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 Post subject: Summer born children
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 5:25 pm 
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Leaving aside the question of standardisation of 11+ and SAT results, what can schools and parents do to help summer born children compensate for the disadvantage of being the youngest in the year group? At what stage do teachers feel the social and educational differences even out?


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 5:35 pm 
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I didn't let my summer born ones go to school until they reached the legal compulsory school age (5 years one term). Which is still far too young imho but they had a far better time playing than they would have if they had been sitting in school. I would heartily recommend all parents of summer born children to do the same. I have no idea if they have been held back in attainment terms by their age - the evidence in my family suggests not but maybe that is because of the slightly off-the-wall start they had, and maybe not. My summer DD and her even younger friend were the two top GCSE achievers at their school. My OH is August too and appears to have made it to a good place in a good profession.

Personally I think the damage is done when they are small by sending them into formal education far too soon and it takes them a few years to recover from being so far behind in maturity terms when they are tiny - when you are 4 a year is a quarter of the time you have been on this earth. That is a big deficit.


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 5:54 pm 
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Our local school used to have 3 intakes a year, so at least they were nearly 5 when they started. I understand that they no longer do this (presumably in response to parental pressure), which I think is a shame.


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 7:22 pm 
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My eldest is a summer born (very end of august) now currently in Y6. During her time at infant school we did struggle, learning was slow, no matter how much we tried to support her at home, she was just too young. We did our best. When she moved to juniors she flourished , it was a light switch moment, she was ready to learn, her learning accelerated at a very fast pace (we did extra maths at home only to consolidate , other than weekly spellings and reading we did not do any extra English at home). She has just taken level 6 maths and English sats this week. We see no difference at all academically . Up until a few months ago she lacked self confidence , I think she has just gone through another stage of maturity and seems to have overcome that. We talk a lot, which I think has definitely helped. Just my experience of my summer born :) dollyxxxx


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 5:55 am 
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There was a mother on BBC Breakfast a little while ago who had been fighting to have her child start school in what was considered by the admissions authority to be a year late - ie the September immediately after their 5th birthday instead of nearly a year before. The issue seemed to be that where this happens the child gets put into year 1 instead of Reception so they miss out on that year of schooling. I believe she had 'won' the case. Sorry, TV was on while doing chores so wasn't paying proper attention!


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 6:54 am 
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We managed to get our daughter into Reception when she should have been in Y1. We had help from a now defunct organisation which I think might have been called Let the Children Play. It was so unusual that we had the BBC on the 'phone wanting to cover it in 'Woman's Hour' and 'You and Yours', but after some thought we decided not to expose our daughter to any publicity. Maybe that was the wrong decision as maybe we could have contributed to the debate, such as there is or ever was a debate.

By the time we tried the same thing with our summer son a few years later, attitudes had hardened and we had to resort to just not sending him into school. In fact the primary school we were at by then was reasonably understanding but did say he had to be in for at least two days a week, which made him desperately unhappy and so we just didn't send him at all - supported this time by an ITT coordinator who is also a friend and who had by chance observed his class and rang me to say get him out of there!

The circumstances of both these cases have more details which I won't share but it was less than straightforward and it was hard to hold our nerve. OH now says he was scared but trusted me to do the right thing (the fool!). It shouldn't be like this - nowhere else in the world do such small children have to go to school, and for whole days too, and I am convinced that many of the issues we have around unequal attainment, teenage disaffection and mental health have their roots in this insane culture of formal education for children barely out of nappies.

One of my close teacher friends moved with her children to Scandinavia once she had studied enough child psychology and comparative education to know exactly what harm we do here with this insane culture. Her children are enjoying a very carefree time - her youngest is climbing mountains and picking fruit when here she would be knuckling down to some serious phonics and number bonds.


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 8:28 am 
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Unfortunately, this notion that the child belongs to school and school is the best place 5 days a week remains throughout their childhood and is getting more and more dominant and the laws and penalties to back it up all the more punitive.

