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Starting school with a long bus journey

(31 Posts)
LoosingBattle Wed 22-Jan-14 19:52:32

DD is 4 at the end of Feb and so will start Primary 1 in August.

I went to register at our local primary this week and have been told the school is closing to be rebuilt for the whole academic year 14-15 so the school is moving to a building in another school for the year.

For the local school the bus would pick up DD at 8:15am however it will be 7:45 for the year the school is shut and drop her back at 4pm. Such a long day for a little one. sad

As DD is a Feb birthday we have the option to keep her back a year and let her start at five and a half next year which would be my preferred option. DH however is dead against it and wants her to start, esp as our nursery fees are very high and they feel DD is ready for school.

Is it better to be the youngest or oldest in a class?

I don't know what to do for the best - wwyd?

frogwatcher42 Wed 22-Jan-14 20:01:08

No expert but didn't want to read and leave!

Won't your dd be in the younger part of the year regardless of if you hold her back. I thought they still went into the same year group - just a little later.

I do think that seems a too long bus journey for a reception age child. Can you take her and pick her up.

Oldest in year is apparently better. But if you are born at a certain time of year there is not a lot you can do about it!!!!

LoosingBattle Wed 22-Jan-14 20:04:29

Only one start time so it would be next August before she could start. A January or April in take would have been great.

It is a v.small school - only 12 pupils and 2 starting this year which is good, however she just seems so young and such a new experience for her if she doesn't have to go... Wish someone would just tell me what to do!?

DirtieBertie Wed 22-Jan-14 20:04:50

Frog - I'm guessing OP is in Scotland. School start dates are different to the rest of UK.

LoosingBattle Wed 22-Jan-14 20:07:04

Oh yes - in Scotland! And no option of us dropping off/picking up.

frogwatcher42 Wed 22-Jan-14 20:08:57

Ok. Can you drop back a year in Scotland and choose to be oldest or youngest then?

I wish you could here in England.

LoosingBattle Wed 22-Jan-14 20:13:40

Yes, didn't realise it was different in England.

If you have a Jan or Feb birthday you can defer without question, just a form to sign and then start the following August.

frogwatcher42 Wed 22-Jan-14 20:17:00

That's not fair!!! I would dearly love my dd to be in the year below. She has been forced into her year group where all the children have their birthday between Sept to August i.e. the children are grouped into year groups and there is no flexibility. If you are born in August you still have to join the year with the children born the from the sept before to the August you were born in. You can start school later but still have to join that group when you go in so you will always be one of the youngest.

Does that make any sense.

Pooka Wed 22-Jan-14 20:18:31

Am so envious of ability in Scotland to defer!

Saying that, while it is a long day,if nursery think she's ready and the bus would be friendly, she might well manage fine! You say nursery fees are high? What hours is she at nursery t the moment?

Ruggles Wed 22-Jan-14 20:20:50

Hello. We have a long journey by car to school for Reception and Nursery. I was really worried as we leave home at 7.30 and return at 4.10 with a 40 min journey on each side. I thought my dcs would really struggle. They do find it tiring, but not as much as I thought. I find it exhausting!!! Could you drive to school and let her take the bus home? That would be my ideal compromise. Don't know if that helps, but good luck.

LoosingBattle Wed 22-Jan-14 20:23:46

She is at nursery 7:30am until 5pm Mon-Wed so long hours and she is with my mum Thursday/Friday. So long hours but she is always soooo tired on a Wednesday night and that is playing all day not learning!

Plus nursery is next to my work, school is in the opposite direction so she will be about 40 miles away from me which feels so far if she needed me. sad

So if you wish you had the option in England does that me you would choose being the oldest without question?

LoosingBattle Wed 22-Jan-14 20:26:13

Thanks Ruggles. I had a long journey to school many years ago and I always enjoyed it, extra time with my friends.

I possibly could work round dropping her off but it would mean a lot of extra petrol and time and my work is in the opposite direction.

frogwatcher42 Wed 22-Jan-14 20:28:26

No doubt in my mind - I would make my child the oldest.

It makes a huge difference in my experience - massive - amazingly so. If you think about it they have a whole year or so of growing physically and mentally before they learn the same stuff as those a year younger. They are better able to absorb it, understand it and have confidence from being older and bigger.

No doubt at all. I just hate that we don't have that option. I think it could transform my dds life.

Pooka Wed 22-Jan-14 20:38:16

Dd was 4.5 when she started (jan intake, July birthday).

Ds1 was 5 on hs first day (sept birthday)

Ds2 will be 5 and a couple of days (early sept birthday)

It's funny, looking back, dd was absolutely fine, despite only having had 2 short days at preschool.

But my goodness I was glad that ds1 was oldest - he really needed the extra year to emotionally mature. Academically, fine, but socially a bit more awkward.

Ds1 would have started at 4 and a couple of days if he had been born only hours earlier. Again, I am so glad he has this extra year at preschool.

