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Missing Reception - bad idea?

(37 Posts)
whizzylala Mon 19-May-08 15:40:46

Great to find this T&G board, haven't been on it before. Just having a real dilemma and wanted to pick anyones brains. My DD is due to start reception in sep, she is currently at local prep school in their foundation class, it was meant for just a yr as she was bored at pre school / nursery and subsequently behaving like a monster. Now she is great company, stimulated and doing really well. I fully intended her going to the primary school we have chosen but on giving in our notice the prep school have offered us a decent bursary because "they don't want to lose her" (have said they believe her to be T&G) wow - what a pleasant surprise! It would still be a financial struggle though. Went to speak to primary head, told her roughly what level she was at and she straight away said it sounded as though she needed to go straight into yr 1 as she wouldn't be stimulated enough in reception. (They did this last yr with a girl with a sep b'day) Now if she was a september b day that would make sense but my DDis feb and I am a bit worried about her mixing with such older children, she is still a little girl!
Head also said she would have to repeat a yr at some stage to fit back in. All sounds a bit worrying to me. The head sounded surprised that I wanted to look at the possibility of her staying with her peers (more work for them?).
So now I just don't know what to do - fork out for what I know is working and where I believe she will thrive or go to state and give it a chance - the school has a great reputation locally. Also I have a DS who would have to have the same treatment......
I have though t about this for hours - literally and cannot get ny head around it, I really feel as though I am sitting right on the fence and don't know which way to get down.
Sorry it is SOOOO long! Thanks in advance.

Earlybird Mon 19-May-08 15:57:48

If you go in and have an honest conversation with the prep school, could they increase the size of the bursary in order to make it financially viable for you? Seems from what you post that that situation would suit your daughter's abilities best.

The scenario described by the primary school head (moving classes forward and then repeating a year), sounds a social nightmare for her (and you).

LadyMuck Mon 19-May-08 16:03:29

Having a bright child repeating a year sounds like a recipe for disaster. IMO anyway.

Are there any strings with the bursary? I only ask as children often "catch up" int he first few years of school, and whilst your dd may still be very able at age 7 or 8, she may not seem so far ahead of her peers, so wonder whether this would affect the bursary later on.

Personally I would have qualms about skipping recpetion for all the social aspects, but it depends on how social your child is. I have 2 dcs - one of whom would have been able to cope with the, the other wouldn't. Of course hindsight helps!

Bink Mon 19-May-08 16:07:50

Can I check: it's the private school which would keep her with her age peers, and the state school which would bump her up? Or the other way round?

We were in very similar position (dd is October birthday, got bumped from foundation to reception, continued a year ahead up to & inc. year 2 ), except with two different private schools. When we moved her to her current school (ie, private school no. 2), they put her back with her age group, so she's just finishing repeating year 2.

And it has been FANTASTIC. It doesn't seem like repeating a year at all - the standards at current school are streets ahead of school no.1, they'll all set up with constant imaginative extension work, dd's got endless friends, inc. ones with at least equal ability ... it's the best thing we've done for her. It's made me realise that, basically, the bumping option at the last school was just an easy option & quick fix - and, to be honest, possibly a bit lazy.

So if you have the option of a school that will keep with peers but enthusiastically differentiate & extend, that is the best - in our experience.

whizzylala Mon 19-May-08 16:15:43

Yes private school would keep her with her peers but differentiate work for her.
Yes there is a string - it would be reviewed after Key Stage 1, for the reasons stated above. But assuming she countinues to perform would be continued.
Really interested in hearing more thoughts - thanks!

justaboutwasquoteoftheweek Mon 19-May-08 16:22:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

joggingalong Mon 19-May-08 19:22:19

Did the school say why she would have to repeat a year later. Could she not go on to secondary school a year early? Maybe it's worth speaking to your local secondary schools to find out if she's still ahead whether this would be possible.
If she is fine socially I wouldn't be too worried about skipping reception. I would however try to get to know some of the other children she would be with and encourage some freindships. invite some children to play etc.

Hulababy Mon 19-May-08 19:26:46

I don't understand why the prep school would keep her back a year if she is already cioping with the class work, keeping up with her classmates, has made friendships within the class and is apparently G&T. It doesn't make sense. What is the school's reasoning behind this? Have you told them what the state school has said about her going up a year?

