France - moving up a class - CP straight to CE2

(38 Posts)
jamaisjedors Sat 08-Feb-14 09:25:38

Hi there,
hoping for some thoughts from those of you in France who might have experience of this.

DS2 (just turned 7) is in a double-level class (CP-CE1) in our very small local village school.

The teacher has just told me that for the last couple of weeks she's been getting him to work with the CE1 and giving him their homework to do, and she thinks it might be a good idea for him to go straight into CE2 next year.

Have any of you any experience of skipping a class like this?

I am a little stressed out about it - DH (French) says not to worry, DS was born in January so is only a few weeks younger than the others.

I only saw the teacher outside the school gates to talk about this - I'll try and make an appointment next week to discuss it properly.

OP’s posts: |
Bonsoir Sat 08-Feb-14 09:29:17

My experience (FWIW) is that CE1 is a very dull year where pupils who are already fluent readers learn very little.

However, I am dead set against getting DC to jump a year as it means that they go through the whole system a year ahead, which, ultimately, can mean less good marks in their bac than they would otherwise achieve and leaving school a year early.

If I were you, I would "sit it out" with your DS2 by making sure he has masses of extra-curricular activities (a good range) during CE1.

clearsommespace Sat 08-Feb-14 09:32:42

DS did it when he was in maternelle. Early spring birthday. I wasn't worried about primary, but I was worried about fitting into collège. He's now in 6eme and everything is fine. He's a generally sensible and as mature as you could expect for a 10 yr old (but I didn't know that he was going to be like that when he was 4!)
DH also French and wasn't worried because he did the same himself.

clearsommespace Sat 08-Feb-14 09:34:54

Finishing early isn't necessarily a bad thing. DH had year out between Bac and FE and spent it learning an important skill which has served him very well in life, giving him breaks he would not have got otherwise.

Bonsoir Sat 08-Feb-14 09:36:18

Times have changed and not maximising your marks in the two final years of school and in your bac is going to harm your chances of good higher education (be it in France or the UK) in a way that it wouldn't have even 20 years ago.

jamaisjedors Sat 08-Feb-14 10:33:53

Thanks for the comments and advice.

Bonsoir, I am fairly anti for the reasons you state - I don't see what there is to gain really, apart from going from being the best in your class, to being perhaps just mediocre...

Although it's interesting to hear from others who found it fine...

My own thought is also similar to Bonsoir's, that really it should be the teacher finding him extra work to do (he's not THAT exceptional!) rather than just moving him up a class.

On the other hand, I think the particular situation is that he's in a mixed class with 15 other CP, some of whom are quite Noisy/badly-behaved, and then 3 CE1.

In fact his maternelle teacher had already said a while ago that it was a shame that DS2 was going to be "stuck" with this lot all the way through school, because often the teacher cancels activities because the others are badly-behaved (she struggled with them too).

DH also thinks that he might be bored at school and then get into the habit of doing very little - already none of the homework in any way challenges him, it's done in 30 seconds.

The CE1 stuff seems more his level, but we'll have to give it a few more weeks to see how he does with the work.

I'm a bit annoyed she started all this without asking me though...

OP’s posts: |
jamaisjedors Sat 08-Feb-14 10:36:54

BTW - what kind of extra-curricular activities would you suggest?

DS does lots of sport (tennis and gym and "ludisport" after school) - maybe music I guess?

He does maths problems "for fun" with DH (maths lecturer) and of course is bilingual so reading in English with me.

OP’s posts: |


Bonsoir Sat 08-Feb-14 11:29:58

Chess? Fencing? Riding? Golf? Art?

What is available near you?

casacastille Sat 08-Feb-14 11:52:36

Hi jamais!

I refused when it was suggested DD2 should skip her final year of primary. She was young for her year already, unlike your DS, and I didn't really see the benefit of racing her through school. There's more to it than academic achievement (in my view, not universally shared in France!). She was also busy with other activities that year, and fortunately her her teachers were very good and kept her engaged with post-CM2 work.

But if that isn't the case at your DS's school it's more of a challenge. As he's a January birthday maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing, given the circumstances you describe?

jenpetronus Sat 08-Feb-14 15:01:58

From others who have done this it seems fine at Primaire - but the age difference seems more noticeable once they are at college, and they perhaps then don't have so much time to do anything after school as they should for their real age. DS1 is only in 6ieme (so not got huge experience) but there are 2 girls in his class who skipped CP - so they are only 10 with the huge amounts of homework it doesn't seem quite fair on them to me. (there are also two boys who have redoubled and so are almost 13. I can't get used to it!)

chloeb2002 Sat 08-Feb-14 20:00:57

Not in France but aus. Dd1 was " approved" by education qld to move up a year. We ultimately refused this request as even tho she would be only three months younger than the youngest child in the year above the research all says being age appropriate, especially in high school will give the best chance of good grades and the best social development.
A friend at the same time moved her child up a year. Now that child is11 heading to high school. Much less " developed" than other girls emotionally and physically. By the end of year 12 her peers will be heading off to the bars and clubs.. She will follow under age or be left out... In sports she competes with the primary kids next years still,
Her grades are no longer amazing.

jamaisjedors Sun 09-Feb-14 16:58:46

Thanks all (and hi Castille)!

