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Just heard our school is scrapping Jan start. DD not 4 till late July!!

(38 Posts)
DisasterZone Tue 07-Jul-09 22:54:58

Having agonised over which school, and been reasonably happy with our allocation of a place at our no.2 choice, we now hear from the school that they aren't offering the Jan 10 start that the LEA told us was going to be our DDs offer.

She only is 4 on July 29th so will be 4yrs, 6wks old when she starts. She is big and pretty confident and enjoys nursery but I'm having second thoughts about what to do. I don't even know if we can gamble on getting an offer for January elsewhere.

Has anyone held their child back a year, and if so, why?? What is the situation with this, as all I know is that they have to start school by the time they are 5. Does this mean the next term after their 5th birthday? As she's 5 in the holidays??

Help!! Thanks!

ItsAllaBitNoisy Tue 07-Jul-09 23:01:38

Wait till next September.

I sent my DD just turned 4 and she has struggled ever since. It is school policy to not keep them back a year, but to support them in the classroom (doesn't work).

I so wish someone had told me back then. sad

ItsAllaBitNoisy Tue 07-Jul-09 23:02:30

Sorry it is our schools policy not to keep children back a year.

theITgirl Tue 07-Jul-09 23:04:33

OK mine were April & late May babies but I would have loved a Sept start for both of them. They were very bored with Nursery for the last term and this was the only time I had problems getting them to go to school (now 8 & 5).
Now working as a TA in a different school and it is very scary the difference between the two reception classes (might be due to a poor teacher compared to an excellent one though).
Also in my DD's school they haven't even finsihed their phonics and getting some quite difficult books home but only since half term. It is as if they thought 'Oh Shit' we have to do something to level the classes up. I have highlighted to DD's teachers that they are in danger of convincing DD that she cannot read, whereas I think she is doing pretty well.
I could rant for ages about this.

oopsagain Tue 07-Jul-09 23:06:37

my ds1 was 4yrs 3 days when he started school.
he struggled socailly and still does- but that's just him i think.

Ds2 will be 4yrs and 2 weeks when he starts reception.
And i reckon he'll be fine...

i wouldn't have held either one backa year because the classes are fairly well established at yr1 and i think it may be hardeer for them to settle in yr1.

If she is fairly bright and laid back then i'd go for it and see how she goes tbh.

I think my ds is physically little too- but he's got a big personality and can hold his own.

it's hard- i don't have an answer for you- i am sympathetic though

theITgirl Tue 07-Jul-09 23:07:59

Just to clarify, if DD had started in Sept, she would have more time to learn the basics without being rushed and pushed too hard. There is so much play in Reception these days it is not like 'Starting School' but in year 1 it does get more serious.

bosch Tue 07-Jul-09 23:12:48

Ds2 is July 22 birthday. He's just coming to the end of y1. In reception he did almost absolutely no work, and that was OK. In y1 he has started reading, writing, even doing drawings that aren't 'scribbles'. Socially I think he's fine (gang of boys for mates and chases/chased by the girls!)

Talk to school about why they've made the change to start dates for young ones - they might convince you it's a good idea.

DisasterZone Tue 07-Jul-09 23:22:14

OK, so from what I'm reading (and thanks all for the very helpful thoughts!) does holding back mean she would go straight into Yr1? Next year and still be the youngest? I had thought I could start her in reception and have her be massively old. Which also seems strange and probably cruel.

Why does this all have to be so confusing. I am also thinking of my own experience where I was precocious like my DD, so sent to school and was the youngest. Then repeated 3rd class as I was being bullied and lagging behind. Was good in the end and I did really well. (And bought everyone's booze for them as I was legal half way through final yr 12.) This was in Aus and I hear there is no repeating here just remedial catching up. I so don't want to get this wrong. We have an induction day next week so I guess that will be a good day to gauge her reaction.

bosch Tue 07-Jul-09 23:26:03

btw, a long time ago my (very bright) big brother started school earlier than he should have. At the end of the first year, headteacher decided this was wrong and decided he should repeat year again. She only relented when he started to misbehave in class and 'threaten' to not go to school.

