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 Post subject: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:07 am
Posts: 57
First post. Apologies if topic covered elsewhere. Couldn't find anything on search.

My DS attends an independent prep school in North London. He has made a promising start to his school career and his school suggested that he should skip Yr2, so, last school year, he moved from Yr1 to Yr3. He's now in Yr4 and the move has suited him very well. He's still performing at a very good level.

Our inclination now is for him to take entrance exams for the local selective schools rather than stay in the independent sector. We have Latymer, QE Boys and DAO all reasonably close by.

Now just contemplating whether we keep him one year ahead, or get him to do Yr7 at his prep school (it runs through to Yr8) and then enter, if successful, one of the three mentioned at Yr7. Although he isn't having any issues with the older year group, a bit of me would like him to get back to his own year group.

Any one had this experience? What did you do?


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:08 pm
Posts: 373
Hello gazzag.

If you want to try your DS for the grammar schools a year ahead, you might have trouble doing this as local authorities are reluctant to support this without a written recommendation from your school; they may ask for additional evidence that this would be in his best interests. Individual schools might be more supportive, though. I do not think there would be an issue with going into his own year group, although your DS might find that he has covered much, if not all, of the curriculum for that year already.

If you want to try for an indie he could stay up a year if he is fine academically but you might want to look at the social aspect of this.

What would I do in your position? If I could afford it, I would keep him in the private sector. If he was up to taking the entrance exam early you could ask for a deferred place; if not, he could sit the exam when he was in his current school's Year 7 with a view to repeating Year 7 elsewhere.

Either way, I'd put him back into his year group. As the students enter adolescence there will be all sorts of factors which will override the academic.


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:54 pm
Posts: 1770
Location: caversham
Read the rules! Admission policies.

In our locality, not yours, you get one shot and the DC must be in year six when they sit the exam.

So an advanced DC can try early or do two years in year six and go with their age group. Talk to the school, can they offer an extended year six?

I know what I would do, tough on the DC but easy on the budget. What a nice challenge to have, good luck, oh and sure some experts with local knowledge will be along soon. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
I would apply for state selectives while he is in Year 7 and then drop back a year if he gets a place. You will need to prepare specifically for DAO, QE and Latymer and don't assume that your prep schools knows how to get students into these schools unless you know for a fact that students get in every year. IF you pm me I can tell you if there are students from your school at DAO. A friend of mine let her ds go a year ahead and deeply regrets it. When they all started to learn how to drive, when they all had their big 18th's he was left out. DG


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:38 am 
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Many moons ago I was moved up a year at primary school. I must have been about seven. I stayed up a year all through my education (but took the 11 plus at the correct age under the old Direct Grant system) then caught up with my original year group at university as I stayed on at school to do 7th term Oxbridge entrance. Academically it was no problem but socially and developmentally it was a disaster. I would never do it to a child and with hindsight, however proud my parents were of my abilities, I wish they'd left me in my proper year.


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:07 am
Posts: 57
Thank you for your comments and, Peridot, for sharing your personal experience. DG, yes I'll pm you.

You all seem to concur with our view that we'd like DS back in his correct year group, but doing that at his current school would be a mistake. He's completely settled in the older class, and not, at this point, out of his depth either socially or academically. However, very much have an eye on his teenage years at school and the implications at that time.


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11934
I was also moved up a year when I was 7 but had to spend two years in Year 6 as no-one could take the 11+ early back then.

An ex-boyfriend went to University at 17 (just) and hated being excluded from most Freshers events because he was not 18 ...


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:59 pm
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Location: North London Consortium
I've got to agree with Peridot on this one. Academically a move like this can help support a bright child's needs but socially it is unlikely to work - whilst not all experiences are a disaster, the child in question will never quite fit in, whether it's because they are bullied or just get fed up of people saying "Wow, so you should be in the year below? You must be SO clever!"


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:49 am
Posts: 450
Could you do a year of home ed? Not practical for many, or desired by the child, but mine would have loved the opportunity!


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 Post subject: Re: Skipping a year
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 95
I would second making every effort to get your son back in with the correct year group. The grammars you're looking at should be able to stretch him sufficiently without him spending his teenage years surrounded by boys a year or more older than him. I, too, was moved up a year during junior school and remained a year ahead throughout my schooling, and although I never struggled academically I really wished I had been with peers of my own age. I spent most of my secondary school life under a huge weight of expectation, batting off bullies and with half of the social stuff going right over my head because I was a year and a half younger than many of my classmates. Strangely enough, having sworn I would never put my own children through that, we ended up spending several years overseas where DS1's school convinced us he should be in a year group above his age. After much soul searching, we went with it and he did just fine, but now we're home again I'm so thankful we've had the opportunity to undo it and get him back in the right year group before secondary, and I would never, ever do the same again.

The transition for my son was easy because it formed part of a larger change in his circumstances but I agree that for your DS to repeat a year at the same school isn't the answer. Home ed would be a wonderful option if it's one that's open to you and a great way to extend your DS while preparing him specifically for the grammar selection exams. If not then I guess it's a case of repeating year 6 in another school or taking the 11+ in year 7 – but as other posters have said, I would read and re-read the admissions policies to make sure the latter is an option.

Good luck, I'm sure he will thrive whichever option you choose.


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