Reception child- I'd rather him repeat the year

(25 Posts)
Cookingmonster Thu 16-May-13 11:35:37

I am looking for some clarification and advice.

I have a DS in Reception at the moment. He is August born.

On all accounts, he is doing very well academically. He is the top reader and has been put on the G and T register for literacy and numeracy. However, he is struggling socially and I think his fine motor skills are not so good. I think he is immature for his age and, if I am honest, I would prefer him to repeat the Reception year. He is not in the private sector. Am I correct in thinking there is no way he can repeat the year? If this is so, is there anyway I can help him?

Right now I feel like I am setting him up for failure in the school setting. In Australia (where I am from) it's not so unusual to hold back a boy a year for him to mature a little.

meditrina Thu 16-May-13 11:41:13

You are correct. Thought it is legal for children to be placed out of their year group, the policy which every LEA seems to have is that it will not be done. Even those with DC with significant additional needs struggle to get agreement.

I think it's a non-starter for your DS from what you say about him. Have you been in to the school recently to talk about the areas where you think he might need extra support?

Bramshott Thu 16-May-13 11:41:58

It's unlikely, and even if he did, he'd probably have to skip a year later on to get back with his "correct" cohort. It has happened in my DDs (small) school but there it's possibly because the classes aren't full. Assuming your DS's school has 30 new starters joining next year, there's no way they will be able to accommodate your DS in Reception too.

Hopefully you'll find that the social issues will sort themselves out once he's no longer the youngest in the school. Can you big that up to him in terms of "you'll have to help the little ones when they start next year - show them where to go etc"?

What do the teachers say? Are there not clubs and things he can join to work on the social side of things. If he's on the G&T list he may well get bored being held back a year.

What about beavers.

Swimming lessons or gymnastics or a sports club could help with motor skills.

Sirzy Thu 16-May-13 11:43:47

If he is struggling socially then putting him with a completely different group of peers won't really help with that and as he is doing well academically then holding him back could be quite detrimental.

Have you spoken to the school for advice? Does he do much outside of school to help his socialisation?

learnandsay Thu 16-May-13 11:44:34

I expect having a good relationship with his Y1 teacher will help a lot. What kinds of social struggles is he having and could your forming friendships with other class parents help?

Periwinkle007 Thu 16-May-13 11:47:19

no I don't think there is any chance, especially if he is doing so well academically. Schools here are just so oversubscribed they physically couldn't do it.

I agree with meditrina though that it wouldn't do any harm to speak to the teacher about where you think he might need a bit of extra support and see what they can advise.

I suspect though that you will find he will mature over the summer holidays. he is still only 4. my daughter is also in reception but is JUST a september birthday so could have been the youngest in the previous year if she had been born a few hours earlier.
I remember thinking this time 2 years ago that whilst in some ways she was ready for school she certainly wasn't maturity wise so the extra year of preschool would be good for her. by the september though she had matured so much it was unbelievable and had she started school that year she would have been fine. the difference in just those 2-3 months was enormous and there was no way I could have predicted it. So bit of a wooly way of saying it but I think by september you will probably notice a big difference in him.

fine motor skills aren't an unusual problem at this age I don't think. there are exercises that children can do to help develop them. I have no idea what they are but his teacher might. it is all coordination which he will get with time and this is where being the youngest in the year may still be a little more obvious. It will even out though.

Cookingmonster Thu 16-May-13 12:06:25

Thank you for your replies. It is as I suspected.

I have a good relationship with his current teacher and I am having a meeting with her about my concerns this afternoon. The Year One teacher, although very good, is a very strong and domineering personality and I don't think she will be a good match for my DS (I have an older DS who has had her and got along very well with her). He has about 2 playdates a week with his classmates so we are working on his social skills. He also did swimming but a month after he was moved up a level, he was moved back down which didn't do anything for his confidence. I have removed him from swimming for the time being and hope to reinstate him in a couple of terms time. I am hoping to start him in a karate school in the next couple of weeks.

I do hope that the summer sees some improvement in his maturity. My heart is breaking for him at the moment as I see him struggle with his friendships and impulsive behaviour.

