Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 19 to 36 of 42

Thread: VIC school age being lowered to 4.5yrs

  1. #19

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Renee, no it isn't offensive. I think a lot of people agree with you (including me). I just don't understand the rush, quite frankly.



    If anything, I would be inclined to hold William back a year before even putting him in school to make sure he is ready for it. I don't know too much at this point about his abilities (obviously) but I have heard that boys sometimes need a bit more time to mature. Better to be held back in starting than to be held back later as others have said.

  2. #20

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Geelong, VIC
    Posts
    75

    Default

    We held Kayla back last year as Dh and I didn't think she was ready for School and she turns 6 on the 2 of Jan next year!!! I really don't want Kayal to go through what I went through when I was kept down in year one. I also left school at the end of year 10 because I could not cope with another 2 years of schooling, something I'm kicking myself for. It's only now at 25 years old that I want to go back to school and also go to uni. I really do feel sorry for the "babies" that could start school at 4 1/2 years old when at the age there really not ready to start.

    Raven

  3. #21

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ubiquity
    Posts
    9,922

    Default

    I agree that its not a good idea. I think in most cases there should be psychological reviews (as there are at our kinder) as to whether or not children are *school ready*

    I'd be more worried about the emotional abilities of those 4.5 yr olds as late teenagers doing HSC, TEE, VCE etc and how they would cope with the stress.

    I'm sure there would be the occasional child that is emotionally, socially and academically ready for school, but unless all 3 are certain there is no way I'd send my child off to school.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  4. #22

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,732

    Default

    I think that allowing kids to start school at 4.5 years is only going to widen the gap between the rich and poor. How? well here is my reasoning.

    We live in a less affluent suburb and I intend sending Flynn to the same primary school as I went to. I am a lawyer, DH is an engineer, we (almost) own our house, have been married 12 years, will probably take Flynn and this brothers and sisters on overseas trips or cool holidays (once we can afford it - LOL!!!), are lucky enough that one of us (probably DH) will be home with the kids while they are little, etc. So essentially Flynn and his siblings will theoretically have an "enriched" childhood. Now I plan on Flynn being 5yrs 8months when he starts school - that will mean he has had over 5 years of an "enriched" life and lifestyle, and most likely will be able to read by then (DH and I both could, I figure Flynn will pick it up as we did).

    So when Flynn trundles off to school, he will be in the same grade as 4 and a half yo (hence generally less mature/advanced/whatever purely due to their young years in comparison) and many of them will be from poorer families who might not have been able to afford to give their kids the "enriched" life we gave Flynn. And I am not talking about Gymboree, or Kindermusik (nothing against them, BTW) but just about having the leisure time and money to go to the zoo, have a driving holiday to Ballarat and visit sovereign hill, have books in the house, etc.

    I am not being "classist" here - remember I lived in this area as a kid and my and DH's parents "wuss paw-wah" when we were kids. But I am just making the point that our little middle-class boy with all the trappings that goes with that life is going to be a whole year older than the poorer kids in his grade. And I really think that the advantages that $$ brings plus the age difference is going to put him at such an advantage as compared with his peers that it will not be funny. Now if you extrapolate that out till highschool the difference will, I think, be even more marked. I think that long term this will widen the educational outcomes for kids in poorer suburbs. I already read in yesterday's paper than a kid from a STATE (ie: non-private) school in Melbourne's "rich" burbs is already 8 times more likely to get into medicine at melb uni than a kid from the poorer western suburbs. Not that i think medicine at melb uni is the pinacle of success BTW, it is just an example of the differences in outcomes that already exisit.

    Personally I think the govt reducing the school entrance age is just a way for them to get out of putting more money into kinders and preschools.

