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August birthday child starting school at 5?

(23 Posts)
bekkaboo Wed 03-Sep-08 21:29:29

Hi just wondered if anyone else has/had an august birthday child and deferred school till 5? Can you tell me pros and cons of starting at 4 and 5? Please be friendly!!

Washersaurus Wed 03-Sep-08 21:32:50

Well they go straight into yr1 and miss reception from what I can gather, which I think would make it harder for them to settle in. I have a late July DS who is due to start reception next September - I don't think I would keep him at home for another a year.

CantSleepWontSleep Wed 03-Sep-08 21:33:25

There has to be a cut off point somewhere. Why would you want to defer? My birthday is August and I never had any problem being one of the youngest in my year. If you keep yours back it might hit them at some point in their school life that you thought they 'weren't up to it'.

No idea if it's actually possible to defer or not.

Washersaurus Wed 03-Sep-08 21:33:48

I should add, my DS is at preschool (which he loves) so I have no doubt he will be fine when joining Reception class at school.

ChasingSquirrels Wed 03-Sep-08 22:20:09

they don't have to go to school until the beginning of the term after they turn 5 - so Sep just after their 5th Aug birthday for your child.
they would go straight into yr1 - which may be a problem for some children.
my friend's ds1 is 6 wks older than my ds1 - her boy is mid-Aug, mine is late Sep. I wasn't in the position, but there is no way I would have wanted my ds to go when her ds did - and she didn't think it was the best thing for him really - but he went, and has been fine.
2 or 3 entries a year (as we had when I went to school - I have a May birthday, so started school after Easter when I was nearly 5) seems so much more child friendly.
There were most definately some of the younger kids who had a really hard time with the first couple of terms in reception. but would they have been better off not going? - who knows.

TheDuchessOfNork Fri 05-Sep-08 00:31:19

If you defer, I would suggest you only did so until Spring or Summer term. That way your DC will still get some of the benefit of 'learning through play' in Reception before the harder, more structured, academic learning kicks in at Year 1.

I have Year 1 & Year 2 DCs and know the July/Aug children in each class, they are generally further behind in social & emotional development and academic study but certainly our teachers expected this and do not put unreasonable demands on them. And they are catching up. As for coping with the daily routine of school (listening/behaving/managing their lunch/playtime/assembly etc) they have all been fine.

My DCs have had children join their classes through the year and they have settled in well, everyone soon forgets that the 'new kid' is er, new!

So basically, it'll be fine, whatever you choose to do!

yehudiwho Fri 05-Sep-08 11:15:39

My ds has a 30/8 birthday and started reception in Feb after half term - purely because the school only took them 1/2 days until the term when they were 5 and I couldnt do that with my working pattern. he settled in fine and made friends immediately and loved it- its just like nursery really mostly play. he's now started year one and I think it helps as he already has freinds and makes the transition to 'real' school less traumatic- there's a boy who started year one as new and ds said I dont know his name and I just play with my friends. I was slightly worried about his summer born thing but really its not a problem-Look at reception as free child care and the less we stress the less they do

FairyBasslet Fri 05-Sep-08 17:46:09

I'm not in your position (DS turns 5 on Sunday and starts school on Monday) but if I were, I'd seriously consider deferring.

My friend's DS turned 4 last August 29th then started school a few days later. As he is quite a shy child, my friend was worried about him making friends and settling in though he seems to have done well in that respect.

The problem has been with the learning. No matter what they say about 'learning through play' etc the teachers are under pressure to tick the boxes and have all the children at a specific level by end of Reception. This little boy struggled and believe me, I know he's very bright. The parents had to go up to see the teacher and what ensued was a rather stressful time of lots of extra 'homework' after school and at weekends. My friend even took a couple of weeks' unpaid leave over the summer to make sure he kept up his progress.

And all this because they were told if he didn't hit the targets the school would have to label him as special needs.

As it is, just before the end of Reception, he started to make some real progress and when his mum asked him about this, he nonchalantly said, "I'm a little more grown up now mummy".

I have to add that I am Scottish where the system is different and for instance I didn't start school until I was 5 and 8 months so to me, for a just 4 year old to have to go to school is pretty harsh.

mazzystar Fri 05-Sep-08 17:49:43

I think there have been some precedents lately where August birthday children have deferred and started in Reception.

