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Repeating Reception

(51 Posts)
B262 Fri 25-May-18 13:44:03

Sorry I am not sure if I am posting this in the right thread...
But I have been looking for existing threads regarding 'Repeating Reception year' and I just need to get advice from parents who have been through this, and if they had a positive experience by repeating reception or not.

My son was born 3 months premature and he was a twin, he weighed a little less than 2lb, despite all the difficulties in first few weeks of his life, he has done brilliantly and I am very proud of him.
We noticed his odd behaviour around 18 months+ and were worried about ASD/ Autism, we did two assessments, one was positive and one was negative, it wasn't a clear cut.

He started reception in our local state school, with EHCP in place, and I felt the school wasn't doing a good job and he was overwhelmed with 30 children in a classroom, so put him in private school (small setting) but spent a while going to different private schools, as not many support children with additional needs, we found this school and the Senco was very very good, and said they have had other children with similar needs to our son, and she was very supportive.
He has almost full time 1-1 TA, the only issue is, he moved to the new school in February, so almost halfway in the academic year, the new school were academically further ahead than his previous school, so he missed out a bit, and they're helping him to catch up.

He is under OT, SLT at the moment and the school is doing a good job, we also had ABA for 2 years before he started school.
He is a bright little boy, he's petite in 3/4 yr old clothing, but he's super hyper, not so much at school but at home. He shows traits of ASD, visual stimming etc.., and gets distracted easily. He knows more than he can say as his speech is around 3/4 year old level, but I think he knows more, but because he can't say what they ask of him sometime, he comes across as though he doesn't know it.

The school is scoring him low in social, communication, self care etc.. around 22-36 month level, some skills around 30-50 and some around 40-60. They said he would benefit from repeating reception, but he is a September born, so he's already one of the oldest in his class, if he was to repeat reception he'd be almost 2 years older than some of the children! How would he feel when he's older knowing his is a lot older than his peers, self confidence? bullying? I am so torn and don't know what decision to make. He's made new friends in his year, and he's very popular, even children in year 1 and 2 play with him. But I think they like mothering him.
I asked the Senco to get an Ed Psychologist on board to know what their view is, and also other professionals. But I wanted to know if anyone had gone through this, and what decision they made, and if they're happy with their decision.
Sorry this is a long post, and apologies if similar post has already been added, but any advice is much appreciated.

AjasLipstick Fri 25-May-18 14:09:32

The only difficulty could be if you decide not to stay on at this school and later down the line, a lot can change. He might then be in the position of having to leap up a year to join a new school. What would happen when it was time for high school for example?

He'd be 13 and still in primary?

It IS worrying when your child is not at the same level as peers but your first duty is to him...and what's best for him now I suppose.

With such a young child, it's hard to predict where he might be in 2, 3 or 4 years time.

When are they expecting a decision by? I'd be tempted to see what the EP says.

B262 Fri 25-May-18 14:59:27

The school is quite good and having pressured me at all, in fact they said they have spaces in both reception and year 1.

I think I'd like to see the reports from professionals before making such big decision!
Worried sick about it at the moment sad

Shantotto Fri 25-May-18 15:08:24

Is he summerborn? There's only be a few months age difference then if he did repeat, he'd be same age as everyone else.

Even if he maybe didnhave to skip a year at some point down the line maybe he'd at least be more ready then? Although the new school would have to prove how it was in child's best interest to skip which of course is very hard to prove!

AjasLipstick Fri 25-May-18 15:36:02

OP says he's September born. So one of the older in the class.

I don't think independent schools have to prove anything though...I'm sure they can do as they want.

OP, I think on reflection, that I would lean towards allowing him to skip and stay put. He's still very small, who knows where he might be in a year or two? If he does come on in leaps and bounds then he'll take a change as well as any child should he have to move forward suddenly.

I know from my own children that sometimes, they seem to get "stuck: for a while and then have a sudden growth in their development.

One of my DD's really struggled to read and fact, it wasn't until she hit NINE that she became very fluent and it was sudden too.

She's 10 now and you'd never know how much she struggled with it all.

Shantotto Fri 25-May-18 15:52:53

Argh, sorry! And I normally get so annoyed when people don't read threads properly! Thanks.

