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Part time in reception class - any experience?

(43 Posts)
Orchid12 Tue 23-Jun-15 14:35:23

My DD has just been for her settling in morning at school. She is just about to turn 4. I have been granted permission for her to go 3 days a week initially, and will review regularly to make a decision on increasing her days. The school are supportive of this, and one child each year for the past four years I know has has done something similar.

I have a good background in education/psychology so am/was convinced this is the right thing for her. She currently does 3 full days of preschool and is very tired after them. I am not worried about her social or academic development, just the tiredness aspect.

The HT has just made me question myself, however. As I went to collect her, the HT found me to tell me how well she had coped and how he thinks she could easily go full time from the outset. Deep down I think the PT route is the best one for the moment, but I would like to hear from anyone else that has done this. I know it is common for children with additional support needs to go PT, but she doesn't fit this group. I think views on the issue are likely to be polarised but I would like to hear them nonetheless.

TeenAndTween Tue 23-Jun-15 14:40:14

At our school everyone goes full time from the start, but if they get tired you can take them out for afternoons.
I think doing all mornings, but missing an afternoon or 2 might be better.
- They tend to do phonics and maths in the mornings, and 'free play' in the afternoons
- You can increase up to stay for lunch break time for socialisation and then to whole day.

redskybynight Tue 23-Jun-15 16:28:42

Why not see how she does FT, with the option to pull her out for a day/afternoon if she is really exhausted?

Assuming every other child is going FT, she is going to be constantly out of the loop in terms of making friends. Plus assuming that the school teaches e.g. phonics in a linear way, she will always be playing catchup!

KohINoorPencil Tue 23-Jun-15 17:13:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Magicalmrmistofeles Tue 23-Jun-15 17:17:18

I'm in exactly the same situation. DTs are 4 in August, should have been born October 1st.

I'm absolutely not worried about how they'll cope with the learning or the social side of school but I'm getting worried about the physical side of it. They currently do 4 mornings a week in pre-school and still need a nap on nursery days and quite often at the weekend as well. I have visions of them just falling asleep in their chairs.

We have a session with the school on July 1st so will see what they say then.

CharlesRyder Tue 23-Jun-15 18:35:56

My DS is August born and has coped really well with 8.15- 3.45 x3 and 8.15- 5.00pm x2. Last week he did two after school clubs (the 5pm finishes), played tennis after school one night and had a play date another night.

Yes, he is tired, but he is still learning, behaving and enjoying himself. I think you MAY be underestimating your DD.

DS would hate me to pull him out of sessions. He has been known to cry on a Saturday because there is no school.

Why not start FT and then take duvet days as and when they are needed?

tabitha8 Tue 23-Jun-15 18:50:16

DS started school after Easter last year and only did three days until the end of the term. It worked fine for him (and the school were very supportive), but all children are different, aren't they?

UniS Tue 23-Jun-15 18:53:39

Some of ds's classmates did fall asleep in the afternoon in year r. They snoozed on the cushions in the quiet corner. One child regularly had a TA sit behind then at story time as they were liable to nod off and keel over.

Heels99 Tue 23-Jun-15 18:54:18

They are all tired in reception, mine did nursery 8-6 but we're still tired in reception. It's normal. They revert to toddlers. If they fall asleep it doesn't matter, they have bean bags and cushions!
If you are going part time try to miss afternoons not morning or she will be missing 40% of the phonics, reading, maths which isn't putting her in the best possible position.

rollonthesummer Tue 23-Jun-15 18:56:51

A couple of summer born children (all girls) in my DS's year started part time to begin with. All did 5 mornings though-I have never known Reception children to only do 3 days.

All were in full time by October half term.

duplofrenzy Tue 23-Jun-15 21:32:00

My DS had 3 lunchtime finishes and 2 full days. Might be difficult to do 3 days only but would give you more freedom in what you do with her on your days with her. Don't think the lunchtime finishes made a difference, but equally children joining later in the year or year 1 or year 2 did fine also. Would prefer to defer until Jan or April instead?

AuditAngel Tue 23-Jun-15 21:36:12

Our school has phased starts over 3 weeks, then all full time. DS was one month past his 4th birthday, he was fine.

DD2 starts a month before her 5th birthday. I think she will find it harder as she is used to one day at nursery whereas DS was used to 5.

