This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Skipping reception question (expat)(23 Posts)
We are moving to England (either London or Cambridge) during the fall of 2019. Our soon will be age 5 (turning 6 on December 30) at that time. In the states, he would be entering kindergarten, but it appears he'd be in Year 1 in the UK.
Would it be a huge challenge to put in him Year 1? Or is there any flexibility of him doing reception and being the very eldest in his class?
Any advice would be appreciated!
I think if he hadn’t had any schooling before then it would be hard for him to strat in Y1. Although it’s play based they do a lot of phonics and my son knew all his sounds by the end of reception (this was the expectation I think). But that’s just my experience as a parent. Hopefully a teacher will be along soon to advise. Scope for starting reception when older would be limited to summer born children and even then it’s often only in limited circumstances and can create problems regarding when the child moves onto secondary school.
Im sure he would be fine in Year 1. Reception is a lot of learning through play. You could always have a look at the national curriculum and see what he would be expected to know at that point. I cant see that a child with a december birthday would be allowed to shift year in the state system
If you went private and sent him to an independent school some schools might well allow him into reception rather than Year one.
Ds effectively skipped year 2 in similar circumstances. He did catch up over time but think it would have been easier to skip reception tbh. Has your ds been to preschool/prek?
You have no chance at all of him being put into Reception I'm afraid. It would be a very big jump for him if he has not had any form of schooling. How is he academically? The vast majority of children entering year 1 will be able to write sentences (even if they are simple e.g the cat is big), form letters with good accuracy (possibly using cursive depending on the school), know their phonics sounds including tri-graphs and digraphs etc. They will also be confident in adding and subtracting using numbers up to 20.
The main issue is availability of places - the number of pupils in each class is Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 is set by legislation and a school simply can't take a Yr 1 pupil unless they have a space - that means someone has to leave. As pupils will only have started a year before, there doesn't tend to be much movement that quickly. Your choice therefore will be limited to the handful of schools who have places.
My friends had this moving from Scotland to England with a February born DS who’d been deferred so was just finishing nursery. He went into year 1 with very few issues.
Your other option is to pick a UK school which has the American grade system - think there are a few in London
Also think socially, he’ll be playing with children at least 8 months if not 20 months younger than him.
There’s not a chance he’ll be allowed to start reception at nearly 6!
We did this. Arrived back in the UK from the US when DS was about to start year one. He'd done preschool and pre-k in the US, but couldn't read or write at all.
He was fine. We are in central London, so the school were used to children arriving from different countries and education systems at various stages. DS had mostly caught up by Christmas and was exceeding expectations in all areas by the end of the year.
In most state schools there will likely be children who have been through reception and still haven't caught on with reading or writing by the start of year one.
There are 5 American schools in London according to google eg
My daughter has a child in her class (state school) who started reception aged 5 and turned 6 in reception mid year, so presumably it’s possible. I haven’t ever enquired into the details, but they are a refugee family and English wasn’t her first language.
My preference would be to start reception, but I’m sure he could catch up in year 1.
Thanks you for the prompt responses! He goes to a play based nursery/preschool three afternoons a week, and will continue there next year for five days a week. I don't know if he'd be able to write sentences when we'd move, but I will take a look at the national curriculum.
We are open to both state and independent primaries, so we'll just have to see where we end up!
DS missed Reception year as there were no local places for him. He went into Year One in the October.
He did struggle at first, but caught up. We were not allowed to enter him into Reception, even though he's a summer born
My DC1 skipped Reception because I liked having my DC at home. He went straight into Year One (summer baby, so in any case young in his year). People said he'd "soon catch up", but he was light years ahead of his peers (educationally, not socially). I don't regret it for a second. I tried the same with DC2 (another late summer baby). She did half days in Reception as a compromise, then declared after Christmas that she was going to school and That Was That. No idea what was right for yours, but that worked for mine. Might have helped that it was an independent school (had had places reserved for them since they were tiny), so there was a bit more flexibility.
No chance to go into reception unless summer born and then you need to speak the head of the school.
My niece went straight into year one as they returned from abroad. It was fine. DSis says you can't tell the difference now (coming to the end of year 2). Children learn more quickly as they older. Whereas it may take a child a few weeks to learn all their sounds at 3&4, at 5 they might do it in a week or so. I honestly don't know why we push so early here. My DC go to school in London and there are plenty of children who come into year 1 & 2 not even speaking English and catch on quickly. Teacher friend says it then gets harder.
If you want to do some prep I would teach phonic sounds and see if your DC can grasp blending. Mathseeds is a good website for teaching early maths through games. But seriously the schools here are hugely pushed to get children up to speed for their year 1 phonics test and SATS in year 2, they will give the help needed.
I would encourage independence as other children will have had a year of following school life but again teachers will help. In Year 1 you will get children of all levels of everything.
When you do know which area you'll be moving to, contact the schools admission office at the local council. They can tell you which primary schools have spaces in year 1 for your son.
If possible, talk or speak to the school (or even visit) and ask what support they can put into place when your son starts. Most good primary schools have plenty of teaching assistants as well as the class teacher and they do a fantastic job of supporting the teacher. They often help small groups who need extra support which helps the teacher to differentiate.
I suspect your son will catch up quite quickly given good support. In many areas, schools are used to small children starting who have English as an additional language so teaching phonics really shouldn't be a stretch.
If you want to give your son a start, try the CBeebies app and look for alpha blocks. Teach Your Monster to Read is also fantastic.
I hope your move goes well. It's a fantastic opportunity for your child to experience living in another country.
Starting in year 1 full time will be fine.
This reception year and staggered starts is a relatively new thing
Jess reception is not relatively new. My eldest started reception 20 years ago, I was in the equivalent of reception way back n the 70s, there was also staggered starts back then as I started in the January. OP unless your child has a medical need or severe special need it's extremely unlikely they will be held back.
Reception definitely isn't new! It was just previously called bottom infants/first year infants.
OP your son will be fine and if there is catching up to do I'm sure he will do it quickly.