Older better or my boys, but not a big issue for dd.

LoosingBattle Wed 22-Jan-14 20:41:03

Thanks Frog. A strong point of view like that is great. As far as it can see the pros of keeping her back far outweigh the cons.

The annoying thing is that she wasn't due until April so if she had come a bit closer to her due date this wouldn't even be a consideration, she would not have the option of starting this year so Dh and I wouldn't be fighting about it. sad

HamletsSister Wed 22-Jan-14 20:43:10

Mine travelled 18 miles each way (took about 30mins) and had to wait half an hour for a bus from P1. We moved after a couple of years so they only walked 100 yards. However, they coped. The bus left at 7.50 and got back about 4.15 and they enjoyed the journeys. Children don't think of journeys as "work" but time spent with friends. She will be knackered whatever happens in P1.

frogwatcher42 Wed 22-Jan-14 20:45:33

loosingbattle - I do feel very strongly about it but remember it is just my view. Your dd may be more like Pooka's and not be affected in the same way as my dd. However, I think if you google it, there is evidence that being the oldest is better than the youngest in more cases than not?

Lucylouby Wed 22-Jan-14 21:13:47

My ds is the youngest in his year, with an August birthday, in England. If I had any choice he would have deferred starting for an extra year and be the oldest. He is bright and is doing really well accamically, but he gets very tired and in reception would often walk home crying as he was so tired. It wasn't fun.
I would push really hard to let her start later.

dixiechick1975 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:21:16

From spending too long on here I know being oldest not youngest is a big advantage socially and academically.

Fast forward to going to secondary school and university and being older not youngest will be an advantage (all friends can get jobs/drive/legally drink before you for a start)

Even though she has been in full time nursery- school is tiring for them - more concentration needed.

Also what childcare will you use with school. A nursery open 51 weeks a year seems very attractive once they are at school.

Some holiday care wont take until age 5 so you will have half terms and xmas to find care for.

Jinty64 Wed 22-Jan-14 21:24:04

We are in Scotland and quite a few of my friends have deferred their dc's (Nov, Dec, Jan and Feb birthdays) my friend who sent her late December ds really regrets it. It's not only now but at transfer to secondary it is better to be that bit older and also when sitting exams it is an advantage.

For the cost of one more years nursery I would defer.

bonvivant Wed 22-Jan-14 21:27:07

I think it depends on the child. I was one of the youngest in my year and my DD is in her year too. I think it was an advantage for me and it's proving to be for DD too - she would have been frustrated being held back. However, there is another little girl who is also on the cusp and she is struggling and tired during the day.

I wouldn't be keen on my DD taking a bus to school though at that age - too young IMO.

MillyMollyMama Wed 22-Jan-14 23:53:15

I think if you live in a rural area either a parent does the school run or you take the bus/taxi. I chose to do the school run. I would never have met ant other parents otherwise.

There is always a large number of parents on Mumsnet saying their children cannot cope with school at age 4 when they are summer born. Both my DDs would have been furious at being held back in nursery when they wanted "big school". They were rarely, if ever, tired and did after school activities such a dancing, singing and Gym club. Some children thrive at school and being the youngest was never an issue for my two. It was never mentioned by the school, I never discussed it with them and my DDs were just as bright (one of them more so) than plenty of the older children, some of whom were 11 months older. I cannot see, in the end, what advantage the older children had. It was a group of 4 summer born children who attained top (full) marks in the 11+. Not the ones who had been on the planet longer. It really depends on the child.

stargirl1701 Wed 22-Jan-14 23:58:34

I've yet to meet a parent who regretted deferring, OP. I've been a primary school teacher for 15 years. I have met parents who regretted sending their child though. She is legally entitled to another year of education - why turn that down? One more year of fees...are you claiming the free 15 hours? When are the Scottish govt changing that to 18?

Weegiemum Thu 23-Jan-14 00:02:24

I'm in Scotland, we took the deferral option for dd1 and ds (both early feb birthdays). Ds will be 12 in under 2 weeks, he's in p7, dd1 will be 14 a fortnight today, in s2. It made it harder for nursery/childminder etc but the educational benefit is immeasurable, we don't regret it for a single second. Dd2 is a nov birthday so started school at 4y9m and it seemed so young!!

Educationally it's best to be oldest. I used to hold a promoted teaching post with responsibility for p/s transition - the youngest children always found it hardest!

Our dc get a bus - in p1 picked up at 8.10, dropped off 3.40. Now (we moved) picked up 7.50, dropped off 3.50. They tend to do homework on the bus!!

LoosingBattle Thu 23-Jan-14 06:07:48

Thank you so much for all the replies-it is very interesting to hear first hand experiences.

Unfortunately she doesn't get the free 15 hours as her nursery doesn't offer it and all the other ones within a reasonable distance only offer the 2.5 hours a day and no wrap around care.

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