My son started school in May - he lasted all of 3 weeks in the reception class before moving into a Y1 class with Y1 peers - all well and good for the next 2 months. However I recently realised that he is still classified as a Y0 and will be in Y1 next year when a whole bunch of kids from the reception class, many who started school at the same time as him, have just moved into his Y1 class which is now a mixed y1/y0 class. His teacher recently clarified that yip he is definitely Y0 because of the birthdate, nevermind earlier having moved him up in the same group as the Y1 kids. The teacher has also said that once DS learns to write he will be away and asking how to spell all the big words he uses with the other kids asking what they all mean - so without saying so much I know she thinks he is smart. I also know of one parent who has been told to do extra support work at home to get her son (same class, other side of cut-off) ready for Y2, whereas they are very low key about my sons achievements and areas needing work (i.e writing) its like it doesn't much matter as he is going to be in 'Y1' again anyway and that is that.
I'm just wondering if anyone else had any positive/negative experiences with kids whose birthdays are close to the cutoff. I am reluctant to come over all pushy being so new to school and there is no real problem to speak of yet i.e. my son is happy enough. Its just a hunch that it will be much harder to push for acceleration further on even if it is just to be in the same year as others a few weeks older. Any thoughts anyone?
Yip - We had issues with exactly this! My daughter's bday is 2nd June so went through the whole y0/ y1 thing. Unfortunately for her, with her dyslexia, she wasn't academically able enough (ie couldn't read or write well enough) to be able to be 'put up' to the next level. At some point the school put her into an older class to do other work. It always amazed me when we received their portfolios. In the younger class working at level 1, C would have done just enough and would be put down as 'working towards'... In the older class her work looked like someone elses - beautiful, tidy, better and she'd be classified as being 'fluent' in level 2!
My son's bday is 29 May so exactly the same problem. He was easy one of about 3 kids in that class working at a very high level and they did consider putting him up a year (especially as they had his assessment on hand), however by that stage we were completely had it with school and having to be 'on the teachers' the whole time - not fair on me and not fair on them, so we pulled them out and have now been homeschooling for over 2 1/2 years! My daughter especially wants to go to college, so we'll prob put her in with her same age group that she went to school with. That was fine and I'd rather her be comfortably in the middle - upper than middle -lower. My son however works at the same level as my daughter so I will probably get him into college (if he wants to go at that stage) just one year after my daughter - effectively putting him 'up' a level (or one month as the case may be!!).
The system is difficult to work with at times! Good luck!
My daughters b/day is 20 May, and so misses the cut-off by about 3 weeks. I approached the DP at school to ask whether she should go from y0 to y1 or just move on to y2. My daughter has been assessed as gifted, but I am not entirely convinced to be honest. If she is gifted she is what I would think of as mildly gifted. Anyway she does do well in the verbal skills areas. She reads very well but not mindblowingly above others her age.
The school were happy to discuss and in end said they would leave the decision to us as parents. We decided to put her into y2. The DP did think carefully about which particular class to put her into ie. good fit with teacher.
She is doing okay. She is in the second top reading group in the class is about middle for writing and is in the bottom group in class for maths, but with some big improvement just at the end of this term (so we shall see if she moves into a more average group for maths in the new term?). She has commented that she can't do some things that "all the others" can do in PE class - but I don't think co-ordination is a strong point for her anyway.
She is in fact only about a month younger than the next youngest child anyway, and that child is in her class, so it 's not like there aren't others close to her age - I would guess that on average most kids in her class would be 6mths older (but of course there a few who are a whole year older too).
Don't know for sure one way of the other if we made the right decision for her - somes days I think yes, then others no. In reality I think there would be pro's and cons either way - thats just the downside to having a birthday so close the the cutoff unfortunately!
Not sure that all of that is of any help to you, but it's our experience so far....
I know of a few schools in which they are open to moving from Y0 to Y2 and are not too rigid about that magical cut-off date. My DD's school certainly does allow for that.
