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 Post subject: Summer Born
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Posts: 299
Location: Hertfordshire
Just been reading a BBC article about Summer Born children. And the lottery of where you live depends on if you can defer children starting school.

Not sure if I think it’s a good idea, but DS was very ready to start school and was born in the last week of August. Which has meant first GCSE result ( taken a year early) age 14, A levels results before 18th birthday etc

So it would be interesting to hear how DC’s who are either old or young for the school year have coped


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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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There is no need to take any GCSEs early ... you have to give permission if they aren't in Year 11. It is not good for university applications.

One of my exs went to uni at 16 - it was a disaster for him :(


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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:18 am 
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As anyone who has followed my posts on here for any time would know, I am a passionate opponent of sending 4 year olds into formal schooling, so kept all of mine out as long as possible. In doing this I was informed by international practice and by research which in most civilised nations keeps small children well away from desks and chairs. I did come across people who felt that either I was inflicting great and irreversible damage on my tiny tots ('you're holding her back! They will never catch up') or else, worse, looked down on me pityingly as they explained that 'my child was ready and would have been bored at home', as though my dull little people were actually going to sit at home looking at the walls all day instead being in school like other super bright 4 year olds. In fact my three were all very early talkers and very engaged and spirited children who would have 'coped' just fine with the intellectual demands of school at 4, which is exactly why I didn't want to let them anywhere near the place. I wanted to nurture that spirit and let it play, and had spent too long in Scandinavia to allow anything else. I did have a fight though, as at that time although the law supported me, most schools, mindful of their funding even then, did not. I was lucky to find a rather more visionary head and a teacher who had trained in Scandinavia which helped the logistics.

My only regret is that I didn't keep them out for longer, or move to a country with an education system which recognises their right to be children and not little adults in the making, and values them for what they are and not what they will become. If I had a small child in England now I would leave the country or try to home educate or something - I could weep at what is going on now in the name of Early Years education here. I could complete the story with a list of the exam results of these children who had a late start to school and then missed another year when I removed them to travel; and whose mother refused to let them do homework at primary school (I see I have famous company now, some 15 years later!). But that isn't my style. Let's just say that those who suggested they would 'never catch up' were a bit wide of the mark.


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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
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When my DCs started school in Bucks the policy was that they started school the term in which they turned 5, so mine only had one term in reception. I am very glad I didn't have to contemplate sending them off to school at just turned 4.
PS they "caught up"


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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:33 pm
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Amber wrote:
My only regret is that I didn't keep them out for longer, or move to a country with an education system which recognises their right to be children and not little adults in the making, and values them for what they are and not what they will become. If I had a small child in England now I would leave the country or try to home educate or something - I could weep at what is going on now in the name of Early Years education here. I could complete the story with a list of the exam results of these children who had a late start to school and then missed another year when I removed them to travel; and whose mother refused to let them do homework at primary school (I see I have famous company now, some 15 years later!). But that isn't my style. Let's just say that those who suggested they would 'never catch up' were a bit wide of the mark.

Goodness me, you don't mean....you can't mean....Russell Group? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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anotherdad wrote:
Goodness me, you don't mean....you can't mean....Russell Group? :shock:


Yeah, they have special classes for those who didn't go to a particular school in Hertfordshire to help them catch up.


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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm
Posts: 764
All mine are Summer Born and one of them was 3 to 4 weeks early so could have been touch and go which year he started school given a different set of circumstances. They were all ready to start school which where we were was the September of the academic year in which they turned 5. I think it depends on the child. DS did his GCSEs aged 15. It is only now that his age in the year is bothering him as lots of his friends are learning to drive and he still has a long wait before he gets there :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:06 pm
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Amber wrote:
As anyone who has followed my posts on here for any time would know, I am a passionate opponent of sending 4 year olds into formal schooling, so kept all of mine out as long as possible.


Hi Amber, I don't doubt that your own children benefited from starting school later as you described, but I'm not sure that means its a good idea for the general population does it?

