Pre-primary schools (nursery schools) for child
Nursery schools or pre-primary schools as they are now known are the most structured of the pre-schools. Pre-primary schools are usually organised and run by church groups or privately. Government sponsored and organised pre-primary schools are usually attached to primary schools and attendance is limited to the year before the child enters school.
Private and government subsidised pre-primary schools are allowed to admit children from three-and-a-half years until they start school. This means that the child may have three years of pre-primary education if her birthday is after June 30 (children may only start school if they turn six before July).
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In general this is not too old, especially for boys who usually mature more slowly physically and emotionally than girls. But the bright, well-adjusted child may find three years of the same routine tedious and it may be wise to keep her at home for an extra year or half year before sending her, provided the home environment is stimulating. The function of pre-primary schools is to develop the skills which will be necessary later for school. Yet some parents still have the notion that sending a child to nursery school is an abdication of responsibility and the lazy' mother's solution – nothing could be further from the truth.
Pre-primary education teaches the child to mix with her peers, helps her to develop concentration and encourages the use of the skills needed to learn to read and write, even though there is no formal teaching of letters or numbers. An alert nursery school teacher will spot a child who has potential problems, such as poor motor co-ordination, mixed dominance (not clearly left or right handed) and so on. If they are detected early enough, the child can receive remedial attention in a relaxed way long before she enters school. In any event, school readiness tests are usually administered in the last term before school by a school psychologist or the staff in consultation with a psychologist. If there is a problem the child will either be given remedial attention by the teacher or, in some cases, it may be advisable to wait another year before she enters school, especially if she is rather young.
All that may be needed is time for the child to mature physically and mentally, or even emotionally.