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Can we miss out Y6 / SATS? Or is that crazy talk?

(50 Posts)
ohgodmumyouresoembarrassing Wed 24-Oct-12 22:39:19

I have a million big questions but will split them up into smaller chunks on separate threads... Just arrived (July) back into the UK with a ten year old DD that has been educated in South Africa at an international school (IB programme). So I am very unfamiliar with the 'new' state system (ie.since I was at school here some thirty years ago!). 10yr DD classed as gifted in SA and accelerated - missed Y3, going from Y2 to Y4. Youngest in class, which caused a few probs socially, but academically fine.
Now in UK. Put her into rural state primary into Y5 - ie. back half a year (academic years are different and run Jan - Dec in SA) . She is top of her class in Y5 and according to her teacher has no competition in the small Y6 (8 pupils). However, her teacher also says DD has knowledge gaps which will need filling over a two year (Y5/6) period in order for her to confidently move into senior school. Now, potentially we are being offered a weekly boarding place at Hockerill which we are (for obvious reasons) keen to take up. But it's starting in Sept 2013. This means she will miss out Y6 and SATS. Her teacher says he can't 'spare the time' to extend her individually as he has 28 children to teach although he does say if she stays for Y6 she likely to acheive high 5s or 6s in the SATs. So, my question(s) are: if you were me, would you risk losing the place offered at Hockerill and keep your child in school through Y6 and SATS stress, or would you put her let her miss (yet another) year (she would go back to being the youngest in Y7). We are of course happy to look at tutoring to fill gaps, and do extra maths for fun anyway. But currently I don't see her engaging at school without any peer competition or extension. She's just coasting and while she can get away with it she won't put in extra effort to show what she's capable of (Catch 22)... All thoughts welcomed...
Incidentally, I've asked her what she wants and she says 'I don't mind, I know you'll make the right choice for me..." So, no pressure then.

teacherwith2kids Wed 24-Oct-12 22:56:29

You could be describing my childhood, really - up and down school years like a yo-yo, moves between countries and schools et al./

I ended up being accelerated permanently when I missed Year 7.

Academically, it was the right choice. Socially - well, I was a very geeky socially inept child, a year more or less was frankly never going to make much difference....

ohgodmumyouresoembarrassing Wed 24-Oct-12 23:11:18

Indeed, teacherwith2kids. From reading all the threads, it seems the 'right' thing to do is to let her complete all her years and not be pushy. But in this day and age, if you're offered a place at Hockerill do you risk turning it down? I guess if she's really unhappy, then we deal with it. She may well thrive. She's not socially inept but is immature and desperate to be 'liked' and fit in. Although you'd never know it. On the surface she's like a mini-adult (but shows high anxiety and a desperate nail-biter). And I don't help - I had it drummed into me that a good education was the most important thing that a parent could give a child and I see all her amazing potential. And then when I see her coasting or not trying hard, I get upset at all the efforts we're making to give her the best possible education, so probably add to her load. Oh god. This parenting lark is so damn hard. Why can't I just lay off pressuring her? Poor kid. But then again, she's not a poor kid because she could do a lot better if she put in a bit of effort. aaaaaargh!

happychappy Wed 24-Oct-12 23:16:32

Hockerill is a lovely school, very near me. Your daughter sounds like my daughter used to when she coming to the end of primary. She's now 14 and bright and happy and secure in herself. Her experiences have made her strong and independent. Perhaps she justs needs a bit of time. btw, we were abroad and moved alot too so v.similar experience for her.

We couldn't get into Hockerill but she goes to Newport, another great school.

cece Wed 24-Oct-12 23:16:51

I have no idea where/what Hockerill is. I assume it is some sort of school.

I would say an education is more than just academic though. Surely it is about the development of the whole child?

Bestof7 Wed 24-Oct-12 23:19:50

Let her skip Y6 and SATS. The gaps in her knowledge are inevitable as she's been in a different school system and has learned something other than the national curriculum. She'll more than make up for it with all that she DOES know. Go for Hockerill.

happychappy Wed 24-Oct-12 23:25:06

Hockerill is an international school (more or less).

