to think the whole "phasing in" thing at school is just a PITA!

(293 Posts)
Maggietess Sun 01-Sep-13 12:14:32

DD2 starts school tomorrow, the equivalent of reception class. We have first day she stays for an hour with mum or dad (great idea). Rest of this week shes in for 2 1/2 hours a day (OK I'm still with the idea in general).

Then some more kids start next week so we've another week of in til 1130.
Then the week after its 1230.
Then finally in the 4th week it's full day til 2.

And this is the improved version of settling in, it used to take nearly til halloween to get them all in with a couple of kids starting every day.

I can understand the teachers needing a couple of days, even a week to properly get to know everyone but is 3 full weeks of it not a bit ott???

They then repeat a slightly shortened version of this in P1.

Add to that that our junior school finishes at 2 and senior school at 3 and you have some parents doing collections at 12.30, 2 and 3. Total pita.

Surely its all just a bit unnecessary given that most kids these days will have been at some form of nursery before??

Or AIBtotallyU?

Surely it's not that hard to understand that schools are a source of education AND childcare. It's not either/or.

FunnyRunner Sun 01-Sep-13 13:14:25

Doubtit do you have a link for that story? Would be interested in reading it.

My sons school is fucking stupid.
Small village: 14 kids in the whole year.

Week one:Until 12
Week two:Until 1
Week three:Full day Mon, half days Tues-Fri
Week four:Full day Mon and Tues, half days Weds-Fri
Week five:Full day Mon, Tues Weds, half days Thurs-Fri

And so on. What a pile of wank.

Doubtitsomehow Sun 01-Sep-13 13:15:54

Sorry don't know how to link - Sunday times, August 25, Mother wins fight for full time lessons for girl, 4.

StephenFrySaidSo Sun 01-Sep-13 13:17:13

"Think its massively unfair to accuse people of caring more about their jobs than their own child "

did someone do that on this thread?

MadeOfStarDust Sun 01-Sep-13 13:17:14

At ours, the youngest kids start on Wednesday, the after Christmas, before Easter, start on Friday and the September to Christmas start on the Monday after. All full time from the start.... with the provision of a quiet book corner in the afternoon for those who need it.

parents can also choose to send them half days til half term if they wish.

jellybeans Sun 01-Sep-13 13:17:40

I prefer the long staggered starts to be honest as I think it is better for the DC. Our school does only 1-2 weeks and I wish it was longer really as my at the time just turned 4 year olds really struggled. School should not be just about childcare. Maybe before and after school clubs could help out though with childcare at these times for those who work. Yes I am a SAHM but have worked and used childcare in the past.

teacherwith2kids Sun 01-Sep-13 13:18:31

DS went in full time, day 1, from 12.5 hours of pre-school in the previous 2 years.

DD had 2 weeks of part days.

My old school - a large minority of whose intake had never attended any setting at all, not pre-school, not toddler group, nothing - started full time on Day 1 (and for many years that was 20 intake + 10 from y1 in the same classroom). If it was genuinely a 'settling in' problem, then my old school should have had lots of disruptive, unhappy children ... nope. It was VERY, VERY hard work for the class teacher, though, mostly in terms of paperwork (because so many of the children came with no baseline assessments from pre-school or nursery so it really was a blank page).

I do not, in general, criticise my own profession. However, I do think in this case that it is rather more to do with managing the staff workload than it is to do with what is best for the children. I understand the need to manage workload - teaching's a hard job at the best of times and that first half term was exceptionally hard for the Reception teacher.

It also made teaching e.g. Phonics a lot easier. They started the first sound on day 2, as far as I remember, and there was no need to keep re-starting because of another batch of children starting that day. As progress was a HUGE issue given the exceptionally low starting points of many of the children (children arriving with no spoken language, just sounds and grunts, was not uncommon), those extra teaching weeks were vital.

Doubtitsomehow Sun 01-Sep-13 13:18:59

Parent is a law lecturer and even a university couldn't provide flexible working to fit with her dauther's induction (mornings til 11.30 5 days a week). She challenged it. Schools adjudicator found the school had broken her admissions code.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 13:19:21

Better for your DC jellybeans, but why should all children be forced to do these staggered starts just to accomodate a few?

Maggietess Sun 01-Sep-13 13:20:58

Thanks for the thoughts.

For clarity, I know school is not about childcare (knew that would come up pretty fast). I think an element of any parent's life will be about organising school pick ups and I don't think it's unreasonable to highlight things that make it more difficult.

Nor do I dispute that a little bit of settling is beneficial for children. However I do believe most children adapt readily to the new routine and agree with another comment able that perhaps extended settling in could be done for those children who need it.

What about the poor kids who don't start at all until week 4? I'd imagine it's tricky to settle in and make friends if everyone else has already been doing it for weeks. My older dd was one of the last to start and she couldn't understand why others got to stay for lunch and she didn't, she thought she had been naughty. So I don't buy this whole it's for the good good of the kids thing.

