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Rising 5s- did you delay your child's school start date

(6 Posts)
sillysillysally Fri 19-Sep-08 22:16:14

DS will be one of the youngest in the year being a July baby. As a result he will have only just turned four when the school year starts and I'm seriously considering delaying his school start. I keep hearing about how the youngest in the year perform worst at exams etc. Will it make any difference if I delay his start? I realise it's not that straight forward! He's already in nursery 3 days a week so damage has probably already been done poor lad.

TotalChaos Fri 19-Sep-08 22:18:03

check with your LEA if they will allow 5 year olds to start reception, or if they end up going straight into year 1.

Dottoressa Fri 19-Sep-08 22:22:55

I delayed May-born DS's school entry; he did the summer term in Reception, then went into Y1. I'm doing the same with June-born DD, who "should" have started Reception two weeks ago, but who won't go until next April!

Any difference it has made to DS has been positive. He's now in Y2, and is several light years ahead of his classmates academically (though this is a different problem altogether!!) He seems to have fitted in fine with his classmates, though as there are only 11 of them, that might have helped him to settle more easily.

Overall, I think he benefited from a later start, and I think DD will as well. She still enjoys trotting round helping me, and on the whole, I feel that she gets more out of being at home and spending three mornings at nursery school as she would get out of Reception.

It has helped that we've gone for a private school, as they are more flexible about admissions (in our area, anyway). If they'd gone to the local primary school, there was no option but to start in the September following their fourth birthday, as the place would go to someone else who was prepared to take up the place at the start of the year!

Dottoressa Fri 19-Sep-08 22:23:55

I should have added that missing Reception altogether really wouldn't matter a bean!

sillysillysally Fri 19-Sep-08 22:34:27

Thanks Dottoressa. The LEA will let you delay a child's start as long as they still start in that academic year. So we couldn't delay for a whole year but an April start would be good. We won't have the luxury of such a small class though and I do worry that he'll miss out on forming friendships.

Dottoressa Fri 19-Sep-08 22:49:23

I didn't worry about that with DS (as he isn't bothered about friends - he's just bothered about books!!), but that does worry me a bit with DD, whose main interest in life is her friends. On balance, I feel that she'll make friends more readily when she's really, really ready to be there (if she were there now, she'd spend so much time being totally exhausted that she wouldn't have time for anything else!)

A little girl did join DS's class recently, and it was interesting to see that she made friends with the other girls very quickly. Again, it's probably easier when there are only four other girls in the class (though maybe that could make it even more difficult in another way?!) The school does bend over backwards to help new children to fit in, and I'm sure this would be the same at most schools. Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

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