Holding Summer born boy back a year

(97 Posts)
Oopla Fri 01-Feb-13 19:57:55

DS is a July baby and started nursery the sept after he turned 3. I'm thinking of asking his nursery teachers if it would be possible for him to stay another year in preschool.
He has settled ok in nursery but doesn't particularly look forward to going (is a real homebody) and its taking him a whole to get used to the social side of things. In my heart I don't think he's emotionally ready for full days and more structure. Not keen on him being the smallest boy in the class either.

It's a standard state nursery attached to a primary, not sure if they will just laugh me out the room! Can you think of the pros and cons of this idea or any thoughts about it? Many thanks.

Missbopeep Fri 01-Mar-13 11:46:16

My son was a mid August birthday- he started school at the easter before he was 5. What I did do was hold back his nursery education and kept him at home until he was 4 so he had only 2 terms at nursery Sept- Easter before he started school.

bananasontoast Thu 28-Feb-13 17:48:41

There are lots of parents who would like to start their summer borns in Reception the September after their 5th birthday. The system is however, inflexible. See the google group "Campaign For More Flexible School Admissions For Summer Born Children" a group for like minded parents you wish to delay.

spottyhankystripysocks Mon 25-Feb-13 09:33:54

I am not sure if my post was completely clear - my child is young in year, is in the right year - but there are others who are much older (deferred) in the class. Socially they are light years ahead. Although I agree with Talkinginpeace re making kids stick out (incidently I was also put up a year at school - despite being a June birthday), the tone of the post is a bit off -if you are going through this for the first time, it is completely understandable why you might be concerned?

Talkinpeace Sun 24-Feb-13 21:59:34

FFS
your teeny 4 year old will, before you know, it be a huge stinky teen like my baby is now
let them fit in by being in their right year
they will find their own friends
making kids "stick out" is THE mortal sin of parenting.

spottyhankystripysocks Sun 24-Feb-13 21:24:20

My dc's class (tiny private school) has 4 children in the class who should be theoretically in the year above. My dc is latter half of year and "young". This has a huge impact socially. Personally I think children should probably not be in a formal setting until 5, but that out of year children should be on a very exceptional basis.

birdseed Sun 24-Feb-13 20:47:18

Oopla. I hope it goes well for your DS.
They can change so much in just a few months so fingers crossed he will have come on in leaps and bounds by sept. And even if he doesn't seem quite ready in sept he may be doing much better a few months on, so don't despair.

mummytime Belgium Sun 24-Feb-13 09:20:13

I would be complaining to nursery that they are not doing more to help him play with the other kids. That is what Nursery is for!
I would also talk to the reception class teachers as soon as you know he has a place, and discuss what strategies they will put in place to help him integrate.

Oopla Sat 23-Feb-13 23:24:38

Really glad it's worked out for you birdseed, thanks for your experience smile

A few weeks ago he tried to join in with two girls who were playing just as we arrived, they didn't want him to play and he spent 3/4 hour on the floor dejected ! It's hard because obv I only see brief snapshots of his behaviour when I drop off and collect but he's often wandering around alone or being rebuffed by groups of bigger boys.

Days like that I just want to scoop him up and bring him home hmm

Since I first posted this thread have been watching ds carefully and he is coming on leaps just lately, have to remind myself that sept is a whole 7 months away!

We're meeting nursery teachers next week and hoping to talk about how they think he's doing and see if we can gently phase him into full days as you've done.

birdseed Sat 23-Feb-13 22:43:34

Oopla - this time last year I had a very shy small july born boy 3 year old and I worried myself stupid about him going through to reception and was keen for him to drop a year so that he would be able to grow in confidence rather than always be the small shy boy.

A year on and he has done well and is much more confident and he is a happy boy. A big sigh of relief all round. I would still rather that he wasn't one of the smallest and youngest and that he could have had more time at home/preschool but it hasn't been nearly as bad as I feared.

