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    There are several key differences between us/England etc and other nations who are leagues ahead of us. Starting age is most certainly not the only one. But it is a factor.

    They start their kids at 7

    No standardised testing like NAPLAN's, rather the teacher constantly assesses in class

    They have much shorter days and shorter terms (so more holidays).

    They have a different philosophy to learning - it tends to be quite play/inquiry based but still within curriculum perimeters with measurable outcomes. So in between Steiner and what we have now maybe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    There are several key differences between us/England etc and other nations who are leagues ahead of us. Starting age is most certainly not the only one. But it is a factor.

    They start their kids at 7

    No standardised testing like NAPLAN's, rather the teacher constantly assesses in class

    They have much shorter days and shorter terms (so more holidays).

    They have a different philosophy to learning - it tends to be quite play/inquiry based but still within curriculum perimeters with measurable outcomes. So in between Steiner and what we have now maybe?
    We clearly have a lot to learn from those countries, sounds like changing starting age alone wouldn't really make much difference if we are falling behind in all of those other areas you mention.

    Do you feel the education system needs to be overhauled overall in Australia?

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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Squared View Post
    I agree, what *if though* he showed signs of being ready before that age, would you ignore those signs or go with your philosophy no matter what?

    Also you've hit the nail on the head when you said we all tend to do what feels right at the time, there are some kids who are ready at 4 turning 5 and others who aren't.
    That's why I said 90% If I really and truly thought he was ready, yes I would send him. But I will preface that by also saying that my view of 'ready' is different to others. Some consider being toilet trained, counting to 10 and having speech that is understandable as being ready. Others would tack on maybe being able to write their name and sit on the mat without disrupting class. Whereas for me, ready is being able to have very basic conflict resolution skills, having confidence speaking up to the teacher. Sharing, good levels of concentration and impulse control. Being able to cope and function in group settings etc.

    I completely recognise some kids are def ready at turning 5, but not as many as are sent. And that comes back to what is ready? We all see it differently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Squared View Post

    Do you feel the education system needs to be overhauled overall in Australia?
    Yes I do. And it is the govts (both Lib and labor) as well as the Education Dept hanging on to these outdated beliefs about education. As I said in another similar thread, pretty much every teacher I know under the age of 40 or 50 wants the changes too but are part of a machine so much bigger than themselves. And it's also the parents reinforcing this outdated system. They often want the homework, they want the NAPLAN's to 'school shop'. They equate long hours in the class room and test scores with better performance. So many teachers are trapped between the parents and the powers that be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    That's why I said 90% If I really and truly thought he was ready, yes I would send him. But I will preface that by also saying that my view of 'ready' is different to others. Some consider being toilet trained, counting to 10 and having speech that is understandable as being ready. Others would tack on maybe being able to write their name and sit on the mat without disrupting class. Whereas for me, ready is being able to have very basic conflict resolution skills, having confidence speaking up to the teacher. Sharing, good levels of concentration and impulse control. Being able to cope and function in group settings etc.

    I completely recognise some kids are def ready at turning 5, but not as many as are sent. And that comes back to what is ready? We all see it differently.
    I wish my Bub wasn't a Feb baby :-(

    I think if he did start when turning 5, it would be a bumpy start but by June/July, age 5.5yr he would be more settled.

    Wouldn't it be nice if he could start mid-year?!

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    Just a question, those countries that do start school around the 7 year age, what do the children do prior, is it still play based learning or more structured?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BlueBirds View Post
    I wish my Bub wasn't a Feb baby :-(

    I think if he did start when turning 5, it would be a bumpy start but by June/July, age 5.5yr he would be more settled.

    Wouldn't it be nice if he could start mid-year?!
    I am not sure if schooling has changed since I attended back in NZ but I started the day I turned 5, my birthday was at the end of the year which meant I missed that entire year of learning, I would have been better waiting till the following year to start at the start of the year as I missed so much of the basics, especially regarding the maths side of things...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BlueBirds View Post
    I wish my Bub wasn't a Feb baby :-(

    I think if he did start when turning 5, it would be a bumpy start but by June/July, age 5.5yr he would be more settled.

    Wouldn't it be nice if he could start mid-year?!
    It used to be in SA up until 2 or 3 years ago, I'm not entirely sure why they rid of that.

    Many Jan-April babies could do with maybe 1.5 years of reception, but they no longer can't do that and I'm not entirely sure why!

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    The problem with middle year entry is that every year the teacher has outcomes they must cover for that year level. Coming in mid year means they have missed 6 months of those measured outcomes. In places like the USA who start the new school year mid year, it would work great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    In Queensland it has been much harder in the past to keep your child home another year and if you did, they went straight into year 1 and skip prep because it wasn't compulsory. I would imagine that would be the reason for your evidence over 12 years.

    I have experienced the opposite, younger child/ren more immature than their peers. I can pick them a mile away. I've been teaching almost 20 years.

    I think you're the first teacher I've known in 20 years who supports children starting formal schooling at age 4.5!
    I was teaching year 1 in 2013 & 2014. I couldn't pick the younger kids (and I taught ever year one class as I had two permanent classes and specialised in Science so took the other two class for that - so approx 100 students I total). I've inky ever had one child in my year 1 class who didn't attend prep full time. Don't get me wrong - I'd don't advocate them starting early per se - just that I don't think it's to their detriment that they start when they do.

    I know where you're coming from in terms of teachers huffing and puffing over the change in school age (particularly when it was first introduced) but then, they are the same teachers who seem to find a grievance with any change of curriculum (or Lordy the C2C ruffled so many feathers) or direction given from the department.

    I'm certainly not the only teacher I know who is ok with the starting age. I'm quite surprised I'm the first you've encountered.

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