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Returning to UK year group not appropriate

(21 Posts)
Speckle48 Mon 12-Sep-11 09:41:23

Hi, We've been in Europe for a year and my child has been moved up an academic year last year because she is academically very good-Does anyone know if there is any way of keeping her in her current year group (year 4) or will she have to move back a year when we come back to the UK?

SenoritaViva Mon 12-Sep-11 09:52:31

Contact the LEA to find out their policy but as far as I am aware they are rigorous at sticking to ages.

I'd recommend therefore that you investigate local schools and their G&T programmes or what they do to extend brighter children and base your choice on this. Alternatively a private school would consider keeping her in year 4...

pozzled Mon 12-Sep-11 09:55:07

Some LEAs do allow children to move up a year group, so worth speaking to them. I know a child who has just moved to secondary school although he 'should' just be entering Year 6.

Speckle48 Mon 12-Sep-11 10:10:23

Thank you- which LEA is that?

mummytime Mon 12-Sep-11 10:35:09

I would also suggest you investigate what would be offered in the UK. Moving ahead a year is not the only (or best) way to deal with a bright child.
You cannot necessarily compare school systems year groups, across countries.

AChickenCalledKorma Mon 12-Sep-11 10:38:48

Agree with mummytime. If you are moving to a particular LEA that won't put her in the year above, look carefully for a school that will cater for her in year. For example, in my daughters' school, there is some mixing across years in ability groups in particular subjects, even though they are strict about keeping them in year by age.

And if you do find a school that will put her up a year, don't forget to ask what will happen at secondary level. If the secondary won't take her until she's the right age, she might have to repeat Year 6.

IndigoBell Mon 12-Sep-11 10:42:57

Unlike most countries that support bright kids by moving them up a year (or struggling kids by keeping them down a year) the UK uses 'differentiation' to support every kid in the class.

Most classes will have kids working at least 4 years apart. ie in a Y4 class here you would expect some kids to be working at a L1 or L2 ( Y1 or Y2 level), most kids to be working at a L3, and other kids to be working at a L4 (Y6 level)

And all the teaching is designed to be appropriate for all of the kids. ie the whole class is not doing the same work. There are loads of different ways teachers use to differentiate. But each child will be learning different things and working towards different targets.

So I think it will be very different to what you're used to.

Moving up a year is unlikely to be the right thing to do in the UK state system. (Private system is very different.)

pozzled Mon 12-Sep-11 10:43:57

The child I know lives in the Milton Keynes area, and as I say he was allowed to move up to secondary school early.

I do agree with other posters though that there are many other ways of catering for a bright child. A good school will have a range of things in place to stretch higher achieving children.

Speckle48 Mon 12-Sep-11 10:45:34

thank you all- when we were in the UK her school couldn't seem to cope with her as the rest of the class were pretty much on a par and she used to get very upset that school was so easy and that she didn't learn anything during the day! but at least this time we will be able to choose the area we live in and therefore the school she goes to-hopefully- I didn't think about the possibility of her having to repeat year 6 either-thank you for the warning!!

Speckle48 Mon 12-Sep-11 10:50:34

Thanks Indigobell- I can ask some really probing questions when we visit schools with your information

IndigoBell Mon 12-Sep-11 10:52:06

The thing is, if she's really bright, moving up 1 year won't be enough.

And if she's not really bright, just bright, just 1 year ahead, the teacher should absolutely be able to support her in her normal year group.

You may have just had a bad experience at her previous school, and may find most other schools are better......

One thing to look for is the Y6 SATS results. Any school that is getting plenty of level 5s is stretching plenty of kids.

TeddyBare Mon 12-Sep-11 11:20:49

What country are you in? Does your dd go to an English language school? Can she speak and write fluently in English? It is possible that the curriculum followed in another country will be so different to what she would learn here that being a year "behind" where she was will be helpful. If she is a non-native English speaker then being in a group of older children might make it harder for her to make friends and fit in.

Speckle48 Mon 12-Sep-11 12:12:35

HI yes my daughter is a native english speaker -she attended school in the uk for 2 years before we moved to belgium she was reading and writing by the age of 2!!! the curriculum she studies now is the primary version of the IB

DeWe Mon 12-Sep-11 12:24:26

I doubt any local authority would move a child up on parents say so. I doubt they would on a non-UK school say so either. If they'd move one child up because the parents say they need to be, can you imagine the queues for that the next year?

Speckle48 Mon 12-Sep-11 12:38:22

I agree with you-it's going to be a tricky situation to manage!!

horsemadmom Mon 12-Sep-11 15:20:49

IndigoBell, level 5 SATs is not stretching. DD1's school gives them the SATS in year 5 to benchmark for the next year's 11+. No preparation, no warning, no pressure. She got all 5s as did almost everyone in the year.

IndigoBell Mon 12-Sep-11 15:41:54

horsemadmom - that is very unusual.

Very few state schools get most kids to a L5. A really good school with a really affluent intake normally gets 40 - 60% L5s.

What makes you think your DDs not being stretched? Maybe she goes to an excellent school where everyone is being stretched?

Nationally only 20 - 30% of kids will get a L5 in Y6. And those kids are 'on track' to achieving A or A*s at GCSEs.

Saracen Tue 13-Sep-11 00:04:07

As you say that your daughter was reading and writing by the age of two, it seems likely she is exceptionally bright. Even reading and writing before three is well out of the "normal" range. I used to be on a (now defunct) message board for parents of exceptionally bright children, where it was fairly universally accepted that no school could come close to catering for the academic needs of such children, even in older year groups. Some of the children were happy at school anyway because they enjoyed the non-academic side of it.

Most of the parents felt home education was the only good solution, though not all of them were actually doing it because it wasn't practical for all of them - and as I mentioned, some kids liked being in school despite not learning much there.

If it feels likely to you that getting your daughter's needs met is going to be a problem for your dd now or in the future, you might want to look into home education to get an idea of what is involved.

rainbowinthesky Tue 13-Sep-11 07:45:53

I agree with indigo about if she is exceptionally bright then one year wont make a difference. Being a year or 2 ahead isnt rare and should be catered for in a normal class.

Chandon Tue 13-Sep-11 08:39:23

also, in comparison to Europe, lots of English schools (and kids) are "ahead".

My DS2 is in Y2, his contemporaries in the European country I am from have not started writing yet, or even reading (many 6 year olds there don't read at all yet). They do everything a bit later, when the child is "ready".

English parents (and culture) are a lot more pushy, and everyone wants their child to be at least a year ahead.(read MN!)

I mention this, as maybe your child will not be that far ahead compared to her English peers, who have also been pushed.

Evilclown Tue 13-Sep-11 14:39:00

I agree with Indigo too. If a one year accelaration is enough, then she can probably be catered for in her year group. If she is further ahead, then one year will not be enough.

Have you looked into the independent sector with regard to bursaries and scholarships? My ds has been moved up several years in various subjects and is constantly under review. It is the least worst option for him.

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