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Notquitesure

Different school starting ages

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My daughter was born in May 2017, so in the UK would be due to start school in September 2021.  We are now living in Melbourne, where the cut off is 30th April, so she wouldn’t start school until Feb 2023 - a massive difference.

We aren’t planning on a forever move, but for her to get a UK school place we’d need to apply next January, and I can see us staying a bit longer.  How easy is it to persuade public schools here to let them start early?

I’m really worried if we move back when she’s 5 or 6 and other kids have been in school 18 months longer than her.  The UK reception/year 1 curriculum is now increasingly structured and I think it would be hard to catch up.  Prep seems very casual in comparison (plus they are already 18 months behind)

 

Any experiences of this would be super helpful!  Thanks!

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1 minute ago, Notquitesure said:

My daughter was born in May 2017, so in the UK would be due to start school in September 2021.  We are now living in Melbourne, where the cut off is 30th April, so she wouldn’t start school until Feb 2023 - a massive difference.

We aren’t planning on a forever move, but for her to get a UK school place we’d need to apply next January, and I can see us staying a bit longer.  How easy is it to persuade public schools here to let them start early?

I’m really worried if we move back when she’s 5 or 6 and other kids have been in school 18 months longer than her.  The UK reception/year 1 curriculum is now increasingly structured and I think it would be hard to catch up.  Prep seems very casual in comparison (plus they are already 18 months behind)

 

Any experiences of this would be super helpful!  Thanks!

`As a teacher, I can tell you that they won't allow them to start early unfortunately. Schools in UK are just so very different to here

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Urg that’s really annoying - even if they are not far from the cut off (May) and could cope academically?  Are private schools any more flexible?

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3 hours ago, Notquitesure said:

Urg that’s really annoying - even if they are not far from the cut off (May) and could cope academically?  Are private schools any more flexible?

Ask them. Only problem is that if you haven't got her name down on a waiting list then she's not likely to get a place anyway.

In general though, no, cut off dates are cut off dates. No point in having them if every man and his dog is going to try and circumvent them.

Couple of options if you're really intent - one is to spend the first term of the year she would turn 5 in NSW because their cut off is end July. Then there is an across border agreement that if a child has already stated school in another state, they can enrol with that year level cohort if they move. It was originally designed for military kids who have to move interstate and given the lack of a common entry point that didn't disadvantage them. We used to get it often in ACT where we have an April cut off but across the border is July - bloody annoying from the schools point of view but some parents didn't want to pay child care fees!

Other option is to home school for that year. Get the curriculum docs from the place you'll be returning to and do it that way.

Other option, don't sweat it. Chances are she will be just fine when she returns to UK, the schools there seem to do a fantastic job at helping kids catch up.

Edited to say - is not just the academic that schools consider with kids outside the cut off, it's physical and socio-emotional development too.

Edited by Quoll
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Wow, in WA they start kindy (5 days per fortnight) at 3/4, cut off is 30 June and pre primary (full time) at 4/5.

My daughter will be 6 at the end of March and already has 2 years behind her.  She is already reading at level 8 Purple on the UK scale.

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55 minutes ago, Collie said:

Wow, in WA they start kindy (5 days per fortnight) at 3/4, cut off is 30 June and pre primary (full time) at 4/5.

My daughter will be 6 at the end of March and already has 2 years behind her.  She is already reading at level 8 Purple on the UK scale.

Kindy/preschool/whatever its called is only part time, not universal and in some states not free, it's certainly not compulsory in any state. For full time school WA cut off is 30 June so if the OP lived in WA their child could start school in the year they turn 5 but in Victoria the cut off is 30 April. Luck of the draw really.

Edited by Quoll

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5 hours ago, Quoll said:

Kindy/preschool/whatever its called is only part time, not universal and in some states not free, it's certainly not compulsory in any state. For full time school WA cut off is 30 June so if the OP lived in WA their child could start school in the year they turn 5 but in Victoria the cut off is 30 April. Luck of the draw really.

Not quite correct for WA.

Kindy and Pre primary are 2 different years.

Kindy is full days (8.50 am to 3pm in my daughter's school) but 5 days per fortnight, 3 days 1 week, 2 the next. It is optional, free (part of the normal school) and for kids turning 4 before 30 June. It works well and my daughter loved it.

Pre Primary is compulsory in WA and is full time and for kids turning 5 before 30 June.

I always find it bizzare that different states have different systems (& not just for schools).

Tbh, I really don't see the point of state governments at all.

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5 hours ago, Collie said:

Not quite correct for WA.

