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DD starting reception - whats with this settling in melarky?

(54 Posts)
itsnicetobenice Tue 07-Jun-11 15:58:08

When my other lovely started school 6 yrs ago we dropped her off and that was it - day one in she went the end. I just got details in post for my reception starter in September and we are having some horific settling in period thats goes on from 7th Sept until proper full day starting 26th september - i have to say i am not amused at all that we have gone from school nursery 12.30 - 3.30 to even shorter sessions from sept for 2 and a half weeks 1.10 - 3.30pm. How the hell am i supposed to go to work arghhhh!!!!!!!! Is this the norm now or are our school reception teachers just fancying an easy run in for themselves in september. I have used all my hols to cover the 6 weeks holidays between myself and my dh so i think i am ermmmmm screwed.

clam Tue 07-Jun-11 16:05:40

"are our school reception teachers just fancying an easy run in for themselves in september."

Yeah, right. That's how it works.

mummytime Tue 07-Jun-11 16:09:39

This is normal, has been since my eldest started (now 15). There will be local child minders etc. who will offer cover, or you can see if a friend can help. One school around here, the children only do every other day for a bout a month, it keeps the classes smaller so the pupils get more attention. School is not child care.

kickingking Tue 07-Jun-11 16:14:25

I have no idea.

I am a teacher and and am having ask my mum and DH to help me with this part time entry til 26th stuff as I am not allowed to take any leave in term time EVER. My mum had no idea that there was this part time entry stuff and had booked a holiday in Sept. My DH will have started a new job.

I can honestly say my own child doesn't really need 2.5 weeks of settling in. I can only assume that a lot of other children do.

I doubt it's that Year R teachers fancy an easy few weeks - at my child's new school the Year R teachers will have half the class for mornings and half the class for afternoons, which I can imagine makes getting stuck into a curriculum difficult.

Tis a complete pain for working parents though, I agree.

2BoysTooLoud Tue 07-Jun-11 16:25:23

Hearing the 'school is not child care' argument trotted out over and over again is very annoying for working parents who are simply trying to sort out childcare. It is the norm round here too op.
Good luck sorting it out.

itsnicetobenice Tue 07-Jun-11 16:27:32

yeah it is a complete pita - i really enjoy payin £600 a month childcare (NOT!)so was looking fwd to not paying such fees after i took him outoo f private (before school nursery session) nursey but now if i want them to work round this 2 hr session for 3 weeks i will have to pay for him to go in august and july as well even though he wont go grrrrrr, im not going to do this if i can help it by any means. Dh is a teacher so cant take hols out of term so its down to me this one, foolishly i booked a 2 week holiday you knwo to spend time with the family inthe 6 weeks holiday but now i might just have to send them alone <sobs>. There are 70 starting, the teacher said it was because uts hard to get them all to know where the loo is etc - surely if they are there a longer session they will have longer to learn as opposed to a 2 hr session when they wont - but that said they knwo anyway as they have been going to school nursery for 2 years. Anyway there is bott all we can do about it , it was apparently i am now told only bought in last year due to the 2 intakes being reduced to one instead of the sept and xmas itake now just Sept. I have no doubt my little one will settle in fine also as he will be one of the oldest ho hum.

itsnicetobenice Tue 07-Jun-11 16:31:58

Aside from this i was looking fwd to going for school dinner with him in July grin. Apparently this isnt happening either as part of his 2 hr session in the last week will be took up with him having a week of school dinners - i can see that 2 hr session will be interesting for all involved!

cmt1375 Tue 07-Jun-11 16:44:50

They must offer you a full time place from the start of term..
see www.devon.gov.uk/sop_guidance062010.pdf which is the Devon version but applies accross the country..

The school may just not be advertising the option

piprabbit Tue 07-Jun-11 16:50:32

At least one of our local schools doesn't start the youngest full-time until January!

I have know idea how parents are meant to cope if they work.

zapostropheeding Tue 07-Jun-11 17:00:00

no, they must offer a place from the start of term but if you look at the guidance carefully, they are allowed their settling in period.

startail Tue 07-Jun-11 17:21:25

We mucked about doing half days for a bit. Mornings then afternoons or the other way round depending on which group you were in. It was an absolute pain. DD1 was upset she wasn't with anyone she was friendly with and no one liked afternoons. 90% of the children had been to the school nursery, they were used to getting up at school time. Suddenly instead of lunch and relax some idiot wanted them to get changed an go out.
They would all have been much happier to have stared altogether doing full days (they'd done a few all day practice runs at nursery). Some of them might have been a bit tired, but they,their parents and the local child-minder, would have found it all much simpler.
So why do schools do it? I think it has something to do with getting to know the individual children being easier to do with smaller groups. I suspect there is paperwork involved, but we need a reception teacher to enlighten us wink

itsnicetobenice Tue 07-Jun-11 17:22:46

so i could spit my dummy out theoretically and demmand they take him - which i wont because i wouldnt want him to go through such stress and then they will just label me as a pita mother. I am currently drawing out a big planner and seeing if i need to cancel my hols whoich all depends really on how flexible my work are whom have just removed all our flexile working so im not hopeful. Good luck everyone with your jiggling.