I would definitely approach the principal and the teacher and voice concerns - you have to be your child's advocate.
I have seen it go both ways. I have a daughter with an April birthday, so she made it through to be one of the youngest in her year and has not suffered at all (now in year 3). However there is a boy in her class who is repeating year 3 because his birthday was close to the cut-off date, and his parents made the wrong decision at the end of year 0 to move him ahead a year into year 2. He is a very smart boy, but with some learning difficulties. It is working out well for him to be repeating the year.
I have a child with a May birthday and a school with a 30 April cut -off (the Ministry of Education use a 30 June cut-off and schools around here seem to vary from 30 April to 30 June). After negative experiences with two older children getting very bored in year 2, both with birthdays later in the year, I was keen for my May child to go from Y0 to Y2 and after some initial reluctance on the school's part, they tested her and agreed that she could go into Y2. She is now in Y4 and academically and socially doing extremely well.
My advice is that you know your child, what might work for one child might not for another. At the time I had a lot of negative comments, especially about how this will affect her when she's at high school and classmates are old enough to drink alcohol legally and she isn't. That particular comment just made me laugh - the thought that you should make decisions on schooling based on drinking alcohol! Given the range of cut-off dates used in schools, chances are she won't always be the youngest in her class.
If your son will be in the top third of the Y2 class academically and at least average in other aspects (including socially & physically) then I would strongly advocate for him moving up. Otherwise there may be more to gain being in the extention groups with bright Y1's rather than in remedial groups with struggling Y2's. You know your son best so trust your gut!
Writing in the sand, chalk on the drive, etc to encourage writing skills.
I have got one son in Y0/Y1 right now with a May14 birthday. School cutoff is May 1. So technically he will go back into Y1 in 2011. He is doing really well both socially and academically and is 3rd child, so should be ok. I haven't had him assesssed yet, but have with the older two, and I would put money on him being very similar to them.
However, number 2 is mid March birthday, and he went straight into Y1 and then onto Y2 the following year. He is one of the youngest in his year (now Y3) and he struggled with that right through Y2. Academically streets ahead of many of his peers, but he couldn't get why everyone was turning 8 when he still wasn't 7. He always felt like he had to prove himself to them.
I am currently on the fence with number 3, as I think its an individual thing. It will work with some kids to accelerate,and not for others. I also know of kids on the cutoff who stayed put and have done really well, younger kids look up to them etc etc. BUT, that means you need a good teacher who can understand how to extend them and have them work at their level.
I plan to be having close consultation with the school in T4. I think they are happy with either choice, but I will be really careful about the teacher choice.
You know your child better than anyone, so whatever choice you make, good luck with it! Keep talking to the school and keep an eye on progress.
best of luck :-)
Same thing for us. Birthday's near the cut off date. I was happy for him to stay back in the Y0 though, as even though academically he was ready for Y1 - socially I wanted him with his peers. And thinking forward, don't want him going to High School at 12 and half (just too young I think) and would rather he went at 13 and half. The school is accelerated him at Y1 into the Y2-4 class, but still classed as a Y1. Works well for us. Maybe we are lucky to be at a country school where this is possible. He is happy as is challenged academically and just thriving. Good Luck - and don't be afraid to approach the teacher with your concerns.
Flip side to this I also have an April birthday boy, who went straight into Y1 - which I think is harder as he's had to really step up quickly into school mode.
Maybe we should all plan for Oct Birthdays so they get that 1 term in Y0 to settle into school routines and then they're ready to start the new year fresh into Y1!!
I have a son with a mid may birthday, and have discussed many times with school moving him up a year as exceptionally gifted however maturity always came up. Issue is he doesn't fit with own age kids either as they just don't get him and the way he thinks. Have finally decided to move him ahead a year by moving him to intermediate a year early. Nervous that all will go well, but as mentioned on others posts he won't be the only one that young. anyone else had experience moving boys at this age, who may not be the most mature kids?