On the other hand, my birthday is 31 Aug, I started when I should have and did OK(ish!) at school!

ItsAllaBitNoisy Tue 07-Jul-09 23:26:56

Think about secondary school... You don't want her being the youngest, the older the better.

It seems so far away, but God it flies past.

LyraSilvertongue Tue 07-Jul-09 23:29:16

If you hold her back, she'll skip reception and go straight to year 1, which may be harder on her.
I have two summer borns (one mid August, one late June) and they've been fine starting just after their 4th birthdays.

LyraSilvertongue Tue 07-Jul-09 23:31:22

Tbh, reception hasn't been that different to nursery, except that it's a full day and they wear uniforms. They seem to spend a lot of time playing, and that's a good thing imo.

noideawhereIamgoing Wed 08-Jul-09 11:07:06

I have a end of July child who started in January. It's not a situation I would support. She went into a class of big kids, who were well established, knew how everything was done and were not happy about having to share their space. The Sept kids had benifited not only from being older, having 4 months of extra schooling and having a Teacher and TA between 15 of them.

It's no coincidence that the top 6 readers in the class are Sept kids and that 9 out of the 10 kids in the top maths table are Sept kids...the January kids spend their first few years playing catch up and depending on your child that can really knock their confidence.

If you are concerned with your child's ability to cope full time in Sept then I'd send her in part-time - pick her up after lunch - I know people who've done it - the school weren't happy but it was a successful compromise.

CarGirl Wed 08-Jul-09 11:11:55

Having got a Jan born, June, 28th August and and a mid August born dc I would still say FT in September is okay.

The social aspect and learning the rules are very important IMHO and moving into an established class in January can be quite tricky.

ksld Wed 08-Jul-09 11:20:27

My DS is August born and I was really happy that he had a January start this year instead of September last year. However with hindsight the January start really set him back - he moved with 9 others into a class of 20 that was already established, and found it really hard socially to find his feet. He is still now far behind the September starting children with the reading and writing.

I think if I had held him back to start once he was 5 (when he would have had to go straight into Year 1 and miss out Reception completely) he would have had even more problems. This is obviously partly character based as he is shy and sensitive so doesn't fit in easily, but joining in September all as one class would really have made his life easier. As others have said you can do half days if you want.

MrsJamesMartin Wed 08-Jul-09 11:24:04

It depends very much on the child and the school really as to wether this is a problem. Many teachers will say that by the end of year two an average / able child will be on line with their peers.
Just to clarify if you hold her back then she will miss very valuable time in reception and go straight into yr 1, with a july birthday she will always be one of the youngest, they wouldn't keep her back a year to make her eldest iyswim.

Madsometimes Wed 08-Jul-09 11:31:05

Both my children did January starts. dd2 was rather bored for her last term of nursery. Lots of her friends had moved onto school, and she was in a class with new much younger children. It felt like a long three months of waiting to start school, when she would have preferred just to have got on with it.

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Wed 08-Jul-09 11:31:57

DS is an August baby and is just coming to the end of YR. At his school (because of the staggered intake of YR), they settle them in gently into Y1. hey have the afternoons (tillOct) back in Reception, and the moving into groups is slowed according to their need. That said, he has done really well and I am proud of him. Socialy he is behind I think, and verbally too for some reason (despite talking early). His reading is up with the older children I think, and have been told he is reading better than some winter bors (they don't do intensive reading at his school though, so books still very simple, but they don't get them tll they can read them, iyswim). I m forever worried about him (and DD who is another Aug baby), but he seems to be doing okay!! The school usually has measures in place to catch children who ned a bit of extra help because hey are young. DS's school certainly places good expectations on ll the children, but understands that some of the younger ones have to do more in one sense, so they allow for that.

mummyrex Wed 08-Jul-09 11:39:02

I was delighted to hear my school had scrapped January starts as IME they put younger children at a HUGE disadvantage.