The things that have helped have been:
- choosing the right school environment (2nd time lucky, this one is much more play based and the teachers very friendly and welcoming to the children in the mornings).
- A few shorter days - he finished at lunchtime 3 days a week to begin with and now 2 days a week and then will go full time from next term. It has really helped him settle in as he too is a real 'homebody' like your son and I think he would have found it really tough with full time from the start both stamina wise and without the extra emotional support on the days he finished early.

I hope that it all goes as smoothly for him in september as it can.

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Thu 07-Feb-13 19:33:01

Yes,of course you're right, I just said school because the OP seems to be thinking school not HE.

alanyoung Thu 07-Feb-13 19:12:51

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue, there is no law that children have to attend school; only that they have to be educated.

ewaczarlie Mon 04-Feb-13 21:55:59

I was worried about aloof this too as my DS is late August. Nothing I can do about it though so have just rolled with it. If its a problem later in school ill deal with it then (go private, tutoring etc). Was also surprised how many of his class mates are July/ August born (and how many managed to squeeze in before DS to be the youngest!

fossil971 Mon 04-Feb-13 21:41:19

OP, somebody has to be the smallest boy in the class. If it wasn't your DS it would be some other kid with that label. An average class of 30 will have a spread of birthdays through the whole year (to state the obvious), the teachers have to teach to accommodate all their levels.

DS is a very late August birthday but I was impressed by the personal attention he had from school in not being pushed until he was ready. Reception class is very similar to playgroup in lots of ways. Have you actually been to the school and talked to the reception teacher or seen the classroom?

DS does have his issues and some are immaturity related I guess, and he's physically small, but really you have to find some compensating advantages and work on those.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 04-Feb-13 20:15:50

Our DS1 is a late July birthday and struggled socially and with groups at preschool initially.

DH and pondered holding him back a year, but because he would have had to go straight into year 1 we decided against it.

As it turns out, the final 1.5 terms at preschool he came on leaps and bounds - they worked really hard with him - and we were totally happy about sending him in September. He did a slightly staggered start, and went full time at the beginning of October.

Despite being one of the youngest he is in the top5% of his class academically, he has made friends and loves school.
We absolutely couldn't be happier.

mentallyscrewed Mon 04-Feb-13 20:09:49

My now 6.5 yr old ds is a July born and I wanted to hold him back but as the others have said he will eventually have to skip a year forward to be in his correct year at some point.

He struggles - he is still doing work expected of a reception/year 1 but we have since found out he has various SEN and things are being put in place to help him.

Also the reception year really is learning through ALOT of play (I work in a reception class for one day a week)

teacherwith2kids Mon 04-Feb-13 20:02:56

I have taught a year-deferred child - developmental age of c. 18 months in Year 3 adjusted, Year 4 real, actual development per year of less than a month for a gain in age of a year (so falling 11 months further behind in every year older they become IYSWIM). That is the only time that I have taught a child out of their correct year

Tbh, the transition to secondary is a non-issue, as the child will transfer into the Special School system at that point (is in mainstream primary for sibling and cultural reasons).

Like Talkin, I 'skipped' Year 7 in the transition between primary and selective private secondary. Academically absolutely brilliant. Socially an unmitigated disaster (though being an ill-clad, church-mouse-poor geek may have had as much to do with that as the age factor!).

Oopia she probably just had three very merry Christmas/New Years!

AntimonySalts Mon 04-Feb-13 14:08:47

It's a shame there's no flexibility in the state system. Deferring places at private schools can be tricky too, in that they could fill them three times over with people who want their children to start in Reception. We did register our DC for this particular school when they were babies, and kept in regular touch with the school so they knew we were committed to sending the DC there in Y1. This communication probably helped, as they would have had no trouble filling DS's space. They were also very good about accommodating DD half way through Reception when she insisted on going to school. grin

Oopla Mon 04-Feb-13 14:00:45

What a Can of worms!
Really interesting reading so many different opinions smile

I have a friend who has 3 children all born in September, I often wondered why it was planned that way, she strenuously denies the school year issue grin

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 04-Feb-13 13:58:52

Antimony, I think in state school you would need to start them
In the summer term of reception or you would lose the reserved place and be applying in year 1 when classes are often full.

