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 Post subject: Montessori Schools???
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:38 pm
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Location: Maidstone
I am just wondering if anyone has any experience of the Montessori nursery schools? This one goes right up to 11 years but at the moment I am interested in the nursery. When I visited it, I really liked it but just wasnt sure I understood it. It looked a bit dry than normal nurseries, but my understanding is they encourage the kids to discover things for themselves and be responsible.

If my DS goes into a normal school at 4 would there be problems settling in and socialising with other kids? I must say I really liked it and I am going back to see it. I hope I am not falling for a fad so I would really appreciate any positive/ negative feedback.

Another question please: If I were to hold him from starting main school at 4 until 5 do I still apply for normal Year R entry? Would the school hold a place until he is 5 or do I just apply to which ever school has places at 5?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:01 am 
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Is he very young for his year Sherry?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:07 am 
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My two went to a Montessori nursery and loved it. From what I remember (we chose it because it was close by - I didn't have any understanding at all of the different types of nursery and still don't tbh) it was learning through play and the children were afforded a certain amount of independence in that they could choose which activities they wanted to do. Some very competitive parents though.
I do know of a couple of parents who chose not to send their second child there: one because some of the days were half-days and so didn't suit their working hours and the other because they felt their child wasn't learning enough or being set homework. :shock:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:36 am 
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Quote:
If I were to hold him from starting main school at 4 until 5 do I still apply for normal Year R entry? Would the school hold a place until he is 5 or do I just apply to which ever school has places at 5?


If your son was to start in September after his 5th birthday he would go straight into Year 1 and miss Foundation Year. He would only get a place in Year 1 if there was one so if you were looking at schools in Maidstone, there would be a limited choice with a space. Where I work all the children start Foundation in Sept part-time and it has been known for children to continue part-time for a longer period - but this is rare. If you were to apply for him a Year 1 place, unless the school has about 3 or more spaces, you still need to go through admissions. This has started this year to stop schools choosing who to give their one place to. Foundation Stage classes differ across schools with some being more like pre-school and others more like Year 1 so this may be worth considering.

HTH


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:59 am 
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Hi Sherry you apply at the normal time and defer entry - the school must hold your place. http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/sacode/

Quote:
Admission of children below compulsory school age

2.65 For admission to the 2011–12 school year, and subsequent years, admission authorities for primary schools must provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday. When determining the arrangements for primary schools the admission authority must make it clear that:

(...not relevant)

d) parents can request that the date their child is admitted to the school is deferred until later in the school year or until the child reaches compulsory school age in that school year;

e) parents can request that their child attends part-time until the child reaches compulsory school age.

Deferred entry to primary schools

2.69 Admission authorities must allow parents of children who are offered a place at the school before they are of compulsory school age to defer their child’s entry until later in the school year. Where entry is deferred, admission authorities must hold the place for that child and not offer it to another child. The parent would not however be able to defer entry beyond the beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday, nor beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted. This must be made clear in the admission arrangements for the school.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:33 am 
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The legal school starting age is 5 years and one month. You are entitled to hold your child back from school until that point. What is less clear is whether you are then allowed to put him into a Reception class, or if you have to go straight to Year 1, thereby negating any advantage you might have gained by allowing him access to the EYFS. It can be done but you might have to be persistent. My DD started school when she was 5 years and 3 months old because I was adamant she would not go at 4. We were lucky enough to find a school which agreed to her going into Reception at that age; but that was so unusual we had the BBC on the 'phone wanting to do a feature on us (I declined!). It was the best decision we took for DD, despite many acquaintances - and even some friends - tutting and wringing their hands, unable to understand why our bright little girl was being 'held back' by her anxious parents. She moved to her true year group after Year 1 with no problems whatsoever and has never looked back. We exercised a similar right with our spring born DS and allowed him only to go to school for 2 days a week until he was 5. You have to fight; but as I am such a passionate advocate of play-based learning and no formal education until 7, I was totally convinced of what I wanted to do. No regrets at all; other than the fact that our country persists in such a short-sighted and ill-informed practice of sending children to school just out of nappies. If you want any more information, please feel free to PM me sherry_d. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:48 am 
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Amber wrote:
No regrets at all; other than the fact that our country persists in such a short-sighted and ill-informed practice of sending children to school just out of nappies.


Steady on Amber !!!! very interesting post but obviously based on your experience :wink: Children vary - DS was aiming to be prime minister at 3 (and managed fine in the nursery at a small private primary), he like the structure and "dressing up like going to work". .....it suited him, however not going to be PM now ... too political aiming for Sir Humphrey instead


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:56 am 
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hermanmunster wrote:
Amber wrote:
No regrets at all; other than the fact that our country persists in such a short-sighted and ill-informed practice of sending children to school just out of nappies.


Steady on Amber !!!! very interesting post but obviously based on your experience :wink: Children vary - DS was aiming to be prime minister at 3 (and managed fine in the nursery at a small private primary), he like the structure and "dressing up like going to work". .....it suited him, however not going to be PM now ... too political aiming for Sir Humphrey instead


No Herman, I am unshakeable in my belief that we have got it wrong. It is not just based on my own experience, but on living in Scandinavia and studying with a Scandinavian pedagogue; as well as supporting doctoral research on EY education. Pretty much all respected research, worldwide, into child development, shows that children should not be exposed to formal learning before they are 6 or 7. The previous government even commissioned its own report, The Cambridge Review into Education, which published its findings last year after 3 years of research by 1000 academics. The results were suppressed within one day, dismissed by Ed Balls as 'out of date". The main recommendation? That children should start school at 7.

Children do indeed vary, but would anyone argue that Swedish children are genetically any different from our own in terms of IQ? They manage on play based learning till 7; then school for half days till 11. By 10, they outperform our own on all meaningful measures of academic achievement.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:07 am 
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My DD attended a Montessori nursery from 2 until starting school. I chose it because it was a small nursery (only 12 children per session) and wondefully calm, compared to the larger pre-schools in the area.

It was more child-led as far the learning went, with the children being free to choose the activities they wanted to do. Equipment was available to use at any time and there was less rigid 'timetabling' for want of a better word e.g. at the pre-school my DS attended the children all had to do certain activities at certain times, such as carpet time or story-time (or visit the toilet time!), whereas the Montessori nursery was more flexible.

I also noticed a difference in the level of adult intervention as far as production of work - it was more about the process of learning as opposed to producing an end product. At times you could get all manner of unrecognisable objects from my DD whereas at the preschool the children all had wonderful things to bring home but you knew that there had been an awful lot of input from the staff.

My DD had no problem in fitting in with children when starting reception at 4 years.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:19 am
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Quote:
I also noticed a difference in the level of adult intervention as far as production of work - it was more about the process of learning as opposed to producing an end product. At times you could get all manner of unrecognisable objects from my DD whereas at the preschool the children all had wonderful things to bring home but you knew that there had been an awful lot of input from the staff.

My DS went part time to a nursery which was not a Montessori one but was run along similar lines as kentsussexborder describes. As with schools, I think it's worth seeing them in action and before deciding.


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