At what age does month of birth stop being considered?

(36 Posts)
AndiMac Mon 26-Nov-12 10:10:28

I have 2 kids at opposite ends of the school year. One is a winter baby, with lots of summer babies in her Y1 class with her. The other is an August baby and starting next year. I'd say both are about equal in ability, but obviously this develops with age. So I know that their teachers take into consideration the child's age (ie when in the school year they have their birthday) in reception and year 1, but I don't know when it is felt everyone is old enough to be on an equal playing field.

Does anyone have any insight into this?

learnandsay Mon 26-Nov-12 10:14:22

Physically the children at the younger end of the class might never catch up because they'll always be almost a year younger. Academically who knows? They might already start ahead of most of their classmates regardless of age, depending on what they've been taught at home/nursery.

iseenodust Mon 26-Nov-12 10:20:41

IME teachers don't give much weight to it at all (except perhaps in allocating nativity speaking roleswink) and the KS1 tests make no allowance for it all.

Namely Mon 26-Nov-12 10:24:48

As a teacher I always take note of my June, July, August babies but each child is taught on their own individual needs. I have had a little boy who was a 2A in year one and was 360 days younger than the oldest child in my class!

redskyatnight Mon 26-Nov-12 10:25:31

I would have thought that teachers focussed more on the individual child and their specific abilities rather than the month they were born in.

In DD's school year (Y2), the "top" children all (bar 1) have birthdays in the latter part of the year. It's not a given that in the small sample that is a class size/year that Autumn birthday children will be the ones that are ahead.

AndiMac Mon 26-Nov-12 10:28:42

Oh, I know that looking at them individually is the way to go, but part of that, to a certain age, must be when they were born as well.

Someone told me, but I have no idea of the truth of it, that the 11+ exam is weighted a bit based on when the child's birthday is. I was surprised to hear this, so again, really no idea if it's true or not.

singinggirl Mon 26-Nov-12 10:34:11

The 11+ is weighted for age - the raw scores are age-standardised. 100 is the 'average' of any given age, here in Kent scores of 120+ are required for Grammar Schools.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 26-Nov-12 10:37:03

11+ weighted?? I fail to see how that could be done.

I think by the time they move up to senior school they have had enough years of schooling to put them on a level playing field academically. Socially it really depends a lot on how they are treat at home.

I think if you have a summer baby, you have to be careful not to baby them more than you would if you had a winter baby once they've started school otherwise you set them apart from their peers even more, but at the same time, they are almost a year younger - it's quite tough really.

cutegorilla Mon 26-Nov-12 10:38:19

Statistically it still makes a difference to exam results at GCSE level. There is no allowance tor that though.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 26-Nov-12 10:38:29

Singinggirl - really? I didn't think they'd do that. It seems quite unfair, they've all had the same amount of 'schooling'?!

singinggirl Mon 26-Nov-12 10:50:25

I think the theory is that the 11+ doesn't test what is taught in school - the verbal and non-verbal reasoning are totally seperate to the National Curriculum - and the maths is very different too. (e.g. types of algebra that are not routinely taught before secondary). Think codes, logic, sequencing, patterns etc. So the theory behind them is that the 11+ tests innate intelligence, not the standard of a child's primary school. But then of course we come to tutoring...

CAT tests, which are frequently used by secondary schools to asses their new intake are also age-standardised.

socharlotte Mon 26-Nov-12 10:57:56

Yep 11+ is standardised.they plot all candidates ages Vs their raw scores to find the coefficient to adjust raw scores by.This coefficient will vary for every cohort and every test..
the amount of schooling is supposed to be irrelevant because they are testing reasoning ability which is supposedly innate.