And there is no reason for a child to repeat any year at all. They can do exams early and can even go onto uni early if they want, although many who are put up a year chose to have a gap year before univeristy so they still go aged 18.

SniffyHock Mon 19-May-08 19:31:24

Hulababy - I think the prep school want her to move up as normal (nursery to reception) but the state school want her to skip reception.

I think skipping reception is a shocking idea. It's not called the foundation stage for nothing. At her age she needs to be in a foundation classroom where play is the main focus. A good teacher can still stimulate and extend a very gifted child in that environment.

whizzylala Mon 19-May-08 19:31:49

She is not in reception at prep school, she is in their foundation which is the year before, they just give her appropriate work and sometimes she goes into reception for maths and reading. So she would be going into reception with her friends and they have said that they will just make her own groups next year for work if needed rather than putting her up.
I just worry about her being with older kids, I think she would cope socially but I just don't want her growing up too fast really. Interesting that they can cont a yr ahead of themselves, i didn't know that.
They suggested (state school) she repeat yr 2.

Hulababy Mon 19-May-08 19:34:51

Ah right -- mis read.

In that case I would put her into reception year and both schools for now and see how it goes, especially in a new school. The reception year is the settling in year - she will learn the new routines, make new friendships, find out how this school does things. And then see how the school cope with your DD's capabilities and take it from there.

NotABanana Mon 19-May-08 19:36:30

I don't see that you would have to do the same for your DS as he might not be of the same ability.

Hulababy Mon 19-May-08 19:38:10

I assume with DS you mean if you send DD to private school then you feel DS should go also.

SniffyHock Mon 19-May-08 19:38:54

Def agree that being with the older children would be hard for her esp if after 2 years she has to stay back.

when I was at school a new girl started in yr 3 with us but after a few weeks they realised that she was in the wrong year group so moved her down to the infants! She was gutted as infants and juniors was (and is) a big thing. For the rest of school she generally wanted to play with us at break time. Imagine how she felt when we left.

I don't want to sound like I'm making too big a deal of it but I used to teach at KS2 and know that children can make a big deal of things like this.

If you can, I would keep her where she is and move her to state school for year one.


WendyWeber Mon 19-May-08 19:39:26

A Feb birthday doesn't have to repeat a year in the state system though - birthdays between 01/09 and 28/02 can skip a year - so I don't know why the head said that.

I know several children who have skipped a year (none skipped Reception but one - with a Feb birthday - did skip Y1) and gone on to do well at a selective grammar at 10.

aintnomountainhighenough Mon 19-May-08 19:39:45

I would definitely leave her where she is, they are much more likely to tailor her education. I can't believe the state school are advising that she miss reception and then have to repeat a year at somepoint. At my DDs state school they definitely aren't in to developing their potential so if your local primary is the same your DD definitely wont achieve her potential.

Romy7 Mon 19-May-08 20:34:59

DS1 worked alongside Yr R children in state when he was pre-school (joint FS unit and they thought it was the best way to give him appropriate stimulation - we were never asked and didn't even realise until summer term - they had approached the LEA for advice), then we moved county and he effectively did yr R again in new school. He's now yr 1 in the same school and tbh thinks he's god's gift because he hasn't had to think for 2 years... hence is a lazy fat toad who they can't get to put pencil to paper. He's sort of working with yr 2 for some stuff but it's all a bit of a mess. They've left it too long to sort out and so are asking us what they should do now. The main focus for state schools is to raise the level of the lower achievers to bring them in line for SATs (imho!), so generally speaking kids who are already exceeding SATs levels prove a bit of a challenge - how much resource do you put in for no effect on your school results?! If she is thriving where she is and they've offered a bursary I would scrimp and save and keep her there. Smaller class sizes would do it for me alone... Mind you, we're in an infants/ juniors situation, which exacerbates the problem as there's nowhere to go to access differentiated taught work unless it's 1-1... I wouldn't want him in juniors prematurely tbh...

whizzylala Mon 19-May-08 21:34:35

All your thoughts are so helpful thanks. Keep em coming if you want!
I did mean that I would have to send DS to private too by the way, can't vouch for his capabilities yet as he is only 2!
I think what is making it hard is that the state school is a very good one, if it weren't then it would be a no brainer! I have spoken to a couple of mums and both couldn't fault it. I was just quite surprised by the skipping reception thing, it sort of put me off a bit. I suppose I was expecting her to say oh well we'll just differentiate for her, but perhaps there just aren't the resources. Deep down I want to keep her where she is but do worry about the long term financial commitment. I wish I could try them both on and then decide! If i were to try and get her back into this state school at a later date can they refuse us because we have messed them around?

