Summer born children 2012 - are you deferring reception start to Sept 2017?

(19 Posts)
thesmallestpotato Wed 02-Dec-15 15:34:53

I'm agonising over this.

Mid August 2012 born DC and we've had confirmation from the council that yes, DC can start reception in 2017 rather than 2016. We've got to make the final decision by mid January when school applications have to be in.

I feel like if I knew what other parents of summer borns are planning it would make my decision easier (all the children in DC's 'year' group at preschool seem to be Sept-Dec 2011/Jan/Feb 2012 birthdays so it doesn't apply to them, I don't know anyone else with a summer 2012 child!).

DC is developing normally as far as we know, no SN, just a lot smaller and very 'young' compared to peers at preschool. I just want to make the best decision for DC both for now and in the long run.

If you have a summer born 2012 DC what are you planning on doing?

Zodlebud Wed 02-Dec-15 17:35:15

My eldest (born 2009) has a 20th August birthday and even if we had the option to hold her back we wouldn't have.

Academically she was more than ready for school. She did struggle more than others with the more physical aspects like skipping, holding a pencil, getting changed after PE etc but the school really supported her in these areas. I also think that socially it was totally right for her to start when she did. She has now caught right up - she was about equal with her peers by Y2.

Another consideration would have been that we live in a grammar school area and she would not have been able to take the 11+ with her friends - she would have had to do 12+ and skip a year of secondary. It's probably worth talking to your LEA if you are considering grammars to find out how they plan on approaching this. It also has an impact on sports teams as they would need to play "out of their year" as teams are e.g. Under 14, under 16. They would need to play with the year above and this has, of course, some social implications (both positive and negative).

That said I have a friend whose August born son is repeating reception after being withdrawn from his original school as he just wasn't ready. He is tiny, found school days exhausting, struggled a lot with numeracy and was very immature for his age. This year though he has totally thrived and it was exactly the right thing for him.

I guess what I am saying is that only you know what's best for your child. Just because you can hold them back doesn't mean you should. It's also kind of irrelevant what other parents are doing. You will make the right decision simply by the fact you know that small person inside and out.

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Wed 02-Dec-15 18:39:44

Both my DD's are 'summer born' children (though not as late as August). If I had had the option of deferring, I wouldn't have.

For me, it would be something I would consider if one of them had a developmental delay or specific concern. Not just because they were young.

Research doesn't present deferring as always for the best, and there can be serious downsides too.

MMmomKK Thu 03-Dec-15 13:12:23

There is absolutely no reason to start school having only just turned 4. Study after study shows that summer born children do worse, have more behavioural and concentration issues, etc. Sadly, this performance gap stays with them throughout school years. As a group, summer kids, do worse at GCSEs and A-levels too.
And, setting aside academic performance, these kids being smaller and less confident when they start, even when they finally manage to adjust, rarely become leaders, captains of the teams, etc. That feeling of "being smaller than everyone else" lingers on...

At the same time, in the US, where parents have had a choice for quite a while, most summer kids are held back a year, and avoid these problems.

I have a early summer born Y4 DD, and she is very academical. Given the choice, I would have absolutely held her back. There is no downside - she would have been just as bright, and done as well. But, she would have not been as shy and quiet around her older classmates. Would have not held back in performances and sports as she has been doing - because she would have not been the smallest and weakest. And even though she has "adjusted" - her idea of herself and how she fits in the social situations has already formed, and it's not easy to change it.

If the LEA allowed him to go out of his year - then this applies for the rest of his education. What is a downside to having one more year of his childhood in a nursery? And then he can start school as one of the oldest - so clearly a great place to be, is it not?

LibrariesgaveusP0wer Thu 03-Dec-15 13:29:32

Actually, it isn't as simple as saying "there is no downside" MMmom. In the US, where 'redshirting' has been common for a while, there is quite a debate about the down sides.

I am sure that there are far better, more in depth, articles, but this is the first thing that came up on Google.

Pengweng Thu 03-Dec-15 15:09:26

My twins will turn 4 three weeks before starting school next September. We will not be holding them back as I (and their teacher and key worker) in nursery feel that they are at the same level or higher than the rest of their nursery class half of whom have already turned four.
If the teacher had expressed concern regarding their abilities then i would have thought seriously about it. Their school is amazing though and I like all of the staff within the foundation stage team so feel confident if they struggle with anything next year in reception that the teachers and TA's will assist them through it.
It really depends on your child, how you think they would cope and how much you think they would benefit from another year in nursery (i think mine would be bored to be honest with another year even if they went full time).

Ofelia15 Thu 03-Dec-15 15:42:41

My DD is summer 2013 born, and we will be sending her to school in Sept 2017. I think mothers (including myself, but I'm working on it smile ) tend to underestimate their kids abilities and skills. If your LO has no medical conditions or medically proved delays in development, I wouldn't worry about it at all. I'm summer born myself, went to school with other kids of Autumn/Winter BDs, and always preferred friends older than me since my childhood as it always encouraged me to do something better/learn something faster.
Best wishes to you and your LO!

Wellthen Thu 03-Dec-15 18:23:49

Libraries that's really interesting. As a teacher I've always said that it makes very little difference by about year 4. But with a baby now due in July, the news that my children's generation will be first to have the option to defer has naturally been of some interest! I was leaning towards being in favour of deferring.

Having read about the studies into redshirting it does change my views a bit. It raises an interesting question about comparing young year 3s (for example) with older year 2s rather than comparing children within their own year group all the time.

melonribena Fri 04-Dec-15 00:17:43

I teach ks1 and have done for many years. I know all about summer borns in school.

