Positive effects of moving up a year?

(18 Posts)
Debeez Thu 16-Aug-12 13:43:24

Today DS started year 5 and missed out year 4. It's a new school for him so first day today. Old school left him to rot so I was over the moon he's been put straight onto G&T and moved up. He's in the younger part of the year. I'm working with the school to support him.

Just read another thread about moving up a year and saw a lot of negative feedback from those who have experienced this with their DC's. Didn't want to hijack so thought I'd ask here.

Has anyone had a positive experience of skipping a year?
What kind of problems can I anticipate and how did you deal with them?

savoycabbage Thu 16-Aug-12 13:48:15

Where I live (Victoria, Australia) you can be more flexible with when you start school do my dd, 8 is in a class with 10 year olds.

People don't seem to see it as a big deal at our school and the most negative comments I hear about it are about high school and reaching milestones, eg driving, a year behind your friends.

Machadaynu Thu 16-Aug-12 14:27:51

I was put forward a year, and loved it. I was still one of the brightest in my new class, but the gap wasn't quite so pronounced, and I enjoyed being with kids who were slightly more mature. I think I was ahead from age 5 to age 8, but I can't be quite sure now.

I had no negative experience at all about being forward. It was much, much better. The only issue for me was that the secondary wouldn't take me a year early so I had to repeat a year, which in hindsight was my undoing - being asked to re-do work that you were easily able to do the year before is not a great motivator, and I don't think I ever got my mojo back academia-wise, even now 30 years later.

Make sure DS stays ahead if he is enjoying it. You must do everything you can to prevent him being put back again. Optimally he should be in the highest group he can be where he is still in the top half of performance. As long as he is good enough, the other kids will accept him, so this is the best level for him to be both stretched a little and accepted by his new peers.

seeker Thu 16-Aug-12 14:34:58

Having to do year 6 twice. Because it is very very unusual to be allowed to start year 7 early.
Being at a school which can't manage a very bright child in the proper year with their peers - school isn't just about academics, you know.

Well, you did ask!

Debeez Thu 16-Aug-12 15:29:58

I did Seeker and thank you for your honest answers. I do appreciate this isn't going to be the easiest of things. I have no idea how to handle year six, from what I've read here I will look into local high schools now and start planning.

In fairness to the school they do have a very good G&T scheme which is well managed from both an academic and social point of view. This was a decision based on my DS as an individual rather than something done regularly.

Thanks Machadaynu, helped me put things in balance a little. Luckily we're in the situation of a brand new school so there's no feelings of leaving peers behind or being the boy who was moved classes etc. Obviously if he's enjoying it we'll move heaven and earth to help him.

That sounds great Savoy, we've managed to avoid it being an issue by the timing of moving school also. DS was ready for primary well before he attended and I would have like to have had more of a say in that part of his education.

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 16-Aug-12 15:36:53

Ds was made to repeat year 5 when he moved to a new school as they wanted him to stay in his age group. They knew that he'd already done this year but didn't make any allowances, so he got really bored. You need to think really carefully about this, and you need to ask the secondary school that you want her to go to what will happen. I think it depends a great deal on when she was born; ds was an April baby, but another boy in his prep school had less of a problem as he was born in September.

Debeez Thu 16-Aug-12 15:42:54

Hi Lady, DS is a January baby. Our plan is to stay in the area until well after college but obviously no one can see what will happen in the future so I will be making some contingency plans after reading up on here.

We can only assume the school is acting in his best interests and work with them as best we can. Worse case scenario; even if it adds nothing long term in terms of academic achievement but he's happy in himself we can know we've tried our best.

Machadaynu Thu 16-Aug-12 15:43:46

I was also born in September, and so was only a few weeks too young for secondary school, and they still wouldn't let me in.

I have to say that it's depressed me beyond measure to hear that kids are still being made to repeat years 30 years after I had to.

purplefairies Thu 16-Aug-12 15:46:39

It's good that he's in a new school. I also skipped year 4 but staying in the same school made it very difficult socially, because of course, everyone knew that I was the "girl who skipped a year". Having said that, being smart is never something that makes you particularly popular at school, so I doubt I'd have been Miss Popularity even if I'd stayed with my own age group.

That aside, it was great for me academically - much more challenging and less boring - and gave me a year "to play with" so to speak later in life, thinking of gap year experiences, etc.

Debeez Thu 16-Aug-12 15:50:45

"I have to say that it's depressed me beyond measure to hear that kids are still being made to repeat years 30 years after I had to."

