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Do pre-school friends stick together in reception classes ?

24 replies

Grrrr · 24/05/2007 12:42

Neurotic parent alert, before you hopefully read on

Ds will be starting school in September.

At the new starters' parents evening we put our details on a sign in list with childs name and name of the pre-school they have been attending. I was not surprised to see that roughly 70-80% of the children were from two particular pre-school's nearest to the primary (although there is no pre-school attached to the primary school).

Later at home I started thinking about this more deeply. Ds attends a pre-school close to where I work rather than close to where we live and no-one from his pre-school will be attending the same primary school as him.

Two things are bothering me,

Most importantly, will the pre-schoolers tend to stick together leaving ds having to work hard to make friends unless he takes a shine to some of small group of children who also didn't all go to the two pre-schools local to the primary school ?

Less importantly, why did the school want the information in the first place ?

OP posts:
ChipButty · 24/05/2007 12:46

Your child will make friends as most children do tend to mix well. My son went up to infant school with quite a few children from his nursery but now has a wide group of friends with 'best friends' changing almost daily, so try not to worry. The school has a list of preschools because they usually visit to speak to staff and observe children.

cazzybabs · 24/05/2007 12:47

My child started school knowing nobody. She has lots of friends and is quite happy. TBH I don't think it matters if they know people or not - they soon make new friends. I wouldn't worry about it.

Porpoise · 24/05/2007 12:47

Grrr, I hate to say it but it depends...
My ds1 and 2 also went to a different preschool than all their classmates. And it hasn't bothered them at all. But they're both quite outgoing types.
Those who did go to the same preschool did kind of stick together at first - naturally - but within weeks, they were all mixing together.
What kind of character is your ds?

iota · 24/05/2007 12:47

IMHO you have no need to worry - they make friends really easily at that age.

My ds1 didn't know any of the children in his reception class and lots of them had been to the local pre-school - it really didn't matter a bit

Anchovy · 24/05/2007 13:05

My DS was at the pre-school attached to the school. The class doubled in size for Reception. Four of his five closest friends are children who joined new this year.

cat64 · 24/05/2007 13:08

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Blu · 24/05/2007 13:09

DS stayed frends with one of his nursery friends, but also made lots of new freinds amongst the kids who had been together not only in the nursery attached to the school, but in the first term of Reception (DS was a January starter) - they mix and mingle - your DS will be absolutely fine. can you make one local friend who will be starting at the same time?

Chugnuts · 24/05/2007 13:19

At some schools the Reception teacher will visit the pre-schools to start getting to know the children who will be in their class.

IME the children all mix fairly quickly. If anything you might find that they are more interested in your ds because they haven't seen him at pre-school every day for the past 2 years or so.

Good luck.

FioFio · 24/05/2007 13:20

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Grrrr · 24/05/2007 13:22

Porpoise, this is my worry,

ds can be shy at times but not life ruiningly shy, I think because he has only really had happy experiences at pre-school. He is reasonably confident but no-where near the levels of some children.

He is generally however the last child to acknowledge/play with any new starters at his pre-school.

OP posts:
tortoiseSHELL · 24/05/2007 13:22

Ds1 knew 1 boy when he started, and he is in the 'other' class. Didn't matter at all. Lots of the children 'knew' each other from playgroup, but they've all settled down into their groups of friends - it seems to be more to do with what reading group they're in!

A word of warning - the mums from the playgroup will all 'huddle', and if you don't know any it can be quite isolating - they're not being cliquey, just nervous at the start of the year!

LIZS · 24/05/2007 13:30

Things change , dd entered her Reception class of 16 one of only two children who hadn't attended the nursery class and soon made friends. The classes were remixed into Year 1 and again they all adapted but play with children from other classes at breaktime.

Grrrr · 24/05/2007 14:22

I was rather planning on not doing the huddles/cliques thing. I am a WOHM and will have to dop off ds1 at school, take ds2 to his childcare and finally get to work.

I thought I'd wait until ds hopefully makes a friend or 2 and then introduce myself to their parents with an invite to come and play/ have coffee one weekend.

Bad Plan / Good Plan ?

OP posts:
Grrrr · 24/05/2007 14:23

P.S. thanks for all the advice so far, I was off on another thread "hounding" Beverly Hughes MP about childcare vouchers so I've only juts come back to this one.

OP posts:
iota · 24/05/2007 14:24

Grrr -good plan

Porpoise · 24/05/2007 14:51

Hi Grrr, sorry for being slow to respond - was coming home from work.

Please don't think being a little shy is a barrier to making friends - from what I've seen over the years, sometimes the more confident kids can have a harder time of it.

Oh, and by the way, they all change 'best' friends about 500 times in the first couple of terms, anyway!

And yes, there may be parental cliques/huddles but they won't necessarily be excluding you - just sticking with the faces they know for now.

IME, if you bowl up to someone with a breezy smile and say hello, you nearly always get a nice response. And, if your ds sees you doing that regularly, he'll soon be adopting the same strategy.

I'm sure your ds will be fine. He sounds lovely.

zubb · 24/05/2007 14:57

to answer the OP - sorry haven't read the rest - my son went to school in September knowing 8 other children from pre-school, of those 3 were boys. One boy left in the first term and the other 2 he never plays with - and didn't from the start really.
He is quite shy but has a firm group of friends now - and I haven't done the play date thing at all!

MaureenMLove · 24/05/2007 15:01

My dd went to nursery attached to school, as most of the kids went to reception together. Although she is still class mates with all of them, she made many more friends in reception, than in nursery iyswim! Years on in year 6, she is still firm friends with at least 3 of her reception friends.

I think they are still very young at pre-school to make firm friendships, unless the parents are close already and are automatically pushed together by them.

Anchovy · 24/05/2007 15:32

Grr - I'd target a couple of nice/sympathetic-looking friendly mothers and engineer a friendship for the children. My experience has tended to be that the nice mothers have the nice children

One mother in Ds's reception class was quite pro-active (on the basis that DS was an "old" boy, like her child), emailed inviting him round for a play and effectively "set up" a friendship that has worked very well.

cat64 · 24/05/2007 17:02

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pointydog · 24/05/2007 17:11

No, children unlikely to stick together in pre-school groups.

School will try to put some familiar faces together in classes to avoid sea of complete strangers if poss.

Grrrr · 24/05/2007 17:13

pointy there will be only 1 class and ds will be the only child from his pre-school

Thanks ladies, I feel reassured now.

OP posts:
twinsetandpearls · 24/05/2007 17:13

dd still mixes in her pre school group although they were very close and laways in and out of each others houses and in church together. I woudl say out of a class of 32 probally 29 were at pre school togther. But a few non pre school children have joined her group so I wouldn't worry too much.

islandofsodor · 24/05/2007 23:50

Not necesarily. Dd's school has an attached nursery, in her class of 20 only 2 children didn;t go to the nursery. Dd had a big friend at nursery who we also knew from a baby group (ds and this girls brother were both toddlers)

Dd is still friends with this girl but her biggest friend now is one of the children who did not go to nursery. This girl is very popular despite starting school not knowing anyone.

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