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Is anyone else's child doing 6 weeks of mornings only in Reception?

(45 Posts)
stephla Wed 17-Sep-08 22:51:06

Sorry this is a bit of a rant.. We have 6 weeks of school 9am-12 noon then a week's holiday. This is nearly a whole year's holiday allowance.

Is this some sinister plot to only recruit perfect little children blessed with SAHM?

I have begged every favour of every relative. I have taken days and days of holiday. I have worked just the mornings from home.

I have conference calls to the background of Bob The Builder. I plan projects with my left hand and playdoh models with my right.

The boy has been doing 3 days a week full time daycare since he was 1. Ten days in and it is driving us both round the bend.

What I want to know is:

1) What justification is there for this apart from it makes the teacher's job so much easier?

2) And what's everyone else doing about this? Should I just have employed a temp nanny? Everyone else I speak to is SAHM or very flexble jobs.

Judd Wed 17-Sep-08 22:55:09

I think all areas have different settling in periods. DS started Weds 4th afternoons only, then by Friday of the following week he was fulltime. All the primary schools around here (Stockport) seem to have them in fulltime within 2 weeks. I think other MNers may have different stories though!

I always think it must be a logistical nightmare for parents to have it going any longer, and of course, as you say, many have been used to daycare settings which last far longer than the school day.

PrettyCandles Wed 17-Sep-08 22:57:05

This is the standard Reception entry system in my area - Sep and Jan entries do a full term of half days, only April entries do it until half term. Most of the working mums arranged for their child to return to the previous childcare at lunchtime just for the first term. And, yes, most of them find it inconvenient!

The system makes a lot of sense to me if the whole yeargroup begins in September, as full days from the start can be very tough on the younger ones, and also on older starters who have never done full days away from home. But if, as with us, they stagger the entries by age throughout the year, then I'm not convinced it is really necessary, not a full term of half days, anyway.

dilbertina Wed 17-Sep-08 23:04:10

Yep, me too. bummer isn't it? I work 3 days/week so have arranged a swap with a friend with dd in same class. She collects both girls on 3 days and I do other 2... Sounds like an easy solution but I can assure you, I only managed to sort it out after months of stressing over what to do....

and guess what? The teacher AND teaching assistant have to manage to look after just 5 children in afternoons. I actually think it is a little unfair that these children get a term of such individual teaching time merely because they were born a day or more sooner than the other 22 children - who all start full-time together after Xmas. If it was based on individual child development stage I would be happier, and particularly if it was focused on children that needed the extra attention for some reason....

Seems arbitary, totally impractical for many working parents and generally quite silly from my perspective...

wessexgirl Wed 17-Sep-08 23:07:15

Yes, dd1's school does this. Best friend's school does 3 days a week (2 half-class, 1 full-class). It varies around town.

I think whichever way the cake is sliced, people will experience difficulties. Dd1's friend's mum has had to take on weekend work so she can be available to pick up her dd on the days her mum is working sad.

VirginiaWoolf Wed 17-Sep-08 23:22:48

DD was mornings only for 2 terms.....

Hangingbellyofbabylon Wed 17-Sep-08 23:27:14

I know it must be an real pain for working parents, I have thought about this and there doesn't seem to be a real solution. In our case my dd is a real young one - was only 4 at the end of August and I am really pleased that she's mornings only until half term, I can't imagine how any of us would have coped if she had had to go full-time straight away.

Dropdeadfred Wed 17-Sep-08 23:34:22

my dd3 will start school next september and I have just learnt that she will do TWO whole terms of half days before she finally starts full time in summer 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!

littlestrawberry Wed 17-Sep-08 23:39:32

Last year when DS1 started those with summer term birthdays didn't go full time until after christmas. Thankfully DS1 was an October birthday so he went full time after a few days. This year with a new headteacher all the reception children are going fulltime next week. So my July born DS2 will be absolutely knackered next week but its fab for me because I work nights so will get more sleepgrin

I feel for all of you in this position. The holidays were nightmare enough.

pooka Wed 17-Sep-08 23:42:32

DD did 2 mornings 9am to 12pm. And then the following week straight into full days. Round here each school is different, with some doing half a term of mornings.

With dd though, she was a January starter, so makes sense to get going asap.

Pawslikepaddington Wed 17-Sep-08 23:45:55

All dd's friends went straight into full days, we have six weeks of 9am-12pm. I am meant to be working from home, but nothing is getting done as I am looking after a dd who is too tired and unsettled to engage in anything but not tired enough to nap/settle into a story etc, so am getting flack there, and also nothing is getting done for dd either as I'm trying to work-it's driving me mad!

pinkteddy Wed 17-Sep-08 23:55:37

This is a real bug bear of mine. At dd's school they only started the reception kids today! And they are doing 6 weeks of 9-11:30am (until after October half term). They then go full time. There are no special arrangements for the younger ones (which I could understand) - everyone is on the same system.

If it was a gradual transition to full time eg: couple of weeks morning only, then lunch as well, then full time, I could see the sense in that too - I can see no sense in this system at all! Almost all the kids have already done 9-11:30am in the nursery for a year as well so they are very familiar with the school and its environment already.

HonoriaGlossop Thu 18-Sep-08 00:16:49

school is different to nursery, there are different expectations and a totally different set-up with only one, or maybe two, adults to 30 kids. It's done with the child's best interests at heart because school IS different from nursery/pre-school.

