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If you have to be taught outside your age range is it better to be older or younger

(10 Posts)
KatyMac Mon 15-Oct-12 20:21:45

DD is both; in one class she is up to 4 yrs older than her fellow students and in another up to 6 years younger. It's an out of school activity done at a high(ish) level - dance primarily Ballet/Contemporary

There are obviously issues with both; but what are they? Is there any research backing up any view point in particular.

I get concerned about the PHSE stuff but are there other things I should think about?

Sorry if it's all a bit vague but I don't know if what I feel is right & wanted some less biased info (and MN is the best place for both sides of the argument wink)

KatyMac Mon 15-Oct-12 22:15:58


TalkinPeace2 Mon 15-Oct-12 22:19:06

I don't quite understand your thread.

If she dances with people of all ages , so what

the cohort issue matters at school
NOT in extra curricular stuff.

KatyMac Mon 15-Oct-12 22:31:06

Well she spends a fair amount of her time in a class with Yr6&7 & she is in yr10; she is also in a class with uni students

I think that some differences are being allowed for in classes not others and I'm trying to get a handle on it

Eg when with the younger children she isn't allowed out at break times but if she were in a class with her own age group she would be

When she is with the older girls they (instinctively) tone their language down when she is in class (not really vocabulary more content - iyswim)

Saracen Wed 17-Oct-12 02:48:31

I think the ideal is to do some things with older children and some with younger ones. It allows your child an opportunity to take on different roles. It's hard always to be the youngest or always the oldest. She'll be OK in either environment.

If you had to choose one or the other, I'd say to choose the option which lets your dd step outside the role she usually has at home. If she's the youngest in the family or (if an only child) all the neighbour children or cousins are older than she is, let her go somewhere where she can be the eldest and have a go at teaching and looking after the little ones and bossing them around. If she's the eldest at home, send her somewhere where the big children will fuss her and show her how to do grown-up things. It will make a pleasant change and let her develop different social skills to the ones she usually uses.

JustGettingByMum Wed 17-Oct-12 09:17:49

My dd is in Y7 and dances once a week in a class with mainly 6th formers, she adores it as she is made a big fuss of, but the rest of the time she dances in classes with Y6-8/9 and it seems to work fine.
Last winter she spent 3 months practising for the dance show and the part she had meant she was dancing 10+ hrs pw with all ages from 3 to adult. It was a wonderful experience for her, and very beneficial in terms of getting on with others
But TBH as an out of school activity (albeit 5 times per week) I never even think about it. I could see it being a worry if it was an academic subject though.

AMumInScotland Wed 17-Oct-12 09:48:45

For things like dance and music and sport, the classes will often be divided more by level than by age, once you get past the "young beginners" stage at any rate. I doubt you'll get anywhere asking for her to be moved, if that is what you are hoping to achieve. I know you've had a lot of issues with her dance classes, but the reality is that they can run them however they like and your only option is to vote with your feet if you really don't like it (so long as the problems don't get into actual safety issues etc). And since your daughter doesn't want to leave, in spite of the issues, I think you're stuck - you either overrule her or you put up with it.

HSMM Wed 17-Oct-12 15:02:31

DD does some with older and some with younger and I think it's really good for her. Being with her peers all the time (like school) is not reflective of real life. She has opportunities and has to make comprimises. If she was doing a lot with younger children (for no good reason), I might have more to say about it (so maybe my preference is for her to be in classes with older children).

UniS Wed 17-Oct-12 19:57:03

DS was the youngest by a couple of years at "his sport" club till this year when there has been an influx of his game or younger, so he is now an old hand keen to demonstrate and help.

I think a lot depends on how the teacher handles it. one of his other sports he is now in a class with 4 his own age and 2 2 years older, the older ones resent it and think they are being penalised by having to work with the "little ones" . Last term they were the 2 who were 2 years younger than the rest of their class.... Teacher has reshuffled and the older group have joined an intermediate class.

So- I think that being younger than the rest is easier to handle. But for learning a new skill being in the right level class but old for the group is better than constantly playing catch up with your peers who are ahead of you in practise time.

KatyMac Wed 17-Oct-12 21:21:02

Thanks everyone; I think AMumInScotland sums it up best "^I think you're stuck - you either overrule her or you put up with it^"

I think the main problem is, as I work in education I see this as an issue, I could never do this to a child in my care, but as they aren't in education and aren't getting any money out of me, they see it entirely differently.

Thank you so much for your views everyone they have given me some serious thinking to do.

I am unlikely to find anything better at what I pay (nothing) for at least 2 years when she will leave home - so I need to put up or shut up & as AMumInScotland says DD wants me to shut up

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