Bragadocia Tue 23-Jun-15 21:52:46

DS is coming to the end of the Reception year. He started as part time (mornings only), as he'd only done mornings at pre-school and diving straight into full time education seemed too big a leap, as well as because my own belief is that it's not the best thing for four year olds. The plan had been keep him as part time for the whole of the first term, but in the event he adapted to school with enthusiasm, and asked to go full time from after the first half term.

There were no issues at all from a social aspect, and he wasn't at all bothered about school activities continuing without him. Mornings only worked really well to allow him to adjust to school. Also, it was lovely to continue to have him at home for the afternoons!

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Jun-15 22:03:34

I was worried when Ds1 started (all those years ago now) because he was summer born, but he was fine, just tired as was every other starter.

When we looked round they did say you can do part time but nobody ever does. But actually just one boy did mornings only for a while. I felt a bit sad because he was missing out and it was a bit confusing for the other children that he disappeared every lunchtime. I remember DS asking if it was because the boy was ill. sad

That said though you have to do what you feel is right for your child. Phased starts sound quite good but must be a PITA for working parents.

Gdydgkyk Tue 23-Jun-15 22:21:06

If going PT means your DD is fresh and coping well and enjoying school, I would opt for PT.

I would put her in PT and slowly build up to FT when she's ready.

She's not going to miss anything educational or social. She'll be full time in year one

bsmirched Tue 23-Jun-15 22:46:17

Gdydgkyk how will she not miss anything educational ? Letters and Sounds are taught daily, with a very speedy acquisition of new phonemes. If a child is missing 40% of this each week, they can't help but be behind their fulltime peers. Year 1 isn't in any way a repeat of Reception so I can't really understand your argument. As others have said, if part time is needed, then far better to have some afternoons off rather than 2 whole days .

rollonthesummer Tue 23-Jun-15 23:10:58

She's not going to miss anything educational or social.


What do you think is the purpose of Reception?

Greenrememberedhills Tue 23-Jun-15 23:17:01

Oh good for you. I wish we had done this. My now 18 year old used to come home from reception and collapse asleep on the carpet, despite sleeping from 7pm till 7am. It is an exhausting day for them.

Another friend removed an academically struggling 6 year old from school and moved with him to a country where they start at 7. He was diagnosed and remained gifted and talented there.

It all comes out in the wash.

SitsOnFence Tue 23-Jun-15 23:24:56

I really wish that mornings-only would become the norm for Reception. They get so tired. That said, I have known 2 children (one very well indeed) who did mornings only and both suffered long term social problems as a result of being the child who no one wanted to be best friends with. Based on this, mine went full time and we rode it out. Sorry.

Gdydgkyk Tue 23-Jun-15 23:41:54

I have known many children attend reception part time or start formal schooling aged 7. All good achievers (working a year or two ahead) with strong friendship groups.

It's not like the reception children are doing A levels! Having a refreshed reception aged child ready to learn makes for effective learning

Orchid12 Wed 24-Jun-15 06:40:28

I knew there would be a mixed bag of opinion but seems more weighted on the negative side!

I have no choice but to put her in 3 full days and off 2 days, that's what the HT recommended initially. Half days are not an option. My plan is to up her to 4 days at Oct half term and then 5 in Jan. They don't do a staggered start in Sept, they just start all day on a Monday and away they go!

Gdydgkyk that's my thinking, a refreshed child is far more likely to learn than an exhausted one. I know she will 'cope' if I send her FT, but don't see the point in having her rolling around the floor and being cranky with her friends because a 5 day is too long for her.

Looks like this is going to be my summer worry! I'll just have to monitor things and see how she does.

Gdydgkyk Wed 24-Jun-15 06:57:51

Some schools have staggered starts anyway for all pupils. At my kids school all four were all half time time for 4 weeks, then 2/3 the timetable for two weeks, then full time. But even then I just kept them at home if exhausted

Sparklingbrook Wed 24-Jun-15 07:26:54

I would imagine also that the child will have an opinion after starting. It might be that they don't want to miss anything and want to go full time like their friends.

Colchestergal Wed 24-Jun-15 07:32:51

If she only does three days, she will miss phonics on the other 2 days. It's essential they participate in all the phonics daily sessions otherwise there are gaps and progress is hindered. Five mornings would be better imo.

Sparklingbrook Wed 24-Jun-15 07:39:15

This is years ago but it used to be more learning stuff in the morning and fun in the afternoons.

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