reception teachers and ed psychs/heads please help(29 Posts)
Hi. This is the second time I am writing this hugely long question, but the first seems to have mysteriously disappeared. At least this one should be shorter!
DD was born 8 weeks early, in July not September, so she will I presume be expected to start school in '10 not '11.
I am very concerned about this as she is much 'younger' than her friends born full term in the summer of 06.
What grounds would worry you most about a child coming into reception? On what grounds woukd you recommend back yearing?(Apparently this can be possiblo, even without very special needs and a statement.)
The thing is, I don't want her to be pushed straight into y1 when she does start. Your school sounds very accomodating.
popped in here to see if anyone wise was going to sort out our dilemmas
I saw in the paper that two sisters set up their own primary school when the LA didn't have what they want...a way forward perhaps!
What you need to do is firstly find out if your LEA has a policy on keeping children out of phase. Some Leas are very strict others less so.
If your child is prem it is very difficult to know how they will fair. Paediatricians often state 2 years as the point for prem children to have caught up developmentally. So if your child has significant delay after this period then this will be important in making such a decision. You mention Ed Psy in your post, does this mean that your child is known to one? if so I would seek their advice and if they agree with you then they may be able to support this view. If developmentally your child is very delayed then being out of phase is a very good idea if not you may be storing up problems for the future. A child out of phase may develop more advanced than other children and look out of place, self esteem may suffer as they realise they are out of place etc. and so on.
If being out of phase is not a possibility, then look carefully at the different schools and their early years departments. There are many variations in what is on offer. What you really are saying is that you do not want formal schooling so early as you think she will need to develop in other areas first, e.g. concentration, social skills, language and so on. If this is the case you need a primary school where nursery and reception and ideally year 1 too are not so formal. Lots' of play and hopefully outside playtime, tricycles etc. so that the whole child is being developed and there is not a over focus on literacy and basic numeracy.
It isn't possible in my LA and I would never recommend "back yearing".
My LEA are very strict on holdidn back a year.
If I could have done it I would have though. It would have made all the difference to my DS. I think if he were in Yr1 now he'd be flying instaed of struggling in Yr2.
they should be much more flexibailty in the system, lots of children would benefit.
i was put back a year when i startde secaonadry as I'd missed a year of schooling. It was a new school new area, and the best thing that happened to me. Suddemely I wasn't the one struggling to keep up I was comfortable and my confidenec blossomed. No social difficulties, many poele only 3/4 moths younger than me.
What does your paediatrician say? Ds was born 7 weeks early and had very delayed development of his gross motor skills. Emotionally definitely less mature than the older boys in his year and there did seem to be a big difference in reception. In year 1 the difference is far less marked.
Ds's paediatrician said developmentally he should have caught up by the time he was 2 (he didn't) and health wise by the time he was 5 (made that milestone fortunately). He improved hugely between 4 and 5.
When he started school I made sure his teacher knew about his prematurity and the issues it caused. Haven't mentioned it to his year 1 teacher as it no longer seems relevant.
We don't have a paediatrician. Now wondering if we should! The last time we saw one was when she was four months old and he was advising that she should start solids because she was so tiny! So wrong for a breast-fed baby.
I also heard about catching up by the time she was two, but she is now 3.3 and still very much behind her friends in some ways; definitely emotionally - she is struggling at nursery - but also in her total lack of interest in letters, numbers, etc. She loves art work but it is very much splodging with her hands, not drawing, she loves pointing out things in books but is not interested in listening to a story, etc.
I don't think she would have to feel embarrassed later on about being out of year - she would have a perfectly good medical reason (and a non-embarrassing one).
It's just I see so many summer babies struggling while autumn babies are happy and confident. She should have been an autumn baby and was silly enough to be born in July. I just want to help to put that right.
Baroness, your story is exactly why I would like to do it!
Depending on your LA policy it can get very complicated later (transfer to secondary) for children educated out of their year. For those children who repeat a year I think it can cause more problems than it solves for most children.
Ah, yes. Good question to ask. Could she also delay transfer to secondary?
I "inherited" a child who had "back yeared" in another LA before moving to us and initially the LA agreed she could continue working a year behind her age. When she went into Y5 we had to apply to keep her with us rather than her transfer to secondary (which she was due to do by age but would mean missing out a year of primary) It was agreed but then there was a debate over whether she should miss the first year of secondary or leave at 17 rather than 18, which is still to be resolved.
I should add that this child has huge SEN rather than just being "younger" than her friends.
If it helps Racingsnake,there is a huge difference in abilities for children going into reception. My DD is 4 1/2 but quite immature (compared to her peers) in many ways ([poor attention span, little interest in 'learning' no number or reading/writing ability and difficulty going up/down steps!) her teacher has no problem with any of this and assures me she is not the only one. Many children also have difficulty speaking, some can't speak in sentences, some are non English speakers at home. The teachers seem to be used to all this and are able to accomodate all needs.
My priority would be using the toilet as DD was not fully continent until nearly 4!
She is considered developmentally normal btw (just a little slow).
My most able child this year was 4 in August but he is still a little boy and needs reassurance
"total lack of interest in letters, numbers etc"
At 3.3, I really don't think this is anything to be concerned about.
There is another year to go before she starts reception. In my DS's class in reception there were children still learning to recognise numbers 0-10 by the end of the reception year, and unable to write any letters.
It's only here on mn that everyone's child is reading chapter books halfway through year R.
The trouble is that (being a teacher) I have seen a lot of labelling children as 'slow', 'special needs', etc, when all they were was immature. I have seen children who later turned out to be very able but with August birthdays spend years in SEN groups where they had nothing in common with their peers and were not happy. In a sensible, flexible, child-centered not target-centered system, they would have started school a year later and started by swimming, not sinking.
Check it out with your LEA. Some years back being a premmie of more than 6 weeks was about the only circumstances in which some LEAs allowed children to "start late" in reception (rather than going straight into Y1) but that may not be the case any more.
OK well when I've seen this happen the child usually starts off in reception but jumps either from R to Y2 or Y1 to Y3.
How about starting your DD on half days ,which won't be very different for her than going to nursery.
Don't worry at all about the academic stuff it isn't pushed on those reception children who aren't ready.
Remember too that very many schools have mixd year classes so if you di start your child in Y1 she could be put in a mixed R/Y1 class which would be a good option.
My Dd was born July 06 admittedly full term. I have also have an August daughter who is now 9. Youngest is in pre school (in fact the youngest in her group), not particularly interested in numbers or letters, just starting to eg draw a face rather than splodge. There are many older children in her class who emotionally/physically/intellectually behind her. It was the same with my August daughter - and I wouldn't say being the youngest in her class (still) is an issue. Good teachers make allowances for it. They are both happy at school, not struggling, doing stuff at the right level for them. So I really wouldn't worry too much
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