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Any parents of summer borns in YR Y1 experiencing unfairness in access to curriculum?

(184 Posts)
BromCavMum Fri 15-Nov-13 20:45:29

I would like to know if there are other parents out there whose summer born children are in YR or Y1 or even Y2 and are struggling a bit or put at a disadvantage by the pace/level of the curriculum? My DD turned 5 at the end of August. She started school last January with a brilliant attitude toward learning and I have seen her attitude become more and more deflated over the last several months.

She picked up on reading quickly but was only assessed as 'emerging' in literacy for YR. Today, she had 2 quizzes in school (yes--2 in one day). A 10 word spelling test and a math test. She had 20 seconds to complete 7 different equations. She got 4 out of 7 and was disappointed in herself. Although these equations were supplied to us a week ahead it seems to me to be a tough test for a 5 year old. The school is big on testing and streaming. But at this age, when development is a huge variable is this wise? When most of these kids in her class were her age they were not doing math at all and were barely reading. I feel my daughter is expected to work twice as hard to be considered half as good.

If there are other parents out there who have experienced this type of what I consider bordering on discrimination I would truly like to hear your experiences and maybe we can pool some advice on how to approach the schools with this problem.

It is very hard to constantly read on the news how summer born children are 20% less likely to go to university, be well adjusted at school, etc. I think we parents need to discuss how to look out for our young children, because the British education system does not seem up to the task (or interested in the problem).

I eagerly await hearing from you.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 08:44:55

It's meant to be a challenge EmeraldJeanie and no one expects a reception child to get 7/7 at the start the aim is that they can by the time they move to Y1 ... learning 7 number facts over a whole year isn't a huge task.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 08:50:50

Reception Learn It's are

simpson Sat 16-Nov-13 09:03:21

Just asked DD what she does in her timed maths and she says 30 seconds but can't remember how many questions, just that she got them all right yesterday and one wrong last week.

She said she was asked 16+4 and 17+3

And also a couple of subtractions too.

AquaCouldron Sat 16-Nov-13 09:11:36

I always wondered whether labelling children as 'gifted and talented' is discriminatory - it's surely easier for a competent September- born to be in the the top 10% of the year group for, say, numeracy or literacy than a competent August-born

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 09:21:00

I haven't got my Big Maths folder handy simpson but from memory (in 30 seconds if the school is using BM)

taught over the whole of Y1 with aim to know by Y2

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 09:25:03

IMHE it rarely works out that way AquaCouldron August borns are just as likely to be high achievers and September borns strugglers. Lower expectations of summer born boys can be a self fulfilling prophesy

NorthernShores Sat 16-Nov-13 09:44:01

Half my daughters class are still practicing writing numbers down. My daughter is one of the brighter ones (in a mainly low ability group, she may well not be elsewhere!) and wouldn't know all those learn its quickly if written out like that. She'd be able to work them out if you asked her, or have a number line. But not in that format. I would expect she could by the end of the year but it would be pointless doing that in my daughters class at the moment.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 09:57:24

Is your daughter in reception or Y1 NortherShores?

AquaCouldron Sat 16-Nov-13 11:04:45

mrz - I agree that a child born at any time of year can be naturally high-achieving (or not), but all things being equal (parental support, good teaching, natural ability etc) then a child who has an extra 10 months of practice and maturity is going to be at an advantage, however slight.

So the effects might not be pronounced, but statistically the 'discriminatory effect' is still there.

NewNameforNewTerm Sat 16-Nov-13 11:09:56

So if some posters feel the curriculum offered in primary school classrooms discriminates against summer borns what do they want the curriculum to be?

AquaCouldron Sat 16-Nov-13 11:20:12

I don't have an issue with the curriculum itself (I have a high-achieving summer born, for the record) - I guess it's all about the quality of teaching and effective streaming to make sure that all children can keep up with what they are being taught.

