBH with a febuary born child, expecially a boy, I would probably want to defer unless there seemed to a a good reason not to, IYSWIM.

In my DDs class at school the youngest child (my DD) has a early January birthday, so all the parents with children born after that date must have deferred.

Having said that I am glad that she went to school when she was 4 1/2, she is doing well, and fits right in with her classmates. I think that if we had kept her back for a year she would not have fitted in so well with her class group, so at the moment I have no doubts, though maybe at secondary school I may regret her being the youngest.

bookbird Mon 05-Sep-11 18:12:15

There is no right or wrong answer, I think it totally depends on the child. My DS just started School, he has a December birthday, so is not quite 5. One of the considerations rarely mentioned is that once the "deferrees" get to the other end, they can be sitting exams once they are past 16 (or NOT sitting exams as they are past statutory leaving age!).

AberdeenAngusina Thu 08-Sep-11 09:57:35

DS has a late Feb birthday, we have no regrets that we deferred. He was bright, but struggling with fine motor skills, and I think he'd have found school at 4 1/2 difficult. Also, neither DH nor I are particularly tall, so we expected him to be slightly below average height.

Something else to consider is whether other Jan/Feb birthdays are being deferred; if they are, your DS could be the youngest by several weeks. Plus, if he's in a class which includes the previous years deferred Jan/Feb birthdays, he could be in a class with others who are over a year older.

DN has an Oct birthday; she was the fourth youngest in her class because all the Jan/Feb birthdays had deferred, as had a Dec birthday. Can you get an indication of what others are doing?

mollschambers Thu 08-Sep-11 10:01:40

If the childcare costs were out of the equation what would you do?

I deferred mine. You can't compare children and how they coped and you can't predict the future and how your own will cope. I decided to err on the side of caution.

soonbesailing Fri 09-Sep-11 09:00:19

Hi Tyrone, I am in England but my DC was 4 on 24 Aug and started school on 6 September, so he was only just 4, we did not have the choice of holding him back. He was a very happy sociable little chap and everything went well in reception. However he started to struggle when he moved to year 1 not because the work was too hard, it was more that the structure was too formal, and by the spring term, he was showing signs of becoming a school refuser, and every morning we were dragging him in crying.
The school were very supportive and decided that he still needed to be in a play based environment, so it was decided to move him back to reception. This was 10 years ago and I know this does not happen now very often in the state system in England.
I now have a 14 year old who is the oldest child in his year, he is taller than his friends and is slightly more mature, but I have always felt it was the best decision for him, I know he would really struggle if he were in the year above. I also know that they adjust to the pace of things so it's not a clear cut thing.
For me the big thing has always been self esteem and age difference can have an effect in physical/motor skills ability which is more obvious when they are young.
I do think though that every child is different and only you know your child and how they will get on.
Is there an option to send him and then keep him down a year if you feel his isn't ready to move up next year?

AMumInScotland Fri 09-Sep-11 10:10:36

Hi - apart from the last few posts, this thread is 2 years old, so one way or the other I'm sure it has been resolved by now grin

soonbesailing Fri 09-Sep-11 10:24:03

I didn't notice that Amuminscotland I wonder why it was restarted?

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