I have friends who's children were educated in the sorts of schools you mention in South Africa. The teachers are generally excellent and the standard of education is too. I would say let he miss and get tutors. I'm sure she'll be fine. Also the school is very good at supporting children and will do what needs to be done for your daughter, talk to them and they will put your mind at rest.

I think one of the mums on here is a governor there.

ohgodmumyouresoembarrassing Wed 24-Oct-12 23:26:50

Thanks happychappy - good to know that children can be so adaptable. Cece - Hockerill is a state school, but top of the league tables in the UK so very desirable... and yes, I agree with you about the holistic development which is the crux of the struggle! Bestof7 - I did try to point out to her teacher that her knowledge gaps were in all likelihood due to her alternative learning, but he wasn't having any of it. In my opinion I need to get her out of that school as quickly as possible and back into the Middle Years IB Programme - she utterly thrived on Project Based Learning and it was a joy to see her come home from school every day. At the moment, she's just so unexcited. So I'm absolutely with you and selfishly wanting the Hockerill vote.. Thanks to you all for your comments and input - it all helps with the directional steer...

ohgodmumyouresoembarrassing Wed 24-Oct-12 23:32:10

Happychappy - very helpful. Yes, the SA teaching is exceptional on the whole - very intelligent schooling (if you get the right school!). Good to hear such positive reports of Hockerill. If there is a Governor mum on here, I'd be very interested to hear her opinion if at all possible... Some children just do need more school involvement over an academic lifetime than others, and I think DD is one of them. The school she is at currently simply can't / won't provide it. Shame.

lljkk Wed 24-Oct-12 23:41:48

Never heard of Hockerill & am very confused what you're asking, but in case it's relevant...

DS was in state ed reception-yr5 & is now back in state ed for yr8. Private school for y6-7 didn't do SATs or NC levels. Can't see that it matters in the least.

ohgodmumyouresoembarrassing Wed 24-Oct-12 23:53:03

Thanks lljkk. I'm confused myself, which is probably why the post is unclear. You make a good point. Are you confirming that SATs are not necessary to a child's education record?

lljkk Thu 25-Oct-12 07:56:51

Absolutely not necessary smile.

I do not know what DS school are doing about his GCSE targets & their own admin, statistical tracking of his progress, but none of that is my problem as long as they let him do what he can do.

I don't know how they decided what sets to put him in, but seem to be the right choices (he reckons he's about middle of class for everything.

Private schools (if she stays at Hockerill or similar) seem to manage without KS2 SAT info, too.

Saracen Thu 25-Oct-12 08:09:28

Sorry, sticking my nose in despite having nothing useful to offer!

I'm confused: your dd is now in Y5 in a state primary school but has been offered a place to go into Y7 in a state secondary school for next year? I thought it was all but impossible to get a Local Authority to agree to place a child outside of the "correct" year group as dictated by her date of birth. And I thought the offers of places in state schools were due to be made much later in the year, so how is it that you've been offered a secondary place already?

BrittaPerry Thu 25-Oct-12 08:22:36

Sats are completly pointless - they are only used to evaluate the schools.

EdithWeston Thu 25-Oct-12 08:25:44

SATS are totally and utterly unnecessary. Children a bit older who arrive in UK without them, and the vast majority in the private sector, manage to go through the rest of their education perfectly well.

I thought Hockerill must be a private school as you seem to be saying they will take your DD out of year. State schools normally do not do that. Also, state schools must follow the Admissions Code in how they make offers. It might be worth double checking that the Hockerill offer is indeed a "real" offer and not just talk from the Head. Do you have it in writing from the LEA?

It sounds as though perhaps your daughter is in the school year below her year of birth at primary because of moving school systems, is that right? Surely that is the only way you are being offered the option of skipping a year?

I don't know the school in question at all, but I would question wanting a child to start secondary early if she is socially immature - that's hugely important for coping at secondary, more so really than academic potential IMO.

I am also puzzled by how you have managed to get into a position where you can choose which year she goes into in the UK state system, as this is incredibly unusual - so assume you have a choice of putting her back into her correct year group or keeping her back? In which case it would probably be fine for her to move back to her correct age year group, as she will be in the normal range socially - wouldn't do it if it means moving her ahead of her age group unless she was incredibly mature and confident in herself.

