My daughter is 6 yrs 3mths, her birthday is in early June.
She spent 1 month in new entrants and after her 1st week at school she told me she was bored in class. She is an exceptionally quick learner.
For this year she is considered to be a yr 1, even though her half year report had her 'above the standard' for Reading, Writing and Math.
She is reading at Level 21, so at an 8+ reading level. She reads and writes and does math at 2 years above her level.
I work at a school and have witnessed first hand how other children at year 1 are progressing and I know, in compairson, my daughter is beyond that year group.
She is consistent and determined and finds the work she currently gets 'easy' and will tire of the 'constant structural learning' that is taught for other kids to understand and grasp.
She is mature and socially prefers older friends than her same age group.
Any info on cutoff dates in NZ or advice is appreciated
Official Ministry cutoff date for Year 0/Year 1 is June 30th but very few schools seem to use that date, the school my kids attend,for example, uses April 30.
I have a May child who went from year 0 to year 2 and when I see children in the year behind her and the work they are doing, I'm so glad I advocated for my child over this! My two older children (July and Sept) did year 0, 1 and then 2 and for them year 2 was a wasted year, making very little progress while the teacher focused on catching the other children up, which was why I wanted my May child to go straight to year 2 from year 0.
Unless you have a very enlightened and understanding school, they will tell you all sorts of horror stories to try and put you off having your child skip a year. When you look at the age range across a school year then an extra month or two makes no difference - my child happens to be the youngest in the year and one of the smaller kids, but this hasn't stopped her from doing outstandingly well academically and in cultural and sporting activities.
What it comes down to is knowing your own child and how they would cope academically and socially and being a determined advocate for them.
I am a teacher and my current and previous school had different approaches to classification of students. As M said, July 1 is the official date for classification of students. If a child's birthday is between July 1 and the end of the year, they are called a Year 0 and before July are Year 1(missing Year 0 completely). What you are asking fits well within the official MOE guidelines, her first part year at school would have been her Year 1, she is currently in Year 2 and could be in Year 3 next year. The confusion exists because every school seems to put there own system in place. My current school classifies any child starting in May and June as Y0 as well, however we do discuss individuals and make recommendations accordingly. One wee girl last year was very bright with a July birthday and she is in Year 2 this year. This decision is made in conjunction with parents.
To add another spanner to the works consider the National Standards. For junior children these benchmarks are set after 40, 80 and 120 and are regardless of their classification. Your child seems to be working to or at the 120 weeks standards so it would seem to me, on minimal information, that she should be Year 3 next year. It wouldn't even be a discussion in some NZ schools.
Your daughter sounds to me she would cope well with extension just from what you've said. Our situation is a bit different but may highlight the right reasons (or wrong) for extension and I could use some advice too from anyone in a similar situation...
My 6 year old has his birthday at the end of May and his official classification is Year 1 although he has been put in a year 2 class since the start of this term as him and a few others were deemed in need of stretching. I thought they had changed his classification to year 2 with the move, but no, his new teacher is adamant he will go into year 2 again at the start of this year. What I wonder is the point of stretching him for 6 months only to place him back with 'his' year group that are likely to be even further behind given his 6 months of extension. He is in the top reading group in his year 2 class, reading at a level expected of Year 4 kids, but his handwriting is not up to speed, year 1 level at best, and he struggles to complete the self-directed worksheets the kids in the top group are given.
My question is should I kick up a fuss and get him put into Year 3 next year or leave things as they are, with him heading into year 2. My son himself is not in love with his new class (or teacher) who seems keen to reassess his reading classification - his old teacher who he adored and worked hard for was the one that assessed him and advocated for the move so maybe he just did his best for her. He is not a naturally compliant child, very chatty, doesn't always listen, gets distracted easily and is slow in his written work, colouring in etc. I think he may just annoy his new teacher and has now decided he doesn't like school.
So I don't know what to do. It seems to me the move has put him off school. All the 'negatives' he displays are nothing to do with his intelligence but seem to play a huge part in his ability to demonstrate this in the classroom context. So should he be permanently grade skipped or not? Any thoughts appreciated.
You could have just described my youngest child, also a May child, who went from year 0 to year 2. In her case it was the teacher that was a major part of the issue, year 3 teacher was so much better at handling the distraction and got the written work sorted out and we have had minimal issues since then (she's now year 5).
I have had to constantly remind teachers that although this child is the youngest in the class, this should not mean that their expectations for the child should be lower. I have also had to use a tutor for one subject area which the whole school teaches very badly (maths), I did this to ensure that this child would not get bored and frustrated and have underachievement problems.
