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Lowering Of School Starting Age


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NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I had no idea that this proposal existed. Does anyone have access to any more details about this? What is it supposed to achieve? Is it about the children or about getting more parents into work?

 

I would hate to see children starting school even younger. They start too young in this country as it is.

 

I have signed the petition.

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My understanding is the recommendation is that a child should start school in the September after their 4th birthday. Don't most children do this anyway in England already?

 

To me it's less about when children start school but more about the expectations during their Reception year in terms of more formal literacy and numeracy, which still goes on in many schools.

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My understanding is the recommendation is that a child should start school in the September after their 4th birthday. Don't most children do this anyway in England already?

 

I think the law currently states that they have to start in the term following their fifth birthday but most seem to start in the September which follows their fourth. So it would just formalise what is already happening. Not that I agree with what is already happening.

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Carol, at present if you want you can keep your child out of school until the term that they actually turn 5, i.e. summer term for summer born babies. Some parents do actually do this. Certainly summer born babies have been shown to be at a disadvantage throughout their schooling and even do less well at GCSEs than their autumn born class mates.

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My understanding is the recommendation is that a child should start school in the September after their 4th birthday. Don't most children do this anyway in England already?

Here in sunny Windsor and Maidenhead we have a three point entry to school, so that children either get one or two terms in reception, or go straight into year one. Except for some children where they take rising fives, when those to start school in September can have a full reception year.

 

We're moving to a two point entry soon-ish though (September 2010?).

To me it's less about when children start school but more about the expectations during their Reception year in terms of more formal literacy and numeracy, which still goes on in many schools.

I agree Beau: I wouldn't worry about children going to school at four if ratios were low and the children were enabled to learn through play and not be exposed to formal learning (and worksheets!).

 

I'm not sure what the reality is for four year olds in school though? Are they sitting down at desks and doing handwriting drill? Or are they still rolling brio carraiges over track or up to their elbows in shaving foam or cooked spaghetti? I often wonder what the difference between perception and reality is... :o

 

Maz

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At the moment it is the term after the fifth birthday.

So for example a five year old can still access a free nursery place (or not), rather than HAVE to start school, if that is what the parents choose.

 

 

This year I have worked with a child who was not emotionally ready for 'school' due to number of concerns and issues including abuse from a parent, separation from siblings and more . He has flourished has he has been able to continue at a children's centre with his keyperson who at the time was the only 'constant' in his life, whereas a transition at 4 may have really had a detrimental afect on his emotional wellbeing.

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I don't know that the statutory starting age will make any difference to that though. Most 'testing' is done at a set point in the year and clearly those that are less developed (which usually means younger, though not always the case) are going to do worse. Starting school later will not change that at all will it? xD

 

I have in the past looked into various research papers about summer born children and it is by no means as clear cut as is often reported. Many studies show that once they reach secondary school the difference between autumn and summer born children is not particularly marked. :o

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Unfortunately I think the reality is still worksheet overload for some four year olds in schools. Obviously there is some excellent practice too. My take is that the CHOICE should not be taken away.

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Don't get me wrong, personally I would like to see the statutory school age raised to the September after they are 5, so effectively meaning that children start in Year 1 rather than Reception. Lowering the starting age is a step backwards as far as I am concerned. I do accept though that all children starting together for the school year is probably beneficial to the majority. Perhaps the heat is making me more argumentative than usual. xD:o

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at present if you want you can keep your child out of school until the term that they actually turn 5, i.e. summer term for summer born babies. Some parents do actually do this.

 

One of our parents told us that they tried to do this last year and the school told her in no uncertain terms that the child's place would not be guaranteed!!!

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One of our parents told us that they tried to do this last year and the school told her in no uncertain terms that the child's place would not be guaranteed!!!

 

This has been my experience too

 

Sunnyday

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My daughter was not ready to start school in the September following her 4th birthday.

 

I wanted to leave her in pre-school for two more terms but after discussions with school agreed that she could go for just mornings at first. She did this for nearly two terms and it worked surprisingly well. She would get home at lunch time, climb onto my lap and fall asleep.

 

I still think it would have been better for her to have started later but the compromise worked.

 

I agree with Beau that we should be starting them all after they are five when they are more likely to be ready for a more structured environment.

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I'm not sure what the reality is for four year olds in school though? Are they sitting down at desks and doing handwriting drill? Or are they still rolling brio carraiges over track or up to their elbows in shaving foam or cooked spaghetti? I often wonder what the difference between perception and reality is... :o

 

 

Unfortunately I think the reality is still worksheet overload for some four year olds in schools. Obviously there is some excellent practice too. My take is that the CHOICE should not be taken away.

 

 

The reality - In my experience it's the EYFS. Why because it's a school would it be any less EYFS than a non school???? Just because it's teachers it doesn't mean they are incapable of understanding children's needs.

