Niknak

Differences in school years

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    Hi

    Our 4 year old son started reception class in the UK in September. We are moving to Aus over Christmas and he will now start kindy (due to being born in June) 2 days a week in January. I feel like he is effectively missing out on 18 months of schooling?

    Has anyone else been in this situation and does it seem to even its self out over a couple of years?

    Also do they teach reading via phonics? I am going to try to continue with his reading and writing and hope that gives him a head start once he starts school.

    Thanks

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    Guest Claire-n-tel

    Niknak.....just think of it as different like many many things in Australia :jiggy:

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    It will even itself out. It's a different system here, so try to stop comparing as it may not be helpful once here if you keep stacking up what he has done to what he is doing. Kids start school that bit older but also stay in school till that bit older than the UK. Try not to think of it as missing out, it's different. I like kids don't start school till a bit older here personally. Primary here isn't as full on as it is in the UK but please don't think of it as the kids being behind. I find the kids develop well here in the non academic areas more too. There is more emphasis on things like public speaking, languages from a younger age and other things. I love my son's weekly topic talk, he's been doing it since his first week in reception and really gets stuck in to it each week. His confidence in this area has grown and he loves hearing the other kids also. It's always well handled and even the shy kids are up there sharing their topic with the class. It's not show and tell type stuff but proper themed topics that as they get a bit older require more input to prepare and share.

     

    My son, year 1 now does weekly language lesson (done this from reception), history, music, PE and art. All those bar the art are done with specialist teachers in specific rooms at his school. He loves the music room and every second year the entire school puts on a school musical. It was a fab performance this year and so happy he got to be involved, even if only a couple of songs sung by his year group, they all had a part. PE is done from reception also. Plus they have times during the week they head outside for some keep fit stuff and kids learn to jump rope or other short burst activities to show and encourage them to be active. Art is in a separate room and done with the teacher at this younger age.

     

    Your son won't be missing out in the least IMO. He is one of the youngest in his school year in the UK but will be one of the oldest here in Aus. The school year starts at a different time but the general focus areas of learning are pretty similar although the route they get there isn't going to be the same. Phonics is taught but it may not be jolly phonics that is used lots in the UK. I'd not go overboard as he'll have only done 3 months or so of it in reception when you leave and they really don't do much reading those early months in the UK, it tends to pick up more a bit later on. Kindy may well do some stuff like that for the older kids, ask and see perhaps? Handwriting is taught differently here so all those flicks and kicks of cursive handwriting kids spend ages trying to perfect in UK schools in those early years are not needed here so early. That was a frustration initially for my son as he was so focused on doing that when we arrived but they don't teach in reception but he soon adapted and his handwriting style has changed. Personally this has been a good thing from where I am sitting as he is able to be a lot neater and sped up a bit with writing not having to worry about flicks, his letters soon developed a better shape and were a lot clearer. Now, a year on his handwriting is going really well, he writes a good half to full page of text.

    Edited by snifter

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    Guest Guest75
    Niknak.....just think of it as different like many many things in Australia :jiggy:

     

    Like what Claire said.............Things are different here. Embrace the differences.

    No one has the definitive answer.

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    I feel like he is effectively missing out on 18 months of schooling?

    does it seem to even its self out over a couple of years?

    I am going to try to continue with his reading and writing and hope that gives him a head start once he starts school.

    Thanks

     

    Hi Niknak,

     

    i understand your your concern as we all want to help our kids as much as possible, but relax.

     

    I'm assuming you are intending this is a permanent migration? If so, then your son will stay in our system for a long time. Some countries (I can't remember where but one is in Europe!) only start formal reading tuition to 7yo. Some kids start school able to read, many more can't read, but over time it does even out. Being able to read early is not necessarily a sign of a student with high intellectual potential ( known as SHIP here).

     

    if it were me, I'd take on board all Snifter's comments, as they are totally relevant.

     

    Keep reading to your son, let him see you , and most importantly, his father reading. I'm definitely not an expert, but I do know that many kids cannot visualise what they are hearing / reading. This really impacts on them in later years, particularly in high school, so I would try to encourage your son's imagination, understanding instructions etc.

     

    Don't worry so much about the mechanics of reading. He'll get all that at school :)

     

    HTH,

     

    :wubclub: LC

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    Guest Spitfire

    I had this concern, Niknak, but two points to remember - it's only going to be a problem if you move back to the UK after 2/3 years, when the difference might be noticeable, and also bear in mind that in fact the UK is the odd one out - see here for a list of school start ages across Europe and note that in fact Australia is closer to the bulk of EU countries. I don't think it presents a problem.

     

    http://www.nfer.ac.uk/nfer/index.cfm?9B1C0068-C29E-AD4D-0AEC-8B4F43F54A28

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    Guest roo

    Hi Niknak - I have a 6 and a 5 year old and the 5 year old has had to go to kindy. I was worried too - thought he h=may fell like a baby but he has taken to it really well, made loads of friends and absolutly loves it! As someone else on here said they are all in the same ages group together so actually it is fine. My little one loves it when its a kindy day! and he was already at school in the uk too. good luck x

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. It's almost sounds neurotic reading it back but I have such a limited knowledge of the aussie schooling system! I need to focus on the bigger picture and all the opportunities we will get living in Aus. just needed some peace of mind. Thanks again x

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