scottish education system particularly edinburgh

(31 Posts)
Yorkshirelass444 Fri 09-Aug-13 13:15:55

Hello I'm Jane and I'm unashamedly trying to make my son's school experience as easy as I can! We live in england and he attends a lovely primary which he enjoys. However, his birthday is in august and he is the youngest and smallest in the class by far! He's not short of friends but i feel that they have many advantages over him. For example, he's keen on football but physically he's no match for his peers! He's often been a little behind developmentally: nothing major, just potty training, writing etc- he gets there in the end but i think he sees himself as being not as clever/fast etc as others. He is friendly but naturally quiet. I just feel he has no "buffer" in his current school year- at nursery he played with kids his own age and younger and i would love for him to have that opportunity at school and not just be the young, cute one (no boy wants to be labelled "cute"!) He's about to turn 7.
So, the above was rather a long intro to my actual question! Sorry! I'm wondering where my son would be agewise in the scottish classroom. I understand that the eldest is march and youngest end feb but then i have read that parents with kids born between sept and end feb have option of dropping a year and if this is a common practice then once again, an august born child is the youngest in his class, ha! is this what happens in reality or do very few parents actually hold kids back for a year?
i'm very interested in edinburgh- there are massive draws besides the feb cut-off for school so going to ask another cheeky question- do many families live in tenements nearer the city?
i note that there is a steiner school and strongly considered steiner education as believe the kids might be able to mix more easily with different aged kids but overall not convinced it wouldn't be a big risk in other ways.
Thanks for reading this!

Beveridge Wed 14-Aug-13 21:28:03

The oldest children in a school year do better academically than those who are younger, statistically speaking.

Also as a secondary teacher in Scotland, the advantage of deferring is as much at the other end - having an extra years maturity to know you should apply yourself, revise for exams etc. is helpful in the final years.

In Scotland, the exams for Uni admission are Highers, which are one year, very intensive courses that require pupils to be on the ball from the word go and they sit these at the end of S5. So you could be only a few months passed your 16th birthday when you take these as a Jan/Feb birthday!

Yorkshirelass444 Thu 15-Aug-13 13:00:40

thanks beatofthedrum for the vindication! as i say, edinburgh has many attractions for me but, if my son was to be the youngest in the class, i just don't know that i'd do it...when it matters, it really matters.
however, like you, preferthedog, i'll have to accept that child no. 2 will number among the youngest- just over 4yrs 8months..ah well!
re steiner- abadguider and amuminscotland, i agree it's a huge decision to remove one's child from "normal" education- i've looked into it fairly thoroughly and come to conclusion that schools can vary wildly because they're so small and dependent on handful of teachers. i also think state steiners will differ because they'll have to adhere to certain standards and they'll be larger- but obv edinburgh's is private. if i'm honest, i think i've dismissed steiner but i'm always curious as to what others make of it!
many thanks tricot- i really hope you get up there- you've done so much groundwork (for the likes of me to crib!) we are at the wish stage of moving so no jobs, nothing in place! but the more i hear of edinburgh, the more i want to check it out!! it seems to be universally liked which doesn't happen often.- you mention the south side- does that include newington- i like the sound of that place- i like anywhere that's described as quirky or bohemian (at the risk of sounding horribly pretentious!!)
so glad to hear of your good experience- soapysuds, it all bodes well.
stiff g and t- i hope you find a nearby school for youngest- i've heard tollcross mentioned positively in different thread. i've heard primaries described as feeder schools but presume that just because your child goes to a certain primary, it doesn't mean they are automatically "fed" into secondary- i presume it still depends on where you live. Does anyone know? and then i'll stop asking questions!!

tricot39 Thu 15-Aug-13 14:12:24

You need to look at the catchment maps - each secondary has an allocated area which includes those covered by certain primaries. So yes there is a feeder system, but yes it is based on where you live.
See here

I had quite fancied Newington myself but once we visited, found that the properties that we could maybe afford were often quite far from a local shop and that there was not too much going on there. There are also some very wealth pockets of houses around Newington and The Grange which price people like us out of those areas!

In the end we were more drawn to Marchmont, Bruntsfield & Morningside which were a little bit more lively, albeit possibly a bit more studenty in the tenements. So if you can afford a main door flat or a double upper it would be a bit nicer. We liked pretty much all of the primary schools that we saw, although East Preston Street much less so because of its small playground and very busy road (pollution etc) right next to it. In South Morningside there are smaller houses, albeit still pricey in and around "The Braids" which might be worth looking at.

Yorkshirelass444 Thu 15-Aug-13 17:16:55

Sorry Beveridge i didn't see your reply earlier on- didn't realise there's a page two! really interesting to see that relative age of kids can make a difference all the way through school and, when i think of my teenage self, 16 seems a world away from 15!
tricot i would def prefer somewhere lively even if it means some students around! being close to shops/cafes high priority! so, once again thanks for insight into areas and schools.

tricot39 Thu 15-Aug-13 21:56:32

We have friends in Stockbridge with a lovely flat and a great primary. There is loads going on down there and a great sense of family community.... unfortunately the secondary option is not so good and it put me off, but like our friends you might think the secondary option is OK

Yorkshirelass444 Fri 16-Aug-13 20:55:41

thanks tricot, stockbridge is on my radar- tho my champagne tastes bear no relation to our household income! I was looking at the catchment area of state secondaries today and, given the lack in that particular area, i concluded that many folk in those parts are using private schools. so it's intersting that there are those in stockbridge using their nearest state school and i will def keep this in mind.

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