Another whole year in year 2 is going to drive your son crazy - year 2 seems to be, in the experience of my three children, a "catch up year" where the focus is making sure the top levels don't go up too much (consolidation is the term I kept hearing) and the lower levels are caught up. My personal approach would be to push for year 3 and ask what you can be doing outside of school to help with the writing. Possibly look at a tutor - one-to-one works well with the easily distracted.
How did you get on Nita? Let us know, it seems everyone on here with a child in a similar position had a much happier child if they got the acceleration they needed. My child went from 0 - 2 in her first six months at school (May birthday) and went straight into year 3 at 5.6. Now near the end of that year, no-one in her class cares that she's only 6, she has made some lovely friends and there are really no worries about the age gap. Any issues around puberty etc we will deal with later, right now it would be ridiculous to se her dropping back a year when she is hitting all of the required standards in every area. I would get the principal on board and push for that acceleration. I agree with the others, the earlier the better.
If you need to, get her assessed. The psychologist will no doubt recommend an acceleration in their report.
I have a question for you all out there. My third child is going to be 5 on the 11th May. I'm told that he will go into Year 0 then the next year as Year 1. I'm not keen on this as he's pretty bright and he has a brother and sister in Year 1 and Year 2 at the moment. All of them are just over a year apart but where his birthday falls means he will end up two years behind the others. What are my chances of getting him put straight into Year 1?
My son's bday is 29th May and my daughter 2nd June. With my daughter as she is dyslexic and not academic enough or performing well enough to go straight into year 2, she didn't. That was okay. My son however was in the top couple of kids in a 0/1 class by the end of the year, so the school did consider putting him straight into yr 2. However as that is when we pulled out of the schooling system and decided to homeschool, it wasn't an issue any longer and we didn't go down that path.
I think the short answer is, as long as you can prove to the school that the child is learning easily and quickly, it shouldn't be an issue by the end of the year to put him straight into year 2. My suggestion is that you raise the issue when you initially approach the school. You could suggest that they 'watch how he goes' and then consider the best option for him. Some schools will suggest it themselves, others will need prodding. But in the long run, it shouldn't be an issue....but don't quote me on that! lol
My 3rd child is May14th, and we had the same discussions. As it turned out, I left him in y0 and let him do y1 this year. Yes he is one of the oldest children in y1, but it doesn't matter. Yes he is extremely capable and would have slotted into y2. The biggest factor in me leaving him where he was, was down to social things, not academics. I know he is way ahead in reading, maths etc and is just doing what he needs to in order to get by. But, socially he is now much stronger. Being the 3rd child he was always the little boy. Now, he is one of the big boys in y1 and other kids look up to him. It has been invaluable for his self confidence. That is worth it's weight in gold.
My 2nd child is a March baby and he had the opposite problem- always the youngest. He was very aware of it, and still is, even in y4. Given the choice, I would let them be older, not younger in their year.
Hi there, I have a 3 year 9 mth old and we are currently looking at schools. She is due to start school first part of 2013. She has been reading since she was 3 and is currently reading at about a 7 year old level. Comparing her to a year 2 neighbor she is well ahead in all aspects already. Except handwriting. My question is do we start her at year 1 and all going well push for a skip into year 3 the next year or do we push to start her in year 2? Given that she is our first I really do not have a clue which is the better option.
Any advice appreciated. Thanks
Hi there - honestly your daughter sounds gifted and handwriting will catch up when her fine motor skills do. If you have schools in mind, I would check out their ERO reports online to see if any G&T prgrammes are mentioned. They will probably have a teacher who specialises in this area and meeting with the principal to discuss their policy on acceleration will help you to decide what is best. They might suggest she starts with the others to get a feel for the place and then move up some time during the year. All new entrants are tested after 6 weeks anyway, at which point, if not before, it will become plainly obvious that she will struggle to progress staying with her age peers, and it will be a matter of social maturity as to which year they place her in. A school which has mixed year 1 and 2 classes would be ideal because then she will have children to work with on her handwriting and then moving up to year 3 by the end of the year will go unnoticed. By the sounds of it though, this still won't be enough as she will probably be above the year 2s in reading still - a psychologist's assessment before she starts school will help here as recommendations can be made as to how they can plan for her.
My daughter started as a new entrant and hated it, her expectation of learning at school was demolished, but luckily a move for us after a few months meant she was able to slot into a year 2 class for the end of the year. For this reason I would suggest the earlier the better, as a few other posts have have said. If she is left in year 1 for a whole year it might put her off learning altogether.
It does no harm to start looking now but if she has come this far now, imagine where she will be in another year! Its mind boggling but very exciting. Good luck!
