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Nursery dilemma

(21 Posts)
rockster24 Fri 08-Dec-17 17:29:43

Hi all,

My son is at a normal day care nursery and doing fine. Our aspiration is for him to go to a private prep school.

The prep school we are hoping to send him to also has a nursery but is only open during term time.

They do allow split sessions so he could go 3 days private nursery and 2 days to the existing one (we'd like to keep him going here as we can then use it during school holidays).

But speaking to the private nursery, they seem to think this would 'confuse' the child as he would have 3 days structured learning then 2 days free play.

Has anyone else done this sort of split or would they generally advise against it??

Thanks in advance.

welshweasel Fri 08-Dec-17 17:32:01

Why bother? Surely far less hassle to keep him in the private nursery then move him to the private school when he starts full time school. I can’t see any benefit to you or him to have him in two different nurseries, assuming that you are happy with his current one.

glow1984 Fri 08-Dec-17 17:33:22

Not had experience of this but why does a nursery age child need structured learning. I would keep him where he is.

booboobutt Fri 08-Dec-17 17:37:57

I agree with glow, little children don't need structured learning, they need the freedom to play and explore and learn about the world through their own interest. I'm surprised that any nursery would offer "structured learning" to pre-school age children. Do you know how they actually plan and enforce structured learning, just out of interest?

MrsAlbie Fri 08-Dec-17 17:40:30

I work in early years.
Both nurseries will have 'structured learning' as they have to follow the EYFS . He won't be doing free play all day at the other one confused. Bit insulting the other nursery have said that!
Plenty of children in my setting split hours and no problems!

Knittedfairies Fri 08-Dec-17 17:43:58

Are you sure the 'normal' day nursery offers free play? (i.e. no structure)
I cannot see what you would achieve by a split placement; I think I would stay with the nursery he attends at the moment, so you can use it year round.

HSMMaCM Fri 08-Dec-17 19:48:57

I agree. Leave him where he is.

rainbowruthie Fri 08-Dec-17 19:52:13

MrsAlbie knows what she is talking about!

Whoopsiveovershared Sat 09-Dec-17 07:27:34

Would the private prep school be using the EYFS? I'm not sure if they have their own curriculum.
However, children don't get confused between the 'structure' of nursery and the 'free play' at home, so I'm not sure the he would be any more confused about the two different settings.

Lunde Sat 09-Dec-17 10:32:07

What will you do in the holidays if the nursery fill the days you are no longer using?

Missjaysays Sat 09-Dec-17 23:24:08

I don't know what kind of 'structured learning' they mean but in the early years children learn through play. The private day nursery won't just allow them to free play all day long, although it may seem that way to a parent.

The thought of a nursery aged child sat at a table doing work makes me so so sad. To me that is what 'structured learning' means.

Your child should be running around, crawling, shuffling, jumping and figuring out different ways to move or how to catch a ball. They should be free playing so they can get a grasp of their own interests, learning to select resources that they like and enjoy. Not sat down and expected to complete whatever task is put infront of them. They should be learning how to manage their own feelings and emotions, and how to consider those of their peers by sharing toys and turn taking. Children learn these things from their experiences, at first guided by adults to show them right from wrong, but after that it is mainly experiences with their peers, all of this they gain from free play. Their imaginations should be being developed by play in the home corner where they can role play and pretend, they dress up to learn about different occupations or ways of life. The whole time being encouraged to talk about what they see, hear or feel to build up their vocabulary. Messy play is really important for the same reason! You can get so much new vocabulary in by describing the way something feels or how something looks or smells.

It's not about just letting them run wild, although sometimes it does feel that way! It's actually teaching them so much. There is all the time in the world to sit down in a classroom and work! Let's allow children enough time to sit and mould playdough with their hands first, this helps the muscles in their hands to develop so they can use the tripod grasp to hold their pencil correctly. I'm nursery (if you can't tell!) my friend is a reception teacher and the amount of children that get to her who use their whole palm grasp to hold a pencil!!

I'm going off topic! Keep your child at the day nursery. They will be fine, and you get childcare during school holidays. smile Sorry for waffling!

RestingGrinchFace Sat 09-Dec-17 23:28:46

I would do whatever you have to to make sure that he gets a place in your chosen school. It's unlikely that he will get 'confused', different settings often result in different expectations. If you are really worried about it then you can look into alternative childcare for the holidays-holiday clubs or grandparents maybe? I don't think that it will be a problem though.

