I am busy preparing to request that my 5 yr old skips year one and goes straight from year zero to year 2 next year. I wouldn't have thought it was a big ask considering he is only 4 weeks after the cut off, and is easily top in his class in all subjects, however teachers don't like to set 'precedents' do they! So I'm going to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible in order to make this so called 'grade skip' happen.
I have been reading 'A Nation Deceived' and it mentions that all US states as well as New Zealand and a couple of other countries use the Iowa Acceleration Scale to help make the decision as to whether or not whole grade skip children. Considering I have heard time and again of ppl having issues with this, I'm surprised to find NZ listed at all!
So I am wondering if anyone has come across this book and may be prepared to loan it to me for a short time. I have suggested that this may be a very good book for the NZAGC library to purchase. This can be bought off Amazon for US$21.75 but I thought I might see if I could borrow it first. Plus I'd like to hear if anyone has ever come across this actually being used here in NZ!
If you go to this site> http://www.nationdeceived.org/ you can link to an order form and have 'A Nation Deceived' sent to you at no charge. I've requested a copy, but as yet haven't heard if they'll ship internationally, or how long it will take.
You can also download the entire report from them, if you wish, print it yourself, and have a local copy shop bind it into book form.
I have a copy of the book. It would be a useful reference for the NZAGC Library, but it is very US oriented (of course) and several parts are irrelevant for NZ schools.
My youngest was put into Yr 2 at the beginning of this year after 2 terms in Year0/1. We requested a meeting with the school to ascertain whether she was a candidate for Yr 2 eventhough she had missed the school 'birth date cut-off' to move ahead.
Through school testing (eg reading, spelling, maths levels) and a supporting psychometric testing report the school agreed to put her with the older cohort. Eventhough she didn't fit socially with the group and has motor and some speech issues (which she was having OT and SLT for at the time) they were (eventually) happy to give her the opportunity. It has been an excellent decision and she has flourished, given a supportive and accommodating teacher.
I think the key question we asked was: What advantages are there for B to stay in Year 1 compared to moving to Year 2?
Not sure where your schools cut off is, but I would have thought that if it is that close it shouldn't be an issue. We have had similar scenario with our daughter. I took her to see ed psych here in akl, and armed with report, the school was fine about it.
Our concern was not so much that she wouldn't be catered to with reading/maths etc, as they said she would, but the kids have to sit through all that really boring mat time, and structured or teacher directed stuff that is so far below their thinking ability, and that is what we had more concern about. Reality is once the kids are at a higher level in the school they can manage the pace at which they learn better for themselves. It is all a compromise however, because our daughter is a real littlie and not overly confident, and whilst socially she likes the year she is in, and it is better academically, she is always the youngest/smallest/ quietest in her year. I am not sure how this will pan out as she becomes a teenager. I think the biggest difference is the calibre of the individual teacher each year, but unfortunately this is hard to influence, good luck
Can't help with the Iowa book unfortunately - but when working a similar jump for T one thing we did (the school initiated it, yay the school) was to make social connections for T with children in the year above while she was still in Yr 0. In our case the school actually approached me and said "you should set up play dates for T with child X ", and also organised for T to work with this child (who also turned out to be very gifted, tho a whole year older than T) on special activities, as well as doing some cross grouped subject work in the higher class. Result, a "best friendship" and other social connections already set up when she moved into the Yr 2 class. She's never looked back!
Wow, an excellent response already! Thanks! Diana, I have downloaded both the full version (160pgs) and the outline version (80pgs) of the Nation Deceived report. This is where I have discovered the IAS link. I have printed several pages from these reports, mainly to do with emotional etc (as I'm sure that's the direction the school will come from) as well as acceleration for the twice exceptional ie my daughter. I have watched her go through 6mths in 0, a year in 1 and now a year in 2 (as one of the oldest in a 1/2 class!) and have seen how depressed and unhappy she has been in this class. Unfortunately I don't think she would cope academically in an older class, and this would have an even greater detrimental effect on her confidence and esteem.
