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Help! Teacher and mum needs help regarding repeating year 6

(33 Posts)
asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 08:06:54

Hi all! Am new here - I am a mum to 2 boys - the youngest has severe autism and the eldest is just 9 (August born). The eldest is in year 5 in primary state school. My hubby and I are secondary grammar teachers.We both feel that only a miracle would get our boy thru the 11 plus so for the last two years i have been saving to send him private..however now i am worrying that he won't pass the entrance tests (academically he is in lower half of his year group but he is a very mature and sensible boy -due largely to living with a severely disabled brother) and thinking about asking the schools upon year 7 entrance whether he could retake year 6 within their school (I think private schools are more accomodating of repeating years....am not sure)Does anyone know if the private schools would be agreeable to this if he 'fails' their entrance tests...many many thanks for all help - am losing sleep over this one!

OooWowOooArr Sun 21-Sep-08 08:12:01

No idea sorry but it would be worth asking them directly what their policy/ thoughts are.
The private school neaerest to us is strict on tests though. (unless you are the mayor's son!)Good luck with it.

Beetroot Sun 21-Sep-08 08:15:10

Your poor child. You are putting him under so much stress. If you want to send him to a private school then there are some around that do not use entrance tests and are open to all (with money) Or send him to the local school.

dilemma456 Sun 21-Sep-08 08:16:27

Message withdrawn

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 08:20:47

Hi all thanks for replies - I am not looking at the academically over selective private schools (akin to where i work ) i know he will not get into those but i want him to have a nice, calm education and not the education that unfortunately i have seen throughout my teaching career. I prob didn't make that clear in the beginning - I am not expecting him to go to a very selective private school as he wouldn't get into the grammars but a local independent school that (as far as i am aware) takes the 'grammar rejects' (all of the GCSE results of these school do not compare with the GCSE results of the local grammars - they are much lower but much higher than local comp results)

SqueakyPop Sun 21-Sep-08 08:22:46

Not all private schools are academically selective. They may have entrance tests, but that is only to give baseline data.

I think it is a fine thing to ask if he can repeat Year 6 in the new school. I don't think it will faze them unless their Y6 class is already full.

If the school is academically selective, their prep children will probably still have to sit and pass the entrance exam for senior school, along with the external children.

I would suggest a meeting with the Head to discuss all the possibilities.

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 08:23:45

Its funny cos as a teacher all of my friends think I should know what to do and they come to me with questions but i really don't have a clue about primary transfer at all... I just teach my subject wink

SqueakyPop Sun 21-Sep-08 08:26:01

Is the school you are considering over-subscribed for Y7? If it is not, I don't think you have anything to worry about regarding the entrance test.

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 08:26:12

Thanks so much squeaky pop grin I can't do much for my other son in terms of educating him (a lot of heartbreak theresad) so i will do all i can for the older one. Thank yougrin

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 08:27:18

Am not sure - actually thats a good idea - i could phone and ask them about current year 7 to give me an idea wink

ScummyMummy Sun 21-Sep-08 08:34:51

I would be very wary indeed of this. I went to uni with an extremely bright young woman (went on to get a double 1st) who had been made to repeat a year at about age 8 and was still hung up about it and felt that her parents thought she was stupid and worthless. She found it very hard to value the non-academic side of life. It's unusual culturally here for children to be held back and there is no way your son won't feel this, imo. A self confidence sapper if ever there was one.

Clearly you and your husband, as two grammar school teachers, would naturally consider selective schooling for your boy as a 1st option but I wonder if, in these circumstances, it might be worth looking at local non-selective schools, both private and state, and seeing whether there are other options for him?

SqueakyPop Sun 21-Sep-08 08:35:08

Why don't you go on a tour of the school? This will give you loads of information, and a good half-hour to chat with the Head. I know it is difficult when you teach because of getting time off. They may be able to see you at the end of your day, as independent schools often have a longer day.

Is the school about to have an Open Day on a Saturday?

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 08:46:01

Hi again! Thanks squeaky pop will def arrange to have a meeting with the head i think - their open day is this Sat coming up

I have heard from friends of mine that teach in private schools that the tests at 11 aren't that important and that they are trying to get bums on seats (also economic climate not helping) - if this is the case we may stand more of a chance. I was privately educated my self (very selective school) and i know this is def not the right environment for my son - I just want him to go somewhere where he can enjoy learning and enjoy school.