FairyBasslet Fri 05-Sep-08 17:57:55

Forgot to add that although Scottish, we live in England so DS is part of the English system and I feel most fortunate that he was not born early. By contrast my friend's DS mentioned above was 3 weeks early therefore slipped into the year above much to her disappointment.

bekkaboo Fri 05-Sep-08 20:12:47

Thank you everyone for your advice, I have made the decision that he will not go until 5. Maybe a little earlier but certainly not 4 days past his 4th birthday. I feel he would benefit much more by another 12 months at home and pre school and after hearing they have to stay at school till 17 its
seems a minor option. You've been a great help and ill still watch with intrest for more advise x

jollydo Fri 05-Sep-08 20:16:26

FairyBasslet - I'm shock at pressure and extra homework for a reception child not meeting targets - is this usual? Surely schools/the system must make some allowance for children developing at different rates and for the difference between a just-4 year old and a nearly-5. Poor boy, but good for him for realising his age was the real reason for his struggling. It could really knock some childrens' confidence.

FairyBasslet Sat 06-Sep-08 23:39:47

Jollydo - not sure how normal this is. I was absolutely furious on my friend's behalf when she told me she'd been summoned to the school but apparently she was quite happy with the way the school and the teacher handled it. The teacher apparently said "we all know that J is too young to be here but there's nothing we can do about that now so let's concentrate on how to make things better for him".

It makes me so sad though as said friend has started doing letters with her DS2 who starts school this time next year to avoid being in the same situation again. I think he's quite interested in it but I still think he should be able to just be a child. I don't blame the parents or the teacher to be honest - just the system and the government.

DS is going to the same school and has the same Reception teacher so we'll see (although obviously DS will be a year older so I'm hoping should be ok).

Bekkaboo - I think you've made the correct decision. I think we put far too much pressure on our children in this country at a ridiculously early age. It's been proven that kids in Scandinavia who start formal schooling at 7 end up doing far better academically than our kids who are pushed into it at 4.

mumof2monsters Sat 06-Sep-08 23:51:42

My DS birthday is 29th August. The cut off for school before he started was 31st August therefore he started school a week after his 5th birthday. He did half days until the first half term.
He is now 7 and the youngest in his year, however, he is very bright and has never been behind any other children, infact he has just got tops in all the sats for his age.
His best friend is practically a year older and there is no difference. The only thing my DS suffered with was tiredness physically.
I have to say although he was very young when he started he was ready for school at 4 and although I found it hard it was the best thing for him.
I personally would not defer school for a year as i think they need the reception year and it is important to bond with the other children.
My son is going into year 3 on monday and he loves school.

mumof2monsters Sat 06-Sep-08 23:55:31

Sorry previous message should have been DS started school a week after his 4th birthday not 5th. Got brain ache tonight!

mazzystar Sun 07-Sep-08 00:08:13

As well as age, clearly it depends upon the child. I know some children who are too young for this year's intake but who could clearly cope with/enjoy school and some who are starting in September who would really benefit from another year of nursery.

Also, I know it appears to be convention for those with an August birthday to defer till year one, but as far as I am aware its not compulsory. What is to stop them starting in reception? I can see that it might be tricky if a school is oversubscribed, but if not. what's the problem?

Feenie Sun 07-Sep-08 00:13:47

Check with the school - we often have children who start a year later, but they just go into Reception and remain with the year group below. Seems to be the norm in our area for these children (Headingley, Leeds) and seems kinder than going straight into Year 1.

I wouldn't recommend it, however; we also have lots of August birthdays who start with their proper year group, and they are always fine too.

CapricaSix Sun 07-Sep-08 09:25:26

Haven't read rest of thread but my quick reply is that dd is an August baby and so had just turned 4 when she started school. She was officially a January starter but the school insisted it is far better to start full time in Sept, so we did that. If I had stood firm on a January start, she would be new whereas the others would have all settled in already. Plus, her child care was changing that January from my friend & mum to a childminder so I thought it made sense that she had that first term to settle at school rather than it all happen at once.