AndiMac Mon 26-Nov-12 11:52:22

Aha, good to know thanks. I guess that's probably the last marker then, not that it's necessarily even going to come up. But knowledge is power and all that.

singersgirl Mon 26-Nov-12 12:05:33

DS1's English teacher last year mentioned that he was very young in the set. He was in Y9, so 13/14.

arista Mon 26-Nov-12 12:36:05

my daughter was born on the 28 Aug and is currently in yr 1. i think you can see the difference between the older who seems more mature than the younger one. Amazingly my daughter is the younger one and is in the top reading group I think they are all being taught the same thing so should be consider equal. But reading these posts above I've learnt a lot I did not know, so thanks.

anice Mon 26-Nov-12 12:44:21

I think it switches at some point. So that its not about here's the excuse for low achievement in summer born children but instead it flips to that's not very impressive for a September born child.

(Or maybe that's just my own private reaction to a very pushy and smug mother of a September child in Ds1's class which is full of out-performing summer babies.)

mrz Mon 26-Nov-12 19:10:21

As a teacher I don't think about month of birth .. some summer birthdays outshine their older classmates from day one ...take each child as an individual
The eldest child in my current Y1 class is probably the least physically, emotionally, academically developed

BlingBubbles Mon 26-Nov-12 19:15:31

I have read (can't remember where now) that by the age of 7 it evens out academically and everyone regardless of birthdays will be on a level playing field.

I know of a few private schools that put children in classes according to their birthday dates for the first few years. It does make a lot of sense, an August born child is a whole year behind an September born one and when they are between 3-6 that is a really big gap, especially if you compare boys v girls.

mumofthemonsters808 Mon 26-Nov-12 19:15:44

My DD is a late August birthday and it has never been taken into consideration. I'm not even sure her teachers were aware of the fact as it was never mentioned and despite her being in a class dominated by winter birthdays she always held her own.

redskyatnight Mon 26-Nov-12 19:16:16

Actually just thought that DS's school measures their reading and spelling ages and compares them to chronological age. IMO these are quite crude measures though. DS is poor at spelling but also young for his year, so his spelling age doesn't look "so bad" compared to his chronological age, but his actual spelling ability is very poor when compared against his peers (which is actually where it is compared).

mrz Mon 26-Nov-12 19:19:35

I would imagine your son's school uses chronological age to calculate a standardised score

3b1g Mon 26-Nov-12 19:32:17

My twins have July birthdays, I would say that I was still a little bit aware of it in Y3, but more for social maturity reasons.

realcoalfire Tue 27-Nov-12 10:04:20

There is still a difference at GCSE apparently

VonHerrBurton Tue 27-Nov-12 11:09:42

I just fail to see how a child at 11 years of age would still have 'young for their year' used as any type of benchmark, physically, socially or academically.

OK, maybe up to Y2, and possibly mine some boys who seem to take an age to catch up with most girls emotionally, but as another poster has said, they've all had the same amount of schooling and it really annoys me when I hear parents of Y6 dc still banging on about how young s/he is for the year at 11 years old.

realcoalfire Tue 27-Nov-12 11:17:38

so are you saying you don't believe the statistics?

VonHerrBurton Tue 27-Nov-12 11:43:14

If that was a q posed to me, realcoal , I'm afraid I haven't read The Statistics.

I'd rather go by what I see going on around me. Some of the youngest dc in ds's class (Y5) are the most mature, some of the oldest are the silliest, mid-year academically brightest - so on and so on.

So whilst a YR starter who may be 12 months younger than some of her peers and had never been parted from her mum since she was born, may seem much, much younger and at a 'disadvantage' than an older child with 3 years of nursery experience - I don't believe by the time they both leave primary school, all with 7 years of education behind them, that difference of age would make any difference.

jamdonut Tue 27-Nov-12 14:25:40

I don't think I recall any of the teachers I have worked with making allowances for the month of their birth? Probably because it doesn't have much of a bearing on anything after Foundation stage.

