My Year 5 daughter is August born and struggling academically(14 Posts)
My Year 5 daughter is August born and struggling academically, she is the youngest in her year. Although a kind, but strong person she knows her limitations and her confidence is constantly taking a hit. She loves her friends and they all get on so well together. I feel that we have two options, the 1st. Change schools and take her down so that she can have a fresh start or 2nd option: Stay at the same school and go down a year so that she can still maintain her friends and a little of the better the devil you know with regards to the school system and teachers.
What is best for her? I keep going round in circles.
Have you talked to the school to find out if putting her down a year would even be an option? Are you in the UK? Schools usually want to keep children in the school year that matches their age, even if they have special needs or severe delay.
Assuming you're in the UK, then repeating a year is only an option in the private sector with the permission of the school- it does happen in the state sector but only in exceptional circumstances, struggling academically alone wouldn't cover it. I looked into it for my year 4 DD, 31st August birthday, but it's just not an option unless you go private.
What you need to focus on is how the school are helping her- DD's HT probably isn't my biggest fan I've been down there so much, but she does now get extra support with reading and maths and she is making progress.
Assuming you are talking about private schools - repeating Year 5 won't be an option in state schools - it will be very hard for her to witness her current friends moving on without her - not academically as such but in terms of the Year 6 trips, Year 6 priviledges and clubs and all the other social things.
The benefits of manageable work might be outstripped by any upset this would inevitably cause and possibly unkind comments from some in the old and new classes too - unless moving year groups is the norm
Overall, in that situation, I would opt to keep her in the same class and the same school (being happy and with friends is hugely important to a child - you can build on that a lot). Are you able to support the academic side of things either with a tutor or by seeking intervention at school and extra help?
Hi - retired TA (male) here :
To what extent is she 'struggling academically'? and how long have you/she been aware of it? also in which subjects particularly? What is she like in the less-academic subjects? Have her teachers not 'flagged up' this problem before? It seems unfortunate to me that it has been left to this fairly late stage to be dealt with.
I would have thought it would be disruptive and upsetting for her to change schools, when in another year she might be moving to secondary, and even to stay down a year (if that were possible) wouldn't do much for her confidence and self-esteem.
Would she be prepared to do extra work at home to help her catch up, either with a tutor (if you could afford that) or even with a close school friends who could sympathetically help her along?
I worked for 12 years with 'less able' children, who often had little or no interest or support from home, and sometimes gentle but thorough teaching of 'the basics' from SEN teachers or TAs, helping the child to UNDERSTAND what was required, rather than just TELLING them what to do would benefit them.
If you can give on here, more specific details of her difficulties, it might be possible for us to offer other solutions.
How far behind is she?
If she's more than a year behind moving her down a year is a very bad idea - because then she'll be the oldest and still be struggling.
Usually the perceived disadvantage of being a summer-born (and I have 2 of them) irons out by the end if Year 2, so if your dd is struggling, then it's not really to do with her birthday.
As others have said, it really is not an option in the state sector to keep children back a year - and LAs usually insist on secondary transfer happening at the right age. As she's nearing the end of Year 5 at the moment, you haven't got much wiggle-room.
I think you need to look at other options - additional help for a start. Talk to the school - what do they say? Remember that there is a huge range of abilities in any primary class - by Year 6 it can vary by 7 years (i.e. some children operating at 14yearold level, and others at that of a 7 year old). Good teachers who know their stuff will cater for both ends of that spectrum.
Agree with clam totally about children generally closing the gap by the end of year 2, I work in year 3 and both top and bottom tables have children with autumn birthdays and summer birthdays. My own son struggled to keep up in some areas with older children assessed to be of similar ability in year 1, but by the end of year 2 he was fine.
You haven't said in what way she is struggling, is she working at a level much lower than expected for a child in year 5? If so what intervention is she receiving from the school?
Both my kids and I are July born so just a month difference. I obviously can't remember my early experience but I entered secondary in the top stream (1 of 5). As for my DCs, they are at two highly ranked secondary selectives at the mo.
I don't want to turn this into a debate about the validity of the summer-born argument but I do think that it is a distraction. Some children are slower learners than others regardless of when they are born. I suspect that the reason why the problem is ignored until Year 5/6 is that many parents tell themselves that it's the summer-born effect and that not much can be done to correct this age-related problem.
If you can afford it I suggest that you hire a teacher. If you are able then you can step in and tutor your DC at home as well or instead of tutor.
As people has said, dropping down a year isn't a realistic option. The school that you are at now hasn't done much from Year R to 5 so I wouldn't be reliant on them doing anything significant now. You can try switching schools but state schools everywhere are limited by a lack of teaching resources.
If you are in UK then moving down a year is very unlikely to be an option. Has she ever been assessed and is she really "behind" or just relative to brighter older classmates ? What does school say and do to differentiate ?
What options have the school given you? Have you asked them about moving her down a year?
OP, I think you had some good advice from MNers, but you don't seem to have responded to queries yet.
Are you still absorbing replies, or do you not wish to add specific details to your original enquiry?
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