  5. #23

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    8,980

    Default

    I'm still holding Ris back, not all kids fit into the rediness slot when they are that age - Ris is not going to be ready for another year...
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  6. #24

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    2,202

    Default

    As it stands it doesn't really have a huge affect on us. Em will start in term 2 (about 2 weeks off 5) and consequently do 3 full terms which means he will go into the grade 1 the following year (at least I think this is how it works here). With the beginning age being 4.5 it means I have the choice to enrol him for the extra term should I think that he is ready. That is something I think anyone is unable to judge until their child is of that age and I am firm believer in that it depends on the child. Yes it would be lovely to keep them home the extra time but at the same time I think it can be just as cruel to not send them if they are ready IYKWIM. I think its important to remember that just because its the minimum age doesn't mean that everyone will be rushing their kids into school at 4.5 years - no one here seems that keen on it.

    I think (and its just my humble opinion LOL) that the age of 4.5 is good as it gives those that are ready the opportunity to start early. I do however think it would be a shame to see a mass amount of children starting early if they are not ready. I agree that at 15 you definitely can't decide what you want to do with your life but at the same time I don't think the extra year would make a difference with those decisions (at least it didn't to me). I agree with some form of standard testing to pass from one grade to the next - it shouldn't just be a given that you just get to go into the next grade. I think that's where more focus should lie and many students would struggle less if they ended up in the year suited to the level rather then the year that their age bracket puts them.

    Just a question because I'm not 100% sure.... someone commented on parents rushing their children into school to save on childcare etc etc. What is the difference between full time CC and school? I am gathering that routines and structures would be different. But most CC I have looked into focus a lot on educational/learning aspect as part of their structure anyway. I'm just thinking that children in CC may be ready for school earlier??? Just thinking out loud!

  7. #25

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Aurora, it's funny ... I was thinking about the cost saving aspect but I didn't say it out loud. I was thinking maybe it was just me being too cynical again.

    Lea, I also agree that so much depends on the child. It's great to have the option of early starting if the child seems ready but it's very much horses for courses.

  8. #26

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    2,202

    Default

    Cai I just noticed what you said here:
    I think in most cases there should be psychological reviews (as there are at our kinder) as to whether or not children are *school ready*
    I agree. I'm sure they won't implement something like this due to cost etc though. But it honestly seems the best option to me. Sometimes parents can be blind sighted as to whether their kids are ready or not IYKWIM.

  9. #27

    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    House of the crazy cat ladies...
    Posts
    3,793

    Default

    Sooooo confused here...

    When they are talking about children starting as young as 4.5, do they mean grade 1, or prep?

    Aidyn starts prep the year he turns 5 (2009). He turns 5 in May that year. But from what I can gather, anyone born after July 1st that year doesnt start prep until a year later. So Aidyn is going to be doing prep with kids that were effectively born from July in 2003 - which is nearly a whole year older than him!

    Also, what is the deal with putting kids in school when they are ready, as I know of people here in Qld who are not allowed to let their children start when they feel they are ready - they are forced to make them start in a certain year - no matter if there are many concerns about whether the child is ready or not.

    I dont think I will ever get my head around this education stuff...

  10. #28

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ubiquity
    Posts
    9,922

    Default

    Lea I can't speak for the whole of victoria, but I'm pretty sure the psych thing isn't just at my kinder. So I don't know how the govt affords it but they do. There's been a few kids at our kinder that were held back. And they also talk to the school the children are going to (and in our case there's 3 schools, 2 public, 1 catholic) as to what would be best for the children, and what classes they go into. For instance at Paris' school there will be 2 full prep classes and 1 prep/1 class. The brighter kids will go into the prep 1 class (there's one little girl going into that class who can already read), as they will be able to keep up easily and the other two classes have been divided evenly. Cliques have been broken up, even a set of twins have been separated (on parents request) to enable the best working environment for the children.

    I think this sort of involvement should be compulsory across australia. I have to say when I was a kid Vic education system was pretty screwed. I was held back unnecessarily because of my age even though I was advanced and was coping well and had already done the year in another state. But these days I think its very good. I love the school we have chosen for Paris and I love the community spirit and parent involvement at our school.

