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Worried About Child Going To School...


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Hi,

I am after some advice please... we have a little boy in our setting who has become increasingly upset when saying goodbye to mum, and at various points in the session.

 

The little boy went through this a while ago, and had just about come out the other side of this until a few weeks ago. Now we have tears every morning when he gets dropped off, Mum says the tears start at about 6am, and continue off and on until he is brought to nursery. He will calm down, but then follows me around for an hour or two before starting to play. The slightest thing will set him off again, such as me leaving the room, a change to routine etc. He makes himself gag if another child has a snotty nose, or scares him by making a noise. All of which, I know, sounds like signs of autism or along those lines... however, this child has always been very young, he doesn't turn 4 until August, and had very little independence when he first started at nursery.

 

Anyway, aside from our obvious concerns, I am after any ideas of how to settle this child & prepare him for school. He has been with us since September, we are now offering mum a full time place for him may in the hopes that the daily routine help.

 

Thanks all,

 

Debbie x

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Snap! Do you work with me? haha

 

The little boy in our case only started in September and comes irregularly for only 3 mornings a week. The consequence of this is that we still feel as if we're settling him in! He cries at any opportunity, asking for daddy. If we start up a vacuum he cries, if an aeroplane goes over he cries, if a child looks at him the wrong way ....... yes, you have my sympathy, it's hard work, and he's going to get a shock in September! I've offered additional sessions but daddy says that he's a confident child who speaks to anyone, yada, yada, yada, when in point of fact he's a shy, non-confident child who needs continued support. The staff all think he can't see properly, which is the cause of the anxiety, but Daddy insists that he's fine and that he's just sniffing things when he holds them close to his face (hmm). Anyway, this morning I overheard another mother telling him he should get the boy in more often to help him settle or it would be hard work in September - in fact she said all the kinds of things that we've been drip-feeding since September, but all in one go! Daddy has asked if he can extend sessions to do lunches and perhaps the odd afternoon session too! Breakthrough? Well, we'll have to see - it feels a bit late in the day really, but fingers crossed.

 

Have you contacted the school? I've got the class teacher coming in to meet him and arranged a morning for him to visit school.

 

When I say 'only started' I mean that he has joined a group of children who have been with us since they were 2. They were initially very welcoming and tried to include him in everything, in fact they impressed me with their persistence, but it's becoming obvious that they're losing patience now

Edited by Cait
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dbrowne, I have two children very similar to your little fella, both are summer birthdays and very nervous and anxious. I have had school entry plan meetings with the school for both of them and am also visiting the schools with each child next week so that they can take photos of their new school, teacher, playground, hall, washrooms etc so that we can make a book back at the setting to use as a 'story' about starting school. I've also had meetings with both sets of parents to discuss transition and to encourage them to access the play sessions at school. We also discussed them not starting school full time until everyone involved, and especially the child, are ready, (flexibility on attendance being the only advantage of being a summer birthday child I can think off)

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Thanks for the feedback, glad I'm not alone in this!

I'm hoping that coming in full time will help, we will see. As for linking with the school, fortunately he is coming to the school we are attached to, so transition should be easy to manage if we can get him settled in the first place. We already walk about the school to collect milk, registers etc, and use the school hall for activities. I guess I will have to cross fingers for the next week and see what, if any, changing to full time brings!

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if he's not ready does he have to go? remember that he can stay with you until the term after his 5th birthday

 

But if he delays going he'll still go into the same class that he would have started with and will miss all the bonding, routine learning, peer group forming and assessment activities.

 

We had a child who's mother decided he wasn't ready (we disagreed) and he never really fitted in comfortably when he did start, always on the edge of his peer groups and didn't seem to reach his potential accademically. So it's not a decision to take lightly.

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well actually we have a group most years that stay with us sometimes one or two sometimes half a dozen....(but we are in an area that does not have enough school places) We are well used to dealing with this situation and are able to support children and parents to make this decision if it is right for them. The rule is that they must accept their place and then defer if they would like to, all of our children (if they have a school place) will ideally spend at least a term in reception....but we have sent straight into year one in some cases. I think its important that parents know this is an option for them especially some of my summer born boys/eal and sen children benefit from this.

The children who enter at a later stage in the year are often more confident and (to quote an MP) 'school ready' than if they had started in the september. Their transition is well planned and carefully organised to ensure they fit in easily.

It is a difficult decision for the parents and they have to be brave enough to follow it through and ignore the pressure from others but if they (and us) feel that it is right for the child then we will support it. :1b

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Do many children actually do this??

 

we can't even convince parents that they don't have to go to nursery at 3!!

 

In my experience no. Most parents want their child to 'be the same' as their peers and consider delayed admission to school as failure. As Swiftlymorgan points out joining your peer class late is like turning up late to a party, your a bit out of the swing of it all! In our LA there is such a thing as a 'low flyer' application available for very emotionaly young summer borns. Their parents can apply for them to join school a whole class year later, they then stay with that school year all through education. We have two children who also have additional needs that are doing just that now.

