Settling in for reception 2 weeks of mornings?!

(82 Posts)
Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:27:18

Does anyone else find the varied and really long settling-in period at reception primary school in the UK in September so backward?

Ours don’t start in the first week of school. Then the second week they start on different days, in groups, for 2hrs, then a few days of 1pm then after that a full day until 3pm. They have been in nursery full days since babies. We need our annual leave to use in the school holidays. Why drag this out and use up annual leave of 2-3 weeks?

Does this burden fall (or is taken by) mostly women? Does anyone have any evidence this prolonged transition is better for the child then a few half days?

Lastly, why do we all put up with this ....?

Not in favour of just dumping them in a new school with no settling period. It’s just the very prolonged, and so different between schools, period which seems to take no account of most parents being employed now.

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MogMogMog Mon 27-May-19 09:30:16

Ours just started full time from the first day and were absolutely fine. Like yours, they'd been in nursery since babies so it was normal for them.
I think dragging it out is a bit silly but i suppose it gives time for the teachers time to get sorted (pegs and drawers etc)

drspouse Mon 27-May-19 09:31:25

You can send them full time if you want, it is their right to have a full time education.

Di11y Mon 27-May-19 09:33:10

did you know you can demand they start full time from day one? perhaps give it the first week of part time and if they're doing well ask for them to go ft?

with our the school nursery children went ft (3/4) and the remaining had the painful gradual start.

fedup21 Mon 27-May-19 09:33:43

When mine started, there was nothing for the first three weeks whilst the teachers did home visits, then there was a ‘visit the class for an hour to play’ for the next week in slots of ten children at a time. Then the following week they started in groups of 6 per day increasing each day until the whole class were in-mornings only. Then they started full time after October half term!

BiggerBoat1 Mon 27-May-19 09:35:29

Not all children have been in full time childcare and some need this transition period.

Schools aren't there to provide childcare so the fact you have to take annual leave is irrelevant.

Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:36:06

I had no idea we can ask for full time - thanks! Has anyone used that?

The kids are not in at all the first week, but I suppose the teacher is busy doing home visits then.

Am interested in others settling in periods too and location, if it’s over 1 week?

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drspouse Mon 27-May-19 09:37:56

My DCs had 2 days (Thurs/Fri) or 3 (Mon-Weds) half days. It was plenty.

BiggerBoat1 Mon 27-May-19 09:38:01

did you know you can demand they start full time from day one?

So, you'd have them there in the afternoon all by themselves - no other children? I'm sure that would work well in terms of them settling in hmm

Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:38:06

@Biggerboat annual leave of parents can’t be ‘irrelevant’ to the social structure we create/support of schooling, surely? If they’re not in school they are with parents generally, and our social structure sets up the school holidays and also annual leave allowance?

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Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:38:57

@fedup. Blimey that’s the longest one I have heard!!

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Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:39:47

@drspouse yours sounds sensible. A few days to ease them in.

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Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:41:18

True as said above not all have been is full time nursery, and I appreciate the plan has to include all kids. But even nursery doesn’t do 2 weeks of half days to settle in. That seems like a very small number of children would need that?

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LlamasSitOnPyjamas Mon 27-May-19 09:44:25

Mine were in nursery all summer so just continued there for the first couple of weeks of reception, with me taking her out for settling in sessions, dropping her back at nursery after, and when they started half days I would use my lunch break to ferry them between nursery and school. But I can see this wouldn't work with a long commute, I was lucky to have everything close together!

Ragh Mon 27-May-19 09:45:52

One option is just to keep them in nursery, alternatively book a holiday for the first couple of weeks and enjoy a last term time cheaply!

Parker231 Mon 27-May-19 09:46:31

We didn’t use the setting in weeks but wrote to the school to advise that our DC’s would be attending full time from day one as did many other parents. They had been at full time nursery from six months old, a staggered start to school would have confused them and we don’t have three weeks of spare annual leave.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Mon 27-May-19 09:47:39

Ours was 2 days until before lunch, 1 day after lunch, full days (unless the child needed shorter days). All except 3kids had been in the preschool class. (Including mine as we had moved).
They were welcome to use the school bus from day 1.
When I dropped mine (big sister starting into Yr2) off on the first day, I wasn't allowed on the playground. This is standard at their school.

The children all manage fine.

Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:48:30

We’ve been told absolutely NO holidays during school term time is allowed! (unless someone has died or is getting married)

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Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:52:02

@parker thanks, we’re the school ok with it? Did your child settle in ok like that?

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Sparky888 Mon 27-May-19 09:55:43


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Parker231 Mon 27-May-19 09:56:15

@Sparky888 - I sure the school would have preferred us to stick to their timescale but it worked well for us. Other parents in their class did the same. Many of the DC’s were from the same nursery where both parents worked full time. Those that used the staggered start had one parent at home so practically more workable.

converseandjeans Mon 27-May-19 09:57:36

My DD started second week back followed by 4 weeks of part days. We both teach so it was quite honestly one of the most stressful times. Plus they couldn't use after school club until they were full time. No childminders did this school either. It's a nightmare!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 27-May-19 10:00:26

The school my two go to has them all starting at 8:45am on the first day. It seems to work fine. The school has a thriving nursery class and for the last few weeks of the summer term they are moved into the reception classroom anyway and the reception teachers are about sometimes and come and play with them.

From friends the thing that really “unsettles” children is the hodgepodge of arrangements that have to be made for caring for the children whilst all the messing about is going on. I also think that there is great value in a parent booking the October half term off so the kids can have a really quiet easy time at home (because they will be shattered!) If holiday has all be moved up with settling in then that can’t happen.

YetAnotherThing Mon 27-May-19 10:09:16

You might be able to ask if you can do full days from outset, particularly if she’s been in school nursery. Our school has a default the other way round- all kids do full days immediately but for individual kids they could do half days by negotiation with teacher if parents had concerns. To my knowledge all kids were FT within a few days.

AuditAngel Mon 27-May-19 10:13:04

Our primary starts the youngest children with no siblings first, then older children without siblings followed by siblings. Their theory is that the youngest benefit from starting in the smallest group, 2 days for them, then next group Wednesday, then the siblings following Monday. Theory is siblings are used to pickup/drop off and school events, so already comfortable in the school environment.

DS did 2 weeks until 12, the one until after lunch, then full days. It was a nightmare. DD’s started in the later group.

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