B262 Fri 25-May-18 22:35:10

Ajas I agree that we as his parents see what his needs are NOW at presents and not to dwell on what future may bring. But I can't stop worrying sadI wish I had a crystal ball, I just want to make the right decision and not regret it later.
Would love to hear from parents who have been in similar situation.

AjasLipstick Sat 26-May-18 01:57:22

Post this on the Special Needs board B262 there are a lot of parents there who will understand more and be very helpful with regards to the choice you need to make.

redbirdblackbird Sat 26-May-18 02:29:38

The difficulty will be high school. Many schools will not have him out of year group as he will still count in their results (GCSEs etc) at the usual age even if he’s a year behind so they may ask him to skip y7 or not accept him at all. I know it’s a long way off but I’ve seen it happen as a senco and it’s a disaster for the child.

B262 Sat 26-May-18 05:34:41

Thank you Ajas I've just moved it.

B262 Sat 26-May-18 09:25:00

Even if in private school?

B262 Sat 26-May-18 09:26:05

redbirdblackbird, even in private school? I thought they were flexible?

LIZS Sat 26-May-18 09:31:51

Unless you have a commitment from the private school to keep him out of year for his entire education and it goes through to secondary there may be an issue with him moving at 11/13. Bear in mind a she develops it may not become the best environment for him. Sitting entrance tests could well be an issue if he is older than the cohort, also transfer into state system may be problematic. Current policy to defer in state schools only applies to summer born children starting Reception.

Bubblysqueak Sat 26-May-18 09:39:34

my ds has repeated reception, although it was a mixed y1/reception class which made it slightly easier. His ability was similar to your ds but he has an autism diagnosis.
He really benefited from following the eyes curriculum for one more year and his speech and social abilities have greatly improved. He also has fu time 1.1 support.

Going forward we are lucky that we don't have to worry about what will happen in the future regarding his year group as he will be moving so a sen school for September as the educational gap is still too big to remain in mainstream school.

redbirdblackbird Sat 26-May-18 10:54:04

Oh sorry I’m not sure about private secondary, I would imagine as they still have results to worry about they would have similar pressures but I really don’t know.
Also, even if he moves to year one, with an echp in place, a skilled key worker and teacher should be able to differentiate the curriculum for him to reflect his needs and keep it in more of an eyfs style

CatkinToadflax Sat 26-May-18 15:34:05

Hi OP, my DS1's situation was extremely similar to yours. He was born 4 months prematurely in early October, so was also one of the oldest in his year group. He is now 12 years old and has a dx of ASD and a bunch of compelling extras!

We moved him from state to private at the beginning of chronological Year 3, but moved him back down to Year 2 so he repeated Year 2 at the new school. This was decided jointly by us and the new school. Giving him a year in Pre Prep was the best thing we could have done for him before he went up to Prep, as the following year he was more ready for the more 'demanding' schedule in Year 3.

I don't know about your DS, but mine was so delayed emotionally and socially that being nearly two years older than the youngest in his adopted year group simply wasn't noticeable to anyone who didn't know that he'd repeated a year. Like your son, he was teeny-tiny - so he blended right in. To us, the children in his chronological year group looked huge and very mature in comparison!

DS1's adopted year group was the perfect place for him until the beginning of Year 5. During the summer, the other children - who were up to two years younger than him - seemed to have grown and matured and he hadn't, so again he was starting to be left behind. At that point we moved him to a specialist autism school, where he returned to his chronological year group (without difficulty, because the specialist school is very gentle and not at all demanding).

As PPs have said, if your son repeats the year and then leaves the private system then he is highly likely to be made by the state system to miss a year to return to his chronological year group. Even within the private system there may be other schools which wouldn't be keen on accepting him out of year group. But if you're likely to stick where you are long-term then I think I'd be tempted to move him down if you think that's right - obviously every child is different, but certainly for my boy it was a very worthwhile decision.

B262 Sat 26-May-18 15:46:04

Hi Catkin, did your son have 1-1 support? And EHCP?

CatkinToadflax Sat 26-May-18 18:08:48

@B262 yes he did, he had both.

