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Rose recommends all children should start school the September after their fourth birthday!

56 replies

mrz · 02/05/2009 18:25

Recommendation 14 ii

The DCSF should provide information to parents and local authorities about the optimum
conditions, flexibilities and benefits to children of entering reception class in the September immediately after their fourth birthday.

OP posts:
LupusinaLlamasuit · 02/05/2009 21:50

Do you mean all children only do two terms in their first year? But still having the age range cut off as end August? As opposed to moving the cut off date till Jan?

That would be interesting. I'm not sure how other countries with later start dates for school manage things...

nappyaddict · 02/05/2009 21:57

Yes Lupusina. The oldest children with birthdays in September would still be in school by the time they legally have to go but the youngest children born in August would be 4 months older.

BonsoirAnna · 03/05/2009 10:03

Here in France all children start pre-school in the September of the calendar year of their third birthday ie somewhere between the age of 2.8 and 3.8 years old. And they do three years of pre-school before starting primary.

I think this system probably irons out more differences between children born in January and children born in December than does the English system between Autumn and Summer born children.

moogmum · 03/05/2009 13:12

My understanding is that the new rules will mean that if you WANT your child to start reception in the September after their fourth birthday then they will be able to. You won't have to start them then but it does give parents the option. On the basis of the research into summer-borns, I would have started DS, an August birthday, in September rather than him being doubly disadvantaged by missing some school as well as being young. However, the new policy also enables parents who feel their children are not quite ready for full-time school just after turning four to have 25 hours a week of free childcare instead. It also encourages schools to allow younger children to start in reception part-time if parents want them to for the same reason.
Talking to DS's class teacher, she pointed out that the new Foundation stage curriculum is much more play-based than the old one, as the new primary curriculum announced will be. She thought that would make it easier for summer-borns to cope with if they started in September. It also means school in England will now be more like countries where they start school later but spend more hours in high quality early education beforehand.
I think it all sounds like change for the better, myself.

clemette · 03/05/2009 13:31

I like the fact that it gives parents more choice. DD was 4 in April and is VERY ready for school, but in our LEA she won't start until next January. ALL of her friends have slightly earlier birthdays (April is the cut off) and they will all be going in September. She will be the only child in her nursery of her age come the autumn. I feel very anxious about it all and wish we had the flexibility here.

mrz · 03/05/2009 13:44

SS you can find it HERE

OP posts:
LupusinaLlamasuit · 03/05/2009 13:47

And the link to the IFS paper commissioned by DCSF in 2007 is posted by me further down the thread.

SecretSlattern · 03/05/2009 13:53

Lovely, thank you both

IwoulddoDrWho · 03/05/2009 14:25

I wonder if the children are ready for full-time school or the parents are. The later the better I think. Kids should go to part-time nursery till about 6 IMO and spend a bit more time outdoors!

thirdname · 04/05/2009 12:05

But in my limited experience the school/reception class in our school is a lot more play based than the nursery my ds went to. And school is only to 3.15 pm, all my dc (and lots of other dc were/are in nursery till 6pm.
Allso, looking at dc from friends in other countries where they start later at school, they go to "kindergarten" and learn to read/numeracy etc at a very young age (3/4 y).

cory · 04/05/2009 12:11

the point of kindergarten though is that it's optional. My nephews in Sweden attended kindergarten but the parents get to decide what hours they do, and my brother often doesn't send them in if it's a fine day and he has a day off work or their grandparents want to take them; it leaves more flexibility

also, in Sweden at least it's the parents who get to decide if the children start school at 6 or 7. You don't have to have a one-size-fits-all-approach; you can allow for parental input

which doesn't seem to be happening a lot in this country

and nurseries in Sweden are very different from nurseries in this country: far more time spent out of doors for a start

luckylady74 · 04/05/2009 12:15

From a purely selfish viewpoint I'm thrilled I have my twins all the way up to next January when they start on the actual day of their 5th birthday!
They'd cope fine in September I'm sure, but we have a lovely life and I'm happy for that to continue. I do a bit of the phonics scheme that the school does with reception and they know some of the other January sarting children so what's the big deal about missing the autumn/winter term?
I fell asleep in my tea every night when I started school in 1978 at 4yrs and 1month - I was fine though as it was all pretty much water play and wendy house! My mum missed me lots though and I know how she feels.