 

It's also very easy to be critical when you're enjoying the kinds of ratios school settings would kill to have.

 

Isn't statutory school age now Sept 1st after their 5th birthday - before that they are in EYFS.

 

Please don't start another schools bad for children, everyone else is good thread - I get so fed up of it and thought we'd all managed to move on from this on the forum.

Edited by catma
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Please don't start another schools bad for children, everyone else is good thread - I get so fed up of it and thought we'd all managed to move on from this on the forum

 

 

That was not my intention at all, when I started this thread, I would not have become a teacher if this is what I thought!

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Our reception is not structured anyway. A preschool leader was in this week for their visits and she said it's just like pre-school for older kids! We said thank you that's what we've been working hard on in the last year. We don't have the same ratios as preschools but we develop independence and they don't need it. If a child is so developmentally delayed that they would benefit from more time in preschool we have employed someone extra for a short period of time to help them. We have also agreed in the past to them staying at preschool for the autumn term but that was when we were more formal, pre EYFS. In actual fact if they were to stay at preschool for the whole of their 'year R' because of being a summer birthday they are more likely to struggle than those that have been in year R throughout. It is all about providing children with the right year R experiences.

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Two weeks to the end of term and some of my class are still just four ... perhaps the least ready for school was the child who will be six on the 3rd Sept!

 

Yeah - I can recognise that with a couple of mine - the youngest boy in my class is far more ready for school and copes far better with it all than some of my september born children. I would also like to add that I would never agree to making my reception class into a formal teaching environment, we dont have the literacy and numeracy hour etc and my children always have access to free flow - even with very tight ratios - and not a work sheet would ever be visible in my classroom! :o

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We curently have 3 term entry and it is so disruptive, I have tried so many different ways to ensure we don't have difficulties each term but having had 12 children for a term they look upon these new children as imposters we all start gelling as a team and another load come in!

 

This is how I think the children feel not me! Theyu aren't quite imposters!

 

I do also think these 13 have such an advantage compared to the rest of the class with a 2 to 13 ratio for a term...

 

Personally I think the best way would be based upon the needs of each and every individual child no matter how old they are although that would never work with parents!

 

One possible contraversial point to end...

 

If all settings are following EYFS principles does it matter where they access? the only real difference from reception and nursery in my school is the fact that they stay all day ( that is enough for some!) we change into PE kit for PE, we go to one assembly per week and as and when the child is ready we move onto a writing book! We still have free flow throughout the day.

 

Sharon

Edited by Sharon
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Please don't start another schools bad for children, everyone else is good thread - I get so fed up of it and thought we'd all managed to move on from this on the forum.

I'm not sure whether you've used the extract of my post in a positive or negative way, catma! Ultimately I believe is about how the EYFS is delivered and not necessarily the place children experience it - and I'm sure we'd all agree that no-one has the monopoly on effective EYFS practice.

 

This may be a well-rehearsed argument both generally and here on the Forum. However with new members arriving all the time and in different stages of their own professional development, I think it is inevitable that these topics will be raised again from time to time and that we find ourselves stating our viewpoints again for the record. Its a good thing to have the opportunity to audit our thoughts on a particular subject and see if we still hold the same position as we always have, or if the arguments of others might sway our opinions somewhat.

 

In an ideal world there would be equity of funding for all early years settings to enable our children to benefit from high adult to child ratios, quality premises and resources and highly trained EYFS practitioners. But until that day, we just have to do the best with what we've got.

 

Maz

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It's not about whether school are good or bad for children. You seem to be extremely lucky Catma in that in your area the EYFS is recognised and valued across the board. Sadly I don't think this is the case across the whole of the country and there are still schools in which Reception teachers are under enormous pressure from teachers higher up the school and headteachers to provide something more formal. As you say, this is exacerbated by the ratios under which teachers are expected to work. xD Until these are properly addressed then I would not be in favour of lowering the statutory school age, which would mean that as a parent I would no longer have the choice of setting/environment which would be right for my child. This doesn't mean to say that I think this is because schools/teachers are bad or better than other preschool settings. There are examples of bad practice in all sectors which also needs addressing. But at least with a choice I can make sure my child gets the best learning environment - this may well be a school, but equally it may not be! :o

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It is not about whether reception classes are as good as pre-school provision or any other comparisons of settings. Some schools do the EYFS well and some don't. This applies to all early years settings.

 

What about the children who could otherwise be at home with their parents? SOme children are better off spending more time at home. Lots of children in pre-school settings enjoy every afternoon at home. Why do they need to be taken out of that environment and put into school.

 

What is the problem with the system as it is?

 

Is there a good reason for removing the choice from parents? It is a very big step.

 

If it ain't broke don't fix it!

