What to do...(18 Posts)
Went to speak to the head about DD's upcoming op and the time off she'll need. All fine. Then she said she had something she wanted to talk to me about.
Bear in mind DD has only been at school for 3 weeks and still isn't even full time. The head says that, as she is working at NC levels already and not Foundation Stage, she would like DD to move to Y1 at least for the mornings for Lit and Num, and then back to YR in the afternoons - with a view to perhaps moving up a year permanently at some point.
She is bright. Very bright. The head has never met such a bright 4-year old. But... She is a tiny dot and doesn't have a huge amount of confidence. But, whilst she can be taught with her peers, she will need work way above them for the foreseeable future and so will always be working on her own. In the older class she will at least have other children at her level.
We're leaving her until Christmas with the upheaval of the op, and then we'll have a chat and see what we're going to do, probably put her into Y1 in the mornings as suggested and see how she goes.
Very odd feeling.
You sound quite clear, really, about what to do and it sounds like a good plan, to me.
Better to move up gradually whilst young, and see how she copes? If its too much, or friendship issues are overwhelming, then the answer might be to stay in Reception but do older children's work. We have a couple like that in dd2's class, and the gap has got smaller as they've got older tbh (others catching up).
Good luck with the op, and everything else x
See, that's it... I think the gap will get smaller as she gets older, and I wouldn't want her to move back down a year... And I'm not sure about whether she'd be able to transfer to secondary school a year ahead?
I know it USED to be possible. I was that child, many years ago! I went through from 6 a year above of where I should have been. Not ideal, but I survived (and thrived...)
She will almost certainly end up repeating year 6 as secondaries do not take younger children (assuming you're in the state sector). Not really sure why she'd need to physically go to a different class - surely the reception teacher is capable of providing work for her?
Capable, yes. Willing, yes. But also very aware that she would be working on her own at that level with no other child to bounce ideas off, etc.
It happened to my sister, and throughout primary school it was ok BUT the issues came when she was a teenager- not academically but socially- she was so much younger than her classmates ( an August baby so almost 2 years compared with some)
It really affected her relationships (her friends were learning to drive and having more freedom when going out). She got great grades, but she would have got those anyway at the correct age a year later . She ended going on to Uni a year early and that was tough. She felt the effects of it continued into adulthood.
A good teacher should be able to teach a wide range of abilities. They manage it with composites.
Do consider all aspects of it, present and future. x
Yes, I see what you are saying. I found learning to drive and going to uni tricky too a year younger. I think I will agree to her doing lit/num with Y1 after Christmas and reevaluating at Easter to see how she's doing...
I'd rather her have a group of children at least near her level to start with.
Assuming this is a state school...
I would absolutely say no to this, and would be questioning the differentiation methods of a school who can only meet a child's academic needs by moving them a year ahead.
As titchy says, she is likely to have to be held back at some point, which will have a very negative impact on her achievement.
I would contact the LEA and ask what their policy is on children moving outside their school year, and use that information to politely but firmly decline the head's offer.
We've got plenty of time to think about it. They certainly could cope with her in class if that's what we choose, but she would be working on her own a lot of the time - no-one to spark ideas off, no-one to work collaboratively with, etc. I don't see how else you can organise 22 children working at one level and 1 child working at another... If there was a small group of them at the higher level, then I could picture it but just one? How can you ensure that they have someone to work with and discuss with at her level?
I don't think I favour a full move up a year. Being a state school, I think I agree that we'd meet problems at secondary transfer point and I have a feeling she'd need to repeat Y6. I don't, however, have a problem with her being taught out of yeargroup for specific subjects. so that she has other children at her level.
Tbh if she's so far ahead that she needs to be taught with an older class, I'd be questioning whether there was in fact anyone in year 1 at her level. If she is just a year ahead I'm not sure she's really that far ahead.
All they said was that she was 'already working at NC levels'
I have come across Oxbridge children who were very bright but were in their correct class for their social development. It will be hard to make friends if she dodges between the two. Also I think the school is being lazy. Of course they can differentiate work for bright children and they are probably being mean about the others by saying she could not work with them. I have known 4 year olds reading books but they stayed in the correct year group. I think confidence, friendships and fitting in are important and being labelled as "the clever one" may not be helpful at this stage.
We had this issue with our DS, way ahead in P1 (state school, Scotland) academically but decided to keep him with his peers as he was socially immature. He worked pretty much on his own until the end of P3 without any real problems. Once he got to P4, the timetable allowed for him to do maths with kids of the same level even though they were much older and although he was the only one who was doing maths with the oldest kids it wasn't seen as that unusual because DS and a few others also did English with some kids from further up the school. We worried that many of the older kids wouldn't want to pair up with him but again it was never an issue. All this was organise whilst keeping him in his original year group class. So, I suppose what I'm trying to say is that as long as your DD is being given work at the appropriate level it shouldn't matter if she stays in reception and is probably best for her social development.
I think it would be more appropriate for the school to give your dd an IEP so she gets the support she needs to learn at her level alongside her age related peers. The school wouldn't put a child who was a couple of years behind academically in a lower class so they shouldn't be doing the reverse to make their job easier.
It must be very pleasing to know that your dd is such a little bright star - but make sure the school do the right thing rather than the thing that is easiest for them.
She actually has a statement with full time 1 to 1 due to a physical disability. But again, working with an adult is very different from working with a child.
OP, Im really surprised by your school's approach, it sounds really old fashioned. Thirty years ago, I was also that child whose school suggested she be taught a year ahead and my Dad said no, having in his case (60 years ago) been the child who was moved two years ahead and ended up doing 4 years in the sixth form. My DD's state school (she is now in y2) have been perfectly able to extend her within the class without her feeling she is being taught alone and certainly without her moving up a year. I don't want to go into details of levels but she was certainly well ahead of her peers. It's a 3form entry school which has helped as there are 2 other children at similar levels but, to be honest, the school has just quietly differentiated the learning without any fuss. I'd be asking your DD's school why they feel unable to extend her appropriately in her current year group.
It is an approach that I have only seen in a not-very-good school with very poor differentiation strategies, tbh.
In DS's first school, there was a proposal to move him from Y1 to the mixed Y3/4 class, but instead I removed him, HEd him for a bit and then sent him to a different school - where he has absolutely thrived in his own year group with constantly challenging diferentiated work.
Interestingly, it's an Ofsted 'good' school (inspected in June this year, so good under the new inspections). They have a poor reputation, which means that they are not popular, so they have high fsm, high eal and very very low numbers of able children.
I don't think they are so much not very good, as not very experienced with bright children. Their previous Ofsted picked up lack of challenge for the more able, and this one felt that had been addressed.
I know I'm sounding defensive, but I have a soft spot for them as they are working hard to ensure DD has the support she needs with her disability. Anyway, we're doing nothing till Christmas, and I will think carefully about what I do. I will also speak to the teacher at parents' evening and talk it through with her.
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