Is my child ready to start school?

Moving from pre-school to reception is a significant step in your child’s education. It can be a daunting time for families. The curriculum for 4-year-olds is the same in reception as it is in nursery. It is largely based around learning through play. This allows your child to have an individualised learning journey and make good progress from their starting point.

Teachers in reception classes are very experienced in meeting the varied needs of the youngest children. They tailor learning activities appropriately to each individual child. The best thing to do is talk to the school about what to expect in reception and how they can address any concerns you may have.

Things to consider before requesting delayed admission

Before making a formal request, consider all the options. For example, delaying for part of the year or taking up a part time place may be better possibilities for your child. To find out more, talk to:

  • the School Admissions team
  • your child’s pre-school
  • your GP (if you have any medical concerns)
  • and, most importantly, the schools you have an interest in.

Why delayed admission might not be in your child’s best interests

Some parents have found that delayed admission solves a short-term issue but causes long-term problems.

  • Children mature at different rates. It may be appropriate for a child who has been admitted out of their normal age group to be moved to their normal age group at a later date. This could have a negative effect on friendships and performance.
  • Children can be upset if they feel they have been held back from moving up with their friends.
  • Children may be unable to join age-related activities with their classmates. For example, under 9's football.
  • Children can make their own decisions to leave school at 16, even if they are a year behind and haven’t been in year 11.