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  1. #101
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    Such a difficult and emotive topic! I've been teaching K-2 in NSW for 14 years. I always supported starting later, particularly for boys. I'm in a similar predicament as the OP with my DS2 who turns 5 on the 10th February. I fully believed in holding him back an extra year. However now we are here and his preschool teacher fully believes he is ready. He's just about to complete our transition program and all the kindy teachers believe he is ready and would be bored stupid with another year of preschool. I'm conflicted on so many levels! My personal philosophy says hold him back but my actual child looks as though he is ready. Really tough!

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  3. #102
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    Default Kinder program in childcare if funding isn't approved?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BlueBirds View Post
    I agree that the starting age be the same for all states.
    However if we make it January 1, won't we still have the same issues ? If a child turns 5 in December the parents may argue that some kids will be turning six in January therefore they'll hold them back, so again, they are not the youngest.
    So will still have a 11-12 month gap.
    I guess it avoids children starting at the age of four though.

    When I was younger you started if you turned 5 by June and nearly everyone just followed this guide. Now it's April.

    I get what you're saying though, it needs to be easier.
    In my mind with that rule, there's no opportunity to hold back or send early, they must start the year they turn either 5 or 6, what ever they decide it to be and the curriculum must be adaptable in recognising the 12 month gap and tailored to the expected age of all students, not 18-24 month gap under the current rules. Unless of course there's diagnosed learning / other issues kids have (autism SPD etc)
    Last edited by A-Squared; 13-09-2016 at 17:31.

  4. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Squared View Post
    In my mind with that rule, there's no opportunity to hold back or send early, they must start the year they turn either 5 or 6, what ever they decide it to be and the curriculum must be adaptable in recognising the 12 month gap and tailored to the expected age of all students, not 18-24 month gap under the current rules. Unless of course there's diagnosed learning / other issues kids have (autism SPD etc)
    Starting the year they turn 5 is way too young. That would mean having children who had just turned 4 starting formal schooling.

    And the thing is, you could have a class full of children who were all born on the same day but there would still be a huge range of abilities in the class.

    There are many schools these days that see the benefit of multi age classes that have over 2 year age gaps.

  5. #104
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    One of my local schools has multi-age classrooms, with the preschool and reception kids together (ages 3-6, depending on children and time of year), and the other kids (ages 6-13) together for most classes. Everybody I know involved with the school (students, teachers, parents) seem to be thrilled with the way it runs.

    Personally I think we have way too much of a focus on ages in schooling, whereas it ought to be more about what a child is really ready for.

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  7. #105
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    Default Kinder program in childcare if funding isn't approved?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    Starting the year they turn 5 is way too young. That would mean having children who had just turned 4 starting formal schooling.

    And the thing is, you could have a class full of children who were all born on the same day but there would still be a huge range of abilities in the class.

    There are many schools these days that see the benefit of multi age classes that have over 2 year age gaps.
    My suggestion was they had to be 5 years old on 1 January to start, not start the year they turn 5 (or it could even be 6 on 1 January), basically the suggestion was that no one would start at 4. They would all be 5.

    And of course two kids born on the same day would be totally different, but the curriculum needs to factor this in - there is inevitable a large variation in skills and readiness in a 12 month period. Without a blanket x years old on 1 January and with the option to send on 2 different years, the variables will be soooo much more if the age gap is larger than 12 months and harder to base a curriculum around.

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  9. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Squared View Post
    My suggestion was they had to be 5 years old on 1 January to start, not start the year they turn 5 (or it could even be 6 on 1 January), basically the suggestion was that no one would start at 4. They would all be 5.

    And of course two kids born on the same day would be totally different, but the curriculum needs to factor this in - there is inevitable a large variation in skills and readiness in a 12 month period. Without a blanket x years old on 1 January and with the option to send on 2 different years, the variables will be soooo much more if the age gap is larger than 12 months and harder to base a curriculum around.
    I disagree. I'm a teacher. The curriculum has expectations for each stage but good teachers will adapt their teaching to cater to all students. You can still get a 4 year old that has started school along with a nearly 6 year old and the 4 year old is "smarter" but that still doesn't mean the 4 year old is ready for school. Plus school readiness isn't only about what's in the curriculum.

  10. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    There are many schools these days that see the benefit of multi age classes that have over 2 year age gaps.
    I was in a couple of multi age classes when I was in primary school and it was a **** of an experience. Too many kids left twiddling their thumbs while the teacher was trying to cater to everyone's needs. I really went backwards in terms of my learning - had to get tutoring to catch up. It might not be everyone's experience however I don't think I'm the only one who's not a fan.

  11. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by FearlessLeader View Post
    It seems to me there's actually something wrong with the entire system, that maybe we are expecting too much emotionally from all children, who may be really to learn formally but can't necessarily cope with the demands of formal learning as it happens in Australia currently. Surely there's an argument that they way we teach young children needs to change, not that we should hold kids back because they don't entirely fit the current mould?
    Yes, let's push 4 year olds into full-time school, to appease the parents who want to use education as a cheap form of child care. Then we lower the curriculum standards, and bring all of our teaching down to a 4 year old level, so that education really IS about cheap babysitting instead of about educating children. Of course, if we lower the curriculum standards for 4 year olds in prep, we have to lower them for 5 year olds in grade 1. And 6 year olds in grade 2, who are really at the age where they should be beginning formal schooling. And we lower our curriculum standards all across the grades, and then wonder why Australia has lower curriculum standards and educational outcomes than the countries who start their kids in school at 6-7years old, rather than 4-5 year olds.

    Sorry, I know I'm 'firey' about this topic. I am an educator, not a babysitter, so when people start talking about wanting longer school hours to fit in with their work place, or wanting to lower the school starting age so that 4.5 year olds can be pushed into formal education before they're ready, I find it really annoying. Notice that pretty much every teacher in this thread agrees on this? That probably says something.

  12. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeeeesecake View Post
    Sorry, I know I'm 'firey' about this topic. I am an educator, not a babysitter, so when people start talking about wanting longer school hours to fit in with their work place, or wanting to lower the school starting age so that 4.5 year olds can be pushed into formal education before they're ready, I find it really annoying. Notice that pretty much every teacher in this thread agrees on this? That probably says something.
    In this day and age I think it's more than reasonable for schools to be expected to offer more than 9-3 hours (whether it be through before and after school care attached to the school). If an education system is so narrow what it doesn't easily allow both parents to work then it's lost it's relevance in today's society and all the women should just go back to the kitchen.

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  14. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by VicPark View Post
    In this day and age I think it's more than reasonable for schools to be expected to offer more than 9-3 hours (whether it be through before and after school care attached to the school). If an education system is so narrow what it doesn't easily allow both parents to work then it's lost it's relevance in today's society and all the women should just go back to the kitchen.
    Before and after school child care; fine. I do agree that it's really important. A classroom environment? 9-3 is enough. Education is not child care.


 

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