I'm a working mum and yes it is hard but for many, many children it's a very valuable slow start to school which starts too young anyway IMO.

mice Thu 18-Sep-08 00:24:26

But Pawslikepaddington - doesn't that mean that your dd would be too tired to be at school in the afternoon too?

HonoriaGlossop Thu 18-Sep-08 01:39:14

exactly mice. it seems the modus operandi is that she can be too tired to engage, just so long as it's not at home!

geekgirl Thu 18-Sep-08 07:00:59

thankfully we only do 3 weeks of mornings, and then 1 week of mornings & lunch until ds goes full-time.

I am a SAHM and am still completely tearing my hair out with this set-up blush (really sorry to moan - I can only imagine what an utter nightmare this must be if you're a WOHM) - am forever trekking up and down the hill to school (I have dds there to pick up at 3:30) plus ds used to do 3 full days at nursery and is now bouncing off the walls all afternoon and firing question after question at me until bedtime ("What does the inside of bones look like?" "Are prawns scared when we pick them up?")hmm

He's got an autumn birthday and would cope fine being there all day.

Oh well. Only another 7 school days to go.

Pawslikepaddington Thu 18-Sep-08 07:19:42

No, that's not what I meant-I should have said more hyper than tired really. She can't do anything-she has to constantly chop and change onto something else, and can't settle at all. I'm sorry to say that some mum's can't just sit with their child and bake all day-some of us have work and have deadlines, and sadly your child being at school is the only way to get the work in on time.

Honoria - because I am saying I have work that needs to be in it OBVIOUSLY means I'm putting that before dd and shoving her in a corner all afternoon and wanting to paw her off on all and sundry. In fact I'm trying to get it done between 9pm and 4am, which is a bad set up for all concerned, as I'm tired, dd is tired, and the house is going into meltdown. However, three more hours at school would mean yes she was very tired but could nap at school/home, they are still allowed if they need one you know, and I could get this work in and not be constantly worried and distracted.

stitch Thu 18-Sep-08 07:27:14

i am a sahm, and i think it is utter madness. part of the reason i have to be a sahm is because of silly things like this, otherwise dh would not be able to work. i dont understand the reasons for it. i dont understand why other people put up with it. i dont believe it is of any benefit ot the kids. or the teachers. it is just utter twaddle.
ds was in full time daycare from the age of 17 months. the first time he did a two and a half hour slotin the school nursery, he looked at me weirdly, as if to say, 'what are youdoing here so early?' he was four. subsequent children have been raring to go. imo, only pfb types, with parents with pfb tendencies need this type of mollycoddling. unfortunately, the schools tend to cater to them, as i think they are worried that they are the parents who will make the most fuss

TheConfusedOne Thu 18-Sep-08 07:31:04

Here in Dorset, the mornings only is till January, which is nightmare for me as a CM.

I have to charge a full day to parents as, the part time school child doesn't count as 5 (to go up to are next ratio bracket) till they are at full time school!

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Thu 18-Sep-08 07:32:18

all schools are different. my dd went in half a day her first day and then had to come home for lunch the rest of the first week. after that she could stay all day.

my friends dd1 started at different times each day the first week. i.e. she went after dinner the first day then for her dinner and the afternoon the next day, then 11am the next day.

LazyLinePainterJane Thu 18-Sep-08 07:37:57

here it is mornings only for a week, but that includes staying for lunch. Full time after that.

Not sure I could stand 6 weeks!

Pawslikepaddington Thu 18-Sep-08 07:41:52

And sadly it doesn't make our teacher's job any easier too as year 1 and reception are in together, so she still has the year 1's all afternoon. Why do they vary so wildly from school to school? I am enjoying being able to pick dd up and talk about her day, go through the reading books etc, but the schools nearest schools in three directions all go full days from day 1 (approx 2 miles away from ours).

frogs Thu 18-Sep-08 08:12:21

Mine were all full time from day 1. smile

DontCallMeBaby Thu 18-Sep-08 08:18:36

Six weeks of mornings? <dons flat cap> You've got it easy ... hmm

3.5 weeks of alternating mornings and afternoons.

2 weeks alternating mornings and afternoons but with lunch tacked onto the morning sessions.

1 week mornings plus lunch (whole of Reception in together, not just half the class)

1 week full-time!

Then half term (one week and two days, thank you SO much LEA for giving us the seven day half term in autumn, grr)

It's doing my head in, even though I've been able to take the first four weeks off, and then a bit more, and I live two minutes from the school, and I don't have other children (so no todder to drag to school twice a day, and no older child to mean I have to do the school run FOUR times).

I do understand the need for a settling-in period - it's a big school (two full classes in each year, so 60 kids), and has no nursery so the most familiar a child will be with it already is if they've been dropping off an older sibling. It could be a little shorter ... but most of all I don't know what the rationale is behind the 'diagonal days'.

Elibean Thu 18-Sep-08 09:57:49

dd's school is mornings only until January. And the younger kids (summer babies) do afternoons only, so they have a smaller group to get used to initially.

The school has several CM-ing Mums, and lots of the ft working mums use them for the afternoons atm...its a small school, so I guess people know each other and help each other out a lot. I see Dads picking up, friends, grandparents...everyone muddling through, but no one seems to mind so far, not sure why.

tbh, some of the kids I know would be fine doing full days straight away - others would really struggle. It does depend on what they're used to, how old they are etc.

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