Sounds daft I know but bare with me, could you get him a pet? Children learn alot and gain alot from animals. Having to look after a pet builds confidence reduces stress/anxiety etc and instills a sense of responsibility
maybe it would give him confidence because it would love him no matter what and he wouldn't need to feel awkward trying to talk and keep up with the other children.

In honestly not trying to be funny it's really something that can help. Apologies if you already have one.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 16-May-13 12:24:19

If he is having playdates then things can't be awful?

My DS1 is a late July birthday, and he is at the top of his class academically but struggles more socially. He seems to be generally well-liked by his classmates, but he doesn't yet have a 'best-friend' which many of the others seem to have. We only do a playdate once every month or so, but he has been invited to quite a few parties.

I would think that holding him back might have the opposite effect. Not only will he be bored because of being held back academically, but he will be encouraged in his current behaviour because other children will be behaving that way as well.

Periwinkle007 Thu 16-May-13 12:40:45

what about something like cubs? whatever the junior bit is called, is it beavers? I am not the most organised parent and I struggle with out of school activities so the only one I have agreed to is Rainbows for my daughter. the first few weeks were difficult for her with settling in etc as she was the youngest when she started but now it has been great for her confidence. we are also lucky that almost all the children at her group are from her school but obviously most of them are year 1 or 2 and she even met a couple of yr3 girls before they moved up to Brownies. This means at school she knows children from higher classes, again building confidence in the playground, assembly etc. perhaps if you are having a break from swimming for a while you could try something like this where he doesn't have to be good at anything in particular, he can enjoy trying a variety of different activities and meeting some different children. certainly at rainbows they do news at the start of each session so similar to show and tell or news at school and they stand up and tell the others something they have done and so on. brilliant to have these skills reinforced but also as part of a smaller group than in the classroom.

simpson Thu 16-May-13 13:00:33

Would 2nd and 3rd others...beavers is brilliant.

My DS (now yr3) is 31st Aug born (2 weeks early) and he found reception quite tough although he made friends fairly easily. He was just very impulsive and did not have the maturity to stop and think that his older class mates had.

However, after the summer holidays by the time he started yr1 he was ok ish (a few moans about being able to play) although he found the amount that he was expected to write tough at first.

DD is in reception now and has problems with fine motor skills and general co-ordination as she is hyper mobile. She has 3 sessions either in a small group or working 121 with a teacher to help her. Does your DS's school do anything like that?

simpson Thu 16-May-13 13:01:24

Oops, a few moans about not be able to play blush

Runoutofideas Thu 16-May-13 13:20:09

I had similar concerns about my dd2 also Aug born, now in yr 1. I found that actually the more structured approach of yr 1 suited her. It was clear what was expected of her behaviour wise, as there was less running around chaotic free play. There was more small group work, which helped cement friendships.

One of the older girls (Sept born, so nearly a full year older) used to look down on dd2 and call her a baby because she wanted to play hide and seek rather than write little notes to each other....now, a year on, they are really close friends. A lot can happen maturity wise, in a short space of time. Dd2 cried every day going into reception. I was dreading yr1 after the long summer break but bizarrely she skipped in happily and hasn't looked back since. Hopefully your ds may respond similarly.

Mutley77 Thu 16-May-13 14:00:02

I think it sounds like he needs some extra support in school. My DD is also G&T but struggles socially with some things. On one occasion I felt things were out of hand - she was very sensitive to the ways some boys were behaving (also their issue as their behaviour was not good) but it got to the point where she was asking to come home feeling sick and I was called to come and get her.

I went to see her teacher and they referred her to the emotional literacy support teacher the following week. DD saw her for a few weeks to talk about managing certain situations. She was also involved in some kind of emotional support small group thing. (NB the boys who were misbehaving were also dealt with!).

There should be the opportunity for this kind of support in all schools and I would ask for it for your DS rather than do something that may really prejudice him (being the only one kept back would stigmatise him, he may well be really bored with the work, and he would be starting from scratch with another peer group - where he may well have similar issues). Similar support should be availalble in relation to his motor skills issues - in fact you should be able to get info from internet / school nurse about how to work on this at home.