Our daughter has a late April birthday and is now the youngest in her Year 4 class. At the moment she is perfectly happy. However, she is intellectually gifted while socially very unsophisticated. I love her this way, but I can see problems ahead with her starting high school at 12. So we plan to take her out for a year between primary and high school and travel, then have her start high school at 13 and a half. Obviously I would not accelerate given the choice!
Hi, this is such a hard one, we made the decision to move daughter April22 on to the next year rather than making her repeat a year. She was in a mixed Y1/2 class at the time but assumed to be Y1. When she turned 6 the teacher administered the standard tests and partly because of the results she proceeded to Y3. She's in Year 11 now and I still wonder if we did the right thing. But I think her dyspraxia is the real problem - without the regular upsets caused by PE and her writing difficulties she would have been absolutely fine. Friend wise she's been great since starting her current school in Y7 although she has always referred to her group as "the out crowd" as opposed to the in crowd. Out and indie is now cool it seems.
Our school uses 30 June as the cut-off, but they contact parents of children with May and June birthdays just prior to the end of the year to see what their preference is for the following year (ie stay in Yr 1 or move to Yr 2). Reading this thread it seems that most schools use an earlier end-of-April cut off? I wonder why there is such a big difference between schools - it almost equates to a whole school term.
Hi, Thanks to all who have posted their experiences on the May Birthday issue. After observing how little interest DS has shown all holidays in any reading, writing or artwork related activities I conclude he is in no hurry himself to develop in these areas. He is however very interested in maths and would definitely be more than capable of year 2 maths. So in reflection I am going to see how he goes for the rest of this term and advocate for a mixed Y1/Y2 class next year so he can be extended in his areas of strength with the classification likely to remain at Y1 for the time being.
I also suspect he may be very uneven in his abilities but not sure how much his cleverness in covering for any actual problems, we shall see...
I have a son April 24 birthday,who is in Year 8 having started school in Term 1 of the Year he turned 5 i.e. 4 and 3/4.
He therefore did the whole year in Year 1 and went onto Year 2 with his peers the next year. (Private School with an end of Term 2 cut-off date).
Now that he is supposed to be going to High School next year he says he doesn't want to,that's he's tired of always being one of the smallest,youngest and trying to keep up with everyone else.Even though he's a friendly,well-liked boy who has done very well at school in a number of areas (Sport,music,chess and a high average academically) he says " It would be better for the rest of my life if I could repeat Year 8". He wants the chance to be one of the older children and to do sports etc in his own age-group.
He is currently enrolled at a state High School and an Intermediate School for next year and will sit both entrance tests soon. We will look at the results and then make a decision. He says he 70% wants to go to Intermediate School and only 30% wants to go to High School. He is very strong willed and doesn't mind at all what other people think. He is not the youngest in his class as there is another child with a June 24 birthday who will be moving on to High School and whose father says "I think you need to keep extending them academically and get them thru school as soon as possible". I don't think my 12 year old son would agree with this,what's the rush.He is quite competitive and from his point of view school has been hard for him, as he's always trying to be as good as or better than the kids who are mostly 6-9 months older than him and now he
wants the opportunity to have a break.
I have posted this comment because even though parents think when their gifted child is young that they need to accelerate them in the end maybe the child won't have enjoyed school as much as they could have.
Sounds like Intermediate might be great for your boy. I think the opportunity to be in the top group of the class would be good for him, as long as he still has to work to achieve. If he's top without any effort, it will be detrimental in the long run I believe.
My 11 year old son has an April birthday, and is the youngest in Year 7 at Intermediate. He is absolutely flying, having the best year he has ever had at school. He has met a lot of children who "think" like him, has a wide group of friends, is taking all opportunities, is LIKED by his teachr and is excelling academically.
His primary years were extremely difficult with behaviour issues, non engagement and difficulty at times socially. The teachers did not understand him (or me!) and were reluctant to move him ahead because of these issues. My instincts were that he needed challenge, so I "pushed" for putting him into the next class.