If I had deferred to the following sept, she would have started in Year 1, and would have missed out on all the huge benefits that Reception gives (getting used to school in a much more relaxed, play-based way) plus again, she would have been new while everyone else would have made friends, known the school etc.

It was lucky that contrary to what I expected, dd settled in really quickly and loved it from the start, and apart from the first few weeks, wasn't necessarily more over tired than anyone else. Plus, ability wise she has turned out to be one of the top of the class in spite of being the youngest! (Not that I am bothered about that sort of thing, but it's worth noting i think in case that is of concern.)

luckylady74 Sun 07-Sep-08 09:39:43

I think you are doing thr right thing - only you know your child well enough to make this decision.You can help settle him in when ever he starts with playdates and the teacher will be able to focus on settling him in.
My ds1 started in the jan before he was 5 in the march. My twins will start on the day of their 5th bday as that is the start of the jan term in 2010! Looking at my twins who are 4 in jan, the idea of them starting school in jan is hilarious - they are bright but still babies in many ways.
Reception is play based, but there's a fair bit of sitting at tables and not much space if it's like my ds1's school.
I don't believe you have to 'prepare' kids so much by sending them earlier-a couple of mornings preschool is ok for that surely - the most valuable thing is their physical and emotional maturity.

lingle Sun 07-Sep-08 10:05:03

Bekkaboo, join the club- I'm 90% sure that DS2 is not going at 4yrs 11 days (ie next year) because he's a late talker. I think it's time for a general support thread on this topic. DS1 thrives at school, having started at 4.9. Had he started at 4 it would have been so different. But other children are so so ready at just 4.
Be ready for some hostility - many parents had a gut feeling that their child wasn't ready but then they went with the flow because there is so much pressure to do so - some of them (forgivably) feel very defensive when they find out that others have actually taken the plunge and deferred. My friend has not sent her child this year to his older sister's school. She has learnt that she has to be very careful in the playground to emphasise her child's particular circumstances, and not to give her views on the school system as a whole (which one headmaster in our area described quite simply as "cruel and inappropriate").

Others find it hard to distinguish between the very high level of statistical proof that August borns suffer throughout their school years (IFS report as accepted by the Government) and their own child's readiness for reception at 4.

Don't give up on entering reception next year. In the Bradford LEA you can do this (two members of Bradford's executive council have August born boys and that's no coincidence I reckon). Wait for Sir Jim Rose's report in October - he has been briefed by the Government to come up with some more "flexible" options for summer-born children. The tide is turning in favour of those who need more flexibility.

Enjoy the extra year with your LO and keep in touch.

pudding25 Sun 07-Sep-08 12:12:43

I teach yr 1. I think school starts far too early in this country. However, it does. I do not think you should hold your child back and wait until they go into yr 1. IMO, it will be detrimental to them. Yr 1 is a totally different ball game from reception. Apart from the work, the children will have already had a yr at school to learn social behaviour, school rules, bond with each other etc. I know that children change schools and fit in fine, but they will have already had the school experience.

Fairyblasset Your friend's experience seems way out of the ordinary. Were they at a private school? Reception teachers are well aware of the differences in ages and how it can affect children and will deal with it accordingly. Also, reception children do not get much homework, a bit of reading, maybe a little sheet to do, if that.
Reception is all about learning through play. It is fun for the children and they learn many important skills which they need to move onto year 1.

Also, for the past 2 years, the children in my class who were August birthdays were some of the brightest and mature children I have taught so it does not always mean that they will be behind. As far as I am aware, stats show that by the end of primary, young children have caught up with their peers.

I am sorry to have gone on, and at the end of the day it is your decision to make. However, I do feel that sending him to reception with his peers will benefit him greatly.

jellybeans Sun 07-Sep-08 12:21:39

My DSs were 4 and a few days when they started. One of them took longer to settle but overall they did great. They caught up with the older ones by the end of year 1 and they had speech issues and reading issues to begin with. I am glad I didn't defer them.

lingle Sun 07-Sep-08 14:20:12

Feenie, how interesting that Leeds also allows deferred children into reception. I had got the impression from Mumsnet that it was just Bradford (because there are so many posts about unsuccessful posts to defer for a year).

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