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Anyone delayed starting primary school by a year?

(21 Posts)
Twopeapods Thu 19-Oct-17 22:04:58

We live in Scotland so our cut off is the end of February. So my DD2 whose birthday is February, would be starting school in the August at 4 and a half. She will only have had a year and two months in nursery and I just feel that she will be too young for school. She is only about to turn 3 in the coming February so I know I don't have to decide yet. The school highly discourage keeping children behind.
My eldest is a January baby so she was the same but she was a very good talker early on and we could tell she was fine. Even though she is one of the youngest in the year she is the tallest out of everyone and seems older.
I just think the younger one seems younger for the same age etc and it's stressing me out already.
Any advice please? Has anyone else kept their child back and do you regret it?

MiaowTheCat Fri 20-Oct-17 09:53:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Balfe Fri 20-Oct-17 10:03:01

I'd defer her. You'll get your nursery place funded again and she'll be in a much better place for P1 and S1.

January girls all seem to do absolutely fine, but you can always tell the February baby in the P1 class imo. They're just too wee for school.

mindutopia Fri 20-Oct-17 13:11:04

We're in England so different system, but mine was 4.5 when she started this year (also a February baby), though for us that isn't young (cut off is 1st September here). Honestly, it's been an absolutely wonderful experience for her. She's blossomed and grown so much in a month and a half already. You, of course, know your child better than anyone, but by 4.5 mine was definitely outgrowing the nursery experience. So much development and change happens between 2.5 and 4.5 and I think it's probably just hard to imagine it now when she's still so little. I think mine definitely would have struggled had we kept her back in nursery for another year now seeing the difference that only 6 weeks of school has made. She's going back to nursery next week for half term and I'm actually feeling guilty about it because she is probably a bit too grown up for it now (she's excited, but definitely I think she sees it a bit as being stuck with the babies again). I think there's no reason not to consider the option, but I would reserve judgement until she's older and you see how things change. She still has a lot of growing to do in the next 2 years.

prettybird Fri 20-Oct-17 13:27:25

I've never met anyone who has regretted deferring their child, but I have come across people who have regretted not deferring.

One friend who chose not to defer her ds because he was "clever" ended up with the school getting the education psychologist involved and the school seriously talking about keeping him back a year (which is highly unusual in Scotland) because he just wasn't emotionally ready and ended up being really disruptive.

Judyinreallife Fri 20-Oct-17 21:22:58

So my daughter turned 4 in February and just started school. I never thought I would say this but I am already regretting it. She got a really bad report at school....can't sit still, struggling to hold a pencil right and teacher said she's generally not ready for p1. We did everything we could to prepare her aswell. Made sure she could write her name, dress herself, count etc. She's never been behind and actually always been quite ahead for her age so we didn't see the point in deferring. I guess though that with some kids close to a year older than her she's standing out. It's horrible, if I could go back in time I would defer her.

Whinberry Sat 21-Oct-17 00:27:27

We referred a Feb dd and have been really pleased we did (now top end of primary). It wasn't so obvious a decision in nursery - she was academically able and in many respects 'ready'. But I remember one day watching her with March-borne kids and just saw an unnecessary struggle. The primary teachers I spoke to were fairly ambivalent about deferral but the secondary teachers were all adamant that deferral was best, especially for boys who benefited from the extra year maturity before hitting exams.

Whinberry Sat 21-Oct-17 00:28:34

It also means they are legal to drink when they start uni - not sure if that is good though....

Mossend Sat 21-Oct-17 00:48:21

I deferred my DS, Jan birthday.
It was def the correct decision, he has really enjoyed school and coped well with all aspects of it.
He is now in high school and still doing really well.
My friend sent her DS, another Jan birthday, when he was 4 and he has really struggled, especially from P4 onwards and she really regrets her decision.

MaggieS41 Sat 21-Oct-17 20:46:08

If I could’ve I would’ve deferred! Unfortunately I’m in England and in a council where you can’t defer - you just skip reception and go straight to year 1. And lose your funding! My DS4 is doing fine but in the long term, who knows. I would’ve rather not taken that risk.

Excuse my ignorance but in Scotland do all children have the right to defer? If you have the choice and get another year funding at nursery then I’d do it definitely!

Bubblebubblepop Sat 21-Oct-17 20:48:11

I would worry about her becoming bored of nursery which has happened to every child ive known by 4.5 (small sample ha ha)

However depends how often she's at nursery I suppose

Whinberry Sat 21-Oct-17 21:52:18

Maggie children in Scotland don't need to start school until the summer before they turn six. The cut off for years is end of Feb so any child born between end of August and end of Feb can defer. However you are only likely to get an extra year of nursery funding for Jan and Feb birthdays - exceptionally Dec. It is more common/encouraged in some schools than others.

