Another nursery/preschool wwyd(12 Posts)
DD (3) has just started at a lovely (non-school) preschool. She wasn't initially offered a place at a school nursery (over-subscribed london schools), but we stayed on the waiting list and now a place at the school nursery has come up for next term. There's sadly no way she'll get a reception place there, so only a consideration for nursery.
I don't know what to do, and I'm hoping you can give me your views!
In favour of her current preschool:
- staff are really kind and caring. They have a high staff ratio, and are always ready with a cuddle.
- she seems to like her key worker (One day last week she stayed on her lap for 30 mins, which I'm sure wouldn't be possible in a school nursery.)
- they seem switched on to EYF and I was impressed at their tracking/planning
- pretty well resourced (and change things around/have themes)
- ofsted outstanding
- have longer opening hours than school nursery and are flexible so logistics are easy. School nursey logistics are tricky and mean she'd miss time with me (I work part time) and also other activities
- the pre-school prefer not to take children for a single term, since they believe it's too unsettling for them, and I think they might have a point. DD struggles with new places (still cries at drop off). Shifting her after a term wasn't my intention but if I give up the school space we've unexpectedly been given I probably won't get it again in September
In favour of the school nursery:
- it's an absolutely idyllic setting: large bright rooms in a small school surrounded by woods.
- Separate lovely playground for nursery so they can be outside lots (current pre-school has free-flow to outside and makes good use of it, but not as lovely)
- I really, really like the feel of the school (calm, respectful of the children and each other) and I'm sure those values extend into the nursery.
- they do some free-flow between nursery and reception each day, so there's opportunity to mix with older children and their teachers an perhaps feel part of the wider school, which may help with the move to reception (even though that will be a different school)
- I get the impression that a school nursery will do more 'school' type tasks like learning letters than her current preschool (who do take small groups apart each day, but it's a small part of the session)
- I know that school nurseries have a qualified teacher, so that presumably helps learning too.
- DD has 5 terms in nursery before she starts reception, and I worry that she'll outgrow her cosy little setting by then
- She's sensitive and struggles a LOT with separation, although once she feels safe somewhere she's quite confident and happy
- not worried about her academically just now. She seems bright and quick to learn, but not 'scary clever' so I don't think she would have unusual educational needs.
- BUT we're considering trying to get her into a selective indie for reception. Not a really-hard-to-get-into London one, but still selective. As I said, I think she's bright, but I worry she could be let down by lack of confidence with unknown adults, or by not having done enough of the 'learning' type things which 'posh' pre-schools and even school nurseries seem to do more of
Thank you for making it through that essay! What would you do?
Until your last paragraph I would say leave her where she is.
School Nurseries being better than PVIs is by no means a universal thing. I know of so many dc who have been moved to a school nursery as their parents thought it would somehow be 'better' and then moved back to the PVI when they realised that was the better option.
However, I know nothing about independent schools and the idea of "selecting" a child at Reception age makes me go so hopefully someone else with more knowledge of that aspect will be along soon.
Just realised I wasn't very precise: the question is whether to move her to the school nursery next term, or whether to leave her at her pre-school until reception.
That's really interesting, backforgood. I do worry that might happen - especially if DD struggles to settle in the less homely school setting.
I know it's completely nuts to try to select at 4! And it's pretty proven that the selection process isn't (and can't be!) much good at identifying the children's future learning potential. But when the schools are over-subscribed, I guess they need to do something Some do it by ballot, but that adds its own stress.
And given that's what they do (and how random the result is) I worry about letting her down by not giving her experiences that will help her chances.
If she can't go to reception at the school, there is no point moving her IMO. A lot can happen in 5 terms, and a decent preschool will be able to keep her busy and happy and engaged.
Pre school if she's happy there because many of the children at the school nursery will be talking about going to the school and your dd will be disappointed when she doesn't go.
I would never move a child that age more than necessary. So if she's not going to the school attached to the pre school then jerk her where she is.
For your selective school I expect that speaking to the "interviewers" will be important so I'd work at home on confidence and speaking - eg see if you can get her interested in speaking to the library assistant getting her books stamped or to hand over the money in a shop or speak to a waitress in a cafe etc.
Thanks for all the advice. The consensus is well and truly to keep her where she is!
We're leaning towards that, but still just a bit worried about the selection.
Thanks for the suggestion museumum. Speaking is probably the one thing I think she's fairly strong at - so long as she doesn't feel overwhelmed. I'll make sure I encourage her to speak to lots of people out and about.
A nurturing pre-school (as it sounds) will do far more to build confidence in my experience. If they know you are looking at selective schools they may help build on the confidence needed. Chat to them.
Is she due to start reception in September so if you move her it will only be for 1 term. If so I would say definitely leave her where she is.
Which selective indie? there's selective and selective.....
We decided to keep her where she is for now. It's too much disruption to move her after just one term. The day after we decided, I was peeking through the window after drop off to see how she settled and I saw DD run to her key worker and give her a huge hug! That convinced me that we've made the right choice - certainly for now.
She will only start reception in 2017, so she does have another 4 terms to go at nursery. We've asked the school to keep us on the waiting list for September, and if she's offered the place again we'll re-think. A lot can change in 6 months!
I don't really know how selective the schools are. They are certainly quite selective further up the school but I'm hoping that there will be less pressure at this early age. I also have no idea how DD will compare to other children in whatever they are looking for. I feel very lacking in knowledge about the whole process, which is probably why I'm worrying so much! I just don't want to let DD down and limit her options by not preparing her properly.
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