The average family is not likely to have your background in education and teaching and so wouldn't be able to provide the same stimulating home environment which you did.

Isn't there a risk that if all children started primary school later, then disadvantaged working class children will start school even further behind their more advantaged classmates than they are already?


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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
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Point taken Surferfish. The answer is complicated.

Firstly, how is it that (some, usually middle class) English children are 'ready' to start school at 4, when in other countries children are not deemed 'ready' until they are 6 or 7? Are our children somehow more advanced developmentally; are they brighter; do they not need to experience the things which other countries believe that young children need to experience when they are 4? Or are all the other countries breeding children who are stupid, take more time to master all the complicated stuff, need more time to digest the curriculum?

Of course, your point about disadvantage is close to my heart. Small children benefit greatly from a good quality pre-school experience, and in advanced countries this is provided to all. It never consists of the kind of pre-reading, pre-number stuff which we ram down the throats of our tiny tots. It is no surprise that parents consider children who have been subjected to 2 years of this stuff 'ready' for school. Of course they are! Panting to go, because they have already internalised what we consider to be of value for them to learn and many can do it already (one of mine taught himself to read at 3. I did not take this as a sign that he was 'ready' to go to school; but that he was 'ready' to read as he loved books. One of my others bided their time and learnt at 5+. They got the same A level grades). An appropriate curriculum for under 7s which is pedagogically sound does not require any pre-reading or pre- multiplication stuff. The world is bigger than that. You can teach an averagely bright child of 6 to read fluently in 2 weeks. I have done it, several times. But we are fixated on this stuff here - learning to read is the be all and end all. Smash that thought, and you have a big world instead to offer to our small people.

In short, disadvantage will be less apparent when the preschool curriculum is appropriate to all children and is not aimed at preparing children to be able to read and write. Sending them all to school at 4 is probably just about better for some of them than not going at all, but the inequalities start young, and none of these disadvantaged children will be on the dreadfully named 'top tables' after 6 months. The damage of being in school at 4 starts young, and in England, your destiny is preordained by the end of Reception. By then you will know your place in the pecking order and the teachers will know if you are going to be getting level 3 in your Y2 tests. And so on. The 'long tail of achievement' in England begins at birth.

The culture of English preschool provision is one of staffing by young people considered not clever enough to do much else - 'hair or care' it used to be called. I once wrote a paper about the many qualifications which can lead into a nursery career - I think there were well over 200 of them. Attempts to professionalise the sector have been hamstrung by lack of political will and lack of money. Nursery teachers can spend almost all their time filling in assessment sheets rather than working with young people. Health and safety culture means children are togged up in thick coats and high viz jackets and stood over by staff if they so much as want to go and stand in a playground, let alone actually climb on anything. Go to Denmark and look at children playing unsupervised outside, for hours at a time. Go to Sweden and see little ones out in the snow, chatting to passers by on the street. We confine and stifle our little ones and then wonder why they are disaffected by 8 and feeling like failures.

Sorry I could go on...but I won't!

Short answer - I won't ever think children should be in formal schooling at 4; but I despair that anyone in power in our country will ever understand the alternatives correctly.


Last edited by Amber on Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Summer Born
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:50 pm
Posts: 764
Quote:
It never consists of the kind of pre-reading, pre-number stuff which we ram down the throats of our tiny tots. It is no surprise that parents consider children who have been subjected to 2 years of this stuff 'ready' for school. Of course they are! Panting to go, because they have already internalised what we consider to be of value for them to learn and many can do it already (one of mine taught himself to read at 3. I did not take this as a sign that he was 'ready' to go to school


A very sweeping and patronising statement. Not all children perceived to be ready to go to school have had pre-reading stuffed down their throats. I and my kids loved sharing books at a young age. I saw mine as ready to go to school as they were happy to go, chatted excitedly about what they had done at both nursery and school. They were all very young for their year. It might well not be right for every child, but it certainly isn't wrong for every child either.


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