My eldest child (now 20) has an end of August birthday. The only time it caused a problem was when his friends had all turned 18 and he was still 17! My youngest child (12) is a June birthday and is far more grown up mentally,physically and educationally than the majority of his peers.

crazymum53 Tue 27-Nov-12 15:33:09

Doesn't make a difference after Y1 or so. Know that the 11 plus used to be weighted by age but that was in the olden days when dcs didn't start school until the term they were 5 years old and they now all have the same amount of schooling so this shouldn't be a factor.
SATs at KS1 and 2 are not weighted at all and neither are private school entrance exams!

iseenodust Tue 27-Nov-12 15:45:13

Erm, we have just this month visited an independent school with a view to entry into yr5. The head said the entrance exam results are adjusted for DOB.

PeanutButterOnly Tue 27-Nov-12 21:06:25

DS1 (year 4) is a summer-born and his younger sister is an Autumn born in Yr1.

Parental expectations are significant in this I think. I've always adjusted my expectations of DS1 because he's a June birthday. So for example when he got needing support with reading etc. early on in Yr 1 I wasn't too worried (especially as he only started school after Easter). And as a result I probably didn't apply too much extra pressure in order to get him to 'catch up'. But with DD, I feel the opposite, worried because she now 'needs support' at the same point of the year in Yr 1 that DS1 did. My expectation for her was that she should be at least average and maybe better than average due to her Autumn Birthday. Consequently I'm anxious about her and having to make sure I don't 'pile on the pressure' at home.

I'm wondering now why DD could be attaining less at her age compared to her brother at the same age (he was flourishing by her age at the end of Yr1). You could attribute some of this to the fact that DS had already received a whole year of Year 1 teaching by the age she is now and she hasn't yet?

The Autumn borns have to wait longer in terms of age for the more structured year 1 setting. Maybe that affects their development and progress just as much as a start in yr 1 at just 5 does for the summer borns? Or maybe I'm wrong and all teaching is differentiated according to child-requirements whatever age or year group.

It's probably best not to worry or compare (I know that and yet....)

jamdonut Wed 28-Nov-12 08:50:11

Different children, different rates of development.

DS1 (August) and DD1 (January)could walk at 11months, DS2(June) didn't walk till 14 or 15 months.

DS1 started school at 4 and a half,was always a little above average and got 2 good 'A' levels and 'U' on the third.

DD1 started school part-time at 3 and a half,was always well above average, has been considered G&T since Year 4 and is expected great things in her GCSE's this summer.

DS2 could read (pretty much self taught) at age 3,starting on level 4 books in Foundation, and is now well above average and predicted to achieve well at GCSE. His biggest problem is his awful,really difficult to read, handwriting.

I have never worried about their ages, because they are individuals. I have also never felt the need to have them tutored or anything extra.
I also recognise I have been very,very lucky that my children have all been high ability. As a teaching assistant, I know how very wide the variation in children's abilities and maturity can be, but as others have pointed out, quite often the oldest in the class is not the most able.

Startail Wed 28-Nov-12 09:07:52

Months are still quoted (wrongly) on DD1s reading and spelling age results from the SENCO

Startail Wed 28-Nov-12 09:08:47

She was 13

cutegorilla Wed 28-Nov-12 22:31:55
Wafflenose Wed 28-Nov-12 22:50:01

As a teacher, I would find it very difficult in any year group, to guess when a child's birthday falls by looking at their written work, particularly Year 2 upwards. Sure, there are maturity differences at first, but as someone says, some summer born children are way ahead of the autumn children from the start.

The effect of schooling is stronger than the effect of age. There are a few studies involving twins, where one has been (for example) ill and started school a year later than their twin. Although the same age, the academic differences were huge.

I have an Autumn born DD in Year 2, and a Summer born DD in Reception. I refuse to worry about the younger one. I know she will get there academically, and in fact is doing things around the same age her sister could - just in a different school year iyswim. I don't really think birth month should be rolled out as an excuse by the time teenagers are hitting GCSEs. Maybe there is a slight national difference in results between birth months, but this should not and does not mean that an individual should expect to do better/ worse than their friends.

When I taught KS3 I would look down the DoB list just in case it could add anything to my understanding of the pupils.

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