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When do the Summer birthdays "catch up" ?

(80 Posts)
BaconAndAvocado Thu 12-Sep-13 11:02:06

DD has just started Year 1 and I went into help with reading yesterday.

She is an August birthday, and although I always thought she was a bright little button, the vast majority of the class are way ahead of her!

I realise being an August birthday has a huge bearing on her education but I'm sure I read somewhere that there is an age where the younger ones catch up and the gap between the ages closes.

Am I right?


BalloonSlayer Thu 12-Sep-13 21:36:18

When my DS1 was in year 4, his teacher made a comment about him doing well at something "particularly as he is so young in the class" so that teacher felt it still had an impact.

purpleroses Thu 12-Sep-13 23:18:53

My DD had caught up academicly by end of reception but socially not til about Y4. She's now Y6 and is feeling left behind again by growth spurts and puberty of many of the girls in her class so has gone back to playing with the boys again smile

Sparklingbrook Thu 12-Sep-13 23:27:33

DS1 is a 14 year old summer birthday and he's caught up and you wouldn't know. BUT as far as puberty goes he is behind some of his September born friends and he hates it.

And someone pointed out that he won't be going out for a pint with his Autumn born friends when they turn 18. sad

simpson Fri 13-Sep-13 07:56:49

DS is 31st Aug (born 2 weeks early) and has just got into yr4.

He struggled for pretty much the whole of reception academically but right at the end of his r year something clicked and he was off!

He has been in top sets ever since.

The only time his birthday has been mentioned since was towards the end of last year (yr3) his then teacher said he lacked the maturity to progress in his writing.

DS is also tiny and v sporty and beats the kids who tower over him.

Suzieismyname Fri 13-Sep-13 08:21:10

My August born DD1 was in tears half an hour ago.

'I don't want to go to school, Mummy. I don't want to be the youngest in the class. I don't want to be the worst at writing and colouring! '

The research that came out in the spring said the comparison factor was a big reason for summer borns lagging behind. They are younger and it's exacerbated by them realising it.

DiscretionGuaranteed Fri 13-Sep-13 08:27:18

DD has just started at a very selective secondary. Of the 100 girls in her year, 50 were born in 2001 and 50 in 2002 (rather than the 33/66 that you'd expect if they'd all caught up). 11+ tests are adjusted for month of birth, and the adjustment made for August babies is quite significant.

purpleroses Fri 13-Sep-13 08:31:38

Discretion - that would suggest that the ones born later in the academic year have only half as much chance of getting into the selective schools as the autumn born ones, even after they've compensated for the 11+ scores (I think it's just verbal/non-verbal reasoning scores that get age=adjusted, not maths, English, etc isn't it?)

That's quite a stark difference.

DiscretionGuaranteed Fri 13-Sep-13 08:35:11

And I agree that the confidence-sapping effects can be serious Suzie. That's why I made sure my summer babies could read when they started reception - if I couldn't make them taller or faster or better coordinated I could at least make sure they were best at something so they knew they weren't stupid.

DiscretionGuaranteed Fri 13-Sep-13 08:37:15

The school DD is at didn't adjust test scores for age, which is probably why there's such a strong difference - and of course 100 is not a huge sample.

Taffeta Fri 13-Sep-13 09:32:39

These threads do boil my blood, I should hide them.

Of course you get exceptional August borns who are ahead, I was one. My DD isn't. She is not behind though, but is in that insidious category where she is totally forgotten.

I wonder if she'd been a September born whether she would have more confidence? Whether not sitting next to a girl 11 months older than her whose writing is way better than hers would affect how she sees herself?

Of course it makes a difference. Some children are way ahead no matter when their birthday. Most are obviously average, and it is these children who are lost in the system. I have heard from others it takes to Y3/Y4/Y6 but am sure it depends on the child and partly their motivation to succeed, do well. If they spend the first 3 or 4 years of schooling feeling stupid, comparing themselves to cleverer peers a year older, of course it has an impact.

Taffeta Fri 13-Sep-13 09:33:23

Oh and certainly in our area I believe they are scrapping the age adjustment for the 11+ in the next few years. angry

TheYamiOfYawn Fri 13-Sep-13 10:10:30

My autumn-born has just started Y2, and looking at the work on display in the classroom, I noticed that the work done by the tiny summer-born girl who was lagging behind in recption and Y1 was one of the best in the class. With my DD it was as though she had a huge learning spurt last winter and her friend seems to have had the same thing over the summer.

