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Starting Primary in September, anyone else thinking of deferring?

(20 Posts)
JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 10-Jun-11 08:55:40

Thanks to MN I now know I can defer DDs place without losing it so we are thinking it might be in her best interests. She has an August birthday so will be 4 a month before starting school. She just seems so young. People have said things like won't she suffer and get left behind but I started school the week of my 4th birthday and it hasn't appeared to benefit me in any way.

Anyone else deferring or thinking of deferring?

sleepingbunny Fri 10-Jun-11 10:14:35

I've deferred my dd (she's four in mid July, so older than your dd). We're in one of the few London boroughs that still gives you an express choice to start in January so that made it easier. The Head at her school (she's in the preschool there) has made it clear that this is her preference, but I think she's alone among the local schools in that. Some of the mums clearly think I'm mad to leave her in Nursery but she's happy there and gets very tired still so I don't want to push her. Hope it will work out fine - final straw for me was when her preschool teacher said "she's doing fine, but sometimes she just needs a cuddle" and I thought - she's still a BABY! Good luck with your decision

AdelaofBlois Fri 10-Jun-11 13:23:04

DS1 caused/causes me all kinds of worry. He's still a little baby: tiny (25%), going to school at 4 and 4 days, has a speech problem and his toilet training goes to pot if he's in stressful situations since he won't ask. And cuddling him last night after he had a 'funny, I mean frightening funny, dream' I just couldn't really believe he'll start school in three months.

But there are some problems in deferring if the school doesn't routinely do this-in terms of both academic and social fitting in. And I do think, working in Yr1, that parents can exaggerate-little folk are still little folk-they need cuddles, throw tantrums, act daft and are 'babies'-but they still cope with school. And it is very hard to judge how any child will be in a school environment. In some ways the 'luxury' of having a summer child is you can play it by ear-try full-time or what the school does, but if it isn't working there is no legal penalty for cutting hours (although you won't be popular). If you defer, on the other hand, the problems will certainly be there and you won't have any flexibility.

So ran our thought, or at least I hope that's what it was, rather than 'won't it be nice to have some money for once because childcare won't cost a fortune'.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 12-Jun-11 15:06:59

Thanks for the posts, we have decided talk to the school next week about deferring, would still like to hear if anyone else is thinking of doing this.

kattyo Sun 12-Jun-11 23:09:53

I am deferring. think we are the only ones at the school doing it. my children would have been january entry but are not particularly young. i just want more time with them and think they will enjoy spending more time with me. tempted to defer till april actually. school fine about it. have already had play dates with several kids who i know will be starting at the same school (found them on grapevine) so they will know other children when they do start. feel relieved by my decision. feels right.

UniS Sun 12-Jun-11 23:17:31

DS started school in Jan. That extra term at preschool was VERY good for him. He went from a child who spoke to hardly any adult at preschool to a confident little school boy in a term with out the bigger noisy practically 5 yr olds.
He had no trouble fitting back in with his mates at school in Jan. we kept up with them at ballet class and sunday school and in the park after school.
Now nearly 2 terms in to reception he is loving it. Phonics he had started to pick up on before school start as Speech therapy used jolly phonics as well as school. Maths he was always interested in, ditto reading and being read to. He still doesn't like colouring but its not compulsory to like everything.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 13-Jun-11 06:45:40

kattyo that is pretty much how I'm feeling and think she will be the only one deferring too. She does go to pre-school 2 days a week and I think thats enough for her. Its a small pre-school and she loves it and is becoming more confident with each term. The other days I she just wants to do things with me. I know that will have to stop at some point but she just seems so young. Also she was a late talker. She can talk and does all the time but it seems a bit much to expect someone who has only been talking for a year to cope with 5 days a week in school, I doubt she will have all the verbal skills she will need to cope with it.

UniS so glad that your little boy settled in so well. She will have children who will be 5 before they start the term in her class. She is tiny which is another consideration. When I see the year 6s on the playground I just can't see her enjoying school yet, think she has some growing to do.

Hersetta Mon 13-Jun-11 19:25:22

My daughter is 31/8 birthday so as young as you can get in the year. We have never even considered deferring her. She loves nursery school which she attends for 3 hrs every day, she is happy, confident and sociable. it also helps that she is phycially very tall (over the 100th centile for height) so I know she won't be intimidated by being around older children. All depends on your child I guess.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 13-Jun-11 20:12:20

Think it does depend on the child Hersetta you are right. DD too is confident and happy at pre-school but she is tiny and will be sharing the playground with infants and juniors, so that will include 11 year olds.

Reception do have an area they can play in where only they are allowed but I still think its just asking too much of our DD at the moment.

Have phoned the school today and made an appointment to go and talk through our options with them. Once we've talked to them we may decide on deferriing or part-time.

sunnyday123 Mon 13-Jun-11 20:39:48

i think deferring its great if you feel your child is not ready but friendships in reception are formed VERY fast and if you are one of a few joining later the worries of tiredness would be less than those of fitting in. In my DD reception there are as many younger ones as older ones and inevitable they tend to be grouped together because of ability anyway. In a variable intake i doubt it'll be an issue but i personally wouldn't consider it if the others were starting at the same time.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-Jun-11 06:56:22

sunny I thought that friendships did form fast but were pretty fluid at that age. A girl joined DS class half way through year one and she seemed to fit in effortlessly.