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Hi all - i wasn't using anyone's posts in any particular way - I just felt that there was a sense of universality in the way school based approaches to eyfs were being portrayed as the thread developed ie - they were all worksheet forced sit down places!

 

The main issue for me in schools is ratios - they are just not fair.

We're moving as an LA to one point of entry in 2011 anyway so my time will probably be focused on ensuring those younger children are recognised as such but not held back just because they are younger and the assumption is they can't do something/are being naughty etc etc on that basis.

 

And after a particularly sh** week at work being responsible for a well supported EYFS I was rather less than my normally equable and tolerant self!!

 

Blame it on the heat.

Cxx

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We're moving as an LA to one point of entry in 2011 anyway so my time will probably be focused on ensuring those younger children are recognised as such but not held back just because they are younger and the assumption is they can't do something/are being naughty etc etc on that basis.

In an ideal world every early years setting would have enough well-paid adults and sufficient nursery education funding to deliver the EYFS as we would wish to. No group would need to drag out everything from a cupboard and pack it all away again at the end of the morning. We could have all even basic outdoor facilities which are secure and enable full free-flow play offering a suitable balance of safety and challenge to children whatever their stage of development. Oh, and it would be clear when children are going onto a reception class so we could plan properly for their transition.

 

The fact that we don't live in an ideal world means we all face different challenges in the way we deliver the EYFS - but as you say I think there are many misconceptions about the differences between school and pre-school. I know that in the past we have been really concerned when a child leaves to go to school about thow they will cope. However when visiting a few weeks later we're amazed at how much they've come on, and realise that this was the right decision for that child at that time.

 

What we need is more opportunities to discuss our differences and similarities (which is what this Forum is so good at), but also to see each other's practice at first hand to share ideas about how our challenges can be overcome.

 

Hope you have a better week this week catma - your settings are lucky to have you!

 

Maz

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The main issue for me in schools is ratios - they are just not fair.

 

Cxx

 

 

This is and always has been my main problem with EYFS

 

We have had single entry for 15+ years and in Sept I have 6 children starting in my class with August birthdays (so just four). In my present class I have 4 children who are still four and will be moving onto Y1 and ratios of 1-30!

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It really does seem to vary so much not just from LEA to LEA but village to village.

 

We are moving to single point entry here from this September meaning my 4 year old will be full time straight away. I have asked her if she wants to stay at pre-school until the summer term, she doesn't. Previously she would have been part-time, as rather than 2 point entry the younger children went part time.

 

Younger entry and Single point entry will certainly be having a big effect on some pre-schools won't it.

 

Can I ask a question of the teachers please?

If statutory school age is term after 5 and this marks the end of the EYFS and start of FS1 how does this work in the classroom?

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Can I ask a question of the teachers please?

If statutory school age is term after 5 and this marks the end of the EYFS and start of FS1 how does this work in the classroom?

 

FS1 is nursery

 

The end of EYFS is the school year (September) after the child is 5 not the term after (although a child must by law start school the term after their fifth birthday).

 

In September I will have a very young class - lots of summer birthdays - youngest will have turned four on the 28th August. They will all start full time on the first day and I don't expect any problems.

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It really does seem to vary so much not just from LEA to LEA but village to village.

 

We are moving to single point entry here from this September meaning my 4 year old will be full time straight away. I have asked her if she wants to stay at pre-school until the summer term, she doesn't. Previously she would have been part-time, as rather than 2 point entry the younger children went part time.

 

Younger entry and Single point entry will certainly be having a big effect on some pre-schools won't it.

 

Can I ask a question of the teachers please?

If statutory school age is term after 5 and this marks the end of the EYFS and start of FS1 how does this work in the classroom?

 

I worked with single entry to schools for last 18 years of my pre-school work in different areas...the main problem in the preschool was the move of a large number of children all together, one year we lost all the children bar 3 who stayed another year with us , this was not unusual, the childrne were all fine moving to school, and in fact were better moving as a group with friends, but for us it was alwyas sustainability issues in Sept. Planning was hte only way , ensuring income from last term ie may june July, created enough income for sept to dec.

 

think some of the issue is will it become compulsory or as now allowing parents the choice of keeping child until 5 - yes i know in reality it doesnt always work that way but it is currently not compulsory so send children to school at this age..

 

Inge

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Im about to get a little girl in my yr1 class who is just 5 (end of June) but has only been able to access F1 part time provision, something about her first choice school being full and waiting for a place that hasnt materialised. Im not quite sure how this has happened as there is also a query that she may have language needs but I do know that in many areas schools can not keep places open for children whose parents choose not to take them up when they are first offered.

 

An appropriate provision should mean that all children can cope in whatever setting they are in and it is the teachers that have to struggle to make the provision appropriate when the ratios are so high.

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