I will see how he gets on with the work next week but now the worry is that if she is giving him all this CE1 work to do now, and we don't move him up, what will he do next year?

I would rather he took his time but in the particular situation of his school and class, maybe it would be better for him to move up.

The next class up is also multi-level - 3 levels - CE2, CM1 and CM2. I will talk to the teacher in that class (DS1's teacher) and see what she thinks.

One of DS2's teacher's main reasons seems to be that DS is "boosting" the 3 CE1 who had a tendancy to do very little as they were lost in the mass of CP.

Now that they have a CP sitting with him, who can do the work they are doing (and often faster than them), apparently it has pushed them to work harder.

Not sure DS should be "used" in this way, but it's already happening.

Extra-curriculur activities are fine, but they don't solve the problem of him sitting around all day just reading a book while he's waiting for the others to finish (this is what he has been doing so far, which I was fine with as I thought the others would have caught up by now).

I don't really want the next 5 years to be like that - which is why I will speak to DS1's teacher to see what is expected of them in CE2 and what she thinks about it.

OP’s posts: |
jamaisjedors Sun 09-Feb-14 16:59:48

Sorry, should be "now that they have a CP sitting with THEM"

OP’s posts: |
frenchfancy Mon 10-Feb-14 06:50:04

Both Dd1 and Dd2 have skipped a year. Dd1 skipped GS and Dd2 skipped CE1. In the case of Dd1 it has neither harmed nor hindered her. For Dd2 it has had a real positive benefit and she is top of her class in 4eme.

As your DS is born in January he won't really be behind developmentally so I don't think you should be too concerned.

clearsommespace Mon 10-Feb-14 12:52:55

I might be missing something but I don't understand why being a few months younger than others in the class means you can't maximise your chance at BAC. You're not going to be any more intelligent a year later and if you were put up in primary, you'll have followed the same cursus.

Bonsoir Mon 10-Feb-14 12:57:55

For the same reason that summer born children perform less well than autumn born children in the UK.

You are also in the position of sending your DC to HE aged 16 or 17.

clearsommespace Mon 10-Feb-14 13:01:36

Re: sitting around reading waiting for the others to catch up: in our primary they have 'autonomie' workbooks (made by the teachers) which they are allowed to do when they work faster than the others. They have exercises in them which practise the skills learnt in class in a less dry way e.g. colour by numbers where you have to work out the result of the calculation before you know which colour to use.

Or could he do work that you set him and mark, to improve his biliteracy?

clearsommespace Mon 10-Feb-14 13:10:18

What is that reason?

Bonsoir Mon 10-Feb-14 14:10:30

That extra months of maturity contribute to extra marks in exams!

There is no controversy about this - it's been documented all over the world.

Bonsoir Mon 10-Feb-14 14:16:11

What you need to bear in mind is that your whole life might change because you got 16/10 and not 18/10 in maths in your bac because you were a year younger.

clearsommespace Mon 10-Feb-14 15:02:08

Can you please explain why as you obviously know a lot about this.

All educational staff I have spoken to are very much in favour of children going up a year when they are twiddling their thumbs at a lower level. But they are college and primary teachers, not lycée or higher education.

All my friends and colleagues who have DCs who have been put up a year are doing fine but the eldest is only in the first year of engineering school, he hasn't entered the workplace yet, and the rest are still in collège or primary.

Bonsoir Mon 10-Feb-14 15:04:37

I agree that primary teachers are very keen to put DC up a year! They don't have much means to occupy DC who are not stretched by the curriculum and by far the easiest solution for the teacher is to "get rid" of the DC concerned to the class above.

unobtanium Mon 10-Feb-14 15:41:41

Hi jamais. I should have refused when the same thing happened with my second child (though he was not in a combined class, he was just supposedly frustrated with the lack of stimulation in CP).

He is early spring baby and, being a boy, now seems very young in his year (especially by the time many others have redoubled) -- he is in Seconde and doing fine but he could be doing brilliantly had he not been moved up.

I think I would resist as others have advised, and try to fill in the gaps outside of school. Come collège everything will have evened out again and your dc will be flying!

CoteDAzur Mon 10-Feb-14 15:50:23

"I don't see what there is to gain really, apart from going from being the best in your class, to being perhaps just mediocre"

Exactly. At the end of CP, DD was offered the chance to go straight up to CE2. We refused. Born towards the end of the year, she was already one of the youngest in her class.

There is no medal for finishing school a year early. It is better for DD (psychologically) to be easily the best in her class rather than struggling as the youngest.

frenchfancy Mon 10-Feb-14 15:59:06

But all this assumes they will struggle as the youngest. DD2 was getting bored and starting to be disruptive. I have no doubt that had she not gone up a year she would have lost interest and would have got far worse marks than she does. Instead putting her up a year provided her with a challenge which she has now met.

I also see it as having one in the hand, should they encounter problems later on at college, either through lack of work or through illness, they can redouble and still not be behind.

Being a year up does have its rewards, a tres bien in a brevet is one thing, a tres bien and a year in advance is seen as being more impressive.

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