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Settling in term for reception

(18 Posts)
WildSwansatCoole Wed 08-May-13 16:58:07

My daughter has just received a place at a local school-our first choice + we are thus very happy overall.
She turns 5 next March.
For various reasons,I personally feel that a school start aged 5 would be better for her development overall-in terms of learning through play,spending time with her pre-school siblings,and basically postponing formal education for a little longer!
However I understand deferral of a place until then is very difficult to obtain.
I therefore would love if she could do a mornings only term until January at least ,and am wondering whether I have any leeway regarding this,or whether she has to to a full day from the beginning?
Many Thanks

givemeaclue Wed 08-May-13 16:59:34

Don't worry, learning through play is what they do all day long.

WildSwansatCoole Wed 08-May-13 17:48:36

Yes-I suppose I meant just being able to muck around at home,wander outside when she wants to,take a quick nap if she is feeling tired,etc...so a little more "freedom" for a while if possible!

I know I sound very preciousgrinbut both myself and dh started after we were 5,and 4 just seems so little to be doing a full day...

I think I`ll email the school nicely and ask(yikes,will be marking myself out as difficult from day one !)

raisinggirls Wed 08-May-13 17:54:43

Lots of schools are flexible about this kind of issue, it's definitely worth asking, they might just say yes!

DoubleTops Wed 08-May-13 17:54:45

The letter i received offering my ds' place gave a few options, full time in september, part time time septemeber, deferred until january etc.

I have chosen to send ds from sept full time and ticked this option when returning the form accepting the place.

Periwinkle007 Wed 08-May-13 19:27:30

I have one in Reception and one due to start in september. she will be 5 in April.

certainly last year they could do half days or 3 full days and 2 half days up until October half term but all children were expected to be on full days after that. The main reason I think was that they do certain things at certain times of day. say phonics MAY be every afternoon, reading books may be done in the afternoon or group reading may be in the afternoon or number work. So if your daughter was the only one not on full days then then she would be missing out on vital learning and she also may well be the only one then who isn't there which could affect friendships.

In the period the school allow as half days then they are obviously geared up to make sure no child misses anything important.

Some schools near us however do do half days for ALL children in reception until January so ask what their options are. I would suggest picking one of their options though so your child isn't the only one doing something different (unless there are additional needs to consider in which case they will probably be more accommodating)

Shattereddreams Wed 08-May-13 19:39:47

My DD wasn't 5 till May. She couldn't read or add up at all when she started school. She could do both very well by late January time and incredibly well by July. I can't imagine how she would have achieved so much if she had started in January.
They really do learn a lot in Reception you know.......

But you know your child and you have the right to ask the school.

scaevola Wed 08-May-13 19:49:50

The law has changed.

Some schools might still be awkward a bout his, but as a parent you now have a right to defer your DC's start date to a later point in Reception (but you do have to start in Reception, you cannot carry over to year1)

You do not however have a right to part time. This is something you have to negotiate with the school, and they do vary on whether and hiw far they can accommodate it.

Best thing to do is see if you can talk to someone at the school (one of the year R teachers?) to see what they might be able to offer?

Pozzled Wed 08-May-13 19:54:16

OP, if you wish to defer until the summer term (the term after she turns 5) you are absolutely entitled to do that, the school must hold the place for you. It would only be an issue (in terms of the school place) if she were a summer born child wishing to defer until September.

However, I would advise talking to the school at some length to be sure that's really the right thing for your DD. Reception really is very play-focused, and she will miss out on a fair bit if she starts later, especially in phonics. But of course you should do what you feel is right for your family.

WildSwansatCoole Wed 08-May-13 20:00:47

Thank you all.
I will talk to the school next week-no compelling reasons,except that she has had a slightly difficult year with moving upheaval and a badly chosen playgroup[blush} that she rarely wants to go to.She has been quite unsettled ,and is now just so happy with her younger brother and sister ,and family life is very calm at the moment!
My background

Periwinkle007 Wed 08-May-13 20:15:25

they may not be compelling reasons but they are valid ones contributing to your concerns about upsetting her calm balance at the moment.