I have always thought the G&T thing was a bit weird and unfair though - if you go through school feeling like you're 'ungifted and untalented' because you're never included in those groups (and are statistically less likely to be if you're younger in the year) then it does seem a bit discriminatory.

Layl77 Sat 16-Nov-13 13:12:04

How the heck do you all know what exactly your reception children and even they friends are doing? I have no idea and I have a really chatty ds who likes to talk all the way home about what they're doing.
We haven't had parents eve yet, they're not reading to teacher yet either confused

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 13:16:19

Last year the eldest child in my class struggled all year and continues to struggle this year despite excellent parental support and targeted interventions in school and from other professionals ...he is just very immature despite his age whereas the youngest boy, August 31st birthday, was more than ready for new challenges and absolutely flew with very little home support.
Children are all different and to expect more or less because of month of birth would be discriminatory

According to research streaming in primary is ineffective Aqua

EmeraldJeanie Sat 16-Nov-13 13:33:43

However, that August born would be doing even better if Autumn born mrz.
The system is as it is but of course age relevant even if difficult issue to deal with or it seems acknowledge.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 13:43:32

and how would we know that for sure EmeraldJeanie?

EmeraldJeanie Sat 16-Nov-13 13:53:28

Just seems logical to me!
8 to 11 months more mature/ better motor skills etc, etc.
So able August born would likely to be more able at school if few months older.
Difficult to prove of course.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 14:00:39

It seems logical that these children will be more mature /have better motor skills but experience says that development isn't linear and children have spurts and stops so impossible to predict

lljkk Sat 16-Nov-13 14:00:53

DS (y1) has beautiful writing (he wants to be a scribe when he grows up).
If he had to write the numbers so quickly he'd get very stressed out (real tears) because he loves to write perfectly and can't do that so quickly.
Am so glad DC school does not do this cockamamie fast quiz of number facts.

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 14:04:52

It takes him longer than 2 seconds to write a single digit?

NewNameforNewTerm Sat 16-Nov-13 14:06:07

Maybe, EmeraldJeanie, the child would be further ahead if they were an autumn born, but it is a rather simplistic view of academic achievement and progress to assume this is the case. Children don't follow smooth, consistent academic development patterns. Education is a marathon not a sprint and schools do differentiate. Parents (and some teachers) worry about "the year 1 curriculum" or "the year 3 curriculum", when in reality teachers usually teach what the individuals and groups need next rather than what is in a specific year. A newly qualified teacher was fretting about the new 2014 curriculum. I have already looked at the English, Maths and Science and in reality very little will change in my planning and teaching. Just because it is in the Year 2 section it doesn't mean I will be teaching it unless a child is ready, and once we've mastered lots of Year 2 objectives I will be dipping into the Year 3 things regardless of how early in year 2 it is.
Where I do feel a little frustrated is when schools are criticised for not having all children reaching the same milestones / levels at the same time by certain powers-that-be.

EmeraldJeanie Sat 16-Nov-13 14:13:38

I think with numbers like 8 my ds takes some time mrz! He talks through the process as he writes the numbers.

EmeraldJeanie Sat 16-Nov-13 14:14:28

He is Reception....

mrz Sat 16-Nov-13 14:18:25

Then he would be learning just 2 of the "Learn It's" and his target would be 2 correct in 20 seconds (double 1 and double 2) so 10 seconds per answer

lljkk Sat 16-Nov-13 14:25:47

yes, mrz, he loves to get it just so.
1 would be fine, but he'd have to pause to think which way the 2 or the 9 point and then the time to get it just right can be a few more seconds.

Not an academic child so please don't take away the one thing he's very good at.

Oral test fine for the math, but a written test also taxes motor skills.

simpson Sat 16-Nov-13 14:51:41

DS also does this every Friday (just quizzed him!) but not all the kids do the same one.

He is in yr4 with some of the kids doing the yr3 one and some of the kids doing yr5.

They don't have to write out the questions though just the answers, in the time allotted but I am sure DS now does multiplying/dividing in his.

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