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Starting school later

(7 Posts)
mastertomsmum Tue 09-Jun-09 16:41:49

My son could start school in Sept 2009 when he will be 4 yrs and 10 days.

Our thinking one year ago was that he should start in 2010 not 2009. Our thinking behind this was based on the fact he was 8 weeks prem., is small and shows some signs of emotional youthfulness.

He'll be going to an indepedent school where - a year ago - they were very keen on the 2010 option. In March, following a visit by the headmistress to his preschool, we were informed that he seemed to be doing v.well and we should consider whether 2009 or 2010 was best.

We did everything right, talking to pre school/nursery staff and thinking very, very carefully before reconciling any doubts we had and opting for 2009.

After a familiarisation programme that took place last month the school asked us to reconsider our decision and opt for 2010.

We are in bits . Whilst I can easily return to the old arguments and make them feel right very easily, the fact remains that DS is very much aware of what is going on and making the transition back to talk of 'not leaving pre school' is not passing off without comment from him.

During the consultative process with preschool/nursery the message regarding learning skills was obvious. He has no problems there at all.

The school say he did not interact enough with other children and was presenting as a younger child. They also said he was very much smaller than other kids there.

Nursery/preschool are surprised but happy to have 'such a lovely boy' for another year. Nursery manager was angry and upset that we've had to go through this traumatic turn around and said that it was 'out of order' to mention he was small as she considered that irrelevant.

Anyone been through similiar or have any thoughts?

LIZS Tue 09-Jun-09 16:56:49

oh goodness what a confusion Unfortunately independent schools can be selective on this basis whereas state schools would only recommend starting out of year in very limited circumstances. Your problem may come if he has to transfer from one system into another at any point, and rejoin his offical peer group a year "ahead".

mastertomsmum Tue 09-Jun-09 17:00:03

Luckily, he is in a 3 up room at his nursery/preschool and the next room is 4 up, so most of the children he mixes with are going to school next yr.

Unluckily, 2 children from the 4 up room are going and he knows one of them quite well.

Littlefish Tue 09-Jun-09 21:20:15

I agree with LIZS - is there any chance that he is going to have to transfer to the state system at any point in the future?

sunnydelight Wed 10-Jun-09 12:21:14

You need to make this decision based on what is right for YOUR child, not on who else may or may not be going to school this year. Although I appreciate that you are confused at what has happened, personally I would look on the positive and be grateful that if the school don't feel he's ready quite yet you have a choice. I have had the experience of a just 4 year old boy starting reception in the UK and struggling all the way through primary, and the luxury of choosing to give DD an extra year of pe-school here in Australia and starting her in school a couple of weeks before her 6TH BIRTHDAY! She is thriving, loves school etc. and I feel so sad for DS1 (now 15) that I didn't have the choice to hold him back. I have never yet met anyone who has regretted keeping a child in a pre-school/nursery setting for another year, I have met plenty who have regretted sending kids early. Just my experience of course, but if I were you I would relax and let your DS have another year of play.

furrycat Wed 10-Jun-09 13:04:20

Purely out of curiosity, how tall/ small is he?

My ds is going to school in Sept and he is tiny - 95cm. It's a state school admittedly but it hasn't even occurred to me that it's a problem that he's "too small".

It seems utterly ridiculous to suggest a child is too small for school.

mastertomsmum Sat 20-Jun-09 19:42:05

He's about 96cm. Wears 3-4 top, ie correct size agewise, but 2-3 trs and sometimes 18-24 month ones. Mostly for waist measurement but also 3-4 are usually too long.

He's petite, sml hands and feet but eats well. At 3 yr check the HV had no size based concerns or any others, in fact.

I think the key thing they said at the school was that at the play visit they felt he was 'presenting as a younger child'. There are ways in which I dispute this - for example, I don't think he would have paralell played with children he knew, but am not surprised he did this with children he didn't know. There are other levels on which I entirely agree - innocence, sometimes finds it hard to share.

He was 8 weeks prem and so we have always had a feeling he 'should' be oldest in yr not youngest. So we've come to terms with the change in plan as much as we can.

Nursery, acknowledge that he presents as a young in yr child but can square the circle by pointing out that he outperforms many in his peer group on the intellectual side.

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