Also I would echo what was said about Yr 1 being more structured which can help socially.

Does your ds school do any clubs to help with his social needs or his fine motor skills.

Our school has started doing a Lego club at lunchtime once a week to help with both of these.

It helps because children find it much easier to write once they have good fine motor skills and because they are having fun they tend to talk more/play together out side of the club.

CheesyPoofs Thu 16-May-13 14:49:09

He sounds exactly like my DD.

She is a summer birthday too, and I would say also a little immature for her age. She really struggled in reception socially and emotionally and I was very worried to the point of nearly pulling her out sad

She is now in Year 1 and doing much better. I think once she turned 5 she was just much more 'ready' for school, and things just seemed to click for her.

That reception year has totally knocked her confidence though, she's only just beginning to get back to her normal self now.

I don't really have much advice, but hope things get easier for your DS.

lljkk Thu 16-May-13 14:58:10

Some of the most socially mature boys in KS2 are the oldest in the year, there's no predicting it, and immaturity is definitely something that does tend to be widely distributed even more than academic ability as they get older. Since he is coping academically (and many boys don't like writing, so nothing unusual there) I wouldn't worry too much.

xylem8 Thu 16-May-13 15:49:49

A completely bonkers idea! How is spending a year with children a year younger going to help him mature?? To say nothing of the fact he will be bored shitless!

freetrait Thu 16-May-13 16:03:02

Has the social side been flagged by the school or is this your personal concern?

peppajay Thu 16-May-13 18:34:38

Sounds just like my little boy he will 5 in June and very small and also emotionally immature. He absolutely loves school though and loves the work side and is very bright. He hates playtimes and as someone else said the'chaotic free time'!! He loves structure and his impulsiveness and problems happen at times of no structure. He doesn't really have many friends but plays with the children in the class but he still likes cloudbabies and peppa pig where as all the boys in his class like Dr Who and skylanders and he has no idea what these are. He has only ever been invited to one birthday party and never on a playdate. His teacher says he chooses often to play alone and the children in the class like him it is more that he enjoys his own company although these last few weeks he has been playing lots with a little girl in the class and I have invited her for tea next week!! His teacher thinks he will love year 1 as there is far more structure which is what he needs!!

beltsandsuspenders Thu 16-May-13 20:19:21

I have been in this position OP. My dc was socially behind - my advice was don't keep him out of his year group. He will catch up. Academically he is already there.

xylem8 - I am sure you don't mean to be, but your post comes across as rude and inconsiderate

Saracen Fri 17-May-13 01:00:29

If your little boy is not enjoying school because of his immaturity and you think it is unlikely that his Y1 teacher would be a good match for him next year, what about taking him out of school altogether for a year or two before sending him back in?

I think the best way to improve the social skills, impulsive behaviour and fine motor control of a four year old is simply to wait until he is five or six. You don't necessarily have to "do" anything else. It sounds like there is nothing wrong with your lad. He is just very young and is in a setting where too much is being expected of him.

He'd have the opportunity to work at his own pace if he were home educated, which would keep him happy academically. If you are worried that that might put him so far ahead of his classmates that he would find it hard to slot back in upon his return to school, you could just let him focus on areas which are not emphasised at primary school. He could learn a language not taught at his school, or visit some historic sites, or delve deeply into space travel - whatever particularly interests him.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 17-May-13 07:52:25

Another with an August born DS who found year 1 much better than reception.

Cookingmonster Fri 17-May-13 12:59:46

Thank you all for your responses! You have given me a lot to think about. The emotional side has me concerned, not so much the teachers. His implusive behaviour has seen him put in the "thinking room" but only when he has a teacher who is not there regularly.
I talked to his reception teacher yesterday and she has assured me that the school would continue to support him during Year 1 and 2 in regards to his emotional maturity. I'm feeling a lot better now. She also hinted that Year 1 and 2 will change for the better for him so although I don't know what that means (I'm thinking change of teachers or change in class structure) I do feel that the school has his best interests at heart. I have also looked into Beavers for him so thanks for that input!

Xylem8- your comment was neither helpful or kind. I trust I know my son better than you do.

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