I think you really have to see what their options are and try and come to an arrangement that works for you but also ensures she won't end up feeling alienated by not being there for everything or by missing important learning. my youngest went through a patch of hating going to preschool but the actual problem seemed to be she wanted to be there on the days she wasn't there if that makes sense so you may find SHE wouldn't want to be part time if others weren't.

in my daughter's class I know the younger ones (and a few others) found the first half term heavy going (they did half days) and I think initially after the half term some of them were very tired when starting full time but they have all settled well and matured so much.

and of course September is a long way off still really. I look at my younger daughter and wonder if she is really big enough to start school in september because she seems smaller and will be 7 months younger than my elder daughter was when she started but she has grown up a lot in the last month or two and I think by september she will be ready.

explain to the school what has happened to unsettle her, it makes her who she is and will help them understand her personality and how she deals with change which will help them be better placed to work out what will work best for her.

WildSwansatCoole Wed 08-May-13 20:16:40

Oops -posted too soon...
I`ve worked in child psychiatry over the years as well,and think that a few more months in the greater scheme of things would give her so much more confidence,and she can always catch up later with the academic side..
It`s hard to know what is best really...however we do have various friends who started at 6 and later(German and Swedish)who are now top of their chosen careers ,so I do think the scope to catch up is great at that age.
I started at 5.5(again not in the UK) unable to form letters,read etc,and my parents tell me our class just picked it up in a matter of weeks.
So I worry that we are killing creative neural pathways or something by starting that bit too soon!
But of course I`ll go with what the school recommends eventually..as I say we are happy with overall choice.
(of course if we do mornings only it`ll be a massive headache in terms of childcare and work ,etc-gah!)

WildSwansatCoole Wed 08-May-13 20:21:43

x post periwinkle.
That is useful-I think I will explain to the school,and take it from there.
And you are right-September is still a while away.
I suppose I just wanted to brainstorm a bit before approaching them.
Thanks all again!

jamtoast12 Wed 08-May-13 20:22:27

I'd suggest going wi the majority. Your child will feel very isolated and will gain more from school. In dds reception, phonics are introduced in stages as each sound is covered every few weeks. No idea how that would work if you missed a term. Dd went from not knowing a sound to reading pretty well in one term. Even my friends kids who were 31st August all started in sept and settled fine. I think the benefit of being one of the crowd is much more important than an extra month or two at home as friendships form very quickly, especially with girls!

Periwinkle007 Wed 08-May-13 20:39:43

I think it is interesting actually about how other countries start school later etc and yet go on and achieve more. however I don't see it personally as we do it too soon and burn out, I think we do it ok but then our education system isn't as rigorous further up the chain if that makes sense.

I am not sure I agree with them starting school quite so soon, when I started school you started the term after your 5th birthday so I started in the spring and then did 1 term in reception and then on to year 1. a child who was born earlier in the academic year would have 2 or 3 terms in reception compared to my 1 and it seemed to work fine then but I think it would be impossible to do that now as schools are so oversubscribed and if they made it that they didn't start until year 1 then my daughter would have been 6 before she even set foot in the door because of her birthday and that would have bugged me because she was reading when she started reception so another year of her at home would have been hard work.

like you say you have to do what feels right for her.

givemeaclue Thu 09-May-13 07:43:49

The scope to catch up is great, but school won't give your child individual lessons on what she has missed, you would need to do that yourself. In other countries, they all start later its not a case of a few starting later and constantly feeling behind. I have been amazed at what my children have learned in reception. Your dd has four more months to potter at home plus a couple months phased start to school still to come before you make a decision

tiggytape Thu 09-May-13 08:27:52

However I understand deferral of a place until then is very difficult to obtain.

No not at all. You can keep her at home until the New Year if you want to. The decision is entirely yours.

As others have said, the law on this has changed.
If you want to keep her at home for the first term or even a bit longer, you can. The law says she can stay at home until the term after she is 5 (or until the Summer term if she was a summer baby - you cannot defer beyond YR)
You don't need a reason. You don't need the school's permission. You just tell them that this is what you are doing and they have to reserve her place for her.

You might be thinking of the people that have August babies and want to start them late so that they become the oldest in the year below. That is the thing that is virtually impossible to achieve but merely delaying the start date is fine

Pyrrah Thu 09-May-13 09:46:13

A lot of the countries where children officially start school later have kindergartens or pre-schools that are pretty much a carbon copy of our reception.

I'd always heard that American children are a year behind the UK on average because they start school a year later, yet the children the same age as DD that I know (via a private online group of about 60 of us with kids the same age) are doing pretty much the same as she has been doing at pre-school nursery and the description of what they do next year looks identical to reception.

DD is one of the younger children in her pre-school nursery and has been doing full days since she was 3.5. She loves it and sadly never comes home tired at all (I wish).

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