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To absolutely insist my child repeats a school year?

(106 Posts)
Creamofthecrop Mon 18-Jan-16 22:09:56

My DD is 5 and currently in year 1. I felt mixed emotions this year as the law changed and parents can now delay reception if they feel the child isn't ready as I feel it is the right thing to do but that it wasn't an option for us - it was hold her back for a year, fine but they would go straight into year 1.

So my DD went into reception just 4 weeks after her 4th birthday and I There was a big difference between her and the others in my opinion - she was much smaller, spoke a lot more babyish. Some of the other children were kind to her but not in a friends way - more like they were looking after her. I heard one boy saying to his mum 'aah look there is Jasmine - she is a baby but she is growing now'. She got invited to about 6 parties in reception and ran around happily but nobody played with her in particular. She liked to make friends but never seemed bothered if she didn't. She learnt her sounds, could write some letters and numbers but nothing else. You would spell out C A T and ask her what the word was and she would say 'dog'.

In year 1, no party invitations so far. She can read simple words like mum, dad, cat, dog but nothing longer. The teacher laughed when we discussed her reading and said they are working with her to actually look at the words on the page rather than guess the words based off the picture. She is on the lowest ability table. You can read her letters but her words are ineligible. The teacher told me in October that she has a small group of close friends but when I ask her about her day, she has always played by herself. She told me the other day what a great laugh she had playing hide and seek. But when I asked if she had been the finder or hider, she laughed and said she was both as she counted to 10 and then found herself as she was playing alone. Today I asked her if she had anyone to play with at lunchtime and she said that none of the others would play with her and that she was by herself everyday. She was quite friendly with 2 children at latter reception but she never mentions them anymore and if I ask, she just says they are silly now - although she did say she didn't have any friends in reception but the teacher said she did and was very kind. But the interests she has, the others say are babyish. For example, she is obsessed with paw patrol and says some of the others tell her it is only for babies.

I don't feel she has any SEN issues, I have a child that does and she is so different - I just feel that she belongs in the year below. Can I insist on her repeating year 1 and would there be any social implications on her at this age if the school let me? Or would it be better for her to go back into reception now? I am considering moving her school if it would mean she could repeat the year despite having other children at the school.

Kpo58 Mon 18-Jan-16 22:20:41

I would definitely try and get your DD to retake the year. It doesn't sound like she was mentally old enough for the first year.

Also, it sounds like she may have some autistic traits as she doesn't seem to know how to relate to the other children. Although it could be that she was just too young or may just need to be taught the rules of how to make friends with the others.

hownottofuckup Mon 18-Jan-16 22:26:33

Ah she sounds sweet and not that dissimilar from my 2 who are NT, they're just rubbish at telling me about their day!

If you are concerned then absolutely try to get her moved to the lower year if you think that's in her interest.
But, don't get too fixated on it and certainly don't pass on your concerns to her. I mean really guard against it.
Whatever happens it sounds like she'll be just fine tbh, especially with a parent who takes such care and consideration.

MrsBobDylan Mon 18-Jan-16 22:28:45

I don't know if this is useful as I'm well old now and this was in the 80sgrin but I was the youngest in my year at school and eventually repeated year 8 as I was hopelessly behind.

I've never met anyone else who has done that so I'd not have a clue how to go about it. I am dyslexic and it gave me a chance to catch up. I remember feeling very young and marvelling at how mature some class mate were. I also struggled to make friends which changed once I moved to the year below.

All in, it was a very positive thing for me.

BertrandRussell Mon 18-Jan-16 22:29:55

I really don't think you can repeat a year if you're in England.

Have the teachers put any strategies in place to support her, socially and academically?

notenoughbottle Mon 18-Jan-16 22:30:09

I'd also say it sounds like she may have some social communication issues if she is struggling with other children. However, it should be the responsibility of the school also to encourage her friendships. My dd will be the youngest in the year when she starts school and I won't be asking for her to be delayed as it means she will instead be much older than those in the lower year. This could cause more problems in turn. Maybe she just needs a little more time to settle into it as series it takes longer for some than others.

Griphook Mon 18-Jan-16 22:31:05

Yanbu, it's so hard for the youngest one. Some of the older children would have had nearly 2 years nursery, and your poor dd only 1. I'm but sure whether things will level out over time. Does she have friends who can come round for tea to help with the friendship!

Tottyandmarchpane1 Mon 18-Jan-16 22:31:49

A little girl who is an August birthday is just repeating Y1 so is now in my daughters class. Her mum says it has been the making of her, friends wise. She was just too young to cope last year. My youngest DD is starting school in September and will be 4 in June and I am worried about exactly the things you are saying about your daughter. DD2 loves peppa pig, plays alongside other children, barely gets invited to any parties and won't engage with any attempts to write her name etc. I know that is fine for now but DD1 was the complete opposite (November birthday). Projecting forward to sept I don't see DD2 being much different to now.

BelindaBagwash Mon 18-Jan-16 22:33:47

You sound like a very sensible parent. I wish more were like you.

We have suggested this several times to parents at our school, but they don't want their child to be stigmatised (small town, people too concerned with what others will think) As a result their children have struggled throughout their time at school and the parents complain that it's somehow the school's fault that they haven't achieved the expected levels for their age.

VoldysGoneMouldy Mon 18-Jan-16 22:38:21

With everything you've described, I think I'd be tempted to do the same thing. She may well absolutely fly repeating the year.

