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No school place for DS as yet.

(23 Posts)
Amethyst8 Mon 17-Sep-07 15:32:04

Would be grateful for any advice please. DS is 4 and will be 5 in February. He has not as yet started Reception because he did not get a place at any of the schools we wanted him to attend. He is on two waiting lists. There are school places available but only at primarys some distance away and not with great Ofsted Reports. Really not happy about him going to any of these schools.

Am worried though that he may be falling behind while still being at home and waiting for a place. We have chased things up at the two schools he is on a waiting list for and he is number 5 on the list at one of them. I am not sure what the next step is though. If a place does not become available will I be forced to send him to one of the other schools? At what age does he legally have to start school?

Also if I could please get some advice from any teachers as to what I should be preparing him for when he starts and what he would be expected to be able to do. He did go to Nursery for about 10 months but never really settled and just really seems happier at home. I have even considered home schooling but am worried about the social side of things. As you can see I have many many questions, sorry....blush and would be so grateful for any advice. Is anyone else in this position? He is my first child and I don t really have a social network where am I living so I don t have a clue about this stuff. Thanks so much.

LIZS Mon 17-Sep-07 15:40:22

Legally the term after he is 5 he shodul eb in eductaion , which can be homeschool, but what if a space doesn't come up by then ? Were you really so unhappy with the school offered ? Is private an option ? It may be better for him to go to one shortterm and transfer when a palce at the desirable one comes up but you may find things aren't so bad anyway. Ofsted 's are not the be all adn end all.

newgirl Mon 17-Sep-07 19:30:09

i think id phone the schools now and ask if there are any places because there are 29 in our very over subscribed class and the school have not filled the place although we know people waiting! they are not always as efficient as they could be

if it does not look likely i would consider starting at the other school and supplement with extra lessons later on if you think necessary eg french or whatever

i think your child will start to fall behind soon otherwise

cat64 Mon 17-Sep-07 19:47:36

Message withdrawn

Alambil Mon 17-Sep-07 20:50:32

you could always keep his hand in by teaching some phonics (jolly phonics website has the "way" to do it and the order of letters that schools are using at the mo - most schools that is)

you could see if the library will loan the Biff and Chip books that most schools use and practise shape formation with books from wilko's - that will keep his literacy up to scratch anyway

Hope a place comes soon - I can totally understand not wanting to send him to "any" school

LIZS Mon 17-Sep-07 20:51:55

Alternatively is there a private nursery/infants/preprep locally, perhaps a Montessori which covers beyond the preschool years. You could claim LEA vouchers until Easter to part offset the cost.

Amethyst8 Mon 17-Sep-07 21:00:45

Thanks for responses. Actually do have three of the Biff and Chip books already so thats really useful advice Lewisfan. Thank you. Will take a look at the Phonics site. He knows his alphabet both to read and the sounds so hopefully thats a start.

DH has been going on about Montessori. Didn't think we would be able to afford that but did not realise I could get vouchers.

I just can t bring myself to send him to any school that does not feel right to me. He is such a gentle little boy (a softy really)and I think he will struggle anyway even when he does start so if I can prepare him as much as possible then when he does eventually go and is really clued up and knows what he needs to know it will help him to fit in.

LIZS Mon 17-Sep-07 21:04:30

It depends whetrh they are Ofsted and conform to the LEA criteria but chances are the vouchers would be applicable just as in many private nurseries and preschools. We used to get over £400 back a term until the term after dd turned 5 (throughout Reception as an August bday), which helped.

Peachy Mon 17-Sep-07 21:07:57

We used to get vouchers for the Montessori

Don't assume that a class with 29 has a space- our ds3 has a place at an extremely over subscribed school but has a delayed start arrnaged (January) so the class is 29 atm, but no place available- and school cannot offer eslewhere as its named on ds3's statement

Amethyst8 Mon 17-Sep-07 21:09:18

I can honestly say that I do not know how I managed without Mumsnet. I have had so much information from the people on here. Just been on Play.com and ordered Jolly phonics workbooks, guide and word book. Thanks so much.

mysonsmummy Mon 17-Sep-07 23:15:05

he may still struggle more if he starts reception 2 terms after everyone else. their little friendship group will be made, they will all know the routine.

i personally think reception is so important my ds 5 was a difffent child at the end of it.

why not try him at one of the other schools, whats the worse that can happen - you/he hates it so you take him out, its ok for now so you leave him in and wait for a place at one of the other preferred schools or he love its and you cant remeber what you were worrying about.

lots of other parents send their kids to these schools so they cant be all bad.

good luck anyway

goingfor3 Mon 17-Sep-07 23:47:29

I would go and look at the other schools. 5th on the waiting list is a long way down. DD has 2 intakes in her year, 60 children, only one has left since she started in reception and she is now in year 2.

mysonsmummy Tue 18-Sep-07 09:45:31

i do agree thae fact no-one has left over 6 week hols chances are (unless emergency happens) they might not. maybe 1 but 5 might be pushing it.

what would worry me if the social side of school as much as work side.

