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DD will only just be four when she starts school in September

(32 Posts)
cardy Wed 29-Jun-05 17:15:31

DD will be four in the last week in August and will start school (reception class) in the second week in September. I haven't been too worried about this as she is usually quite out-going and confident and I thought she would be able to deal with starting school and even relish the challenge. However DD and I went to visit the school last week along with all the other children who will be in her class and I was quite surprised just how much older some of the children seemed, both physically and mentally.

DD goes to a private day nursery a couple of days a week and really enjoys it and from my experience seems to be average in terms of reading/writing/drawing. During the visit to the school I was surprised to see just how well some of the other children could write etc. Is it just because they are older (could be almost a year older)?

I was very happy with the school I hasten to add. I just would like to hear from other parents who have children who are the younger ones in their year. How did your children cope in their first year? In my limited experience there does seem to be a lot of difference between a child coming up to four and an almost 5 yo, intellictually, emotionally and phyically.

starlover Wed 29-Jun-05 17:16:15

could she start later? does the school have a january or easter intake?

starlover Wed 29-Jun-05 17:16:31

my birthday is 28th august.. and i started school the next easter

SoupDragon Wed 29-Jun-05 17:17:45

From what I've seen in DS1's class, it's more to do with the personality of the child than the age. Now they're approaching the end of Y1, it's difficult to spot which are the youngest.

MarsLady Wed 29-Jun-05 17:18:00

DD2 turned 4 on the 28th Aug and started school on the 11th Sept (something like that) a few years ago. Like your DD she is confident and outgoing. Your DD will be fine. Mine loves it and has the whole class wrapped around her little finger. The age difference slowly vanishes. The hardest thing for her was catching up and turning 5 and then everyone, almost immediately, turned 6

katierocket Wed 29-Jun-05 17:18:53

but it's very common to have such differences in ages / abilities in reception class. REception class teachers should know how to deal with this. It obviously evens out as they get older. My BF's DD is 4 at end of Aug so she will be the youngest in her class too.

I wouldn't worry too much, I'm sure she'll be fine.

cupcakes Wed 29-Jun-05 17:18:59

My ds's birthday is in June so he was one of the youngest (but not the youngest). He was part time initially which helped and ultimately I think he has done really well. It is now the end of his reception year and he has really caught up with the older ones. The school seems to assess him against himself (iykwim!) rather than comparing him to other children in his class so you can still see that he is making good progress.

cardy Wed 29-Jun-05 17:25:37

Where we live they only do one in-take per year (used to do a January in-take but that has all stopped).

One thing that worried me was over-hearing the teacher explain something to one child in a fairly complicated way, I don't think my dd would have understood. I guess like you say teachers are familiar with the age differences and are aware of how each child's needs and how they respond.

JonesTheSteam Wed 29-Jun-05 17:25:59

Like katierocket says it depends on the child's personality rather than age. Your daughter sounds like a confident child and I should say she'd be fine.

I used to teach a Year 5 class and one of the most 'mature' and intelligent children I ever taught had a birthday on 31 August and was almost a whole year younger than some of his classmates!

KazC Wed 29-Jun-05 17:30:20

Another August baby here - DS1 starts reception in Sept. In fact just found out today that we have a place at school of choice, as just moved to the area

He has a 2 hour intro session on Tuesday so it will be interesting to see how he copes.

LIZS Wed 29-Jun-05 17:42:26

dd is same, 4 on 27th August and goes all day as of mid September She has another orientation visit to meet her class and teacher on Friday and is very excited.

lucysmum Wed 29-Jun-05 17:43:46

my dd whose b/day is 27 August is just finishing reception (started full time in Sept). The teachers do make allowances/adjust expectations for the younger ones and made the point again recently when we had an intro to year 1 meeting about the age range in any one year, which is at this stage a large proportion of their little lives. It is amazing how much they progress in one year and DD coped fine and has developed so much socially as well in the year. She is desparate to be 5 because all her friends are but doesn't seem concerned that her writing, for example, is not as good as some of the other children. They all develop at different rates so in some areas, eg reading, she is well advanced. Girls I think cope better than boys I think as they are more advanced. If you are concerned, talk to the school but it is likely to be somehting they have dealt with/considered many times before.

Azure Wed 29-Jun-05 17:48:02

DS is 4 on August 27 and starts school in September. He is at the nursery of the school at the moment, and there are at least 2 girls who will be 5 at the beginning of September. From his experience so far and from chatting to the teachers they are completely used to relating to children of such widely different ages, particularly in the first year or so. The older children in DS's class are much more proficient than DS at writing & drawing, but DS isn't made to feel inadequate as a result, and is praised for his own efforts. I have also heard that any early differences are smoothed out in a year or so. As your DD sounds mature enough I'm sure she'll be absolutely fine. FWIW my neice has just turned 5 and is best friends at school with a girl who will be 6 in September - her friend is a good 15cm taller than her but it doesn't seem to bother them.