With Jan starts, not only do children suffer the social upheaval of children, possibly their close friends, leaving nursery and coping with a new intake there (really upset my DD), BUT they then move into an already established class where the older kids are off to half a years's head-start! No wonder summer-born children in the UK under-perform by 20%!

I would applaud your school who is taking a financial hit in order to do this as they do not get engough funding to cover the hours for the younger children.

Why are you worried? You say your DD is "big and pretty confident and enjoys nursery". Reception is play based, the teachers are professional and caring and experienced, where is the problem for your child?

ChazsBarmyArmy Wed 08-Jul-09 16:27:53

DS1 is a late Aug birthday and started full time in Sept07 at 4 yrs 0 weeks. He is now finishing yr1. He has been fine and I think it would have been much harder for him to have had to play catch up for the whole of reception. As the youngest in the class he struggled a bit but I think it would have been much worse if he had started in Jan and would have been behind as well as younger.

I am now beginning to see the differences between the children in the class lessening as DS1 is now catching up with reading and emotional issues.

The key thing for me was not to expect too much nor to compare DS with any of the other children as a 51 week age gap is huge when they are 4yr but less significant by the time they are 6-7.

If I could have held him back and started him in reception at 5yr 0 weeks I would have done but as this wasn't possible then I think a September start was the best option.

LyraSilvertongue Wed 08-Jul-09 17:31:20

My DSs school has a good system - spring and summer born children start in September but they only go part-time (9-12) for the first term. After Christmas they go full-time.
They don't miss out on much because most of the learning is done in the mornings and the full-time children (there were only 7 of them) played most of the afternoon.
I felt DS2 got a good gradual introduction to reception without missing out on forming bonds with his classmates.

DisasterZone Thu 09-Jul-09 20:55:44

Mummyrex - there probably isn't a problem but it's the big step into the unknown which bothers me. I can't change the one fundamental thing which is she will always be one of the youngest. As Itsallabitnoisy pointed out, this can be especially difficult in High School. But keeping her back to start in Yr 1 seems daft. This was sprung on us, so I'm still getting used the the idea. When we applied, we were told over and over that it was for a January place, and our LEA letter said as much.

School is all new for us, and I know it doesn't take long to become savvy to the ins and outs but I didn't even realise there was a financial implication to this. But it makes sense as actually this school is a single class in each form, so I imagine if they did a staggered start they would be down a teacher or assistant at least until Jan.

Thanks all for your experiences, it's been interesting. I'll get used to the idea.

Right, start a new thread. What to do with 2 days/week new found freedom!!

BonsoirAnna Fri 10-Jul-09 07:30:09

My DD has the equivalent of a July birthday in the UK as she is a November baby and is at school in France, where children are grouped at school according to the calendar year ie all children start pre-school in the September of the calendar year in which they will have their third birthday.

My DD started pre-school aged 2.10, going in with five half-days; at 3.10 she started full-day school in a class of 30 children from 9 am until 4.15 pm.

It really was just FINE. Please don't hold your child back. Children need to be schooled with their age group and to proceed normally through education with their peers.

Pitchounette Fri 10-Jul-09 09:31:09

Message withdrawn

sunnydelight Fri 10-Jul-09 09:37:41

I'm the polar opposite of BonsoirAnna. DD started kindy (reception) two weeks before her 6TH birthday here in Oz in January this year and she is flying along. She had a wonderful year in pre-school last year (2 days a week) learning and playing. Now she loves school and school loves her, this is in massive contrast to her eldest brother who started in reception in the UK at 4+6 weeks - it was only when we moved to Australia a couple of years ago and he naturally went "back a year" due to birthdays and school years that he has stated to thrive.

We all have different views on the subject, partly informed by very different childen but having gone through three children starting school I would always advocate a late start now. They will get to the same place after a few years, the only difference in my opinion is how much grief you, and they, go through along the way!

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