Lostonthemoors Mon 04-Feb-13 11:38:13

I'd like to thank the op for starting this thread. I had no idea things with this absolute and rigid or that private schooling was a way to avoid the rigidity. Both worth knowing.

AntimonySalts Mon 04-Feb-13 10:54:06

Another alternative... I didn't send my summer born DS to school until Year 1. So he was still in the right school year. I felt he would benefit far more in every possible way from another year at home with me instead of starting Reception at just-turned-four. When he started in Y1, he was massively ahead of the other children in terms of reading/writing/maths/general knowledge - which meant that he could spend the year making friends. It is a private school, though - so I don't know if this is possible with state schools?

lingle Mon 04-Feb-13 10:45:51

I think what we're getting to here is that

- yes there's a huge question mark about why we start so early in England. But meanwhile...

- it's entirely legitimate to be concerned about summer-borns as a population. The statistics are on your side. But statistics tell us nothing about a particular child, and, as farewell says, the very fact that a parent expresses concern suggests that the child falls in the "well supported" group, and this is (statistically again) to be a bigger factor in their life chances than birth month.

- schools are aware of the issue, to an extent, though some are better than others. If you're worried about your August born despite them being fairly typical for a child of their own birth month, then good strategies include: (i) going for mixed entry schools - this gives teachers a chance to subtly shelter your year 1 child in a mixed reception/year 1 year or, alternatively to shelter your year 2 child in a mixed year 1/year 2 year so they get a bit more time to blossom and (ii) go for a school that is very very confident about teaching around the individual child rather than getting the statistics looking good - so avoid any culture of boasting about all the children reading by the end of reception or anything like that.

- once we get to children with additional needs, it all changes. Year deferral will be of no benefit to some children with special needs whatsoever. But for some (probably characterised by having immaturity plus the potential to veer back towards typical development levels, including those who have had a development pause and some premature children) it can be life changing. My son is in that category, as I and my head will testify till we are blue in the face. We've saved the taxpayer umpteen thousands by just giving him time. He would have had a statement had he gone at 4. He needs no intervention at all having gone at 5.

- as Feenie and the ht from her LEA have testified, it's just no big deal administering a school system that allows parents like me, on expert advice, to start their child at 5.

- the solution is to just get on with identifying the children for whom this could change everything - perhaps 1 out of 100 summer borns, pop them into their true peer year rather than their default year and then just forget about it and reap the rewards for the child, class and society. No-one actually disagrees with that - even Jim Rose whose reports led to the rule change.

tiggytape Mon 04-Feb-13 10:36:39

Farewell - DD's class falls like that as well. Some years it seems that the September babies are totally in the minority and I agree birth date is just one thing that affects potential outcomes. One of the arguments against parental choice (quite aside from problems it would cause) is that parents who could afford an extra year paying fees would be more likely to opt for it than those who couldn't and relied on free daytime childcare. If there is flexibility, it has to be based on need which is theoretically what exists already albeit with such high degrees of professional evidence required that hardly anyone qualifies.

For example in Scotland there is nothing to stop November babies being kept back too (the Jan and Feb babies can stay back pretty automatically which forces the Autumn ones into becoming the youngest in the class instead) but they don't get the funding - so whereas the Jan and Feb babies can have free nursery places for a whole extra year, the November babies would need their parents to pay.

Most people wishing to hold their child back have a desire more than a need to do so eg concerns over immaturity levels that are totally appropriate to a child that is only 3 or 4 years old or concerns that any Summer born is statistically disadvantaged and the wish to avoid this even if there is no specific reason to think their own child will suffer.

Farewelltoarms Mon 04-Feb-13 09:57:49

Oh and another ps - half of my daughter's class are born in the June, July and August. Your child will not be alone.

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