My daughter went to school only knowing the basics. She spent one term in NE and then a year in Year 1. After the one term in NE she could suddenly do all sorts of surprising things. That was when I first started to realise my daughter was different from the norm. Most of Year 1 she was held back by the teacher who deemed she had some kind of disability because within the first couple of weeks of the school year she tested my daughter's comprehension and when my daughter refused to answer any questions (turned out my daughter was scared of this teacher) the teacher recorded her as having 'zero comprehension' but a high reading level. So my daughter had to suffer along with 'baby books' as she called them to try and improve her comprehension. All this led to an awful school situation and my daughter becoming very depressed by year's end. Thankfully I got her out of that depression and she hasn't looked back.
We ensured our daughter skipped Year 2 - and it was one of the best things we ever did. Socially she's probably about the same. I don't expect her to ever be outstanding socially, simply because she's different and doesn't buy in to the social games that other kids do. This seems to put her at a bit of a disadvantage (though I guess it depends on how you look at it!) but she does have some friends and is quite happy. She's not the odd kid out or anything. That said, she fits right in when spending time with other gifted kids and has an absolute ball.
I believe academically, we've managed to keep her at a point where she has to put some effort into her work. This is something I've always been highly concerned about, and it has required a lot of effort on my part to make sure this has been the case. The Year skip has not really helped with this except a little bit at first... all I can say is, don't expect a Year skip to act as a magic wand and solve all your issues surrounding your child's education. One thing that HAS been helpful is just the fact that my daughter's school allows more extension/enrichment as the child gets further up in the school... so skipping a Year just made that come around quicker. Now my daughter is doing high school maths via correspondence. We haven't reached a point where she's ever been 'stuck' or really seriously had to think about her maths learning. She just zoomed along (admittedly with quite a bit of frustration caused by me on occasion, making sure she redid things many times to be certain she'd consolidated her learning. A few times my daughter appeared to 'forget' what she'd learned, and when I said 'Well you can't go ahead with your maths if you don't know this stuff' she would sit there and do everything perfectly then look at me as if to say 'NOW can I please do something fun?!'). I feel happier now she's doing the correspondence that she will be able to find a level she's comfortable at (with a certain amount of challenge, because she enjoys challenge) and work along her own path.
I think that's all we hope for, for any child... that they will be able to work along their own path. It must be so extraordinarily difficult for a teacher in your average classroom to cater appropriately for every single child though. It boggles my mind, thinking about it.
Based on my experience with my daughter, I think the Year skip was appropriate, it hasn't had any negative effect on her socially - if anything, it may have helped prevent her becoming too domineering/frustrated with the kids in the Year level she was originally placed in. Academically she's doing amazingly well, but yes she still requires 'extra' which is what we're now working with the Correspondence School for, through dual enrollment.
Every child is different. The best advice I can give is 'know your child', try to have realistic expectations, do heaps of research, and then stick to your guns with the school. If you believe a grade skip is truly the best thing for your child, don't be afraid to let the school know and take it from there.
Thanks for the reply Wendy. We are getting her tested next month so will be well armed for school interviews. Interestingly her handwriting has improved very quickly and she would be as good as the year 1. Slightly slow as she is a perfectionist. But I am sure this will get faster. I am now thinking a skip to year 2 would be best for her. Fingers crossed the school agrees. Thanks again for the reply. Much appreciated.
My son is a June baby and I'd say look at the social side and demand the school cope with the academic challenges.
My son is gifted, physically small, looks years younger and will start high school aged 12. He has had no friends for years because socially he is less mature than his classmates. His school work suffers because of his social issues and bullying. I think he's a lovely kid though.
A friend's daughter is also gifted but socially aware and started high school last year, aged 12 in an extension class and has done incredibly well.
Another boy, 2 days older than my son, will also go to high school this year. He's normal academically but a gifted athlete, tall and well liked. He'll be fine.
So what I'm getting at is that my son, despite his intelligence, would have benefited from having a full year 1 before plunging into the demands of a year 2/3 composite class.
His primary and intermediate schools never really got to grips with him and ODS in year 6 was his only real extension. I don't think he benefited at all from being with the "older" children.
I hope you have your child now more settled, I will explain the pro's and con's I have seen, having 2 gifted daughters.
My eldest (now 13) was a May baby and started school reading at the age of an 8yr old. she spent 3 weeks in new entrants and they could not see her coping with new entrant life for the rest of the year. They put her into a year 1 class until the end of the year and within 2 weeks she was top of that class and more. After 6 mths at school she went into year 2. At that point she didnt notice an issue other than being the baby of the class as she was sociable with lots of friends. At the end of year 2 i moved her to a private school as she was so far ahead of the year 2's in all areas and she went ahead another year into year 4 which she managed with ease. All was good until she went to intermediate. She went to intermediate as a 9yr old with the 11 yr olds, was in one of the talented and gifted classes and topped everything but she was miserable socially, the children outcast her because of her age, once they start getting to that age, the kids dont like the "little kid" beating them hands down at everything! It also impacted negatively like swimming and athletics, although very capable being in an intermediate meant she had to compete as an 11 yr old at age 9, and just didnt have the physical strength of those 2 years older. We moved and the local catholic primary down the road the younger children were enrolled in and I made the decision to move her there for her own sanity, it was a year 0-8 full primary school and it appealed to me to have 3 children in 1 spot for a time.