FrenchGirl Wed 29-Jun-05 17:53:59

My dd's birthday is 9th July and she was the youngest in her class. She started reception on full days, 8.30am to 3.50pm, from the first day in september 2 years ago, and coped remarkably well. She wasn't particularly tired (am sure she slept very well though at night!), and really enjoyed it. However she was in a small class of 9, which must have made it easier to cope. It really depends on personality and on the teacher. If she is sociable and enjoys learning she will have a great time! Dd did so well in fact that she got the attainment prize at the end of the year! So anything's possible even when you're the youngest. Good luck, and don't worry too much.

geekgrrl Wed 29-Jun-05 18:11:03

cardy, my dd (currently in Y1) has a late July b'day and is also the youngest in her year. She is like your's - confident and outgoing - and it's never been a problem.

Our school has only 4 classes so some of the weaker Y1 children stay behind in class 1 together with YR, but she moved up with about half her year into class 2.

Maybe her handwriting isn't as neat as that of most of the other Y1 children in class 2, but she is on the 'top table' and has absolutely no problems academically or socially. P.E. is not a strong point but that could just be genetic.

It sounds like your dd will be fine and enjoy school.

emmamama Wed 29-Jun-05 18:25:51

Just to add to what has already been said. DS turned 4 on 24th August, so he is just finishing his first year in Reception class and he is the only one in his class who has not turned 5 yet.

His teacher has made small allowances for his age but as all children develop at different rates anyway it is hard to compare them. He has never been aware of this and academically he is not behind. Physically he is a little slower but again, he is not aware which I think is the key.

On the other hand he is the most confident child in the class and has taken the starring role in the nativity play (proud mother emoticon). It really does depend on the child.

I was so concerned before he started, knowing he would be the youngest by nearly a year, and also that he did not go to the school nursery but a private nursery. In the end it has worked out fine, and I'm sure your DD will cope just fine!

cardy Wed 29-Jun-05 20:00:27

Thanks, lots or reassuring stuff here. Something that I never really thought about is how little they are aware of the age differences (except when it comes to birthdays) and even the difference in abilities. I read with interest the thread about how competitive 4 year olds can be!

I supposes I was also a little worried because she goes to a private nursery and quite a few of the others go to a local state nursery therefore already know each other.

LIZS Wed 29-Jun-05 20:06:35

dd will know noone. We don't even live in the country at the moment so her visits are the only real contact she has had with the other children. Her brother will be at the same school too though and both will attend an activity week there during the summer.

singersgirl Wed 29-Jun-05 20:50:37

More reassurance, I hope. Both my DSs are August boys. DS1 has always been the youngest in his class, but, apart from a lot of tiredness early on, he coped fine with it all academically and socially. DS2 is an August 31st baby, but I think he will be OK - he's sociable and articulate. But he does look so small next to some of the older children, and his drawing and writing (well, you know, his name!) are pretty poor too. It really depends on the child, but there are several summer born children in DS1's Y2 class who excel in lots of ways.

Gobbledigook Wed 29-Jun-05 20:54:27

I'm feeling reassured by this too! A few yrs yet till ds3 starts school but he's Aug 29th so it's always been on my mind that he'll be the baby of the class. I'm hoping he'll be OK as he'll have been to nursery and pre-school since age 2.

skerriesmum Wed 29-Jun-05 20:55:40

I am always surprised to hear about 4 year olds starting school, in Canada you have to be 5 before you start. How much leeway do parents have? We live in Ireland now but are moving soon so won't have to worry!

bonkerz Wed 29-Jun-05 20:58:07

Ds was 4 at end of july and started school full time in september, the first few months were tough on him but he loved school, He is thriving now and is reading well and writing well too. He was also at a private nursery so was used to long days and im glad i sent him to school.
I must add that his teacher was brill and if he seemed tired she would say "bring him in later tomorrow or take day off etc".

ThePrisoner Wed 29-Jun-05 23:58:45

My July daughter was the youngest in her class but was extremely confident, outgoing and took to school really well. My younger September daughter was the oldest in her class, but was very nervous and shy, and took a while to get her confidence. Don't think their age really has anything to do with how they deal with it.

Janh Thu 30-Jun-05 00:04:35

DS1 was 4 mid-July and started in Sept the youngest in the class (this was 1992 btw, not right now)

He was fine socially and academically - his reception teacher found him "rambunctious"! - the main problem we had throughout school was that his best friends from nursery/playgroup were the older ones, and our school did vertical streaming, so they were always with the year above and he was always with the year below and it pissed him off mightily, which made him naughty.

moo2 Thu 30-Jun-05 00:21:51

I am a teacher and we read all profiles before classes start to take into consideration the age gaps, don't worry, my baby is a 1st August baby so will be going through the same thing. Mention it to the teacher at the start of term so she/he is aware. They catch up in the end and look at it as having a head start on the other ones who didn't make it!!!

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