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pre-school in a private school?

(13 Posts)
waitingforsomething Wed 04-Jan-17 05:08:13

We are just about to return from living abroad where DD has been in a 'kindergarten'. classroom set up,quite academic. We will be in the middle of the academic year in the UK and I would like her to go to a nursery class attached to a school. The one in our nearest state school has a place at the moment, and it is probably the school she will get in September but she can only do 15 hours - you cannot add on. Although I would like her to go here, as it could help with her transition, I would like her to go to school more than that, as she is used to being in full time (Singapore).
DH and I were looking at a nearby private school where you can send your child to the school nursery full or part time, the EYFS hours are deducted and you pay on a little. We could afford to do this for the rest of the academic year, but would this be a bad idea? My concern is that all the other children would likely be continuing into the private school and activities would be geared to their transition there? But I do like the idea of her being able to go more, and it would free me up in terms of work.
Any experiences?

mirokarikovo Wed 04-Jan-17 06:19:54

The private school will certainly be geared towards smoothing the transition from nursery care to school attendance as much as possible. But there won't be a huge difference regarding how many of the class go to the attached school - both the nearby state school and the private school will have plenty of kids in the nursery who don't go up to the main school.

The important thing will be to ensure that you get absolute clarity on when you need to give notice when your child is going to leave. There have been several mn threads over the years where a parent is furious to discover that they are legally obliged to pay school fees up until Easter because they signed a contract saying that notice must be given by the first day of term for a child to leave at the end of that term and they don't realise this until mid-september so can't even give notice until January.

IWantATardis Wed 04-Jan-17 06:32:08

The private school will undoubtedly be hoping that all the children will continue on into their Reception.

But that's not necessarily the case.

The 2 private schools near me - their nursery fees are pretty comparable to other full time nursery fees - so say you could send a DC to private school pre-school, or a full time non-school nursery that's set up to provide childcare for working parents for kids from 0-5yrs for a very similar price.

So I do know of parents who've sent their pre-schoolers to the private school nursery because they think it's educationally better than the non-school nursery (and both fit their childcare needs because the private schools have good wrap around care with breakfast and after school clubs), and who've then sent their DC to state primary schools.

I don't think it's that uncommon for parents to do this. Just be careful that you give notice at the right time if you're intending this, to avoid paying for private school fees after your DC has started state school.

waitingforsomething Wed 04-Jan-17 07:12:19

Thank you both for the advice on the fees - I could easily have made this mistake! I don't think it's educationally better, I expect it's much of a muchness, but the hours are certainly better, and by the time I've paid for a childminder around the 15 hours at the state school, I may as well just leave her in one place! Good to know that not all the children carry on to the reception class.

howtheheckdoidealwiththis Wed 04-Jan-17 07:27:11

In my experience all but one child in Nursery continued up to the Reception classes.

waitingforsomething Wed 04-Jan-17 07:52:19

is that in a state school or in a private school howtheheck?

crumpet Wed 04-Jan-17 07:55:16

Dd was in the nursery and a term of reception at a private school, and we then moved her to state. She was bored rigid, having been accustomed to a different environment. We lasted about a term.

waitingforsomething Wed 04-Jan-17 07:58:39

I'm already worried about this crumpet. This is not because I think she's cleverer than other children her age, but because in Singapore they run a very academic curriculum from much younger, so she can already read and do simple maths - I think this is more reception level work in the UK although I could be wrong. Do you feel your DD was pushed in the private school nursery then? Did you send her back to private? Just interested, as I don't actually have the money for her to go to private school from reception onwards so she'll have to be okay in state!

peppatax Wed 04-Jan-17 08:01:37

It depends on the nursery to be honest - DD did a term in private school nursery to transition to reception there but not all the children stayed on (most of the private schools teachers children went on to state). If it is a good one it shouldn't matter. In my experience, DD was far more stimulated with appropriate activities there than her previous preschool.

crumpet Wed 04-Jan-17 08:06:49

Yes, agree it would depend on the school. I think we caught it at an unfortunate time, but having been used to a more structured environment she hated the amount of unstructured learning through play, choosing The beads table and sandbox etc - they seemed to have been left to themselves far more, rather than being engaged in more structured exploration. I can't explain it very well, as the private school was very much geared towards fun learning. It wasn't a factory!

waitingforsomething Wed 04-Jan-17 08:23:46

DD hates unstructured learning through play. She hates it, probably because she is not used to it and she's a bit of a 'rules' kind of girl. This is why I want to put her in a school nursery rather than the play based pre-schools as I know she won't like it, especially as she's been in structured learning for a long time now. I guess I will just have to visit the state school nursery and the private school nursery and see which one looks more suitable for her.
Argh, I was hoping we would have our contract extended until June/July in Singapore to avoid having to do this, but it's not going to be the case!

Rachie1986 Wed 04-Jan-17 08:34:35

My daughter goes to a nursery/preschool in a private school (because I teach there) and she won't go into reception. I think a lot of children move on, but not always all :-).

howtheheckdoidealwiththis Wed 04-Jan-17 19:37:06

Private school waiting.

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