SATS don't matter (don't live in the UK now but was a secondary teacher, SATS results were looked at but taken with a pinch of salt - everyone knew some primaries coach endlessly for SATS and do very little else in year 6 and some don't so much, so a child's SATS level tells you a bit about the child obviously (a child who gets a 6 was never going to get a 3 if not coached etc.) but a lot about the school - schools that set in year 7 have to be flexible with moving kids up and down for the first terms or 2 for that reason.

Hopeforever Thu 25-Oct-12 08:39:17

The exam results are only important as a marker for a child's development through the key stages, the school expect a child to move from say level 4 to 6 say. If the child is filing to meet the new target they may well get extra tuition to catch up. That's what happens in Newport FGS anyway.

Not sure how a school place at Hockererill is already known when the locals won't know until the spring. Why can't the place be kept open for a year? I'm nt sure boarding school when you are younger than your peers is a great idea, but you know how social your DD is

Sorry for the repetition in the last post, had to attend to toddler mid post and then didn't proof read - also sleep deprived - good job I'm not a school teacher any more ;)

EdithWeston Thu 25-Oct-12 08:45:15

I've re-read OP: they do not at present have an offer from Hockerill. And that might mean that the school has not confirmed it will take a child out of year group. It's a state boarding school, which means that unless OP's DD wins one of the 12 selective places, she will be priority 5 for entrance as a day pupil and it will come down to distance from the school.

I am assuming she won't be boarding as it's vanishingly rare for any pupil to be out of year for a day place, and I just cannot see it happening in a boarding house.

happychappy Thu 25-Oct-12 09:55:17

Hockerill is part state and part private. The school itself is state but the there are some places which are private, with boarding available. It is a school aiming to help children with an 'international' connection. A lot of people who have to move a lot of work reasons like this school because it follows the bacalauret and therefore is adaptable and transferable internationally.

5madthings Thu 25-Oct-12 10:03:44

Its says in the op a weekly boarding place?

Anyway i know nothing about that particular school but if it follows a international method/curriculum she has already be doing then it may suit her better?

And sats dont matter at all, within a few weeks at high school children are reassesed by the high school anyway. My eldest us in yr9 at high school and sats he did in yr 6 are long forgotten. No one will ask when she is 14/15/16 how she did in her yr 6 sats.

Cahoots Thu 25-Oct-12 10:11:50

We came to the UK from SA when my DS's were teens and it hasn't mattered at all.
I would definitly get your DD to go to Hockerill. It has amazing IB results and I am sure they wouldn't offer her a place if they didn't think she was able. It looks like a fantastic school.
How much younger will she be than her classmates? If possible, I think it is better not to be too much younger than her friends. It matters a lot, lot more when they are older teens and there isn't really an advantage to going to University a year early. Freashers week is no fun if you are 17!

Were you in Joburg? wink.

EdithWeston Thu 25-Oct-12 11:40:35

Hockerill is listed by SBSA as a state boarding school (with totally normal State boarding arrangement of free tuition, paid accommodation); and on its own web page it describes itself as an academy. There is no mention of a private section, nor is there anything on its own admissions pages about entry to any private places.

OP: is it indeed a private place, beyond anything on the website, that you have been discussing? My apologies for missing that it was a weekly boarding place you sought. Also that I had no idea there were any schools that were state/private hybrid, and as they do not appear to publish anything about criteria for entry to the private places (indeed, not even how many such places there are) then it is harder to advise.

5madthings Thu 25-Oct-12 14:57:37

there is a high school near me that is a state/private hybrid, its almost impossible to get into , a few scholarships, boarders are private i think and day students are state. if you live in the school playing fields you may get a place! its meant to be very good, but i have no idea how the state/private mixed together works!

op have you been offered a place or is it just a possibility?

goinggetstough Thu 25-Oct-12 16:35:41

As Edith mentioned H is a state boarding school. It is a state school but you have to pay for the boarding. This doesn't make it private as a few posters have suggested.
Hopefully the OP will come back tell some more information about their possible offer.

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