Amber, you clearly did well to fight for what was best for your children in terms of reception attendance (nor not!) but sometimes there are other circumstances which, higher up the school, might make a more flexible approach beneficial for the child. This has become harder in recent years and is so very much at the total discretion of the head that there's no predicting what might happen to any particular individual striving to do the best for their child at any particular point in time.

I don't think there is a general rule depending on whether a child is summer born or not though. I think a more flexible approach to what is best for the child could be possible - without school having the last and only say. At the end of the day, no matter how brilliant a school or teacher is, there are a lot of parents who know their children a good deal better - and also we are in it for the long run - my children's teachers have, in general, taught my children for between 1 term and 1 year max.


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 8:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:30 am
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KB wrote:
There was a mother on BBC Breakfast a little while ago who had been fighting to have her child start school in what was considered by the admissions authority to be a year late - ie the September immediately after their 5th birthday instead of nearly a year before. The issue seemed to be that where this happens the child gets put into year 1 instead of Reception so they miss out on that year of schooling. I believe she had 'won' the case. Sorry, TV was on while doing chores so wasn't paying proper attention!



We tried this with our twin boys (late August birthdays), but as mentioned by you and by Amber, we were told it was fine but they would have to go straight into year 1 and not reception. It wasn't just friendships etc that might be set by then (although new children start in every year and it's fine) but the fact that they would miss out on the more play centered learning in reception that concerned us. I wish I had had more of Ambers conviction and gone ahead and kept them home for that extra year but we didn't. Do I regret it? Yes I do. I'm sure it has effected them, one more than the other. Can I be sure they wouldn't be like they are anyway, that is, a bit anxious and stressed to keep up (though they are flying academically, both Qualified for GS and one on an academic scholarship)? No I cant, but I just gut feeling think that they should have been a year longer at home, especially since I have absolutely no doubt the sort of curiosity driven non formal learning we were busy in at home was probably more valuable than phonics etc at that stage.


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 8:39 am 
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mystery wrote:
Unfortunately, this notion that the child belongs to school and school is the best place 5 days a week remains throughout their childhood and is getting more and more dominant and the laws and penalties to back it up all the more punitive.

Amber, you clearly did well to fight for what was best for your children in terms of reception attendance (nor not!) but sometimes there are other circumstances which, higher up the school, might make a more flexible approach beneficial for the child. This has become harder in recent years and is so very much at the total discretion of the head that there's no predicting what might happen to any particular individual striving to do the best for their child at any particular point in time.

I don't think there is a general rule depending on whether a child is summer born or not though. I think a more flexible approach to what is best for the child could be possible - without school having the last and only say. At the end of the day, no matter how brilliant a school or teacher is, there are a lot of parents who know their children a good deal better - and also we are in it for the long run - my children's teachers have, in general, taught my children for between 1 term and 1 year max.


Well put mystery, ++++1111

I would also add that I resent the way the whole of our education system is slanted towar mopping up that strata of children from families where childcare consists of tv and absolutely no learning or talking, such that at 2 the poor things are not able to string a sentence together and have lost all curiosity on life through a diet of tv. I don't believe forcing them into school is then isnt thing either, surely the secret lies with educating the parents for future generations, and getting rid of, what was it, surestart or whatever that educational and supportive child based facility was? But why should everything be pushed towards the disadvantaged end, or at least, why should our children be forced to go along with that, when it can do more harm than good to shove them onto formal education so early.
And while I'm at it, formal learning in NURSERY??? And the whole culture that makes you feel you are wrong to not have your child in nursery or you are doing them a disservice? Purleeeeeese!


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 Post subject: Re: Summer born children
PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 8:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Recently parents have the right to delay school entry for summer borns. When they do start they can go into reception and not straight into Year 1 so progress is being made.

When we were younger, children did not start school until the term after they were 5.


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