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 09:18:05

The problem is scummymummy - he already has very little confidence as he goes out of class with a few of his friends for extra reading and maths...he knows he isn't the brightest in the class (he is socially clued up and i guess having teachers as parents helps him to know a bit more about the system). We have never done anything but envourage him and do our utmost to instill confidence in him but his confidence levels are very low due to him having extra help, due to having a 'different' (and for his part 'embarrassing' brother) and unfortunately being put in working groups with other kids who are the same ability or lower and who do not have the desire to improve. Thanks for reply thosmile

ScummyMummy Sun 21-Sep-08 09:24:26

I honestly think that having to go into a class of younger kids would almost certainly make further inroads into his confidence though, asdmumandteacher, especially as he is, as you say, clued up about the system. I hope you find a lovely school where he can be happy with kids his own age.

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 09:27:07

I doubt it knowing the schools round here. i feel as he would be moving to a different school he would start a new school and new year group afresh - I have heard so many other points on the other side of the discussion that it was the best thing for the August born boys that had happened...he is only 2 weeks older than kids in the academic year below him...its such a crappy systemsad

ScummyMummy Sun 21-Sep-08 09:34:37

That's a good point. I forgot you said he was a summer baby. Maybe it would be less obvious in that instance, especially if it was common within the school. I think avoiding the situation of him feeling "held back" is the important thing. I am always stunned at children's complete knowledge of who's oldest, youngest, good at what things, who's in what set, where octopus set is in relation to shark, dolphin and prawn, etc etc. Kids unexpectedly in the "wrong" class or set are noted.

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 09:36:58

Yes thats right sm- his bday is in the last week of August (I should have held me legs together and insisted i waited another week!)

SmugColditz Sun 21-Sep-08 09:39:08

It's very hard for August born children.

My friend's son has been put, for yr 1, into a yr1/R class - he only turned 5 a month ago. Until Christmas in reception, he fell asleep every day after lunch and the (lovely) teacher used to leave him asleep on a pile of teddies. He would frequently cry and tantrum on the way home - just tiredness, he's not a spoilt child. Luckily, they split reception by age at ds1's school, so nobody in his class was born in 2002. All had 2003 birthdays, so the biggest age gap in the class was 9 months. The older reception intake, those with 2002 birthdays, went into R/yr1 class, which comprised older reception and younger year one.

The difficulty comes with always being the youngest, least able, least mature. My brother was like this - had he been born a month later he would have been a perfectly mature and able member of the class below!

HOwever .... I also know a chap who by rights should have been in our year, but as he was born on the cusp he was allowed to stay below ... and throughout school, he always sought boys his own age. i think he felt he had something to prove.

both choices have a difficulty.

luckylady74 Sun 21-Sep-08 09:40:51

Hi - I'm sorry i have no idea re your op, but I just wanted to say the special needs section on here is fantastic if you want some support re your ds2 - or indeed how your ds1 copes with ds2.smile

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 09:43:03

Thanks luckylady... i will check it out but go on another autism forum quite regularly..but thanks will def look (but for once am more worried about 'normal' boy)wink

snorkle Sun 21-Sep-08 10:36:28

Definitely talk to the school. They may well have other children in the 'wrong' year so he might not be the eldest in year 6 in any case. That would imo make it much less damaging to his confidence. Only the specific school can really advise as to whether this is a good idea or not - I think some independent schools would be very open to it.

asdmumandteacher Sun 21-Sep-08 10:57:19

thanks snorkle - am having a great intro to mums net you are all so helpful!smilesmile

Berries Sun 21-Sep-08 21:19:24

DD1 is in yr 8 & they have a grl who should have been in yr9. Parents have been abroad & they felt it she would be better going into the yr below. She's fine, but is not really treating it as repeating a year as she's come from a different system.

I'm not sure what area you're in, but here (nw) we have a range of schools which cater for the full range of abilities, from the vey academic to the children that need more help. They all have entrance exams, but use them for different reasons (more to assess the incoming ability of the child). There are at least 2 schools here who would happily take your son into Yr 7 and make sure he was working at a level appropriate (and they still get 75% + GCSEs)

sunnydelight Mon 22-Sep-08 11:50:38

Both my boys are dyslexic and when we came to Australia last year I put them both back a year. Because of dates/birthdays DS1 (August born) ended up with similarly aged kids anyway. My 9 year old should have been in year 4 but went into year 3, funnily enough though he still isn't the eldest as a couple of kids in his class had repeated kindy (reception). It's worked out really well for both of them, tbh I think if you're changing schools it's not really a problem.

One of the main reasons for sending the 9 year old private though was so that he would avoid the entrance exam for year 7. Lots of kids here go public for primary, then private for high school so there's a lot of competition for places, even though the school isn't academically selective. Is there any way you could afford to move your son to Y5 in the private school now and similarly ensure a place later on?

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