Summer Birthdays and Attainment?

(168 Posts)
Kendodd Fri 29-Mar-13 22:05:11

What to do? DD2 is only in reception, she has an end of August birthday. Is lower attainment throughout her school career inevitable? Is anything being done to address this?

Interestingly her big sister is in Y2, they have different 'tables' for different ability levels. All the children, apart from one, on the top table are September birthdays.

Lexiesinclair Fri 29-Mar-13 22:11:49

My DD has an end of August birthday and is in the top groups for literacy and numeracy. Her teacher has told me that she is workihng about a year ahead - ie she is in year 1 and doing work that year 2 pupils are doing. The other children on her table have birthdays at different times of the year.
I think perhaps where she does struggle is that she seems to get a lot more tired and emotional than other children, and doesn't want to do after school clubs etc that her friends do, but I think that will improve with time.

EvilTwins Fri 29-Mar-13 22:21:09

Not inevitable at all. My DTDs are July, but were prem (should have been August) and are on the top table for both literacy & numeracy. Recent parents evening - teacher said both are working at 3c for reading and 2a for writing & maths. They're in yr2 so are working just above expectation.

Kendodd Fri 29-Mar-13 22:33:56

That's all very well and good for your children but it doesn't change that fact that they are disadvantaged.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15490760

XBenedict Fri 29-Mar-13 22:36:16

My DS has an end of July birthday and has struggled since he started although it doesn't phase him, makes me sad though.

In my experience the gap narrows as they get older.

XBenedict Fri 29-Mar-13 22:39:10

Phase? Faze!! confused blush

DorisIsWaiting Fri 29-Mar-13 22:40:01

DD1 August birthday, not top table but next one down. working well. Yr1 was a write off for her due to split classes and being in with reception but she came into her own in Yr 2. (One of her best friends is also August born and similarly set)

DD2 July working well and reading above average but in a group of v strong girls so feels 'stupid' (she's really not!)

DD3 June born, already happy with phonics so I see no problems with her!

I don't believe it is ineveitable at all. One of my best friends at school had a August 28th birthday. She was in all top groups and was head girl.

XBenedict Fri 29-Mar-13 22:42:54

Interesting that all the dcs you talk about are girls, I think the gap is bigger for boys, i'm sure there are some boys that do very well but I think generally boys struggle more. I hope the gap does decrease as they get older smile

EvilTwins Fri 29-Mar-13 22:43:17

Um, you asked was it inevitable, I said not necessarily, so no need to the snippy "all well and good for you" comments. Clearly you're not interested, but I'm going to tell you anyway- DH and I both have August birthdays, in fact, his is August 29th AND he's male, and all the evidence points to summer born boys being the most disadvantaged, yet he manages to get a first class honours degree from a very good university. I only managed a 2.1, but given my late August birthday, it's a wonder I got any A Levels at all, let along the AAB grades I achieve. [bangry{

DorisIsWaiting Fri 29-Mar-13 22:43:36

At the end of the day depending on the cut off there will always be a group of children who are younger in the year. Historically as the end of August (in England) is the cut off Summer borns could be seen to be at a disadvantage. In Scotland it could be those at the end of November (iirc)

EvilTwins Fri 29-Mar-13 22:43:38

[bangry] even.

EvilTwins Fri 29-Mar-13 22:44:09

angry 3rd time lucky...

Kendodd Fri 29-Mar-13 22:48:31

I do wish they would just raise the school starting age, it seems that would solve a lot of the problems. I know that's not an option though or at least not one the government will consider.

EvilTwins Fri 29-Mar-13 22:50:11

But someone would still be the youngest, wouldn't they? hmm

Kendodd Fri 29-Mar-13 22:58:16

Yes they would but according to the link-

"In countries where they start a year older than the UK, the month effect is less marked and in countries where they start as late as seven, it completely washes out."

If children are kept playing in kindergarten until the age of six or seven, they are better equipped to cope with formal education, he adds.

Laura0806 Fri 29-Mar-13 23:06:31

Its not inevitable of course not, but the general trend is there are more likely to be a greater proportion of sept babies on the 'top table'. It is common sense as, at 4 , that (almost) year between sept and august born children is a quarter of their lives! But there are a huge number of exceptions to this and the gap closes. I have a bright year 2 July baby who is working 3 years ahead in reading and 1 year ahead in maths and writing. However, she was a very very late starter ( v shy and one of the poorest in maths, reading and writing throughout reception). However the gap closes hence where she is now. However, where would she be as a september baby? So no its not inevitable but its a definite disadvantage

Kendodd Fri 29-Mar-13 23:12:02

Does anyone have any suggestions, that I as a parent, can do to ease this disadvantage in any way?