Lindy2 Sat 09-Dec-17 23:33:55

I'm assuming he's aged around 3.
I would be actively avoiding any nursery that felt 5 days of structured learning was what a 3 year old needed. Young children learn best from play. Free play is of huge benefit to children.

mindutopia Sun 10-Dec-17 13:54:22

I think they are just selling you a bit of a gimmick to get more of your money. All nurseries/preschools follow the same guidelines in terms of preparing children for school in the UK. Unless it's a childminder who just allows a free for all (which would be a good reason not to use that one anymore), a proper nursery, prep school or not, will be doing the same things. There should be no structured learning even in preschool. What they probably mean is they do things like learn colours, practice mark making, practice writing their names, learn to count, etc. But your day nursery should be doing this anyway and they most certainly are (you should see this reflected in the reports you get home from them). If the prep school nursery is claiming they do more than this, like sitting them down and making them learn things by rote practice or something, this would be a good reason to avoid them and keep your ds in the day nursery you already use. There is no benefit at all to that sort of thing at that age and most children flourish with child-led learning and play rather than being forced to 'learn'. I suspect though that the prep school doesn't really do much different, but they would love more of your money which is why they are trying to sell you this load of bollocks. Personally, it would make me think twice about sending him there period as they sound like they are more about profits than children's development. Even in reception there is still lots of free play and exploration (or at least there should be).

SparkleFizz Sun 10-Dec-17 14:05:47

We’ve used both a normal day care nursery and a school nursery for our DC, and both settings followed the EYFS curriculum. Both had a mixture of times where they did guided, structured, activities and times where DC could do free play.

RidingMyBike Tue 19-Dec-17 23:14:08

Friend took her first out of nursery and into the nursery at the local prep school as she thought it would make it easier to get a place there for the school. It was a disaster - the prep nursery did very full on days, unlike the original nursery , which did rest and quiet times, so her daughter was exhausted. It was also harder as a family because the prep school, although it had a breakfast club, didn't do a 'tea' meal so she was having to get a tea cooked and eaten by an exhausted child. And the prep school had said there would be school holiday clubs to solve childcare problems in the holidays - these all ended up being unavailable at the last minute, or not suitable for under-5s.

Her second child has stayed at the original nursery until old enough to go into school reception.

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 19-Dec-17 23:17:02

Will sending him to the private school nursery mean he is more likely to get a place at the school itself? Is that your rationale for thinking about this arrangement?

jannier Wed 20-Dec-17 09:46:12

One of my mindees was told that they could only guarantee a place if her child was put into the schools nursery early so staying for a year and a half. The parent declined that offer and decided not to use the nursery at all the child still got a place passing all the tests required.
Children are going into formal Structured learning earlier and earlier unlike other countries such as Sweden yet are we producing better results or nicer children? Children learn best by playing the chance to experiment role play and do not by sitting at tables. They learn best by following their individual interests not by being forced to do Space this term because its what fits the school.
The school is a business first and a school second and this sounds like a marketing ploy.

Captainj1 Thu 04-Jan-18 21:48:41

Just seen this thread. I did what you are contemplating with my son - maybe at a bit older though, not sure how old your son is - mine was doing 5 full days at a local nursery until the Easter before he started reception, I was then on mat leave with DD so could manage the shorter days so had him do 2 days a week at the prep school pre-school and the other 3 days at the local nursery, it was ideal as he got to make friends at the prep school that went on to reception with him, whilst still being able to use the local nursery in the holidays (they always had space as a lot of kids were away at that time). I only had 6 months Mat leave and went back just after he started reception. Starting school was seamless as we had called it ‘big school’ when he started in the Easter. FWIW, the prep tried to get him to start earlier than he did, saying he could lose his reception place, but we declined. Loads of people drop out of places at prep schools as they sign up for more than one and decide nearer the time, or their circumstances change.

happygalah Sat 13-Jan-18 17:53:39

It is important to consider what works best for you as additional stress will affect DD. You are the primary educator and you can help him by pointing out letters on car number plates and numbers on doors (the special ones like his age and name.)

Enidblyton1 Sat 13-Jan-18 18:17:03

The nursery at our pre prep school would say exactly the same. It's complete rubbish. It's just easier for the prep school if they have your child the whole time for continuity, not to mention the financial benefit for the school. Having say 10 children full time is easier for the nursery to administer than 20 children part time.

It sounds like a good arrangement for you and your DC, so just politely tell the prep school that your DC will be doing 3 days a week (when my DD started at the pre prep nursery she was only doing 3 days a week - which we then increased to 4 days in the term before she started school. The other days she was doing 'free play' at home with me!)

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