I also have a end of July 2012 born ds due to start school next year.

After lots of thought, we will not defer. He will be young, but we will support him, as will the school. You've got to go with your gut feeling and knowledge of your child.

My ds is not ahead or behind, he appears to be at expected levels. The foundation stage year is a gradual step from preschool and year 1 and 2 from that. He will be ready, enthusiastic and keen!

I think September borns are often over ready to start, bored and a little switched off after preschool and foundation stage.

That is just my personal opinion though

ThatsNotMyHouseItIsTooClean Fri 04-Dec-15 00:33:42

I have agonised over this but filled in the application form the other day for DS to start with his usual year group. I have no idea if this is the best thing to do and probably never will.
What eventually swung it for me is that whilst, at the moment, he seems at the lower end of normal, there are moments when he has a flash of perception or understanding and I think that he will catch up and perhaps even go on to overtake some of those who currently seem light years ahead of him. I think it could be really damaging to know your mum didn't think you could keep up with those who were supposed to be your peers. DS has a lot of good friends who will be in his school year group which will, I think, make settling in less of an issue. I think that, the faster he settles, the faster he will be able to learn.
Have I made the right decision? Who knows. I feel as though I am constantly monitoring DS's performance to see how he is doing compared to his peers & that I am forced to do fine motor skill activities & have many more phonics based discussions than I would ideally like in one so young.
In case you're interested, the reasons I had thought for keeping DS back a year were poor pronunciation (but not enough to justify SALT intervention), poor fine motor skills (can't write any letters including those in his name, can't draw a face or anything recognisable but just scribbles in fist grip), doesn't recognise any letters except the first & last letter of his name, only recognises numbers 1, 3 & 8.

prh47bridge Fri 04-Dec-15 08:05:47

Whilst the government has stated that it intends to change the Admissions Code to allow summer born children to start in Reception a year late they have not yet done so. There isn't even a draft out for consultation yet. The current situation is therefore that you can request that your child starts a year late but it is up to the admission authority whether or not to allow that. Most still refuse to do so other than in exceptional cases.

Study after study shows that summer born children do worse, have more behavioural and concentration issues

The research into the effects of holding summer born children back a year is more limited but suggests that it may not improve outcomes and, indeed, may make matters worse. There is nowhere near enough research for this to be definitive, however.

tethersend Fri 04-Dec-15 12:09:23

DD2 was born in May 2012, and I won't be holding her back.

I feel happy that she'll cope in reception (which is freewflow with the nursery she's currently at), but our main motivation is that childcare costs will massively reduce.

I'd be interested in any studies which compared the effect not just of being kept back a year and staying at home/attending nursery but also being kept in full time childcare for another year vs starting school in the correct school year.

MiaowTheCat Sat 05-Dec-15 18:43:11

DD1 is early summer born but was born prematurely so more like mid/late summer born going on her expected due date.

I'm not deferring her - apart from some fine and gross motor skill related things, she's more than ready and suffering from a bit of a case of "big fish in a small pond-itis" at her preschool now. She's a bit of an odd combination developmentally though - very very advanced academically and verbally but behind in terms of things like pencil control and gross motor skill stuff.

StarryStarryElf Sun 06-Dec-15 09:47:19

I have 2 Summer born DC's who were deemed by nursery staff to be 'more than ready' for school, in reality I feel both would have benefited from starting a year later, they have both struggled socially and this has had an impact on their work. I have 1 DC who has a winter birthday and by comparison it has been a breeze (different character too of course).

PLB (precious last born) is also summer born and I think I will be deferring if our LEA will allow it.

Snossidge Sun 06-Dec-15 10:35:30

Have you checked what will happen on transfer to secondary?

I had an August born boy who is in Year 1 now. I'm not sure what I'd have done if deferring had been an option, but actually he has been fine - he isn't academically advanced but he is sociable and confident and loved nursery. He's met all the goals in Reception and is doing fine in Year 1, sort of mid-class academically.

slightlyglitterpaned Sun 06-Dec-15 10:50:10

DS is late August, and has generally been towards the lower end compared to his peers at nursery throughout. He tends to play with the younger children who aren't talking much yet rather than his more articulate peers.

We could afford to keep him in nursery for another year. Not sure what's best, or how much he will develop between now and September.

Luxyelectro Sun 06-Dec-15 10:58:07

My daughter was premature. She started school aged 4 and 2 weeks and should have been in the next school year if she had been born at term

She was tiny, physically quite delicate so it was a difficult one. She goes to a small village school with an emphasis on care and family feel rather than pushy academics.
She was fine and is now 10 and going to a grammar in September.

I wouldn't defer unless there was a very very strong reason too.
I don't agree with children going to school this early but it is the system we have and I wouldn't do anything that made my child different from their peers.

slightlyglitterpaned Sun 06-Dec-15 11:05:02

The problem is Luxy, I'm trying to figure out if sending DS to school at just gone 4 will make him different from his peers. None of the schools round here are tiny, all have at least two entry classes.

Luxyelectro Sun 06-Dec-15 11:09:21

In a cohort of 60 children. They will be some small some tall and their development will be a wide range. I suspect he will be fine. Have you approached the school and asked them to see if you can allay your concerns?

My daughter was so tiny and had some health issues too. But within a year she had caught up. You wouldn't know now.

Reception really is very low key. Is there any option to try and see what happens? - sorry I don't know the system as my youngest is now 10

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