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Gradual introduction to primary school and all the different times they go in the first few weeks - how on earth do you organise/achieve it especially if you work???

(50 Posts)
TheGoddessBlossom Tue 09-Sep-08 09:08:41

My DS1 is 4 on Thursday so does not actualy start till next year. But I am amazed at the toing and froing involved in these first few weeks of all his friends starting school. ie, first week of 1.30 to 3.30, second week of 9 to 11, third week of 9 to 11 on earth do mothers who work actually manage to organise this? One mother I have just spoken to said her parents have had to move in with them for 5 weeks so that her and her husband can still go to work!

How is everyone else coping with this?

cluckyagain Tue 09-Sep-08 09:11:55

I don;t have this problem at the moment as not in paid employment however, just wanted to take my hat off to you for doing it!! I honestly don't know how you're supposed to do it and work - night on impossible or as your friend said - have a live in help/picker upper for a few weeks. Good luck!

FAQ Tue 09-Sep-08 09:14:09

gosh that's sound - they're part-time at the school DS2 is about to start - but it's set either mornings or afternoons until October - so at least parents know what is going on and can (hopefully) organise work/childcare more easily

Clary Wed 10-Sep-08 00:59:12

Well we have done this twice; what we did was whizz home in lunch hour and grab DD or DS2 and take to lovely childminder who was happy to still have her/him.

Not possible for folk who live long way from work tho (we are lucky, 10 min drive). Otherwise more local CM ie close to school would be an option. Or get a mum pal to pick up and you do it on yr day off?

We just do about a week and a half of half days which makes it easier.

Pawslikepaddington Wed 10-Sep-08 01:07:12

All the mums at our (tiny) school are off work/have au pairs (bar me, I'm lucky in that I don't go back until October), so we are all managing, but there is one mum who has to work and I think her family is rallying round-he has been picked up and dropped off by somebody different every time. It is unsettling for the children-dd was hysterical today when I picked her up as she saw some children go to the afternoon session as we were leaving and she wanted to stay for the full day.

Hulababy Wed 10-Sep-08 09:04:42

The OP sytem sounds a working parent's nightmare!

DD started a couple of years ago and the first 4 days were part time - 2 days until 11:30; 2 days until after lunch. I thought that was bad enough. From the year after I noticed the new starters do full time from the start and this seems to be working really well.

I had to take a week's holiday - luckily I have lots.

sarah293 Wed 10-Sep-08 09:07:31

Message withdrawn

ilkainnorthants Wed 10-Sep-08 20:41:06

I'd really be interested what every one thinks about the half day introduction to school. I have ds1 in reception at the moment and I will have to work around the half days until the end of September (I have friends that don't have full days until the week before half term!). My employer kind of works with me on this but does not make me feel very comfortable about it (well why should he). I pick up my boy and then have later in the afternoon either grandma helping out (she has to come a long way) or have afternoon sessions booked at his old nursery. Then I try to get a few more hours of work in and a few more in the evening. I really struggle to see the point of this long drawn out introduction phase. Am I just a horrible mum or is anyone thinking in the same kind of line.

VirginiaWoolf Wed 10-Sep-08 20:57:33

DD was part-time for 2 terms, 9 - 12.50 (summer birthday, so only 1 full-time term in Reception) and DS will be the same next year. We had to think about it all massively in advance, and it was one of the big factors in determining where we moved to when we needed a bigger house - nursery will do the drop-offs/pick-ups and after-school club.
When agonising over childcare for DD whilst planning my return to work from maternity leave, a colleague said that care for babies was easy to sort; only when they went to school did it become a nightmare - at the time I didn't believe her....

VirginiaWoolf Wed 10-Sep-08 20:58:11

Aaargh, it was 9 - 11.50, not 12.50....

soopermum1 Wed 10-Sep-08 23:08:47

DS has had 2 weeks of mornings only at school. i work full time, but have managed to persuade my work to let me work from home or do mornings in the office and then have afternoons off, so have taken a week's holiday spread over the 2 weeks. DH has little holiday left and i have no family/childminder. i've just had to save my holidays.

DS is in school 08:55 to 1:30 at the mo, so it's a long enough time. headteacher seems to be very sympathetic to working parents and is keen on just getting kids into school with as little fuss as possible.

am also settling him in at breakfast andd after school club so the to-ing anf fro-ing back and forth to the school is a PITA, but good exercise, i suppose.

pinkteddy Wed 10-Sep-08 23:15:26

At dd's school reception kids don't even start until next week. Then its 5 weeks of half days so its almost half term before they go full time. Its an absolute nightmare for childcare. Luckily I have family living close that can help. I really cannot see the point of this long drawn out 'settling in' phase. It seems extremely unsettling to me! dd very frustrated that she not at school yet when everyone else is as well.

swedishmum Wed 10-Sep-08 23:19:10

Well, my dd's school is sensible. She has two mornings of 9 till 11.30 this week then in full time. Obviously they are flexible with those who need more part time sessions. Most of the intake were doing 3 whole days anyway.

ivykaty44 Wed 10-Sep-08 23:27:32

It was a complete and utter nightmare, I had to leave my dd in nursery full time and then take her in and out of nursery to go to school. I used my lunch break and tea breaks and bribed my line manager and bribed my dad to help. Thank goodness I shall never have to do it again - although it is a good way of losing weight wink as no time for lunch and lots of rushing to and fro.