I sat down with the principal and he gave me the option of putting her into year 8 where she would cope fine with her results, year 7 or year 6 which is where she should be. He told me there was another 3 very talented Year 6 children who were achieving at the same level or similar as her. My daughter said to me "mum i just want to be a normal 10 yr old". I listened to my daughter and put her into year 6. Otherwise she would of been at high school as an 11 yr old!
She was so happy and not only that, with the small group of able students, she continued to thrive and by the end of year 8 was doing NCEA level 1 work. Of the group of 4, 3 of them including my daughter won academic scholarships into the top high schools and my daughter is in the gifted and talented program at her new high school with 19 other girls and very happy.
I also had to consider things like if my daughter went to high school at age 11 she would be 15 when she finished. What do you do with them then, unless you have plenty of money, they dont qualify for student loan for uni and that was also something needing strong consideration.
And now I am back repeating the process again with my 3rd child also a girl (my 2nd child, a boy is totally normal and average and I am greatful for that too).
My now 6 yr old is a early june baby and spent until the end of the year in year 0. At our school their cut off is 30 april. However they identified a couple of bright ones, my daughter being the only girl and so these children went into a year 2 class as Year 1's. They are not reclassified. At the end of the year my daughter again moved through as one of a couple of year 2's in a year 3 class. They have one of these mixed classes until 5/6 and when she gets into year 6 subjects like maths are class interchange so the more able children can be in a class working with year 8's if able. They get advanced in spelling, writing, reading within class letting them be socially with their age group but academically as high as they can possibly attain.
My 6 yr old has already surpassed where she needs to be by the end of this year and will have most probably met the requirements to go into year 4 when she enters year 3 next year easily, with the exception of her writing but that should be all sorted come next week when her glasses with the correct "doubled" prescription arrives :).
My childrens primary school is lucky. It is the biggest catholic primary school in the country with 2-3 classes at each year level which allows the school to stream the classes in ability. This works perfectly allowing those little clever monkeys still just to be kids at the end of the day.
Sometime this year we will end up moving and it does worry me, moving her to another school next year that she will be put up a year and then struggle with the social side, but sitting in class bored will be as equally as devastating. Time will tell, I may not even need to change her school.
I just then have 1 more child to get through :) but he is only 2 at this point (and very bright).
hi am am trying to figure out what do to with my 7 year old , this year we changed schools,the last school having the cut off for year grades being march so she was a year 2 at the last school, this school has a cut off of june so she was put into a year 3, i just feel she is pretty young and one of the youngest in her year group, academically she is great , but she plays with all the year 2 and emotionally she is young at home, school i think she seeems to know how to fir in, typical. next year school want her to be a year 4 but i am considering keeping her a year 3 , help not sure what to do , her birthday is 21 april.
Hi my son is April 24th and like your daughter was young for his year.
He went all the way through to Year 8 no problem at all, but then asked if he could redo Year 8, at an Intermediate School, as he didn't want to go onto High School and was tired of always being the youngest and smallest in his class. He is a competitive child and thought it was unfair that he couldn't quite match the kids that were sometimes nearly a year older than him. (He was in a Private school with many bright children).
He has now just completed a very sucessful Year 9 (in an accelerated class)and is so happy that he made this choice for himself.
Personally I think that for him there was a lot more to be gained from doing 2 Year 8s than repeating any earlier. In his second Year 8 he was able to take advantage of different sporting and cultural options not available to him before and now he is a really confident boy who is at the top of his class and no longer small but of average height.
It may be better to let your daughter go on to Year 4 if she is happy enough to do so. There is still plenty of time to repeat and she will be extended more in the meantime if she is young for her year.
@ Julie Abbott's comment - I think a key point is that when you put your daughter "back" into Year 6 there was a peer group of other exceptional girls and a school willing to handle them doing NCEA at Yr 8 etc. I think anyone would consider that ideal and who needs acceleration in those circs? but at most schools that is not an option, so the choice is between utter boredom and frustration and standing out like a sore thumb academically but with age peers (doesn't actually tend to lead to social success) or being accelerated which means being different in another way and possibly struggling with the social stuff as well, but possibly less bored and connecting intellectually. For some children acceleration may be not ideal but may be the 'least bad' choice.