If it was just the tiredness though I would probably send her, but its other things like coping with wiping her bum, choosing, carrying and eating her dinner and being on the playground with all the other children.

Runoutofideas Tue 14-Jun-11 07:48:30

Sunnyday123 - that's how I feel about it too. My dd will be 4 in August and is also physically one of the smallest. She has been called "baby" by some of the bigger girls at preschool. She will however be starting in September along with the rest of her peer group. (This is not a school where a Jan intake is normal, otherwise I would consider it). I don't want her to be the odd one out, starting later. I do think she will be exhausted though, and my plan is to give her random days off when I think she needs to recharge her batteries.
In my experience with my older dd, the friendships made at the start of reception have pretty much stuck as they've got older. Yes new children join and some fit in easily, but some don't, and personally I don't want to take that risk for dd2.
JJJ - the playground thing sounds like quite a concern for you, and I do agree that for my dd, playing in the same space as 11 year olds would be quite scary. At dd's school, reception have their own play area, then it is infants and juniors. It may be worth you checking if reception play on their own, or with everyone else. The bum wiping can be practised over the summer holidays, and my dd will start with a packed lunch as it will be more familiar and easier for her to deal with initially. I do understand your concerns though, they just seem so little, don't they?

B4r4joon Tue 14-Jun-11 10:59:28

Just wondering, if you defer a reception, do they still get a place at their nursery? What if the school doesn't have January intake anymore. Does it mean that they go straight to Y1 in the following September?

UniS Tue 14-Jun-11 11:31:13

In my county. children are offered a school place from September. BUT parents may chose to defer their child starting school to Jan or April ( depending on birthday and parental choice).
Some schools will offer part time schooling as an option.
A child remaining at preschool until they take up a school place in Jan or April is still funded for 15 hours a week.

If parents chose to defer their childs school entry until the sept of Y1 they have to apply again for a year 1 place.

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 14-Jun-11 20:28:02

B4r4joon, you can defer upto their 5th birthday and the school have to keep the place open for your child. We have spoken to pre-school and they are willing to have her still going for 2 days per week. Anyway we aren't thinking of deferring for a whole year, just a term but she could just start in Year one if we wanted.

Runoutof the reception children do have their own space but can walk out of it into the playground and fields. Not too worried about her being the "odd one out" as her social skills are great and both her and her older brother are fairly popular so don't have any real concerns about sending her into an established group, after all she did it at pre-school and got on fine.

UniS that sounds fab, apart from the applying again bit.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 15-Jun-11 00:57:08

You do have the problem of her being both one of the youngest in the class, so already at a disadvantage (but at least she's a girl) and unless there are a lot of others doing the same thing, at a disadvantage again by missing the first term at school, so having to catch up. That was a long sentence!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 15-Jun-11 10:29:23

Is that really such a disadvantage though? She is bright enough and I'm just not worried at all about her missing out and having to catch up.

There again, if it was up to me I wouldn't send them to school till they were about 7, must be a loon grin

posadas Wed 15-Jun-11 11:06:18

My son's birthday is in April and even I thought he was too young to start school in August! We went ahead, though, and chose a school that allowed children with late-ish birthdays to attend half a day 3 days a week until their 5th birthday. It was a good compromise for us and worked well for both our son and for me.
I can think of no "down side" to deferring school. Most young children love to be at home and/or at nursery and even though most children also love school once they settle, they have many years of school to come, so there's no need to rush to start. Enjoy your time with your child!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 15-Jun-11 11:12:22

Thanks posadas, one of the options we will be discussing with the school is going part time. However, the schools don't have to agree to part time but they do have to agree to deferring so we shall have to see. My gut instinct is to defer her though.

Glad your plan worked for you and your DS.

Mermaidmad Wed 15-Jun-11 18:12:43

Hiya, just thought I'd put my story across as may be of help. I have had both situations! DD was born mid Aug and started at 4yrs, 2 weeks old. She started part-time until January but that was compulsory, the school insisted all kids born before April went part time. It worked really really well and she is now in Yr4 and every bit up with or beyond her peers. DS however is a different kettle of fish lol! He was a June baby and has Speech and Language issues (even poss ASD) but no way was he ready for school. It was just something 'I Knew.' We deferred him until january and he bloomed at nursery being the eldest and being given more time to mature. He was given 'rising 5s' meaning more structured work with one of the teachers whilst the younger ones played. Was fab. He started in January part time for the first half term and we haven't looked back. He has formed friendships ok and blended in fine.

My advice is go with your instinct. It never crossed my mind to defer my DD so it must have been right to send her whereas every bone in my body was screaming out to defer DS. Both were correct decisions for each kiddy.

In my county part time is pretty much compulsory if they are young. Am surprised other counties don't work the same way. Best of luck in your decision. Don't doubt yourself and go for what you think is right smile

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