Primary School Offer Day: Reception Here She Comes!

So we got some good news yesterday – L was allocated our first choice primary school. That means, come September, she’ll be starting the next chapter of her education in Reception at a proper school. Crazy!

It’s a bit weird that she’s less than five months away from donning a little uniform and heading off to school. It only feels like the other day that she was born, so to think that she’s nearly at school age is mind blowing. As the saying goes, ‘the days are long, but the years are short’.

Yeah, it’ll be a bit odd that she won’t be around as much. I’ve been fortunate enough to be with her nearly every day since she was born, including three years as a stay-at-home dad. We’ll spend less time together and the weekly routine that we’ve created – such as swimming every Thursday morning – will have to change.

I can therefore understand why some parents are sad and not ready to ‘let go’ of their ‘baby’. That’s not me though. If anything, I’m really excited to see her go to school and start the next chapter. I think she’s more than ready for Reception and can see her flourishing in that environment.

Obviously, her being allocated a place at our first choice helps with this – not getting the school you want and ‘losing’ your kid is a bit of a kick in the teeth. Truth be told though, we’d have been happy with either of the choices we put down on the online application back in December. Both are within walking distance, have good Ofsted reports, focus on way more than just education and impressed us when we visited.

We’d actually looked around both of these schools early last year when it came to putting down her Nursery choices. However, we decided to turn them down in favour of her continuing two days per week at her private nursery. She was settled, she enjoyed it, plus it felt more productive (for her and me) to have two ten hour days at nursery rather than five three hour days. I’m pleased we made that decision.

We then visited both schools again at the back end of last year to inform our Reception choices for September 2018. As this was Reception-focused rather than Nursery-focused, it felt like we got to see a lot more of both places. More questions were answered. More information was given. We were impressed with both places and stuck them both down – there was very little in it between first and second choices.

That brings us to yesterday. Social media was filled with an outpouring of emotional parents on Primary School Offer Day. You had the full range – celebrations that they got the first choice through to disappointment and anger that they got their third choice. Some people found out at 00.01am, whereas others – like us – didn’t get an email until late afternoon after logging into the system and refreshing emails multiple times during the day.

Primary School Offer Day Reception Here She Comes water play

The next question – which isn’t really a question as we barely had to think about it – was about whether we deferred. Children don’t have to be in education until they are of Compuslary School Age – this is a set point in the year after they turn five. As a ‘summer born’ child, this means that we could delay her starting school until September 2019 as she’ll only just be four come September 2018.

We won’t be doing this though. Yes, it does seem a bit strange that she’ll nearly be a year younger than some of the other kids, and yes, this could impact her. However, she’s a bright, outgoing and confident little kid. I truly believe that she’s ready for Reception despite being on the younger side. The alternative would be staying at private nursery for another year, by which point she’d have outgrown it and be looking for that next challenge.

I imagine that the next few months are going to fly by. It won’t be long until we’re taking the obligatory ‘child in front of door in school uniform’ photo. Until then, it’s about trying to enjoy the time we have together which isn’t defined by school term times. L will soon be embarking on the next chapter and it’s one that we’re all very excited about.

How did your school allocation go? Did you get what you wanted? How are you feeling or how did you feel when your child went off to Reception for the first time? Did you consider deferring? Let me know below!