Clutterbugsmum Sat 26-May-18 18:31:04

We had this at the school I was a governor at, and they had to go to high school when they were due to so they went from yr 5 to yr 7 not doing any of the school for year 6 or years 5 & 4.

B262 Sat 26-May-18 20:48:07

@Clutterbugsmum that's my worry, if he was to skip a year later on specially if he was still struggling.
We liked this school as the senco was really good and understanding. And we wanted to implement ABA programme within the school setting, which the state school didn't agree too.
He will have to move when he's 11 yr old anyway as his current school is until year 6. But I don't know what private Senior schools are like, if they do accept older children who repeated a year in primary school.
My plan was to get him a tutor, during summer holiday, to give him a bit of boost, that's if he was to go to yr 1 in September.

CatkinToadflax Sun 27-May-18 08:49:55

I do think it’s a genuine concern in that case, if your current school only goes up to Y6. I think I would want to know which the future schools might be and what their opinion would be on children being out of year group. Could you ask your current school what they’d envisage happening from Y7 onwards? Totally understand that at this stage it might be impossible for you to know.

We had envisaged DS1 staying in the same private school throughout his education and hadn’t considered at that stage that he would eventually need to move to an SEN school. If he’d had to return to the state sector then missing a year would have been disastrous for him. My understanding is that private schools are far more likely to accept a pupil out of year group - but obviously nothing is ever guaranteed from one school to another.

Needmoresleep Tue 29-May-18 11:21:34

Keep him down. Getting the fundementals right now are so important. You dont want him floundering. Problems in the future can be finessed.

I would ask the private school about their normal destination schools. Which of them might take an out of year child who is performing satisfactorily in his year group? We saw a few repeat years in primary. Some were fine, others then received a diagnosis which had them switching to different provision. Though not common at secondary we saw a few out of year. Illness, coming in from different educational systems (the French Lycee in London accelerates a lot and holds others back so if they switch to the English system they are all over the place), and so on. Prince Harry repeated a year before starting Eton after his mother died. In part presumably to ensure he had a sound grounding and did not struggle.

It is so important during the early years that children get the basics and dont struggle. Happy child learn. Your son sounds as if he is a fighter. Help make sure this is a battle he can win. And if there are other underlying issues, these should be easier to spot and indeed manage/support if he is not under pressure.

The only issue we spotted is that older out of year kids were barred from formal school sports tournaments.

B262 Tue 29-May-18 19:21:10

@Needmoresleep thank you for your message it's very reassuring, I will definitely ask the school to see what secondary schools accept out of year students. Your message is very helpful thank you.
I don't think he's going to be the sporty type so I don't think he'd be bothered but you never know smile
Out of curiosity, are you a teacher?

Needmoresleep Tue 29-May-18 22:16:15

Not at all. I am just at the end of the education years, and starting to wonder why I used to worry so much. And interesting to see the very varied outcomes of their prep school peers.

Things happen. Children change. It is right to make sure you keep doors open, but you can’t set a fixed path.

The really important thing, I think and looking back, is to have children enjoy education and to engage. And to maintain a sense of self, with a belief that they are valued and have things to offer even if they are bottom table/set. You don’t want them bored, or want them struggling. Insofar as you have a choice, choose what suits him now. If he takes off academically you perhaps then look having him skip a year - private schools can do things like have a child learn maths with the year above. And if he still struggles you will have a better sense of what the problems might be.

My DD is dyslexic with impressively low processing speeds. At 10 she was told by her prep that she would not be able to cope with an academic secondary. Roll on six years and she won a sixth form place at the best performing school in the country, and took five A levels. She is on an academic degree course. However, and partly because we supported her self esteem by encouraging her to take lots of sport, until she was about 15, we had always assumed she would do something physical: games teacher, physiotherapist etc. Her heading for quite a prestigious career, does not change anything. We want her to be happy, to be kind and considerate, and for her to be constructively employed. Emotional intelligence and well being are fundamental to being a successful adult.

Good luck. Though I miss them as children, I really don’t miss the educational rat-race.

Needmoresleep Tue 29-May-18 22:18:24

And trust your instincts. If what the school are suggesting sounds right for him, go with it. If you are not convinced, don’t. Or at least consider why you have doubts.

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