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Starting in reception - will yours be going in for half days initally and how will you manage it if you work?

(35 Posts)
spokette Tue 26-Aug-08 10:07:20

My DTS start reception next week (boo-hoo) and they will be going in for half days for the first week. Fortunately, I am able to log into work from home so I will be using a mix of homeworking, leave and DH plans to take a couple of days off too.

One of my colleagues also has twins starting school and they will be on half days for 3 weeks. She and her partner both work and they are really struggling with how they are going to manage, especially as they cannot work from home. I feel lucky that we only have one week to manage this.

Was wondering if this was an issue for others? Another colleague told me about her local school where the reception children are on half days until half term!shock How do they expect working parents to manage this?hmm

cece Tue 26-Aug-08 10:09:47

If your child is born after 31st Dec here they are half days for a whole term!

Luckily DS is Oct so he is on half days for 2 and half weeks... I am using the childminder who is going to take him and his sister to school for those few weeks. Plus a little bit of help from Grannie!

Clayhead Tue 26-Aug-08 10:09:58

At our school the Pre-School/Out of School Club runs half sessions for Reception children so they can do half the day at school and half with the Out of School Club.

Fimbo Tue 26-Aug-08 10:10:23

At my ds's school, the younger children don't start full-time until after Christmas. I guess some people have to use childminders/relatives.

Oliveoil Tue 26-Aug-08 10:10:30

dd2 starts next week (and is not 4 until tomorrow but that is another thread hmm) and does 1 week of mornings, 1 week of afternoons

I have my MIL round the corner so am covered but if not I would have booked time off (I only do 3 days anyway)

or rope in friends/other mums etc

you do know well in advance when the start of school is and juggle accordingly imo

GooseyLoosey Tue 26-Aug-08 10:14:05

Oh yes, I know all about this one. We have 5 weeks of half days and the same for ds last year. Last year I saved most of my leave and had no other holidays. Could not do that this year as needed to take time off for ds in school hols.

We are managing with a combination of holiday from me and dh, a visit from my parents and imposing on friends. It is a nightmare and wholly counter productive in my very limited experience.

Last year half of the class went in mornings and the other in the afternoons and then they swapped. This meant that ds bonded with children in his half, but after 5 weeks when the other half was thrown in, those relationships were upset. It has taken ds months to get over this.

Dreadfulwoman Tue 26-Aug-08 10:15:03

Mine is on half days for the first half term, which really messes everything up! They don't have any after school clubs or anything, so they are all doing half days at school, and then going to the nursery they used to go to for the afternoons-it makes no sense-they have been at full time nursery for a year-why!! A few weeks yes, but a whole half term?

deanychip Tue 26-Aug-08 10:24:27

lots and lots and lots of help from every one that you can drag in!

Mine was 3 weeks of pissing around half days. Drove me mad!
Had to get aunties, grandparents (reluctant gs btw) friends and other parents to help out.
It was very stressful.
This same question gets asked at this time of year.
Why dont schools poll parents, i can tell you, it would be 99% in favour of full time from the word go.

sarah293 Tue 26-Aug-08 10:27:43

Message withdrawn

Dreadfulwoman Tue 26-Aug-08 10:30:24

Oooh riven I'm so jealous-dd cut out her naps at 18 months and never had another (unless in the car)-how do you do keep them? (Grabs pen and paper for poss future reference)

posieflump Tue 26-Aug-08 10:32:11

me and dh only have each other to help out
I only work 2 days so it's just 2 days we have to cover for 3 weeks
first week dh is on leave for those 2 days
2nd week I'm on leave for the 2 days
3rd week both of our work said they could let us be on leave as too short staffed so we told them no way round it and all we could offer was me be off in the morning and dh off in the afternoon so they both have us for half the day

tis crap not having family around to help

posieflump Tue 26-Aug-08 10:32:36

said they couldn't give us the leave

sarah293 Tue 26-Aug-08 10:34:30

Message withdrawn

LucyJones Tue 26-Aug-08 10:34:51

Same trouble here with me and dh having to take leave. Can't have a family holiday this year as we can't have leave off togther at the ame time.
what annoys me more is that on 22nd September there is a teacher training day - fgs!

spokette Tue 26-Aug-08 10:35:04

Why do they do it though? I can understand half days for a couple of weeks to help the children acclimatise and to provide reception teachers time to do their paper assessments etc. A whole term of half days seems indulgent of schools imo.

Dreadfulwoman Tue 26-Aug-08 10:37:53

Haha, ok, maybe not! Mine does 10pm to 8am, which means I get a nice cup of coffee in the morning and a tidy up before the storm hits!

That's true - why do they do it? And why does it change from school to school - it's obviously not statutory if it is different for every school within the same area?

sarah293 Tue 26-Aug-08 10:38:06

Message withdrawn

cece Tue 26-Aug-08 10:38:34

It is to do with funding. Schools don't get full time funding till the term they turn 5.

spokette Tue 26-Aug-08 10:38:36

The school has not told us about the training days either so that is not great for working parents who need to book leave/plan childcare.hmm

I get the impression that some of those running schools don't realise that many children have parents who both workhmm.

spokette Tue 26-Aug-08 10:40:39

Cece, thanks. I did not know that.

LucyJones Tue 26-Aug-08 10:42:58

I can understand it when kids were just a home with their mum's all day and it would have been a huge upheaval
But now that the majority of children go to playgroup 5 sessions a week on their own the term beofre they start school it does seem a bit pointless

Anna8888 Tue 26-Aug-08 10:47:02

cece - interesting.

My daughter did half days last year in her school here in Paris - she also had a half-size class. Most schools start out with full days (from the year of a child's third birthday) and full size classes - so up to 30 children for 6 hours a day. I was very happy with 3 hours in a class of fewer than 15 - but of course that meant that parents/grandparents/nannies had to be available for the rest of the day. Most parents here use school as childcare.

mrz Tue 26-Aug-08 10:58:36

I'm a reception teacher and ALL my children are FULL TIME from day one even the just fours (we have a single intake in September). spokette it has nothing to do with paperwork/assessments the idea is to ease the children in gently because in the past most children only attended nursery for half a day and it was often a huge shock to small children to have to stay in school for 6 hours + many of them found it very tiring (riven's daughter isn't alone in having afternoon naps IME).

sarah293 Tue 26-Aug-08 11:28:55

Message withdrawn

mrz Tue 26-Aug-08 11:33:24

We have just installed a "cosy area" with a mattress pillows and covers for those children who feel the need to get away and take a nap.

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