I don't remember this happening before the 1980's - back then you went to school and that was it from day one you stayed all day. When did it start?

NorthernLurker Wed 10-Sep-08 23:40:24

I think it's all a load of tosh to be quite frank! Thankfully my children's school took the sensible approach of leaving the option down to the parent concerned. Had I had an only just four year old then I might have been tempted to do a few 1/2 days but this thing that goes on for weeks is just adding unnecessary pressure on working parents in my view. As it was both my girls were approaching the 5th birthdays and were happy to last the day. I don't think schools can compel you to do short days so if it doesn't suit you and you think your child can do a full day then just jump in with that.

ChippyMinton Thu 11-Sep-08 08:31:14

It's a load of unnecessary nonsense IMO.

DD doesn't start until next week, two weeks after the rest of the school went back, so the older kids are well settled into their new routine. They stagger the intake over three days, and it's full-time straight away.

In terms of childcare, I have continued my usual arrangements (MIL, swapping with DD's friend's mum), although DD is obviously at around all day rather than spending the morning at pre-school.

ilkainnorthants Thu 11-Sep-08 13:00:08

I am glad to see that there are a few schools out there that seem to be sensible. Unfortunatly my ds's school does not provide a breakfast or after school club(small village school). And it was never mentioned that the half day sessions could be optional. Everyone has to follow the same rules on this one. I am now asked to do a few new projects at work and I don't think I am in a position to say no, but I am dreading having to find childcare whenever any meetings or travel require it.
I'd love to challenge the whole thing. It will come around again with ds2. It's 3 years to go, so maybe someone has come to their senses by then.

katierocket Thu 11-Sep-08 13:02:39

it's ridiculous - my niece has 3 weeks of half days and with older brother in year 1 it means that my brother and SIL have had to factor in 9 weeks of trying to cover work days.

compo Thu 11-Sep-08 13:05:11

I work part time
First week mornings only so I've taken 2 days leave
2nd week afternoons only dh has taken leave
3rd week mornings again - both of our works are short staffed so I have taken morning off and will go in at lunchtime after picking up from school, dh has taken afternoons off

all this leave means we don't have enough leave to have much togther any more so no holidays this year as we are splitting our leave for the school holidays sad

Fennel Thu 11-Sep-08 13:05:17

My 3 have all been at schools which started on full days from the start, we did partly choose the first school because of this. I would just say we couldn't do it and the child would have to start a few weeks later but full time. I don't see how they can insist, if you are preapred to start a bit later.

funnypeculiar Thu 11-Sep-08 13:06:05

If you can get a childminder who is happy to do school pick-ups/drop offs, it's reasonably easy - ds is ams only for all of this term, so his cm picks him up at lunchtime.

BUT the problem for cms is that the non-ft children still use up an under 5s place, so you'll probably find still have to pay for them as if they were ft at the cm.

DaisySteiner Thu 11-Sep-08 13:06:59

It's ridiculous!

Our school has the best policy IMHO - they can go full time straight away, or you can put them in part time for as long as you like until the term after their 5th birthday. It recognises that every child is different and allow the parent to decide what their child is capable of doing. Mine all started off with 1 or 2 afternoons a week at home and gradually built up to full time, which worked very well for us.

They do all the phonics, reading, writing etc in the morning when virtually all the children are there and the other stuff in the afternoon so that kids don't miss out acadmically if they go home for the afternoon.

funnypeculiar Thu 11-Sep-08 13:07:28

Reading some of these, I think our school's policy - although it stretches over a longer time, is almost easier as it is at least possible to find a longish term soln

bojangles Thu 11-Sep-08 13:18:30

On the other hand....DD has just started school where they start full time from day 1 and I would love a more gradual start as she is finding it a shock to the system and is incredibly tired. Either way with a strict policy seems harsh and I think the best way is to have parental choice over how they start. Work is much harder to fit around school than nursery and I am just relieved that I am currently off work with pregnancy related sickness.

OrmIrian Thu 11-Sep-08 13:20:03

Ha ha ha.....<hysterical laughter>

It's a pita isn't it. Done it 3 times now and I never ever ever have to do it again <dances with joy>. 11 weeks of afternoons only for the last one.

Sorry. Nothing constructive to suggest but yes, you have all my sympathy.

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