I can see the purpose in moving him up, he works better with a challenge and being moved up as opposed to just support as G&T in the same class. But everything has it's benefits and pitfalls.

Has anyone ever overcame this within primary? What if DS did 3 days of school and 2 days out with me if he needed to repeat year 6? What about some time at primary some at high school? If he had to repeat year 6 I'd rather take him out and home school next year then do year 6 with the peers he will progress to high school with.

LadySybildeChocolate Thu 16-Aug-12 15:51:01

Sorry, Ds not dd. You really do need to check with any prospective secondary school. Some are more accommodating then others.

Repeating the year was far from ideal, especially as he was working 2-3 years ahead anyway. He was being bullied as well, so there was no alternative but to move him again. He's at a selective independent secondary now, and they think he's under-performing despite being one of the top students in his year.

StellaNova Thu 16-Aug-12 15:54:04

This was some time ago so don't know if it would be that helpful, but I missed out what was then "third year juniors" (5) and went straight from "second year" (4) to "fourth year" (6).

It was not an experience I particularly noticed, I have to say, even though I was in a class with older children. I tended to play with the children from my original year at playtime rather than my classmates so didn't bond that much with the new class, didn't have any best friends in it etc. One downside was PE - I was a May baby so one of the younger in my year anyway, now I was doing sports with children who were sometimes nearly two years older, it did make me feel I wasn't any good at sports, something that stayed with me for a very long time.

The other downside was, as others have said, having to repeat the year - in one memorable case the same actual test/exam - but in this case it was my own decision, as the school wanted me to take the 11plus and go to grammar school a year early and I didn't want to. (The grammar school did take some chidlren a year early).

There were two other children in the same boat and when repeating the year, apart from the same exam thing, we were generally given stuff to do by ourselves - French workbooks, more advanced maths, reading comprehensions etc. Possibly the curriculum was less set back then as a lot of the classroom work was not the same both years, projects on Belgium (!), maps, the Victorians etc.

Don't knwo if that is at all helpful.

Machadaynu Thu 16-Aug-12 16:02:53

"The other downside was, as others have said, having to repeat the year - in one memorable case the same actual test/exam"

I had to do three entire maths text books twice - I could remember some of the answers. I do feel like it robbed me of a year of life in a way - when I left university I was a year older than some graduates, being a September baby, so I felt I had to get on and find a job, whereas if I'd stayed ahead I'd have been a year younger than some.

If the schools won't let him go ahead, throw the ball back to the council. You are legally obliged to provide an education that is appropriate to the child's age and ability. If they are in the state system it is assumed this is provided, but you might want to ask your council how they will help you meet your legal obligation. Certainly I'd raise it with them/ the proposed secondary now.

Debeez Thu 16-Aug-12 16:10:08

Oooooh Mach thanks for that. LA seem amazing in terms of education here but that is a phrase I will write down!

I'm going to arrange a meet with the head in a few weeks, discuss how she think's it's going, feedback on my DS's account of his education experience and his general well being and if we see him going into year six early what systems are in place to help him.

Thanks Stella that was helpful. Luckily DS is a very energetic and boisterous being who holds his own in sport, hoping it won't be too much of an issue when they all start shooting up though.

I'd probably do the same as your parents and allow DS a say in what happens in terms of moving on when the time comes.

maples Thu 16-Aug-12 16:13:06

A friend skipped a year and was allowed to stay up - went to secondary at 10, uni at 17. It wasn't good for her as she was young for her original year as well, so sat her a levels at 16. Emotionally she was young for her year and too young for uni.

StellaNova Thu 16-Aug-12 16:21:03

That is a good point maples - I felt too young for uni even without missing a year,which is why I took a year out and really benefited from the social development I gained in that year. I would have been way too young emotionally for uni at 17.

changejustforyou Sat 25-Aug-12 20:41:06

worked out ok with my nieces, they didn't have to repeat a year before starting sec school (not UK). No problems socially as both seem to be quite mature girls anyway.

hannabelle Sun 26-Aug-12 09:58:15

I didn't skip a year but my primary school was so tiny we had mixed age classes, so apart from the final year I was always working with the top group of the school year ahead. (I had a reading age of 14 the week i started in reception). That worked brilliantly for me, the problem was that the teacher in the final year didn't stretch me so I spent the year yearning for secondary school ... And then when I got to secondary it was year 10 before I covered anything new in maths or science! Very tedious and I soon learnt to stop asking for different work because I then got bullied by the teachers as well as the pupils.

So, in my experience there were no negative effects until I was left behind in primary school and then put in a secondary school that had no idea what to do with me. My advice would therefore be to plan ahead!

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