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foundation schools - are they the right place for 3-5 yr olds

(11 Posts)
cid Wed 16-Jul-03 15:14:09

Our local school is looking to extend its admittance to include a nursery for the 3 - 5 year olds. I am not happy about this. Does anyone know of any research suggesting that this is not good for the children?

SoupDragon Wed 16-Jul-03 15:31:15

Surely the nursery classes are just the same as youpoutting your child in nursery elsewhere? This one would kust be on the school premises. DS1s new school has a nursery attached and they do just the same stuff as the day care DS! & 2 go to.

elliott Wed 16-Jul-03 15:36:12

I'm also puzzled as to what the problem is here. Our local primary school (and many others in the area) have nursery classes attached for rising 4s - some only offer half time places, others full time. I imagine they get up to very similar stuff to the 3-5 room at ds's private nursery.

Sonnet Wed 16-Jul-03 15:40:17

My dd1 went to pre-school attached to her school. The decision to send her was based on two facts
1. she was an October baby( was almost 4 when started and if waited for reception would have been nearly 5)
2. She seemed "ready" to do more...
She got on brilliently and loved it from the start. The balance for her was just right. She could read fantastically, copy write, and do basic number work and addition by the time she went into reception. She is now 6 and just finished year 1. Her love of reading has continued and has just finished reading Charlie and the chocolate factory on her own. She made a wide circle of friends ( boys and girls) with which she will move up the school - I've no complaints.
Saying that I may not send Dd2 to pre-school as she is a January baby ( therefore younger) and a completely different kettel of fish to Dd1
Out of interest, why are you not happy with the it?

Slinky Wed 16-Jul-03 16:17:42

The main difference between a private day nursery/pre-school and a school nursery is the staff/child ratio.

A private day nursery/preschool staff ratio is 1:8, whereas a school nursery can have up to 1:15.

With regards to the sort of stuff they get up to, they all have to follow the "Foundation" Curriculum (also known as "Stepping Stones" so I would say they all do the same sort of thing.

We've only 2 schools in this area with a nursery attached - my school isn't one of them. There was talk a while back about a nursery being installed, but to quote our Headteacher "I'm interested in teaching children, not babysitting toddlers!".

elliott Wed 16-Jul-03 16:25:37

slinky, that's interesting re the staffing ratios - I had assumed they'd be covered by the same regulations, and would be age-related rather than sector related (it does seem a bit bizarre!)

stinky Wed 16-Jul-03 16:55:48

My DS started a nursery attached to the school in April and loves it - they do so much with the kids that other nurseries we looked at just didn't do. This is because they are able to "join in" with some of the activities that the foundation year do. Also they can use the school facilities e.g school hall, comnputer room, library etc.

One real advantage for us was that he will just move to the next class when he is the age for foundation and not have to start again at another school.

Batters Wed 16-Jul-03 16:56:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cid Thu 17-Jul-03 11:47:48

Thanks for all your responses I have my doubts about this for a number of reassons -firstly the area is well equipped with ofsteaded nurseries which feed into the school. Secondly The school is a high achieving school and I am worried that the 3 -5 year olds will be pushed into a learning environment, whether they are ready for it or not. Thirdly I believe that children should be allowed to develop socially and confidently through child centred play.

I agree that the response to the decision will depend on each individual but just wondered if I was alone in these feelings of unease

Batters Thu 17-Jul-03 12:24:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jollymum Thu 17-Jul-03 17:25:21

Cid-all mine have been to the nursery attached to the infant school they would go on to and it's brilliant! They play, learn letters, do nature stuff, music, dance, you name it they do it! BUT it's all curriculum stuff but they learn through play. The staff are brilliant, in fact, my 4.5 year old leaves nursery on Tuesday and the same teacher is still there that taught my 13 year so it's lots of hankies time on Tuesday morning at the leaving assembly. The disadvantage of nursery schools is that they only offer morning or afternoon places and if you work then you do have to arrange childcare. The advantage IMO is that the nursery feeding into the school allows the children to visit their new teachers/classrom, join in big kids assemblies/celebrations and allows the children to form friendships at 3/4/5 that will probably continue until they leave the infant school. My 13 year still is really close with his friend from nursery school, even though they are at different schools. Good luck in whatever you decide. {the reason that the ratio of staff/children is 1:7 it's much more structured than day nursery in that the children are only there for 2.5 hours and they have a lot to get in.

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