Gransnet forums


When is it time to start school?

(13 Posts)
NanaSuzy Thu 16-Apr-20 14:39:55

My son and DIL are sending our granddaughter to full time school in September, although she will only be 4 and 3 months. What do other people think, is this a good idea or not? I remember in the fifties, it was always considered an advantage to be born in September/October and therefore the oldest kids in the class. She has been at Nursery for about a year, full time for the last term - till the lockdown started at least! Any views anyone?

Septimia Thu 16-Apr-20 14:45:05

It's very likely that she'll start in the reception class which is like a cross between nursery and school. It gives children a chance to get used to school. She'll start learning but not as much as when she goes into year 1.

SueDonim Thu 16-Apr-20 14:52:37

My grandson began school at 4yrs and two weeks. He’s now 5yrs 8mths and has flourished there, doing very well indeed. He’s pretty bright and another year at nursery would have been very boring for him so overall, his parents think they did the right thing.

It’s a small school, though, and physically he is by no means the smallest so his young age didn’t stand out as much as it might in other circumstances.

eazybee Thu 16-Apr-20 14:53:55

In the fifties, you did not start school until the term after you were five, so older children gained two full terms of education over the youngest, and that was in the days when there were no nurseries or playgroups to prepare children for school.

Grannybags Thu 16-Apr-20 15:49:52

My DS1 was a September baby and started school a week before his 5th birthday.

DS2, a May baby, was 4yrs 4mths

DS1 screamed and kicked for months before he eventually settled down and DS2 loved it from day one!

It really depends on the child

AGAA4 Thu 16-Apr-20 16:01:54

I think Reception Class teachers are aware that a 4 year old needs a bit more care than older ones.
In my daughter's reception class there was a quiet room with little beds for those who found 9 - 3 too much!

V3ra Thu 16-Apr-20 16:20:06

The reception year in school is still part of the Early Years Foundation Stage, which is the curriculum we follow from when babies first enter a childcare setting. It's supposed to be learning through play still.

The Prime Areas are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Physical Development

The Specific Areas are:
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design

So a good mixture, though these headings are due to be revised for September.

Calendargirl Thu 16-Apr-20 16:29:59


I was born in 1953, and started school in the September after I turned 4, so was 4 years and 8 months. There was no intake after Christmas, but then there was an intake after Easter, so younger children with summer birthdays started then.

My own children, born in the 70’s, had to have turned 5.

EllanVannin Thu 16-Apr-20 16:43:23

I was 5 and had to wait until the war was over.

NanaSuzy Thu 16-Apr-20 18:04:55

Very many thanks to everyone for those very helpful replies, our little one is tall for her age, and (we think!) very bright. She's also going up to the school where she's been going to nursery, so all being well she will thrive.

vampirequeen Thu 16-Apr-20 20:05:43

My grandaughter was 4 on August 27th and started Reception a week later. She'd already been in FS1 for a year having started at 3 years and 1 week. She seemed so tiny to be going into FS but has thrived. She's the youngest in the year group. My grandson started FS at the same time. He was 3 and 3 weeks old.

M0nica Thu 16-Apr-20 20:28:20

It depends entirely on the child. My DD was school ready at 3. DS could have done with waiting until he was nearly 6.

It was nothing to do with intellectual ability, but emotional and social maturity.

Katyj Thu 16-Apr-20 20:42:55

My Granddaughter started at 4 year 3 month after being at full time nursery. She coped well at school, but was very tired and emotional when she came home and often had a nap before tea, and asked to go to bed at 6.30 bless her.