Peachy Tue 18-Sep-07 10:38:23

Spmetimes you'll find 9and thsi is from the Head today) that areas of particuallry MC residence, ie where these schools are often located- tend toa lso have high rates of mobility, simply because of the nature of the aprents jobs- certainly the ead ahs already lost 1 reception child at our school unexpectedly, and there's always been a few in a year. Also, just because there's 5 ahead on a list- come a crunch many of these aprents won't want to move these kids if they're settled in another school.

RE: starting late, here's a fair amount of evidence that children who start alte ARE NOT disadvanatged, there was a big sumamry of this in the Times last weeka ctually (or perhaps the week before- coincided with school term start).

I note you're worried about socialising, I would advise having a look at education otherwise- they organise meet ups and activities for their members which would not only help, but amy give you answers as to whether home ed is a long term option for you or not.

Kaz33 Tue 18-Sep-07 10:46:01

I had my son in a local nursery school that went up to age 7 for that very reason, just in case he did not get into local school. As it happens we got into local primary right at the end of the school year. If it is financially doable then might be an option, then he would get some very good help and you could wait until a place becomes avaliable.

How big is the intake for the schools that you like? Ours is 60 and we are in the south east where there is a lot of movement of families. There have been children leaving every year.

Also why don't you get into contact with the local home school group, they would be able to give you some support on teaching at home and hopefully some school age children for your son to play with.

UnquietDad Tue 18-Sep-07 10:49:00

Have you been officially turned down for either of the schools you wanted?

How about appealing?

It's quite a bit of work, but it worked for us. Well worth it.

newgirl Tue 18-Sep-07 11:01:30

i think if you do plan to home school you really need to get some firm guidelines so he doesnt fall behind

eg my dd in reception was reading three chip and biff books a week so you are going to need a lot of resources just for reading alone

and the maths, science, computer skills, writing skills - the more i think about it - i would def start at a school eg private montessori and move him when place comes up

goingfor3 Tue 18-Sep-07 11:48:12

If you need reading books at home buy a set from the book people and once is has some confidence borrow more from the library, i found mine didn't have any books for dd when she was at the very start of learning but once she got the hang of it the books were very good.

Peachy Tue 18-Sep-07 14:49:31

Do be aware before you throw lots of money at it that the reception curriculum has changesd to be a lot more play focussed now, so newgirls dc would be the (bright) exception rather than the norm. DS3 is being home edded atm temporarily, and I ahven't had a huge issue with resources- there are plenty of home school resources available on the net, and books are easy to come by via libraries, the book people, grolier etc. We bought a set of wonderful early learning books from Grolier that came with flashcards.

If you decide on one specific school, arrange a meeting wtih the Head to discover what system theya re using- ours doesn't use the chip and biff books, although ds1 did at his former school. there is some variation in reading schemes, and at what age they are introduced.

newgirl Tue 18-Sep-07 18:27:06

i think peachy expressed it all much better than me! if you are going down the home schooling route i am sure there are loads of resources to tap into

my dd is young in her class - the other kids were also reading three books a week - all at dif levels - i think my half-made point is that they get a lot of variety which i guess is important to make them interested in reading

Kaz33 Tue 18-Sep-07 19:32:44

Also remember that loads of children won't be reading by the end of reception and for a lot of them it will just fall into place in year one. So if your child doesn't get it initially don't stress, he might just be one of those kids.

Lots of sharing of books, talking about them, playing games etc...

cat64 Wed 19-Sep-07 22:58:31

Message withdrawn

Clary Wed 19-Sep-07 23:51:07

Amethyst what about appealing? Was it yr catchment area school that turned you down?
Sometimes it's well worth appealing.

Otherwise I would do what others say and look at sending him to one of the schools that has places. He needs (IMHO) to be at school and get learning the ways of school, as others say. Especially if he has not leanrned them at nursery school.

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