Taffeta Fri 13-Sep-13 10:12:07

Is it reality that children a year younger can and should "catch up"?

Taffeta Fri 13-Sep-13 10:20:38

Eg no one would ever expect a 1 Sep birthday to "catch up" with children a year older. But we expect that of a 31 August birthday.

simpson Fri 13-Sep-13 10:34:29

But what is the alternative though Taffeta?

<mother of a 31st Aug boy >

Taffeta Fri 13-Sep-13 10:37:14

I don't have an alternative. I am just bitching about how unfair it is on my daughter. Because she's not über bright. Well, not in a primary school learn things by rote its all about memory and logic kinda way anyway.


Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 10:42:18

In Reception DS1 (late June Bday) made friends with a boy (early September Bday) this boy took great delight in pointing everything out that he could do and DS1 couldn't.

He did it in the back of the car on the way to school and I did have to point out to him that he had spent one more year at Pre-school and was 9 months older than DS1 so he should be very good at things. angry His mum loved to point it out to me too. hmm

simpson Fri 13-Sep-13 10:43:09

I totally get it, hope I didn't come across as having a go blush

My DS started school at 4yrs 10 days and one of his best friends had already turned 5 (3rd Sept birthday).

His first parents eve in Oct of his r year was so bad (negative, teacher reeled off a long list of things he could not do/was behind in) that she made me cry blush

<disclaimer: I did manage to get out of the building but sobbed all the way home>

SummerRain Fri 13-Sep-13 10:43:55

Ds1 is 7 since July and just started the equivalent of year 3. He's the brightest in his class and way ahead of his classmates.

We've never had a problem with him struggling due to his age. My other two are spring babies and are average in ability compared to their classmates.

Where we live parents choose what age to send them, I was unusual starting ds1 at 4, there's 18 months between him and the eldest in the class, it makes for a much more even spread of ability as kids who aren't ready don't have to start at 4. The kids are all mentally able for school when they start so none lag behind due to immaturity.

Taffeta Fri 13-Sep-13 10:45:28

Grrr Sparkling. There is a mum in DDs class whose daughter is 9 months older than my DD. She has a way of intimating that my DD is "too young" to play with her DD ( even though they are great friends ) but whenever there is any mention of anything academic she appears to forget the age difference.

Funny, that. hmm

Taffeta Fri 13-Sep-13 10:47:55

Simpson, not at all. Just don't have an answer.

These threads in general irritate me as they tend to be populated by people who have very bright summer borns. Not average ones.

No one ever talks average on MN.

simpson Fri 13-Sep-13 10:53:51

I do get what you mean Taffeta.

DS is strong academically admittedly but his maturity (lack of) and shyness is holding him back and I do wonder if having been born 25 mins later (so 1st Sept) would help him.

He does not like talking in front of the class, can get tearful about it, hates been the centre of attention, has had severe problems with bullying (although not for a while now admittedly).

Sparklingbrook Fri 13-Sep-13 11:11:56

My late June DS1 was distinctly average from R-Yr4. Once at Middle School he seemed to blossom and things started to click. And now in Year 10 he is in top sets. I wouldn't have though it at all which sounds a bit disrespectful to him but there you are.

forehead Fri 13-Sep-13 11:20:36

I get annoyed when people suggest that Summer born children are not at a disadvantage. There has been so much evidence to suggest that being a Summer born child ( boys in particular) is a disadvantage at school. Of course there are exceptions to this and I personally know a few Summer born children who are coping extremely well.
HOWEVER, I have a Summer born child who struggled in reception and year 1, both socially and academically. I spent many hours 'tutoring' him to get him up to the standard of his peers and he is doing well academically, but socially he can sometimes struggle with the older kids ,who call him a baby .
I almost wish that I was not induced in late August and had waited to September 1st so that he would have been the oldest in the year.

Panzee Fri 13-Sep-13 11:32:57

My son is an end July and he is struggling socially in Reception. Academically I know he's fine but I don't think he will have the confidence to show what he knows for a good while yet. I know his shyness is not solely due to his age but it's not helping at the moment.

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