One small blessing I suppose is that she's a girl, I think summer boys fair worse of all.

EvilTwins Fri 29-Mar-13 23:25:22

Do loads of stuff that will widen her experiences. We do the reading etc at home, but one of the things I reckon has made a difference with me is their confidence, and that is at least partly from to stuff we do with them. They do gymnastics, drama club and swimming out of school, so socialise with a lot of other children. We take the, out and about a lot and as a consequence they have a wide-ish knowledge. (Sorry, I'm aware that sounds smug) Also, because I work full time, they've always gone to breakfast & after school club and have mixed with older children, which has made the, very confident. When they started school, it was more the social maturity that worried me- they were still dressing up as princesses whilst their friends were watching "Victorious" and dancing to One Direction, but they seem fine. I honestly think that self-confidence has made the difference.

wheresthebeach Sat 30-Mar-13 00:17:26

Our school is similar - top table all the older kids. It creates hierarchies that are hard to break. Sure -there are always exceptions but generally the summer kids suffer. The main thing is to keep their confidence up.
The gap narrows over time but doesn't disappear until they're teenagers.

Ronaldo Sat 30-Mar-13 05:07:53

This is something that concerns me. I dont know about inevitablity but I do know that schools tend to label and hole kids young and that is difficult to getout of. I do know younger DC (maybe especially boys - I have a DS born August 27th) are less mature and I do think maturity plays a big part in primary education - I mean little things like just having the hands and co ordination to tie and cut and such.

Compared to DC of a similar age my DS is very able. Even compared to those a year older he is bright but he does not have their capacity comprehending the world. He is, if you like an innocent abroad, or naive.

I dont think it improves in education or work. I noticed ( and it was one reason why I have kept my DSin HE) is that DC born in the Michealmas term do seem to fill all the grammar school places as well as top tables in primary schools.

It is also an observable " fact" when I was at school myselfthat it seemedmost of those in SM were Suummer born -that is Trinity term borns or after Easter ie Late April onward.

Similarly I was observing just last week how many of the sixth form in my current classes were summer born pupils. They failedto make it to grammar school but had DP willing to shell out for their education it seems.

Also , among colleages I see a similar trend for the Michealmas born. I do not think this is a normal distribution and I am sure IQ is not so distributed.. I think it is skewed by them being plain arrogant and bossy over their younger peers and its a skill they retain lifelong..

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 30-Mar-13 05:31:56

I have one September and one August born child.

What I would say is that the data on attainment and age relative to peers is true at population level, and therefore there's no point in saying that it's not true based on anecdote (i.e. "that's bollocks cos my friend was born August 31 and went to Cambridge"). However, population level data shows trends but says nothing about the attainment of individual children.

I am not too worried about DD (august) being youngest as she is very confident, determined and task focused. At the same time, I would have been worried about DS (September) and would have probably kept him back (independent system in country I live in allows this) as I think he would be more likely to struggle (can lack concentration, bit of a daydreamer, etc)

So basically, I think it depends on the child. It's certainly not inevitable, although it is more likely, in general terms.

nooka Sat 30-Mar-13 05:51:18

I have an early September daughter who was more than ready for school when she started, and did very well indeed. We moved to Canada a few years ago and they have a different age cut off as they do it on calendar year. So effectively she went up half a year and is now amongst the younger children. She has continued to be at the top of the class and I wonder how much of that is because she expects to do well (she also works very hard and does what she is told which surely helps). I do think that confidence makes a huge difference.

Mominatrix Sat 30-Mar-13 07:56:57

DS is at an extremely selective London day prep which is the prep division of one of the big name senior schools (top 5 nationally). I have taken a quick look at his school list which lists birthdays and this is the breakdown:

September - 64
October - 52
November - 54
December - 54
January - 52
February - 30
March - 51
April - 35
May - 22
June - 30
July - 23
August - 24

So, although all months are represented, there seems to be a precipitous drop after March, with February being an anomaly.

I have too much time on my hands!

My twins are July born (but would have been end of August if born at term) so similar to EvilTwins.

DS3 never struggled, has always been one of the more able children in the year group of 90 (although also the smallest!)

DD did struggle to keep up when she first started school, but the gap narrowed very suddenly in Y3 and she is now (Y4) in middle sets for everything. The six months when the gap narrowed were hilarious: the teacher could barely keep up with her progress as she went up 4 NC sublevels in 6 months. smile

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