My son however is a different matter and has already climbed about 7 reading levels since starting end of May and needs to go up another couple to be challenged. He does have a few year 1's in his class - one of which is I'm certain a gt boy who we've already had a couple of 'playdates' with! So I agree Lyn - friendships are important and he would go through to year 2 with this boy. I don't think J is overly well liked in his class already. Even though he is a very likeable child (most adults like him and I know his teacher thinks he's wonderful - especially with the 'things he comes out with'!) he is different and as such, shunned. Despite talking a little babyish (well I think anyway), he does get on better with older children and a weekend away at an Explorers camp this last weekend has proven that to me.
Helen - I like that question and I have written it down to include in my formal 'written' request! There are no advantages - only disadvantages. His teacher has already apologised to me for lack of stimulation as she has to teach the other 'new entrants'! He is so bored he has taken to going to the sick bay and chatting to the office ladies while reading interesting books!
Karen - our cut off is end of April and J started school 28th May (day before his birthday). It shouldn't be an issue however I am arming myself to the teeth for this because I really do feel it's incredibly important. My husband and I have even thought about the possiblity of homeschooling if the school turns us down. Considering I work there teaching a gt programme 2 days a week, I think I would be completely turned off and become quite disenchanted with the school. To me it's not acceleration and it shouldn't be a big issue. But I do need to prepare myself in case it becomes such.
I got to have a look at where year 2's are expected to be at the beginning of the year in reading and maths. 50% are at 'blue' level or above for reading (J will prob reach that early next term), and level 3 numeracy for maths. Although he's at level 2 in class I have tested him at home with the test the teachers use, and he is easily in level 3 (counting on and visualising).
He'll be only 1 year behind his sister who's 2 years older, but I think he'll overtake her anyway at some stage (in the not too distant future perhaps) and I do have to think of each child as an individual. My daughter knows her brother is good at reading and maths and we build up her special design and lateral thinking skills!
Helen, do you think it would be worth me reading the book? Either buying it or borrowing it from you if okay? Considering NZ schools supposedly use this resource, it might be an idea to clue myself up on it!
Our daughter's birthday is May with the cut off at her school April. She completed year 0 and then went on to year 2 the following year.
During year 0 her teacher asked me if I thought she was gifted, however I has no idea what "Gifted" meant as she seemed normal to me. She was through all the reading groups and onto journals at that stage. She also had great ability in spelling and maths. I was told that skipping a year is not normal practise however I only had to discuss it with her teacher and had one meeting with the head of the junior syndicate, and they were very receptive to the idea. Having an older child I was aware of the exciting topics/project work covered in the middle syndicate as was reluctant for her to remain in the junior sydndicate where she would be bored. With One Day School coming to Nelson she was assessed as gifted in the very superior range at the end of year 4.
She is now in year 5 and luckily she is quite tall for her age and is coping fine being the youngest in the syndicate. Skipping year 1 was the best decision made. The biggest issue for me is that when she starts college she will be 12 years old until the May, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
In your position i would just try and speak to the school with all the knowledge that you have of your son now. I wouldn't get too worked up about "systems". Just try and talk to them. You know your school best, but perhaps they are quite amenable. My experience is that the year 1 and year 2 curriculum is similar anyway, and that the big question is rather the pushing forward to year 3 of year 1 kids.
Each school seems to be different with the cut-offs. The cut-off at our school is not that rigid (around April), but there are "June" kids that get pushed up, if they can cope academically/socially.
Julie - I think you will find there will be other children as young as your daughter at high school. I was 12 until May in the 3rd form and so were many of my friends. My husband was 12 until August. My daughter will be 11 starting high school but only for a couple of weeks. I just hope she grows a bit before then as she is tiny for an 8 year old, let alone being 8 in year 5.
Rebecca- I also printed off screeds of pages from The Nation Deceived and went to a meeting with the Principal ready and armed. I only got out one sentence out as he thought it was an excellent idea and had been thinking about talking to me about it. It has worked out well and we have no regrets about doing it.
I am reading these responses several years later and hope that this is sent out to you all as I have no idea how this works. I am dealing with a similar situation in Nelson and was hoping to talk to you directly. The school my child is at is refusing to let her move from the jr syndicate to the middle syndicate (her birthday is August). Any advice would be helpful!