It was the best thing I have ever done for our son. To imagine him having to endure another year of Primary this year instead of flying at intermediate? Well, it brings tears to my eyes.
I say trust your mother instincts and don't be swayed. You know your children and your family best. My son will be young in college, but at least he will still be interested in learning. He will have friends, and be happy. What more can a mother want!
My daughter didn't like her new entrants class. She has an April birthday but because of where Easter fell, started in May. Her school has a cut off at the end of term one. However they asked that if they could put her up to year two - where she would be the youngest. It has worked really well.
She has actually worked this year instead of coasting. She knows that she will not automatically be put up to the next year and that she will have to continue to put in some effort. She has just turned six and a half. The year group has children who are about to turn eight. I don't ask her to do extra work or push her into activities or sports. She loves to play with maths and science at the weekend. I think if a child is better suited to being in a particular class naturally then that would be the right thing. However if a child is not in the top quarter for all subjects naturally and is behind in a subject then it is probably better left alone.
I am very aware that she is measured against year group and not age. So as long as she retains her current grades I see no problem. I can foresee problems with sports as she is a normal height and so is smaller than at least half the class, though is nowhere near the shortest in the year group. It does means as she goes onto netball and hockey that she will find it tricky. Fortunately she prefers individual sports and currently only has to compete against herself!
I chose to keep my daughter (June birthday) with her year group. It has meant that she has always been one of the oldest in her class, but for her that has been an advantage. Her giftedness coupled with her maturity has made her a top achiever, especially in competitions like ICAS. She has had acceleration in subjects like maths over the years so I feel her academic needs were largely met.
Now she is in high school and flying - she is working a year or two ahead in most subjects and will probably finish high school a year early. She has plenty of confidence in her own abilities, in part I believe because she has been the top academic achiever in her year for most of her schooling.
It is exactly what my son is needing.Confidence in his abilities.
He has this in all areas he's acheived in: Chess,Music and Sport,but lacks it academically because he has been younger than most and finding it hard to stay in the top quartile of his current year group.
I am beginning to think why make it hard for him,when he would feel much better if he was excelling rather than just keeping up.
He is very small too and not that he'll become tall by staying back a year,but at least he'll feel bigger.(Most Year 6's are taller than him).
I think there is no one right answer to this question as is very apparent from the comments. Two things i think are worth considering - one is you are looking for the best AVAILABLE option. The perfect option may simply not be available. You have to judge your child and the particular academic and social parameters. Another thing is , if you keep a child back OR accelerate them, is not to attribute every single thing after that to their relative age. There is a girl in my circle who has been accelerated - she has an Aug birthday, just turned 10, so is young for her year 6 class. She is not in the "in" social crowd at school, though she has friends of her own. Would she be more "in" if she was older/more mature? possibly - but maybe she just has her own interests and even in a year would/will not fit the "girly" milieu of the "in" girls. And if she was a year back, she would be even more of an academic outlier - which would probably not put her "in" either.
I think the boy who wants to be kept back knows himself best and should do that. It will probably not hold him back academically in the long term as most high schools will subject accelerate as needed. On the other hand a 5/6 year old in danger of being put off school altogether because they are going crazy with boredom, and who cannot be differentiated in Yr 1 may benefit from going into Yr 2. "It all depends" - JMHO
I just spotted Janine's post about her son, and had to say, WOW what a mature and cool guy he is. Taking time to smell the roses and not viewing it all as a rat race. Doesn't sound like he's going to be making the wrong decisions most of us make in life!
Sounds to me like your son knows what he needs! In my experience, what has happened to your son is not uncommon. And if he likes to win (my daughter is also very competitive) a level playing field agewise makes things much easier . If your son has the opportunity to repeat a year without losing face then it may well be the best thing for him.
For boys, physical size is an important factor too. Especially in high school- to go through puberty a year or so after the other boys would be tough.