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Worried about young ds starting FT school in Sept - anyone else??

(13 Posts)
CocktailQueen Thu 23-Jun-11 11:47:19

Is anyone else worried about their LO starting full time school in September? Because I am! DS will be 4.5 but up to now has only done 3 mornings a week at preschool, not the preschool attached to his lower school, so it will be a huge jump for him. He gets v tired after preschool too so I have no idea how he will cope with reception.

When my dd - age 7 - started school her class had staggered entry whcih I think worked reallty well, so younger children didn't go full-time till after Christmas or even Easter, but we have a new HT who has changed this. Gah. It's worse as well I think because ds is my youngest and my baby! He just seems so young to be going to school full time, having lunch there, going to the loo, sitting still and concentrating! Argh.

I met with his new class teacher yesterday to discuss ds starting reception part time but she was not at all receptive to that idea. I just think a gradual start would be better and less tiring for him.

At least he will have dd there, and he is very familiar with the school, having been there loads with me and all those school runs. But has anyone any words of wisdom for me - how have your LOs coped and did you have any problems? And how did YOU cope?!

DeWe Thu 23-Jun-11 12:02:21

My ds is just 4 and will start school full time. He does get a week of part time before going full time. Yes I'm concerned, but this has been pushed for by a lot of parents over the year. I know of several parents who say they were happy their child wasn't going full time, but they've not been the vocal ones.

mejon Thu 23-Jun-11 16:41:32

DD was 4 in August and started full time in Reception last September with no problems. Sadly she's no more tired now than she was when she only did 4 mornings at pre-school and still gets up at silly o'clock each morning!

Elibean Thu 23-Jun-11 17:35:07

At dds' school, the staff are always open to parents of younger or more tired children talking to them about how best to cope - whether to do shorter days for a while, or take Fridays off for a couple of weeks, or whatever. Would your dc's school be open to any kind of flexibility, or was the teacher completely against it?
If she won't or can't help, all I can say is that by September your ds will actually be more resilient than he is now - he may well be able to cope better than you imagine. I know its only a couple of months away, but thats a long time in a 4yr old's development!
I do completely agree with you about it being easier and kinder to littler/less energetic ones to start gradually - am grateful dds' school is flexible and does do some (less than three years ago when dd1 began) gradual adjusting.

Elibean Thu 23-Jun-11 17:36:17

Meant to say, is there any way you can increase his mornings in pre-school now to 4 per week, or even 5? Just for a week or two, even?

JellyBelly10 Thu 23-Jun-11 17:46:17

It's not your new Head Teacher who has forced this change, it's law across the country now with effect from this September. The Admissions Code 2010 (written by the Labour Govt before they went, but still law now) states that with effect from September 2011 all children must be offered a full-time place at school from the September following their fourth birthday. BUT it also states that it is all baout parental choice and that parents ahve the RIGHT to defer entry until either January or April, and have the right to request that your child goes part-time right up until they reach compulsory school age (ie the term after they are 5). So however reluctant your school might sound, they have to take seriously your request for part-time.

SpottyFrock Thu 23-Jun-11 17:50:18

I agree with Elibean and think it's a real shame when schools aren't more flexible on this. The EYFS actually lends itself well to this as it is mainly child led so it's not as if he would miss anything crucial by only doing mornings for half a term or Mon-Wed.

Having said all that, if he is currently 4.5 then being a Jan baby would actually put him in the 'older half' of his year so he may cope better than you think. The children who often struggle with the full days initially are usually those born between May and August.

MovingAndScared Thu 23-Jun-11 20:25:52

honestly for most children it is fine - reception is very play based so its not as big as change from pre school as you might think- just plan to not too do much after school for first few weeks. I thought my DS would be much more tired than after pre-school but he wasn't really
There are children of course who take longer to settle but I really don't think its age realated.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 23-Jun-11 20:46:58

I feel exactly like this about our DD. She will be 4 in August and should start fulltime in September.

We have a meeting with the HT in the morning to discuss deferring for a term or going part time. Would either of those be an option for you?

UnSerpentQuiCourt Thu 23-Jun-11 21:37:57

You are entitled to send him part time if you wish, whatever the school feels. It is about your child, not their convenience.

CocktailQueen Thu 23-Jun-11 23:14:32

Thanks for your messages.

He's an April baby.

Have already spoken to the reception teacher who was not keen at the thought of him going part time to start - tho I do know that it's my choice and I can, against her wishes if need be, keep hm part time till the term he turns 5.

Have thought about sending him to preschool 4-5 mornings a week this term but then we'll have 7 weeks summer hols so that wopn;'t achieve anything or prepare him for reception - plus, I want to spend time with him!!

He had his first transition session at school today with me there and really loved it. There's a big outdoor area for reception including a big grassy areas for them to run and screech and it's fab. Loads of great toys. Like the reception teachers too. So we shall see. Thanks smile

aries12 Fri 24-Jun-11 13:22:39

You should probably let him go full time especially if all the other children are attending full time. He may only become unsettled. An April birthday will always be on the younger side but remember there will be children with July and August birthdays. My DD started at 4 (late August birthday and not due until September !). It has made little difference to her...she looks younger than some of the others but she adjusted and so too will your child. Don't worry too much about tiredness...they all cope.

Twiga Fri 24-Jun-11 13:53:49

I'm worrying too. My ds will be four on weds, he's confident and bright but is very much four in his reactions to things. He falls asleep within seconds after his one long day at nursery and fairly often after his two mornings. I think I'm feeling it more because my dd who started in reception was already five and was more than ready to go. I feel like he's missing an extra year of his childhood and that another year at home would be beneficial. I think in addition to this it's highlighted further because we've come over the border from Scotland and if we were still there he wouldn't start til next year. As a sahm, I'm fortunate to be able to be flexible round part time/full time stuff and the child care issue doesn't impact the decision I have to make. I looked into deferring but if I do that he misses reception altogether and would start in p1. The system seems to me to disadvantage the younger ones regardless of the choice you make for them, very frustrating!

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