TheHiphopopotamus Mon 18-Jan-16 22:39:13

I don't know. Ds was born end of July and I felt like you. In reception year, everyone had drawn a face with recognisable feature while ds just did a scribble. I would say he couldn't read properly til Y2.

However, by the end of that year he'd caught up and got ahead. I was astounded as his Y1 teacher had 'hinted' that he may have SNs (he doesn't). He didn't really have close friends until probably KS2 either. He used to say he walked around the playground on his own.

He's now at senior school, doing really well academically and has plenty of friends. Obviously, this is just my experience and you know your child better than anyone but they do catch up.

SakuraSakura Mon 18-Jan-16 22:40:32

YANBU. I started school at roughly the same age, and even though I did fine academically, I think I could have benefitted a little more from another year at home, or repeated.

nameschangerer Mon 18-Jan-16 22:41:04

You can't make a diagnosis of autism based on this. It sounds completely like she was too young.

StillMedusa Mon 18-Jan-16 22:41:05

I don't think that you can insist! You can ask, but most LEAs are very reluctant to do this (tho this might change in view of the change for reception). I do think however everything you have said suggests she needs an Ed Psych assessment.. does she have an IEP? A child who is struggling academically and socially to that degree needs a closer eye. Being one of the youngest should not ..and doesn't mean, that they will be lowest end ability; generally in my experience there is a decent degree of catch up as the children even out over the first year so she is definitely at a disadvantage with literacy by the sounds of things.

I'd want SEN issues ruled out first... Sn come in many different forms and having a child with one sort doesn't rule out another with different ones, unfortunately.

On the plus side, given that she hasn't an established social group, I can't see it would hurt to be back a year.. but preferably in a different setting so she isn't 'repeating' so much as starting afresh?

neolara Mon 18-Jan-16 22:41:27

My July born dd struggled in reception and year 1. She learned 5 letter sounds in reception and spent most of the year sacking her thumb. She struggled socially, not because she had any social communication problems, but because she was a bit shy and just young. Her social skills were limited compared to her peers.

On the plus side, she caught up academically in Year 2 and in Year 7 is doing very well. Socially, I think she is always slightly playing catch up, even now.

If I'd had the option to keep her down I may well have considered it. I also have a dd who is Sept birthday and I see how much easier everything is for her, mainly because she is older and so more socially skilled than many of her peers.

I definitely would explore the possibility of your dd repeating a year.

Lucked Mon 18-Jan-16 22:41:51

I wish you the best of luck, I have a bad feeling that teachers and local authorities will be entrenched in the no holding back ethos. How did it get so that there was no room to consider individual children. I am in Scotland and my doc will be deferred, I just need to sign a form.

Has there definitely been a change in the law or just a clarification by the government that it is actually possible - and who can enforce it if they say no?

Devilishpyjamas Mon 18-Jan-16 22:42:05

I know someone with an August birthday repeating a year. But had to move to a private school to do it. It's working well in this child's case (it's this year that is being repeated).

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Mon 18-Jan-16 22:44:28

Y1 is still covered by the class size regulations so you may not be able to secure a Y1 place.
Good luck though, I have an August boy and have just applied for his school place. I'd be lying if I said your post hasn't made me more nervous

TheHiphopopotamus Mon 18-Jan-16 22:44:33

On another note, how does repeating a year work in practice? A lot of the schools around here are over subscribed and have a few bulge years. I would imagine if a few parents wanted their children to move down a year it would create problems for class sizes or have I got that all wrong? confused

Jesabel Mon 18-Jan-16 22:45:34

You can't insist she repeats a year, and it isn't the law at the moment that parents can choose to keep children back a year for Reception - they can only ask the Headteacher to consider it.

My DS is the same age and in Year 1 - he often says he plays with no one but I have been in school sometimes and seen him playing in the playground with other kids!

leccybill Mon 18-Jan-16 22:45:51

Is it a particularly mature group?
My DD is in Year 1, February born but the 3rd oldest, many have July/Aug birthdays. She is quite babyish too, happily watches Peppa Pig, plays with Happyland and dolls, but she seems to blend in well with the younger ones even though she is almost 6.
In the playground, Reception and Y1 (and Year 2) mix so she has friends in Reception to play with too.
She goes to breakfast and afterschool club which has been a great thing for her confidence and making friends outside of her year group - Rainbows has been great for this too, it's quite young (circle games, easy craft, songs).

steppemum Mon 18-Jan-16 22:46:17

your problem will be when she gets to year 6.

Unless there is an SEN, it is very unlikely that the secondary school will allow her to continue in the year below. That is why it is very hard for primary schools do move kids up or down a year.

There is a boy in dds class who was very like your dd. I helped with reading and he failed the year 1 phonics and could blend C.A.T. to make cat at the end of year 1.
They are now year 3 and he reads well. He is catching up all round.

arethereanyleftatall Mon 18-Jan-16 22:50:42

I see where you're coming from, but schools can't practically do this I wouldn't think.
If all august kids are held down a year, doesn't July born just become the new august and so on?

MerryInthechelseahotel Mon 18-Jan-16 22:55:45

Don't forget children forget very easily what they have been doing in the day. Do you only have her word for it that she plays alone?

GruntledOne Mon 18-Jan-16 22:56:52

You may have a big problem with insisting in the shape of the infant class size regulations. If the year below already has 30 children in, they can't expand the numbers by allowing older children to repeat the year.

Isn't it a bit early to think about repeating this year anyway? You've got almost two full terms to go.

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