Astrophe · 04/05/2009 12:24

Very different in Australia too. There is no funded nursery (which is a problem), but on the positive, there is a lot of flexibility as to when to start, and even the youngest start later than they do in the UK.

Our school year is Feb-December, and children must turn 5 before July in their first year of school (which means they must be at least 4years and 6 months to start school). So its the equivalent of saying all UK childne must turn 5 before Feb in their first year.

If the child doesn't turn five before July, or if the parents don't want to send them for whatever reason, then they start reception at the beginning of the next school year - there is only one intake, so nobody misses out on a terms work, and nobody misses out on reception.

There is a trend towards sending children later and later. In most reception classes around here, there are a few that turn five in the first few months of school, and then the rest all start turning 6. I think its fabulous.

thirdname · 04/05/2009 12:26

Cory I know as I went to kindergarten and first year prim school in Norway...
Maybe children should start school early but parents should be allowed more easily to take them out, also in later years. My parents often went to visit grandparents abroad and I was taken out of school to join them.

Also, I don't know this fascination with playing outside, o and about spending more time in nature/gardening (admits phobia for creepy-crawlies, and preferens of laying in bed reading a novel).

OK, writing rubish on mumsnet is my excuse for not doing some work I have to do on the computer. THIRDNAME, GO BACK TO WOTK

EachPeachPearMum · 04/05/2009 12:32

But if they start at a different time, won't they have problems breaking into friendship groups that have already formed?
Starting all at the same point would surely be better, from a socialisation POV?

RubyrubyrubyRodent · 04/05/2009 12:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cory · 04/05/2009 13:36

thirdname, the point of teaching your children to play out of doors is so that you can read your novel in peace

Hulababy · 04/05/2009 13:38

I reckon it should be one intake for all, but with prents able to make the decision to defer for up to a year (still going into reception) for their own child should they and/or preschool/nursery feel it is in the child's best interests.

PortoPandemico · 04/05/2009 14:10

The system in Belgium is similar to France (Bonsoir Anna). It is not compulsory but there is 99% take up rate. The first 2 years are purely learning through play, getting them interested in topics, fine tuning motor skills, practising sitting still for periods of time etc. Obviously it's great for their social skills too.

I understand that in the 3rd year (my dd will start this in September aged 5.5) they actually start work on numeracy/literacy.
(Though my dd already knows her letters/numbers, can read/spell some words and can do simple sums - i think she will be reading reasonably well by September - at least in English).

They have naps at lunchtime for the first 2 years which are gradually phased out. I think mainstream Primary edcuation in Belgium is quite intense, so they see Kindergarten as a very important foundation, I guess hence the high take up. Agree with Anna that the differences are ironed out before the "work" begins.

PortoPandemico · 04/05/2009 14:14

PS My dd will actually do 4 years of Kindergarten as she started at just 2.5, but Primary doesn't start til the Sept of the year of their 6th birthday, when she will be 6.5. Someone did tell me there is a chance dcs can be moved up a year at this point if they are considered "ready".

katiestar · 04/05/2009 15:27

Well am I being thick ?
But to me that sentence isn't very clear what it means !!
I read it as saying the govt should be providing information to parents about the pros and cons and options for children being admitted to school.

IwoulddoDrWho · 04/05/2009 16:56

i just don't get this thing about catchng up and missing out. On what? Surely they're not doing anything so major at 4 that they are behind if they miss it? Aren't they actually missing out on playing?

poopscoop · 04/05/2009 16:58

OP - Who is rose? They need to piss off and stop talking our of their arse

mrz · 04/05/2009 17:29

Sir Jim Rose

OP posts:
Astrophe · 05/05/2009 00:56

hulababy - you have summarised the system here in Aus very well (much better than me!)

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