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Summer Birthdays and Attainment?

(168 Posts)
Kendodd Fri 29-Mar-13 22:05:11

What to do? DD2 is only in reception, she has an end of August birthday. Is lower attainment throughout her school career inevitable? Is anything being done to address this?

Interestingly her big sister is in Y2, they have different 'tables' for different ability levels. All the children, apart from one, on the top table are September birthdays.

sheeplikessleep Sun 31-Mar-13 18:28:02

As a mum to be, expecting Ds3 end of August, this thread makes depressing reading. I am worrying a lot about this. My DH says that I need to consider our DS will be advantaged in so many ways, we live in a decent area, with parents who care about education, not in poverty etc. So to be blunt, all the other 'disadvantage' factors aren't there. It's still worrying me though.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:28:50

No jabed I didn't make any comment about about the piano rude or otherwise

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:29:34

If you can find any rude remarks I made about your son I will be amazed

Ronaldo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:29:35

and I am sure teacherwith2kids, you will be pleased to hear me report that my DS does not have any such difficuties now even though we didnt intervene with that so called remedial action.

It seems he didnt ever have a problem.

teacherwith2kids Sun 31-Mar-13 18:29:43

I still don't quite understand, Ronaldo / jabed, how mrz's comments were anything other than intended to be helpful to an obviously able child who might potetnially need some work on fine motor skills? Certainly I doubt any diagnosis of SEN was made..... as further developing fine motor skills age 4 is something that almost all children need to do, at whatever position in the 'academic spectrum' they may come.

teacherwith2kids Sun 31-Mar-13 18:31:04

I'm glad that it turned out OK. So did my son, who did also hugely enjoy all the games we played to help him along the way...

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:31:24

sheeplikessleep listen to your husband

Ronaldo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:31:38

Yes, and with that mrz, I would just add to others - dont bother asking anything on TES. They are not a very bunch of teachers and I am sure you can see that here.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 31-Mar-13 18:31:39

Now where did I put that spreadsheet...? hmm

Ronaldo Sun 31-Mar-13 18:32:56

Well, teacherwith2kids, it would have been more helopful to me hasd she told us to go and see the school about the comment first. I would have been quicker on the ball of the problem if she had.

teacherwith2kids Sun 31-Mar-13 18:35:29

Have read the original thread now. Mrz has posted that list of activities many times - never with the intention to imply that any child has SEN, but always with the aim of suggesting a wide range of activities that can develop fine motor skills through activities that may also be fun to the child (not all for all children, of course, hence the length of the list). How did you extrapolate from that list that Mrz was implying that your son had SEN??

teacherwith2kids Sun 31-Mar-13 18:37:18

She may, of course, have assumed that you - as a teacher, even though not a primary school one - would naturally approach the teacher about the problem before posting it on a forum?? I know that would always be my first instinct, even before I did my teacher training...

teacherwith2kids Sun 31-Mar-13 18:40:16

(Also, unless I am mistaken, the thread was started by you stating that you had had a conversation with the teacher ....?)

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:41:15

"it would have been more helopful to me hasd she told us to go and see the school about the comment first"
Your opening post on the TES thread in question jabed concluded with the sentence "I did ask but I got the broken record response." perhaps I was wrong in assuming from this you had already asked the teacher about the comment?

sheeplikessleep Sun 31-Mar-13 18:42:28

Mrz - I do try to, but I'm a born worrier. I open up threads like this to see if there is anything practical I can do to try to counterbalance the effect. I come away just feeling guilty and worrying! Although pregnancy hormones don't help.

teacherwith2kids Sun 31-Mar-13 18:44:26

Apologies, OP, we are derailing your thread. I does seem a little odd to me that a pistrer who taught his son to read and write before starting Reception, as well as the piano from 3, should bewail the early start date of education and suggest deferring it to 7, so perhaps best to focus on the ideas from other posters?

(And also, whatever your worries, make certain that these are not communicated to your child. The only summer-born I currently teach who is in any way disadvantaged by his birthdate is the one who, when asked to do something hard 'oh, I can't do that, I'm younger than everyone else, you see'... and after raising it with the parents at parents' evening it is clear that they have always told him 'you can't be expected to succeed like the others, because you're the youngest in the year'. He is, in fact, very able, but this attitude gets int he way of the effort needed to put this ability into practical form!)

EvilTwins Sun 31-Mar-13 18:52:15

OP, I didn't intend to brag when I first posted about my own children, merely to reassure you that it is not inevitable that summer-born children will be disadvantaged throughout their education.

I teach secondary and would be hard-pushed to tell you who was the oldest/youngest in my classes. I'd have to look it up.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:52:40

My apologies too OP

Badvoc Sun 31-Mar-13 19:21:40

Well my son does have sen and that is nothing to do with the month he was born.
He has friends with similar sen who are all sept/dec babies....
There is so much you can do to help wrt handwriting (write form the start for example) and with reading (dancing bears for example) and spelling and punctuation (apples and pears for example).
I am astounded that mrz is being criticised!!
She/he has only ever been very helpful and a source of great common sense ime,
And why is a child having sen seen as such a terrible thing? Yes my son has had to overcome difficulties, but he is doing well and is happy.
Sen does not have to mean unfulfilled potential!

lljkk Sun 31-Mar-13 19:28:42

Whenever I look at the relevant studies they seem to say that the age disadvantage is worrying no matter how late the usual starting age is.

USA (1 year later starting date like OP wants).

Italy (1 yr later, too).


Better to have an education system that doesn't decide clever or vocational track too early. (Oh wait, England still has the 11+ in some areas).

summer-born DS is too emotionally immature, but he would still be too immature even if he was with the year group below. His problems are bigger than his place in the year group.

You asked what to do: being a supportive interested parent is The Most important factor. I think you can find plenty of studies to show that.

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 31-Mar-13 19:29:35

I also apologise if my comment came across as bragging; it was intended to reassure the OP that even with summer-born children who are behind when they start Reception, the gap often narrows as they progress through junior school. We were very concerned about DD when she was younger, and now that she is more confident academically, it's sometimes easy to forget how concerned we were.

ronaldoscattered Sun 31-Mar-13 19:52:29

Well I guess I said something to upset someone ( again?) but rather than dealwith me, you just had me shut up. OK, I got the message ( even if MN HQ didnt write and explain it).

I acknowldege I have some strong opinions but that shouldnt be an excuse to play thought police surely?

I guess its the ultimate way of making sure you win the argument is it?

Anyway, goodbye mrz.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 20:08:49


Schmedz Sun 31-Mar-13 21:00:12

No way is having an August birthday associated with always having low attainment! I teach in a selective school and the top students in a number of year groups are those who are either the youngest or have July/August birthdays. My own birthday is at the end of August and I was a very high academic achiever (top 5% A Level results).
Other posters are correct that it probably does depend a lot on the individual child, but surely also on the expectations that are communicated to that child from adults around them!
Possibly the biggest issues for younger children are social/physical and surely more pronounced in EYFS and KS1 than much beyond. Not based on any scientific research, just general observation and personal experience.
So, in response to the OP, I just can't see how lower attainment is inevitable based on birthdate alone.

voddiekeepsmesane Sun 31-Mar-13 21:57:24

Not "inevitable" as you put it. I agree with many other posters that it also depends on other factors.

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