Romy7 Mon 19-May-08 22:49:54

DS1 school is rated excellent across the board by ofsted... and I absolutely agree in every other respect except this one. DD1 went there for yr 2 and DD2 starts in september - DD1 v bright but very easy going and hard worker so happy wherever (she's at 4th school in year 3 ) - DD2 has physical disability and would benefit enormously from small class sizes and independent ed... but no way I can afford 3 lots of independent fees, and each one has a valid claim!!!
State can't refuse you at a later date, but you are reliant on them having a place - and if it's a good school and you want a year R place, they're like rocking horse *&^%...
Good luck with your decision!

Romy7 Mon 19-May-08 22:52:41

Just realised that looks like we school hop - we move a lot, honest! blush

QOD Mon 19-May-08 22:59:04

my dd did 3 mths reception then skipped up to Yr 1, then did yr 1/2 in a mixed class they had Reception then
recep/yr 1 mix
yr 1/yr 2 mix
yr 2

So she missed out on a lot of play!
It affected her friendships, the older kids she was with were bottom ability for their year and some of the nice kids in her year where in the normal class.
It took to yr 3 for her to be in a class with certain of her friends, and socially it impacted all of them.
If you can do it, stay private!

avenanap Mon 19-May-08 23:03:06

My ds is 9 and he skipped a year at his prep school this year because he's very bright. It was a mistake. He gets on well with the other children in his class and he works at the top level, aswell as doing work from the year above. His old head wanted him in her class so that she could challenge him, then she left. I spent along time last year trying to find him a school to move to when he was 10 which would take him in at year 7, it's been virtually impossible. It is really frowned upon, the rule of thought is that the school should be able to manage a G&T child in their own age group, especially a private school as this is what you are paying for. My ds is moving this year, the only school that will accept him wants to move him back to his age group, depsite him being 2 years ahead.
If your daughter has to repeat a year in order to put her back with her age group it will upset her, she will be moved away from her friends and she will have to see them leave without her. It may appear to be a good idea now but they really should be able to set work for her ability rather then let her skip a year, even a state school should do this.

morocco Mon 19-May-08 23:09:06

have another word with head from state school about your dd starting in reception and differentiated materials etc, bearing in mind that in many countries your dd would not even be at school yet, so if she is GT it's not going to ruin her education if she has a slower start. if he's still keen she move up to yr 1 and repeat yr2, I would be v concerned about her peer group relationships and how she will feel when 'relegated' later on
what will you do if the bursary is not forthcoming for ks2 and will it put pressure on your dd to perform at school?
can you afford to send them both to private school? I wouldn't send just one, ds2 is always looking for any excuse to feel unloved and unwanted as it is grin. he'd love to play that card when older
of course, there is always the home ed option as well

mobileslostisitinthefreeze Mon 19-May-08 23:12:12

I would think twice about skipping a yr.
I skipped a yr and was put in yr 1 after about 6 weeks of primary, then when I went to secondary I skipped another yr. I ended up doing my A levels at 15 (My bday is August) and then dropping out. The work was fine, it was just the other kids, they were so emotionally advanced that it was like they were a different species! some of them were nearly 3 years older than me (aug bday)

EachPeachPearMum Mon 19-May-08 23:25:01

This happened to me Whizzylala.
I learned to read at 2 (dm was a primary teacher, I was interedsted), could write soon after.
When I started Infant school, I had already completed the infant 1 reading scheme, so they put me directly into the infant 2 class.
As they thought it would cause problems later, I had to repeat infant 3, though in a different teacher's class.

It was horrific- I can still remember being heartbroken in the playground on the last day of school, when I realised all my friends were going up to juniors (separate building) and I would have to stay back.

I was bored the whole year I repeated (though thankfully I had a lovely teacher, much nicer than the other infant 3 teacher, who I had hated). I never really made proper friends in my own age group.

I was also way ahead of all my classmates throughout junior school, which was a horrible, and boring experience. I learned more in the first 2 years of school than I did in the next 5.

At secondary, I went to a different school than all of my classmates, so it didn't make a difference there, but I had already been turned off school by then.

If you can stick with the independent, I would say do it.

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