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skipping a year - good idea or big mistake?

(63 Posts)
yorkshirebound Tue 14-May-13 21:46:39

My children will move schools this summer when we move house. One of the schools is suggesting that my sept-born daughter goes into year 2 instead of into year 1. She is very bright although so far my impression is that although very able, curious and articulate she's not absolutely steaming ahead, but she spent a day w the year 1 class last week and the teachers said she fitted in well, was comfortably working at the top of their mid ability group despite understandable gaps in what she knows eg some maths techniques, her spelling rather more phonetic than you might expect for a year 1 child etc.

I am not worried about her ability to cope socially as she is very confident and makes friends easily, but I don't want to put her in a position where, because she is young for her year, she isn't really seen as very able and will just pass 11+ rather than excel etc. She does respond well to a challenge, and I guess if she stays in her calendar year she might lack the really sparky peer group which she has responded really well to at her current, selective school.

Any thoughts? Anyone with experience of this themselves/their children?

ReallyTired Tue 14-May-13 21:50:40

Is the school state or private?

Does the school have mixed years? If it is a state school then she will have to rejoin her orginal academic year eventually.

Talkinpeace Tue 14-May-13 22:11:00

bad idea
I missed year 6 (private sector)
would not wish it on my worst enemy

Jinty64 Tue 14-May-13 22:15:27

I wouldn't do it. As you say she will be young sitting her 11 plus. She will also be young for other exams and young when leaving school.

Scruffey Tue 14-May-13 22:19:59

I would keep her in her peer group and let her continue to excel within it. If your dd is very bright and at the top of her year group, all that will happen when she is moved up is that over a bit of time you will again find her top of that year group. It isn't a long term solution IMO. Particularly in the very long term - puberty, learning to drive etc. would think good for her confidence to stay in year group.

A friend of mine was moved up a year right up until a levels. She got all A grades but her university of choice asked her to take a gap year so she was older by the time she went.

numbum Tue 14-May-13 22:20:19

despite understandable gaps in what she knows eg some maths techniques, her spelling rather more phonetic than you might expect for a year 1 child etc.

Those are things she would learn in y1 then surely? Seems a bit odd to me that they'd suggest it after her spending one day with them

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 14-May-13 22:21:04

I missed year 5 it was awful I spent the entire years play times hiding in the changing rooms crying. Fortunately they eventually worked it out and I repeated year 5 due to 'my social difficulties' I am September born.
I can still not ask questions put loud in a learning group due to a deep rooted fear based on that time.
Number 2 on the list of things I will never ever let happen to my DD.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 14-May-13 22:22:45

Oh yes forgot to mention without blowing my own trumpet I was considered exceptionally bright and quite likely fall into top 1% of population.

Talkinpeace Tue 14-May-13 22:26:30

Lonecat
same here academically : I came top 3% when I took my US College SATs - but flunked my A levels.
Socially being in the wrong year group was disastrous

yorkshirebound Tue 14-May-13 22:40:20

everyone it's private, fairly sure state school would not do this/not be allowed to do this?

numbum I think the point I was trying to make (!) was that she didn't know some stuff, so once she knew it she would be in the top ability group again. And they were not worried about the gaps

everyone thanks for the thoughts, it's a resounding no then! Interesting to hear that it didn't work even for the sept-born.

I am still not sure. I am very confident in her ability to 'cope' both socially and intellectually, it's just where will she thrive - she is so curious, so loves school, and so competitive, I am not sure if she is better off being naturally top of things, or amongst a group that will challenge her somewhat.

really appreciate all the input, thanks.

Talkinpeace Tue 14-May-13 22:55:02

your best bet is to stretch her sideways outside school
and let her be in school with her cohort

freetrait Tue 14-May-13 22:57:12

I say no, as think the social/emotional thing will raise its head at some point. HOWEVER.... a lot of schools do have Y1/2 mixed classes, so I can see that at this age there is some flexibility, but then you have the problem of when do you move her.

I would hope a good school could differentiate for her within her year group, so go into Y1 but still be challenged. Is this the best school for her?

My brother was a year ahead (Sept birthday). He did fine academically, but was naughty and often in trouble (immature). He had a year out before sixth form and re-grouped.

AbbyR1973 Tue 14-May-13 22:58:50

To be honest I think it depends on the character of the individual child. Back in the 80's my youngest brother (October birthday) started school a year early. He was never a super genius but well above average and always quite grown up for his age. The sort of character who just takes things in his stride (and still is.) He went through his entire schooling in that year group including going to Uni and never found any difficulties with it. There was another boy in his class who also started a year ahead and was eventually held back a year however because it became clear he did not have the emotional maturity to cope with the older group.

