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Private School - pre-reception but not planning on continuing to reception

(12 Posts)
anonMum2 Fri 01-Jul-11 19:37:02

Hi, I'm new to the education section so hope I'm asking on the right place and not asking anything too 'controversial'. Basically, I'm planning to send my DS1 to a private school pre-reception, as it's a lot cheaper than our current nursery, they have better days option for him and it's closer to our house. We are not planning to send him to reception though as there is a very good primary school where we are intending to send him to and we cannot possibly afford it in the next few years, but thinking of sending him back to that same private school if he doesn't manage to get in a good school(depending on our financial status in a few years time) but that's all in theory. I also want to expose him to the school to give him incentive to do well in school in the future, and to be an all rounder, so if he's bright enough he may well apply a scholarship to go there if he wants to. My question is, is it really weird or wrong to send DS1 to pre-reception knowing full well he is not continuing onto reception? Also, why would the pre-reception be nearly half the price of a nursery? Thank you in advance.

dixiechick1975 Fri 01-Jul-11 19:46:37

My DD's private school has an excellent nursery attached.

I think it takes 40 children over various sessions but only 15 or so go into the reception.

Due to the EYFS funding and the way the school charges it is cheaper than the day nursery DD attended eg day nursery charges £7? or so for lunch (food and care) at the school nursery no charge is made for lunchtime for all day children (they eat a packed lunch).

You certainly wont be the only one doing this.

WesternIsle Fri 01-Jul-11 20:14:02

Depends on the school how you handle it - all the prep schools by us I know people who have left for reception.

Some state that if you leave after nursery and do not go into reception they keep your deposit (£500).

Some you have to give notice that you will be going to leave for reception otherwise they charge you for the first term of reception fees.

Not large numbers but as dixie says you won't be the only one.

Only downside is if you do like the school - it makes leaving to go to a state school hard for you (not hard for your child so remember that!).

meditrina Fri 01-Jul-11 20:23:41

You do need to check notice periods carefully.

People move in and out of schools for all sorts of reasons, all the time. So on one level what you're thinking of is normal. But do think of it from the school's point of view too - they will want to make the right number of reception offers in their main round, so you might want to consider telling them earlier than the minimum notice period.

I don't see how you can reliably find out what view the school is likely to take of previous leavers when you come to reapply.

To account for the price difference, look closely at the hours offered, and how much it will cost if you want to extend them (eg adding afternoons to usual morning only - it can be very expensive), also whether lunches are compulsory and how much, and whether anything else is billed separately.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 01-Jul-11 20:44:55

I would think the price difference would largely be because the staffing ratios get much lower as kids get older. Presumably most nurseries average out the cost over all ages rather than charging more for babies - somewhere without tinies would be able to charge less.

DDs school had a 2+ nursery; quite a few kids didn't continue into reception, I think its quite normal.

anonMum2 Fri 01-Jul-11 22:21:54

Thank you for all your responses. Very helpful, it's good to hear what to expect.

I have already mentioned to them that DS1 won't be continuing but they've not mentioned any penalties as such should I not continue or not give enough notice, only that most the children (I think she said 'all' actually) they take on continue to reception. Still, thanks very much for letting me know what to ask when I speak to them next.

SocietyClowns Sat 02-Jul-11 21:19:54

Hi, think it's a great idea to send him before reception - we sent our very shy dd who suffered from glue ear, and after a year she is a different child. Still shy but very confident in her comfort zone and chatty, very very happy. We are actually continuing and sending her into reception there. Two things you may want to be aware of, 1. private schools tend to do things like phonics in nursery, so you may find that once your ds starts 'normal' reception, he is at least a year ahead. My dd is starting to 'read' very very basic books on the ORT and writing letters very well 2. As others have said, make sure you check the small print. In our school you have to give a term's written notice if your child is NOT going into reception, or else you are liable for fees for the first term.

Kardashianw Sat 02-Jul-11 21:35:45

My dd went to private pre reception and will be starting reception to where her brother goes.
I didn't feel bad I was happy to give my dd a good start before she went and started reception and they often told me to put her in the year above bu I didnt but wish I did now. But they were cool about it. I wish I could keep her there as the staff were absolutely fantastic best nursery staff ever dd has been to 3 nurserys before that!!
Don't worry about it too much i didn't smile x

anonMum2 Sun 03-Jul-11 19:40:06

Sounds like going to pre reception has been positive for you. That's very encouraging! Hope this doesn't sound silly but although I do want DS1 to know things (hence sending him to that school to learn more) but not too much that he gets so bored when he goes to the state school's year 1. Silly?

I should've asked on my op what you do for most the 18 weeks of school holidays that private school's have, when they are still in pre reception. Most holiday clubs seem to only take school aged children so I don't really know where to send him during those weeks as I can't take that much annual leave. It would be very helpful if you could share.. thanks.

dixiechick1975 Sun 03-Jul-11 21:02:38

Does the school run a holiday club? They may take children from the nursery, I know DD's does.

TBH DD went to private day nursery with only a few sessions at the school nursery in the run up to reception due to the fact I needed care whilst I worked.

There are other holiday schemes but in our area don't take until 5.

WesternIsle Mon 04-Jul-11 00:23:16

I do a combination of annual leave during non-state holidays, and using the TAs at the independent school (remember they are not working either) as paid childcare.

elphabadefiesgravity Mon 04-Jul-11 00:27:27

It depends very much on the school.

At my children's school most but not all children do move from nursery into reception. However you have to apply for a school place separately from nursery so no notice is required if you are leaving.

At another neaby private school they state that they expect children entering nursery to also commit to entering the school.

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