    I think its really important to evaluate the school situation very carefully, because if whilst it might be easier to put them into school at 4.5 it could be the difference between coping well with the stresses of senior exams and not. Which could affect the rest of their lives, and their careers. I agree though Aurora it does affect things based on the area. My gf lives in Camberwell and most of the kids at the kinder are a year older than her daughter (all turning 6 in the second half of this year or the very start of next year for 4 y.o. kinder) whereas here where I am we even have a few kids who are definitely not school ready but are repeating 4 y.o. Kinder as it is cheaper than child care. And there are only a handful of older kids.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  11. #29

    Default

    I think its good, depending on the child. I know Xander will be ready to go to school next year (prep) but he cant because he was born 1 day after the cutoff date. So he has to wait until 2008 and i think thats not a good thing for him. Whereas my nephew was born a week before the cutoff and will be starting prep next year, and is nowhere near ready. But his mum is pushing him. So it just depends on the child... they are all different

  12. #30
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Default

    I think its a bad move! Im a primary school teacher of Kindy and yr ones (NSW) and all i can say is its a baaaaaad move!
    I totally agree with you there, Fletchy. There are so many kids already starting school when they're not ready. It puts them behind the 8-ball for the rest of their schooling career. It's so sad. There's not enough resources in schools to justify such a move. It's also sad how many parents are keen to send their kids to school early because it's cheaper than childcare. Trust me... it happens!

    Ambah - I'm pretty sure you can start Aidyn and just see how he goes? If he's not coping, he can go back to kinder and start school again the year after. At least that's what a few children did at my old school in Victoria. Definitely speak to the school about it and liase closely with his teacher. He/she will be able to tell you whether he's coping or not. It's best to get this stuff sorted in Prep (whatever the first year of school is called up there) than have to try and get him to repeat an older year level.

    Cailin - I reckon you'd make a fantastic Primary Teacher...

    Lea -
    I agree with some form of standard testing to pass from one grade to the next - it shouldn't just be a given that you just get to go into the next grade.
    There is here in Victoria. It's all part of the reporting system. Problem is, it's verrrrry hard to hold kids back. Often parents are against it for social reasons etc. Sometimes the school heirarchy makes it hard too. Also, testing sometimes falls back on itself. A child might struggle in one area but do ok in another so, overall, they're seen as doing well enough to go up a year level. I'm not overly familiar with the new reporting system that has been brought into the Vic ed system but it's pretty thorough.
    Last edited by Debbie Lee; November 26th, 2006 at 03:45 PM. Reason: Spelt Aidyn wrong... can't have that!

  13. #31

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    cowtown
    Posts
    8,276

    Default

    The Kinders in my council area have school readiness assessments too, but they can't force you to keep you child back. I'd be interested to know whether if this is recommended, does the child then qualify for an extra year of govt funded Kinder?

    I know one person who has been advised that her child would do well to wait an extra year before starting school, but has chosen to ignore that and send the child anyway.

    I am glad that Milo is a November baby and will probably be 5+ when he starts school.

    re Child care v school - 3 days of childcare a week over 12 months cost me the same as 12 months prep at private school (albeit at the less expensive end of the scale) but I wouldn't use that as a motivation to send my son to school early.

  14. #32
    kerry Guest

    Default

    Bridie will be starting school the week after her 5th birthday IF and only IF she is ready... that said I think she will be ready by then judging on her development to date. But things can change so until the time is closer I will wait. My sister (april bub) started school at 4, never having gone to kinda... academically this was not a problem but socially it was a disaster. Her whole first year of school she never raised her hand once or did show and tell or spoke unless asked a direct question AND her teacher was her aunty and the class was really small... During high school and even now (19) all her friends baby her and she has very little sense of responsibility or sometimes even reality. I think what made her situation worse was that she had not had kinda.

    Rayray - Even if the kindergarten recommends the child not progress to school and do another year at kinda you do not get a second year of gov funding unless the child has been assessed with a learning/behavioural disablity and is recieving a child disability payment / carer payment for said child, even then there is an everest of paperwork to complete, unless of course there have been changes since 2004. Milo and B will probably be in the same year at school, maybe even the same school & was wondering how you and Rexie found that, besides teachers thinking it was fake parents at ptn? Oh and B calls RS, way-sool-no-mi-mo... so hopefully you just get way-sool.

    Everyone else - Rayray and I are cousins, I'm not some wierd stalker.

