When does school start?

Old Dec 3rd 2009, 4:07 am
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Default When does school start?

Hi, All -
Again, thank you to this board for all of the support and answers offered. It's much appreciated!

I have a question about the school system, which I can't seem to figure out with online research. I've heard that all children MUST attend school once they turn 4. My son will turn 4 at the end of August, and I'm not ready to put him into school 5 days/week a few days after his 4th birthday. He is at home with me now, though I would like to put him into a good pre-school for a few days/week when he turns 4.

Can anyone tell me what the rules are for children being enrolled by 4 years old?

If it matters, I'm an American (who's been in Scotland for the last 4 years) who will be coming to Barbados for a few years for my husband's job.

Many thanks -
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 7:42 am
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Default Re: When does school start?

Your son has the same birthday time frame as my daughter and WILL have to start school the September after his 4th birthday, it is the same system they have in the UK (altho some UK schools do a 2nd intake later in the year for the younger ones).

He will always be the youngest in his year, you can ask the school if they will put him back a year so he gets one more year in preschool but most are unhappy to do this as this will affect him later on when he is due to take his 11+.

At St Wini's, where my daughter goes, you can choose for them to do a half day in their first year but the majority of the children do a whole day, at that age it is a bit of work and a lot more play... I think at the Convent they also do a half day for the first year.

If it is any help I was really worried about my daughter going into school so young but this is now her 2nd year at "big school" and whilst she is a little behind some of the older kids she IS holding her own and doing very well, the teachers told me that by the time they are 8 and 9 the difference in abilitites is a lot smaller.

HTH
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 11:26 am
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Default Re: When does school start?

Same here.

My daughter started school in the September after her 4th birthday in August. She is now 11 and had caught up long before she went to secondary. I bet there will be other kids born in August in your son's class so he won't be alone.

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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: When does school start?

Most Barbadians have their children in some sort of pre-school setting.. Nursery or pre-school, montessorri or similar, from the time they are 2 1/2 to 3yrs of age. The government rules do require all children who are at least 4 years of age by September 1st to be enrolled in a primary school setting. This can be deffered (I believe) but I think you have to apply to the ministry to have this happen. there may have to be some other underlying reason (not just "mommy doesn't want them to be at home") to keep them out. Sorry.. don't take that the wrong way.. but I've heard both sides of the issue. (and have been on both sides of the issue sooo.).

if you are only here for a few years, the 11plus will not be a concern, but it will help them in the socialization setting. Most schools (I know for sure St. Gabriel's) are more play than teaching at that point, but they do include the learning as part of the play.
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Old Dec 4th 2009, 8:50 am
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Default Re: When does school start?

Codrington just have them until 1pm until they're 5 also.
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Old Dec 4th 2009, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: When does school start?

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your responses.
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Old Dec 4th 2009, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: When does school start?

Originally Posted by shines View Post
Your son has the same birthday time frame as my daughter and WILL have to start school the September after his 4th birthday.
This is not true. Many government schools have a January intake for younger students as well as the September intake.

The attitude to education in Barbados seems to be the earlier the better, so you may want to enroll your son in preschool type education before he is legally required to enter education.

Below are quotes from the Education Act

"compulsory school age" means from 5 years of age to 16 years of
age;
"primary pupil" means a pupil who at the beginning of the school year
has attained the age of 5 years but who has not attained the age of
12 years, and who has not yet gained admittance to a secondary
school;

Last edited by Gravy; Dec 4th 2009 at 1:55 pm.
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