Mutteroo Wed 15-May-13 00:32:50

DD was in a mixed year 3/4 class at a state school. She was a summer born year 3 & OP for her it was a social disaster. Yes she was streaks ahead of her fellow year 3s who were in a separate class but after two terms she was desperately unhappy.

Consider your child's personality. Is she mature for her age? Would she cope being middle/top in a class where she's the youngest or would she be more comfortable being top within her peers? Only you can answer this & don't allow the school to persuade you otherwise. I deeply regret letting the school talking me into the mixed age class scenario.

WomblesOfCairngorm Wed 15-May-13 01:07:52

I deeply regret not letting ds skip a year.

We were abroad for 2 years where ds was in a very very formal nursery. He has now come back into the uk in the correct year group and has had a terrible year.

He has not thrived at all and is bored and fed up of school, doesn't like his peers much, and feels he has 'done it all before'. It has been a total disaster.

OutragedFromLeeds Wed 15-May-13 01:18:51

I think it's too early. Some children are just quicker off the mark developmentally, she may be top of the class now, but it may well be the case that the others catch her up. It would be a real shame to put her up a year and then realise that she's actually quite average once things even out.

I would keep her with her year group for now and re-examine at a later date.

mrz Wed 15-May-13 06:44:12

Extremely bad idea

chickensaladagain Wed 15-May-13 06:54:53

Don't do it

I'm August born so youngest in my year and by high school there was a big social difference between the oldest and youngest

Dd has been working at an academic level 2-3 years above her year group targets since nursery but as they moved up the school the gap between her peers lessened and while she had always been challenged she is now challenged in a group and not coming top in everything all the time has been really good for her

Subjects like English, once they know the technicalities, becomes more about emotional maturity and she has struggled emotionally with not progressing as fast as subjects such as maths

Schools do not need to move children out of year group to challenge appropriately

Bunbaker Wed 15-May-13 07:25:00

I think it is too early as well. I was extremely right at a very young age - knew my alphabet at 3 and could read well at 4. I went to private school when I was nearly 4 (November birthday). I didn't maintain that level, and by the time I left primary school I was just slightly brighter than average, that was all.

ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 15-May-13 07:33:11

I have experienced both.

I did the whole of primary school with the year above my age group, then after Y7 at that school (independent, 4-18), did another Y7 at my new school (also independent, very academically selective) and then did the rest of secondary school with my own age group.

I was happier with my own age cohort. I was still one of the most able in the year, but as the school was so academic, I wouldn't say I was ever bored.

seeker Wed 15-May-13 07:39:31

I know it seems miles ahead, but if she stays a year ahead, the social issues will start to really show when she's an older teen-driving, drinking,pubs, sex all the things where you want her to be with her peer group, rather than older ones.........

I'm also a bit puzzled about the school's comments about coping well apart from the gaps you would expect- Er, isn't that what year 1's for? To fill in those gaps?

Wowserz129 Wed 15-May-13 07:44:38

Very bad idea! I think it's way to early to know and the cons which could happen far outweigh the pros.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Wed 15-May-13 07:52:04

I did it, and it wasn't a disaster - turns out university town pubs never check your ID because they assume a bunch of undergraduates will all be 18 grin. I do think that being comfortably the best at everything without working is actually a problem for a child, so that's one motivation for it. Could you find a more selective school?

But if you had to move her to the state sector for secondary you'd be screwed I think, so on balance it's probably not the right thing to do, and it can cause social problems.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 15-May-13 09:08:21

I have thought about this further as I am facing a similar dilemma with my own DD and will not put her through what I went through.
As LadyIsabella has suggested I am looking for a more academic school which has it's strengths where her strengths lie.
Though my DD is now year 4 and was one of the average ones in reception and year 1 &2 and in year 3 came from nowhere to be what the school now describes as an excetionally bright child. Those who were streets ahead in infants are still bright children, but have not accelerated in the same way. The school actually see the comfort zone she is in as a problem and are stretching her as much as possible, but she needs some competition and they are encouraging me to find that elsewhere.

Slainte Wed 15-May-13 09:17:05

Sorry, haven't had time to read the whole post so apologies if this has already been mentioned but also think about what age she will be when leaving school/going off to University. My mum held my Sept born sister back a year as she would've been just turned 17 when heading to uni.

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