    Another cousin had her son the same day I had Bridie, she has already decided she will not be sending him to school until he is 6, she has based this on observations of kids in her DD's class. DD is a dec bub, started school this year aged 5, according to our cousin the just 5 and almost 5 kids (especially the boys) are clearly behind the kids who were 5.5 or over when school started, both socially and acedemically.

  15. #33

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Chickens.
    Posts
    4,989

    Default

    I was born on 26 May and was "old" for my year. My Mum is a gifted and talented teacher, and has always said that it's better, both academically and socially, for children to start school at five-and-a-half rather than four-and-a-half. My elder brother (who is a doctor) turned six on 30 April in his year of Prep. My younger brother turned 6 on 1 March in his year of prep. We were all "old" for our year, being over a year older than some of the other kids. As we went through school, the age difference became more and more obvious.

    Alex was born on 20 May, and he will be going to school at 5.5. Ned will be 5 years and 4 months when he starts school (he's born in late September). Alex is fairly bright and very musical, Ned is a very big boy size-wise.

    In Victoria, at the moment, children must be in formal schooling by the time they turn six. So if your child turns six in December, you can actually send them to prep the FOLLOWING year, ie they will be six years and two months in Prep. The actual legal cut-off is 30 April, so your child must be five years old by 30 April in the year that they start school. So technically, children in prep can be between six years and two months old, and four years and nine months old.

    My personal preference (and I know I am a little soap-boxy here) is for children to start school later rather than earlier. Especially boys, as their social and academic development is later than girls, both as children and as teenagers.

    Academically, a youth in Year Twelve who is eighteen at the start of the year, is generally more self-aware, world-aware and better equipped to deal with the stresses of Year Twelve than a sixteen year old.

    However, all my comments are based upon "generalities". Each parent must decide when each of their children is ready for school. Children with "issues" (I'm trying to be politically correct here, please don't jump on me!) can require more input from teachers, social workers, speech/behavioural therapists, and psychologists.

    You can apply for an extra year of government-funded kindergarten if your child MUST attend school the following year, provided that the child meets certain guidelines set down by the Department of Education. The kinders generally approach the parents to talk to them about it (at least in my area).

    So, basically I'm agreeing with Debbie and the other primary teachers. It's a bad idea to start children at 4.5 years. Certainly, my kids won't be starting until they're at least 5, and preferably later. If Ned was born in November, I'd probably consider starting him a year later (ie he'd turn 6 in November and start school at 6 years and 3 months old). Yes, it may be difficult with him being a little older, but generally boys are socially backward, so academically and socially he'd probably be better off starting later.

    Just my two cents!

  16. #34
    Debbie Lee Guest

    Default

    What a great explanation, Divvy.... and it's all food for thought, I think.

    I was born in February so I was always a young one in my year levels. I can safely say that I always felt a little overwhelmed. I was shy and behind the 8-ball in a lot of subjects (particularly maths - esp. when speed was involved). I'm not saying that starting a year later would have turned me into a maths whizz but perhaps I would have had more confidence to approach it differently?

  17. #35

    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    11,171

    Default

    I'm going to come at this at a different angle entirely. I have an older & a younger sister, my older sister was born in January, so went to school just after she turned five. She was never very academic. My younger sister was born in June and went to school at four and a half (hers was the last year where the cutoff age was turning 5 by the end of June). She was (and still is) a social butterfly & very gifted academically. I think from that point of view it is purely a personality thing.......

    The biggest issue was that my younger sister was in an "older" grade so to speak, a lot of her friends turned 18 in Year 12, where she was 16 until the middle of the year. She had problems from a social point of view that she couldn't go out with her friends because she wasn't 18 yet. From an academic point of view, she finished uni & was a fully qualified teacher at 21.

  18. #36

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Chickens.
    Posts
    4,989

    Default

    Again, Sarah, this is exactly what I mean, each child is different and has different needs. A gifted child has different needs and may need to start school earlier, but may also need help socially as they get older. Some may just be "ready" and leap into it.

    Also, second and third children are often better socialised before they start school anyway, because they have older siblings to chase around.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •