Summer born children will be behind all through their school life

(67 Posts)
BleughCowWonders Tue 01-Nov-11 06:35:06

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-15527145

sad really?

I'd assumed my dd (very end August) would catch up by about yr 2 or so - but not according to the BBC report. So she'll also be far more likely be behind in reading, writing and maths, and 20% less likely to go to (a good) university.

chabbychic Tue 01-Nov-11 06:40:08

Surely it depends on the child? DD is only two (late August) but there is no doubt in my mind that she is going to do very very well. In fact I can't wait for her to go when she's just 4.

emkana Tue 01-Nov-11 06:41:50

It's the usual statistics vs individuals thing isn't it? My august born dd Was below average in year one, but then achieved all level 3s in year 2 SATS and is now, in year 4, still at the top end in her year group. So it depends.

Really? My best mate is doing a phd and is true academic. She was late august.

AurraSing Tue 01-Nov-11 07:09:03

Well thinking about it logically, I can't see how someone born in august can be less intelligent than someone born in September. So if the report is true, could it be down to confidence and expectations?

Everyone can give example of august born children who are doing well at university and september children who are in bottom sets for everything, so I don't think it's a done deal. Perhaps we just need to recognise that summer Norns need more help for longer.

MaryBS Tue 01-Nov-11 07:24:28

I think its to do with being younger than the rest of the class, rather than less intelligent. For some children, its nearly a year's difference.

I was born in August and was always in the top "set" for everything!

cory Tue 01-Nov-11 08:50:48

It depends on the child. Some people are naturally more confident anyway. I was always the youngest in my class and I was always top of the class and convinced I was cleverer than anybody else (I have slightly modified my views since blush)

Ds is a spring baby and has very little confidence.

ShowOfHands Tue 01-Nov-11 08:59:59

4yo dd had better start slacking then. She's the youngest in her class but quite possibly the brightest. Oddly, she's also the tallest.

I do wonder if the confidence thing is relevant. She's stupidly confident. No idea where she gets it from but she's not afraid to have a go at absolutely everything.

BikeRunSki Tue 01-Nov-11 09:00:15

Surely academic acheivement depends on a great any other variables than birthday? And since every child is different, even siblings and twins, and a true controlled comparison would be impossible to make?

Of my siblings (Nov, Feb, March and July) - the March and July born ones are by the far the most confident and intelligent, but I think that is more to do with their personalities and birth order (eldest and youngest).

(Secretly pleased that DCs have Sept and Oct birthdays)

Don't some people hold their children back until the next academic year?

SansaLannister Tue 01-Nov-11 09:02:13

It's because of the foolish English school system.

LaPruneDeMaTante Tue 01-Nov-11 09:07:05

It doesn't matter where you put the boundary, the children born later in the year - wherever you start the year - are worse off, statistically.

Apparently it shows up not just in learning but in emotional intelligence and also in size, even at secondary transfer age.

I read a book where they go into sports teams and how you can predict that most professional sports people will have been born near the beginning of their academic year, whatever their academic year was. The very slight advantage they have in size and strength at age 4 keeps being built upon year on year - or the converse I suppose for the younger kids.

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Tue 01-Nov-11 09:09:40

Well I was an august baby and was always in the top set, and got 4 As at A level. The only downside I remember was never having a proper birthday party (everyone was always away).

I was crap at sport though and I did read somewhere that summer babies often lag behind in sports etc due to being smaller and less developed, and then lack of confidence caused by the early experiences even when physical differences have evened out. That's my excuse anyway!

cheeseandmarmitesandwich Tue 01-Nov-11 09:09:41

Well I was an august baby and was always in the top set, and got 4 As at A level. The only downside I remember was never having a proper birthday party (everyone was always away).

I was crap at sport though and I did read somewhere that summer babies often lag behind in sports etc due to being smaller and less developed, and then lack of confidence caused by the early experiences even when physical differences have evened out. That's my excuse anyway!

EggyMcEggMcSandwich Tue 01-Nov-11 09:10:34

These reports crop up every year. I have an August born DS who is 3 and will start school next september - a few days after turning 4. These reports used to worry me but all they say is that summer borns are 20% less likely to go to a leading uni - not absolutely less likely! All the positive anecdotes from August borns responding are testament to that. BikeRunSki is correct to say that birthday is not the only variable which determines academic achievement.

deardear Tue 01-Nov-11 09:14:50

sorry but they are statistics - numbers thats all. your child will do as well as they can and what you do with them will help them on their way.

My DD1 is 14 and has taken 6 GCSE's so far and got A's in all of them. She was a July baby. We havent pushed her at all and she is a less popular state school.

I dont look at league tables (interesting to see many private schools wont tolerate them anyway) - i would rather my daughter be happy and learning than pushed and stressed just to improve numbers.

notyummy Tue 01-Nov-11 09:19:08

I agree with those on the thread who have pointed out that the individual child and their confidence level have a lot to do with it. DD is a late July baby, but has thrived at school and now in Yr 1 is currently spending an hour a day (along with some other children in her year) with Yr 2 because they are doing work that is more appropriate to her level. (Not claiming she is a genius/gifted and talented etc, just fairly bright and confident. Always wants to 'have a go.')

DH is a late August baby and got a double first from his RG Uni, and a distinction in the two masters he has done. He did take a year off after his A levels though and worked for a year as some of his teachers advised that he needed to mature a bit more - perhaps a sign of late born boy?

notyummy Tue 01-Nov-11 09:20:05

Oh - Cheeseandmarmite - DH also bemoans the lack of good birthday parties because of his birthday date!

howlingheadlessmunsters Tue 01-Nov-11 09:26:14

Aug born aren't less intelligent but they will probably be less emotionally intelligent when they start school. For boys there is the added hindrance of being developmentally delayed when compared with girls of the same age.

The sports difference seems to hold true as it becomes self-perpetuating: The Aug born is unlikely to be the fastest runner in class so doesn't get picked for the say under9 first team, so doesn't get the same coaching so the next year doesn't make the under10 first team.

The LTA has recently split their move up a level system from annually to six-monthly in part to address this.

Tonksforthememories Tue 01-Nov-11 09:43:35

DD2 started school when she'd only been 4 for a couple of weeks. Emotionally she wasn't ready, but intelligence wise she needed to be there. She's now in year 2 and comfortably in the upper middle set. Things didn't 'click' for her till mid way through year 1 though, she struggled with reading and maths, but did really well with writing and adored being on stage!

Physically DD2 was late to walk, run, and jump, so it took a while for her to catch up there too.

My other DCs are December and September born and i can see a difference already. DS will start school when he's almost 5 and he'll be more than ready!

They were saying on Breakfast that confidence and birth order play a part too. DD2 is definitely the least confident of my 3 and always has been. We're working on it grin

chocoroo Tue 01-Nov-11 09:48:43

I do wonder how much of this is self-fulfilling? Parents and possibly teachers automatically assuming that the July and August kids will be behind.

I'm a July baby, was moved into a class above my age at Primary school (along with at least four other summer babies), was in the top set for everything at secondary school and have two good degrees from top ten universities. As far as I am aware neither my parents now teachers have my birthday a second thought.

chocoroo Tue 01-Nov-11 09:49:20

Now = nor. Bah.

southeastastra Tue 01-Nov-11 09:52:00

my ds(10) is only just catching up now, guess it's down to me being a crap parent all along then grin

happywheeeohharghh Tue 01-Nov-11 09:57:19

And if they are a boy the perform less well in school
My DS is just unlucky to be born in July. It's hardly fair that he will go to school in September with children that are nearly five.
It's always going to be harder for him to catch up.

2BoysTooLoud Tue 01-Nov-11 11:58:29

I was a late summer baby many moons ago and in retrospect I think it really did affect me for the first few years. I was a 'dreamer' in Reception and years 1 and 2. I missed out on basics and in maths especially I don't think I ever caught up. I think being lost and dreamy and babyish in early years of school did hold me back for many years.

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