And to the poster who said why did I pick the school at all grin it would be a bit weird not to choose what is an excellent school cus I'm a bit peeved for 3 weeks... And before you say perhaps the phasing in makes it a good school, nope been good for donkeys years and this is a new thing. I'm allowed to disagree with one of their policies and still believe it's a good school.

Two of my siblings are teachers, neither of their schools do it, and their kids seem just fine. I should note there's a teacher and two teaching assistants for 20 kids so the ratios sound ok to me!

As I said, it's just a pita for parents (I'm well aware it's not about me!) and I don't believe 3 weeks settling in is necessary for the vast majority of the kids. Some settling in, absolutely! And flexibility for those kids who need it, but 3 weeks?

cece Sun 01-Sep-13 13:22:37

I think if they want to do this then they should take into accound which parents both work and which don't. They could therefore take the working parents kids first...

My ds2 does even start until the 16th. It is going to cost me a small fortune to pay the cm to have him till then.

indyandlara Sun 01-Sep-13 13:22:45

I have to manage too though. I am a working parent with absolutely no flexibility and I have manage my childcare and my job. I can't leave my class to go to any school event or use annual leave to accommodate long settle ins. I don't however think that my local school should change their whole settle in process because it doesn't suit my working life. Schools don't actually do these things to be as awkward as they can. They do them because they feel it will give all the children the best chance for a successful start.

Hulababy Sun 01-Sep-13 13:22:53

We were lucky. Dd started ft from the first week.

At my school they don't start for a while. Home visits this week, then or (with no choice as of am or pm) and takes ages.

As a working parent it's a nightmare IMO. Also as teaching staff we would really struggle to be allowed the time off. Doubt our HT would authorise so much time off to cover it yet obviously she expects our parents to manage! Seems like double standards a bit though.

Tbh dd and her class seemed to settle much quicker than the children in my school do too so not convinced as to the reasons behind r.

teacherwith2kids Sun 01-Sep-13 13:24:26

I think that having the OPTION to do part days (leave before / after lunch) for some children, up to say half term or even longer for very young / immature (young does not always mean not fully ready for FT school) children or those who e.g. were born prem at the end of August would be fine.

Those parents for whom the FT hours are likely to be the most critical are likely to be those who have had their children in FT nursery before school, and by having the whole class in every morning from the beginning, the 'formal learning' [if there is such a thing in Reception - Phonics etc] can be delivered for every child before lunch.

My children school stopped this a few years ago.

Now they do 10 children per day (going on birthdays) each child starts about 15min apart and they are there all day. So by the second Friday of the term all children are in school FT.

NoComet Sun 01-Sep-13 13:25:56

It's a pointless stupid waste of parents time, a child care nightmare and very very bad for some DCs.

DD1 is very bad at making friends, being in the opporsite settling in group to the girls in her nursery per group, did not give her a good start to school.

DD2 was used to doing 9-5.45 at nursery one day a week and just thought it was daft!

Doubtitsomehow Sun 01-Sep-13 13:26:42
indyandlara Sun 01-Sep-13 13:26:57

Maggietess its worth remembering that there may be that ratio as there are children with very specific needs coming in who need 1-1 support.

hettienne Sun 01-Sep-13 13:27:21

I think in most cases it does come down to what works best for the school - easier to deal with smaller groups of children, more time for teachers to do assessments - than for the children or their families.

Doubtitsomehow Sun 01-Sep-13 13:29:05

Gah. Can't work out how to link and have to run out. But the article is there...No idea if this would apply nationally to all schools.

littlemisswise Sun 01-Sep-13 13:30:15

When my DC started school many moons ago, they took 4 or 5 DC a day on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday until the whole class was in. They all stayed all day from day 1. Everyone seemed fine, I remember the HT saying they were going to be tired the first time they stayed all day, so they might as well get used to it from the word go.

Groovee Sun 01-Sep-13 13:32:42

We used to have 5 weeks of half days. But this year the LEA gave 3 days for all children to be introduced to school and a week of half days and full time.

My friend is a P1 teacher and says all the stuff which would be done in the 5 weeks where baseline testing could be done in the afternoons etc, has become really hard and she found keeping the attention of some of them as it's such a change from nursery.

What works for one child doesn't always work for another. I took parental leave of 5 weeks when both children started school to ensure we could cover it. Completely unpaid but just as well when ds started school as dd broke her heel and was off school.

Maggietess Sun 01-Sep-13 13:34:47

indy one boy with special needs which is why they have the extra teaching assistant. But this doesn't change how they settle them in!

Maggietess Sun 01-Sep-13 13:37:40

Oh and I know the school isn't doing it to be awkward, I'm more questioning the rationale for the length and wondering if there's been some studies into how best to do this. If there has then why do it so differently in every school. I suppose (answering her own questionwink) it could be done differently based on the school's pupil profile and how many kids they think may need extra support? (although that wouldn't answer why mine does it)

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