Kindy and Pre primary are 2 different years.

Kindy is full days (8.50 am to 3pm in my daughter's school) but 5 days per fortnight, 3 days 1 week, 2 the next. It is optional, free (part of the normal school) and for kids turning 4 before 30 June. It works well and my daughter loved it.

Pre Primary is compulsory in WA and is full time and for kids turning 5 before 30 June.

I always find it bizzare that different states have different systems (& not just for schools).

Tbh, I really don't see the point of state governments at all.

You're right, it's bloody annoying! Kindy in WA is what would be called  Preschool in some other states and what you call PrePrimary is Kindergarten in some other states. Not all states have universal free pre-compulsory early education either so in some states its user-pays and the structure also differs from state to state - a mixture of days /half days whatever they decide they can cope with. Conflating school (full time and compulsory) with "pre" school (part time, non compulsory and often user pays) is also misleading.

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This is all so confusing!   Is so unfortunate with the cut off date, and blows my mind she can’t start formal school until nearly 6.  She’s already recognising letters, doing simple addition at 2.5 so I think will be ready at 4.  And is doing this off her own back - I’m not a flashcard Mum.
 

Unfortunately moving to NSW for a term or home educating aren’t really an option.  We don’t have her on the list for private schools - but surely if we registered her now and she scored highly on the assessment she’d get a place?  Or are they not selective here?  It is all so very different.

Thanks for all the advice and inputs 😊

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42 minutes ago, Notquitesure said:

This is all so confusing!   Is so unfortunate with the cut off date, and blows my mind she can’t start formal school until nearly 6.  She’s already recognising letters, doing simple addition at 2.5 so I think will be ready at 4.  And is doing this off her own back - I’m not a flashcard Mum.
 

Unfortunately moving to NSW for a term or home educating aren’t really an option.  We don’t have her on the list for private schools - but surely if we registered her now and she scored highly on the assessment she’d get a place?  Or are they not selective here?  It is all so very different.

Thanks for all the advice and inputs 😊

Not all private schools are selective schools and the selective schools (generally) have wait lists and often at the most selective you have to pay a non refundable fee to put them on the list to begin with.  


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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3 hours ago, Notquitesure said:

This is all so confusing!   Is so unfortunate with the cut off date, and blows my mind she can’t start formal school until nearly 6.  She’s already recognising letters, doing simple addition at 2.5 so I think will be ready at 4.  And is doing this off her own back - I’m not a flashcard Mum.
 

Unfortunately moving to NSW for a term or home educating aren’t really an option.  We don’t have her on the list for private schools - but surely if we registered her now and she scored highly on the assessment she’d get a place?  Or are they not selective here?  It is all so very different.

Thanks for all the advice and inputs 😊

Yeah, don't sweat it. If you can find a full time child care centre she will probably get some reasonable input but just go with the flow - if she's doing things spontaneously now she's not going to be irrevocably far behind when you return. English schools seem to say so a really good job at helping kids catch up.

Unlikely to get a place of she isn't already on a waiting list - some of these kids are put down for the best private schools at birth. They're generally not academically assessed for entry other than if they're thick as a brick they won't get  in - they're not competitive entry like selective high schools. 

You could try and make a case for early entry based on profound giftedness but that's not just in the top 1% on an iq test and skills well in advance of age but similar  levels of adaptive behaviour and social, emotional and physical development. You'd have to get an independent psychometric assessment and make a case but Victoria is notoriously sticky for rules so Im not sure that your chances would be great.

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5 hours ago, Notquitesure said:

This is all so confusing!   Is so unfortunate with the cut off date, and blows my mind she can’t start formal school until nearly 6.  She’s already recognising letters, doing simple addition at 2.5 so I think will be ready at 4.  And is doing this off her own back - I’m not a flashcard Mum.
 

Unfortunately moving to NSW for a term or home educating aren’t really an option.  We don’t have her on the list for private schools - but surely if we registered her now and she scored highly on the assessment she’d get a place?  Or are they not selective here?  It is all so very different.

Thanks for all the advice and inputs 😊

Don't sweat it too much.

Finland has the best rated education system in the world and they start at 7.

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4 minutes ago, Collie said:

Don't sweat it too much.

Finland has the best rated education system in the world and they start at 7.

It's 6 in Germany and Sweden.  I have relatives in both those countries and their children could all read and write before they started school.  Crikey I started school in Scotland when I was 4 same as my sister and we could read a bit and count before we went to school.  What you learn at home is just as important as school.  I would love to have been home schooled.  😀

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