Bubble the nursery should still engage the child - it not then it is a poor nursery.

prettybird Sat 21-Oct-17 22:03:29

Maggie - any child who is not yet 5 when school starts has the right to defer and only start P1 the following year (we don't have Reception). So technically, my ds, whose birthday is in mid September, could have been deferred (and if I'd thought he wasn't ready, I would have).

In practice, January and February birthdays can defer as of right and you still get funding for nursery (afaik in Glasgow at least). It becomes progressively more unusual for December and November birthdays and very occasionally October birthdays (the one case I know of is a boy who came here from another country after school had already started). You might get funding for nursery for December/November kids but a strong case would have to have been put forward by the nursery. In most cases you have to self-fund.

Depending on which Uni ds goes to (more importantly when they start), he might not be 18 when he starts shock even though he will have done S6 (the equivalent of Upper 6th). He could have chosen to go to Uni this year (ie after S5) so would have spent all of 1st year technically unable to legally drink shock He has a couple of friends who have gone to Uni who are in this situation (as was I when I went after S5 - April birthday so I spent 6+ months drinking illegally! grin)

Twopeapods Sat 21-Oct-17 22:44:09

This has been an interesting read. From what I'm gathering everyone seems to feel different!
I just remember that her older sister at this age was great with those wipe clean books and did all the numbers perfectly, whereas my younger DD still scribbles and doesn't hold a pencil properly. She also has far less of an attention span and can't sit still.
If she had been born just two weeks later she would have had two years of nursery and started P1 at 5.
I just think there's a huge emotional gap between the youngest and oldest in the year.
The nursery here aren't too keen to defer because it means they can leave high school at 16 before they have to sit any exams. But isn't that the same for the older ones anyway?

Norestformrz Sun 22-Oct-17 07:36:34

There will be far more children around the UK starting school like your youngest daughter than your elder. Individual schools will be different due to catchment.

Whinberry Sun 22-Oct-17 08:18:20

At our school nearly all Jan/Feb children are deferred.

Balfe Sun 22-Oct-17 09:31:39

Was that the nursery's only argument?! School leaving age? I'd be quite unimpressed.

P1 is usually very formal, although some schools are beginning to change. Most P1s will be sitting at a desk all morning (9-12) with only a little bit of play in the afternoon after topic work. They might do 'active learning' but it will still be very adult led.

They will also be one of 25 and expectations are different to nursery school with 1 adult - 10 children.

prettybird Sun 22-Oct-17 09:42:09

That's a crap argument by the nursery. What they should be concerned about is her current character and development now . angry

Their argument applies equally to March birthdays - who don't have the option of deferring confused

Surely that is then up to the secondary school to ensure that they are motivated enough to stay on for their Nat 5s hmm

gameoflife Mon 23-Oct-17 11:39:21

Yes, Scotland also. My DD is a very late Feb birthday, and also tiny, so we were advised by the kindergarten staff (who are attached to the school) to delay prep, and I was absolutely the correct decision. She is no where near the eldest child in her prep class, and is happy and confident.

I was convinced when it occurred that my DD would potentially be a year younger than her peers when approaching puberty/exams etc.

If you can, delay.

JennyBlueWren Mon 23-Oct-17 14:00:52

I'm a primary teacher and have taught nursery. I would always recommend deferring. It's more about emotional maturity than academics. You can't choose to defer at a different time (e.g. an extra year in primary or an extra year before exams or to leave school). It's a year's extra education. When I told friends DS was due February one (P1 teacher's) response was "So you'll be deferring then!"

Having said that I'm currently teaching P6 and can't tell who deferred and who didn't from their maturity, behaviour or abilities. A very small sample study but interesting to me.

Rose0 Mon 23-Oct-17 14:19:53

That argument about exams is definitely silly and you shouldn't be worrying about that right now - what matters is her being ready for school now.

We're in England and my DD1 is an end of August baby so she turned 4 literally 5 days before starting school. I think because she was already an older child in the family (at the time DS was 2), had been going to nursery from 5 months old and picked up lessons quickly it initially didn't seem that big of a deal, but she was the tiniest in her class and definitely struggled socially. She's very low in confidence and actually has a lot of close friends in the year below, so I often do wonder if she'd have fitted in better. She's academically always been top of the class, but especially when she was in reception and year 7 struggled to make friends, and is very sensitive. If you have the opportunity to and think she would benefit then I would ignore the school's reluctance and do what's best for your DD. One girl in DD1's class was an April baby (so like being an October baby in scotland I guess!) who was held back, so she was 14 months older than DD1!

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