 

Since the switch to one yearly admission being 'ready' for school is sadly affecting alot of summer born children i think. ?

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Most parents want their child to 'be the same' as their peers and consider delayed admission to school as failure.

I find this interesting, why do parents feel that it is a failure? none of my parents feel it is their child who has failed but that the school system is not right for them just yet. For instance i have a young lad with me at present who is dual language/summer born boy/very quiet.....his Mum feels that by keeping him with us for another term he will grow in confidence and be more able to cope with school when he starts in January. Perhaps this is a culture that we have fostered over the years and therefore parents have a different attitude???

 

Since the switch to one yearly admission being 'ready' for school is sadly affecting alot of summer born children i think. out most local school has been taking one admission group for some years and they are now much happier for us to 'keep'children for a bit longer....i think even they can now see the benefits having taken children early in the past and regretted it!! :o

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Totally agree Finsleymaid that to defer for many is absoloutely the right option. However when we have suggested to parents that this is their right most have just hmmm'd, made agreeable noise and then gone with the flow! Maybe coming from a small village and wanting to go along with what everyone else does.....?, i wish more of our parents had the attitude yours do.?

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In our LA there is such a thing as a 'low flyer' application available for very emotionaly young summer borns. Their parents can apply for them to join school a whole class year later, they then stay with that school year all through education.

 

 

This seems a much better option to me. Surely if a child really isn't ready for school it makes sense to start them at the beginning a bit later than to hold them back til they are ready then drop them out of their depth again.

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We have a little boy with significant SEN who is staying with us for 2 terms - this is the first time in 6 years, partly because the schools aren't keen as they lose 2 terms funding but have to hold the place. In this case the school, family and we all agree it's best (he's summer born too)

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anju, when this has happened in my setting, the school has the funding (to hold the place) and the parent has to pay for the child to carry on coming to preschool

since the single funding formula this should now not be happening i believe. The schools should support delayed entry and if they are putting pressure on parents please ensure that your Lea are informed.

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Well in nearly 20 years of preschool I have only once ever known a child have their place deferred.

Doesn't matter how much we reiterate and explain it is the rare parent that will do this. In our borough we have

had only 2 entries for over well over 20 years and with 99.9 % of our children going to the same oversubscribed

Catholic school that has had one form entry for 8 years none will delay. Interestingly we have a parent starting in Sept with a child that was prem, who is already saying she doesn't want him to go next year (Aug baby)

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Blimey, max, that's bad! I did check with early years finance and we definitely get the funding here

It could be that finleysmaid is right as it has been a while since a child has deferred so the systems may well have changed with the intro of the SFF. Interestingly we have 5/6 children each september who do joint placement with us and their school to give them a more gradual transition and we definetely don't get funding for them

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since the single funding formula this should now not be happening i believe.

 

That's what I know from our admissions - the child is statutory school age the term after their 5th birthday so funding for nursery places stops then.

 

Since the switch to one yearly admission being 'ready' for school is sadly affecting alot of summer born children i think.

Curiously since 1 point of entry we have more summer born children attaining 6+ in all areas than we did before 1 point of entry,(2010 and 2011 EYFSP data for our LA) so for a significant number starting in reception for a year has been beneficial.

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It could be that finleysmaid is right as it has been a while since a child has deferred so the systems may well have changed with the intro of the SFF. Interestingly we have 5/6 children each september who do joint placement with us and their school to give them a more gradual transition and we definetely don't get funding for them

 

Any child that goes to a maintained nursery & PV or I setting as well, the funding would automatically go to the maintained nursery. Even though if they are sharing between two PVI settings the parent chooses where to send their funding. Equality rules!!

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Any child that goes to a maintained nursery & PV or I setting as well, the funding would automatically go to the maintained nursery. Even though if they are sharing between two PVI settings the parent chooses where to send their funding. Equality rules!!

Have you checked this recently? until last year this was the case in our borough but is no longer true we would both get paid for the hours the child does in the setting up to 15.

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Curiously since 1 point of entry we have more summer born children attaining 6+ in all areas than we did before 1 point of entry,(2010 and 2011 EYFSP data for our LA) so for a significant number starting in reception for a year has been beneficial.

I dont doubt that this is very true, its apparently proven that children 'catch up' with their older peers as the year progressess. However, I do feel, speaking with parents of summer born children, that school admission can be, emotionally, a difficult time. Transition should address The Unique Child. Sadly at our local primary they are treated as a cohort, with little or no flexibility for the individual. Suppose success depends a great deal on how transition is implemented.

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It breaks my heart to see this little one, and more to see his Mum trying to get him ready for school. However, I don't think deferring his entry would be benificial to him as he needs a long time to settle, so starting later on when his peers are already established, or even going straight into Year 1 next year would probably leave him on the outside of things...

 

When I rule the world I would introduce a cut off period rather than a date, where all parents with children born between May 1st and Sept 1st could chose to either send them in Sept to reception, send them in Jan to join reception, or send them the following year to reception! Keeping them home for a year then dropping them straight into year 1 is not useful for most children, just leaves them in exactly the same position, but in the next year.

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