itsnicetobenice Tue 07-Jun-11 17:29:58

yes i thought if we had to do this it would be a week of mornings, a week of afternoons then a few days were we have a longer morning then lunch but no we are just doing 2 different versions of afternoons which is similar to teh afternoons at nursery we are doing now. I feel really stressed about it all now because if work are twatish about it i dont know what i will do , dh is being relly helpful with phrases like "hmm well i might be able to be off that day but wont know tilll day before" .

kattyo Tue 07-Jun-11 17:33:49

I know round here the settling in period is being extended because most people who would have sent their children in january will now send in september. that means lots of kids all at once - and, more to the point, lots of young kids.

mrz Tue 07-Jun-11 17:36:33

We have all 30 children in full time from the first day but believe me that doesn't suit everyone either.

Dinosaurhunter Tue 07-Jun-11 17:44:57

My ds starts in September and it's straight into full days but I think with the younger ones they are suggesting half days for a short time

itsnicetobenice Tue 07-Jun-11 17:47:18

which sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Our school has 2-3 reception classes so 90 children starting.

Runoutofideas Tue 07-Jun-11 18:37:53

My dd2 will have 6 weeks of half days, settling in, but I think she'll need every day of it. She is one of the youngest and will be absolutely exhausted. It is a lot for them to take in when they start school - even for those who have been in full time nursery. They are expected to be much more independent and there are fewer adults around to help. My dd1 used all her energy "trying to do things right" - by which she meant, not work, but putting bookbag in the right place, water bottle in a different place, not talking when she was supposed to, where to find the loos etc. It is a big deal for them when they are so small.

Elibean Tue 07-Jun-11 18:40:32

Normal at our school to have settling in time - it used to be a whole term of half days, but now they move to 3 full days and 2 half days after a few weeks, then full time in January.
Its been tried in various ways, and this seems to be working best for the largest number of children - but no, the parents aren't always happy. Some are, though, and some are very relieved - they feel the same as Runoutofideas.

2gorgeousboys Tue 07-Jun-11 18:55:18

At our primary school DS2 did an afternoon a week for the last half term of the year (ie Spring Bank to Summer) and then started full time in September. However as it's a tiny school and only 12 children started at the same time as DS2 I suppose it is very manageable. They use this time for each year that is changing classes to spend time 'practicing' in their new class, so year 1's become year 2's for the afternoon etc.

sunnyday123 Tue 07-Jun-11 18:59:23

my dd did 2 weeks of half days - nightmare - shed been in nursery 3 days 8-5 no problem.

wheresthepimms Tue 07-Jun-11 19:24:51

Ours are doing 4 days mornings (starting on a Tuesday), 4 days afternoons, Friday off then full time. When my other 3 started (they are 10,8 &7 now) it was straight in full time. With more parents working most kids are used to being in some form of nursery setting full time so this settling in period is not really needed. I am a SAHM but even for me it means travelling back and forward and is inconvenient so cannot begin to imagine what it is like for working parents.

spanieleyes Tue 07-Jun-11 19:29:42

Our Reception children all start full time but a week later than the rest. The Reception children share a class with year 1's so the week gives the year 1's time to settle back into school and establish routines before the new Reception children join. We are however very flexible, if a parent says, X isn't coming in today, they are too tired, we are happy with that for the first term at least!

JemimaMop Tue 07-Jun-11 19:53:54

Wouldn't the problem of large numbers of children starting all at once be solved by having 3 intakes a year?

Here in Wales it is normal to start school the term after you turn 4. So DS1 who was born in September started in the January, DD who was born in February started in April, and DS2 who was born in May started in September. It means that only roughly 1/3 of the class is starting at any one time. It does mean that some children spend 4 or 5 terms in Reception, but that isn't a problem as the Foundation Phase goes through from 3 to 7 so it is the same curriculum in Reception as it is in nursery school or Year 1 and 2.

FionaJT Tue 07-Jun-11 20:39:11

Schools round us seem to be cutting down on the settling in period. When my dd started reception her school seemed to be the only one that had them full time after 3 weeks - most schools seemed to wait until after half term. Last year most of them seemed to have cut it to 3 or 4 weeks.
DD did 2 weeks of just mornings, half the class only (others did just afternoons) then 1 week of mornings and lunch, whole class, then full time. But they were very flexible about letting the younger ones do half days for longer if they needed it.

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