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Skipping a year. WWYD?

(61 Posts)
jenniferalisonphillipasue Sat 15-Feb-14 23:47:54

My dd is in year one at a very small school where the classes are mixed. She is a winter birthday and one of the oldest in her year. They work in ability groups and she has been doing her work with the Year Twos who are mainly summer birthdays. Last week they did some SATS papers for practice and dd scored 2a's.
Her teacher spoke to me and asked how I would feel about her skipping year 2 and going straight into year 3 which is in a different classroom. I don't really know what to do. She has friends in both year groups but I don't want her to feel socially alienated. I also don't want to push her too hard but don't want her to be bored either.

Does anyone have any experience of making this kind of decision?


BanjoPlayingTiger Sat 15-Feb-14 23:54:45

I have experience of this both as the child and as the parent. I was moved up a year at school but the local authority wouldn't let me go to high school early so I had to just repeat the final year at primary school which was incredibly boring.

On the other hand, my son has started secondary school early and seems to be doing very well. He has made friends and the work seems a reasonable level for him.

I think it would be important to ensure your dd would be able to make the move to secondary school early, and if she already has friends in the year above then the social aspects shouldn't be too much of an issue presumably?

jenniferalisonphillipasue Sun 16-Feb-14 00:04:54

Thanks for the reply. I am not sure about the secondary thing. It is something I will have to check. She does have friends in Year 2 and it is such a small school that they all play together at break times, regardless of age groups.

CouthyMow Sun 16-Feb-14 00:14:42

No. Wouldn't do it. Was offered with DS1, but he would have had to do Y6 twice. Not much use for a DC who was already ahead in YR... Was offered because the Y1 class was going to run at 35 and the Y2 class only had 25 in. School just didn't want to hire an extra teacher for Y1. We ALL refused. The school HAD to hire an extra teacher for Y1.

CouthyMow Sun 16-Feb-14 00:17:14

VERY few English schools will allow you to go up to Secondary early. At least, not State schools. I would check that thoroughly first, AND bear in mind that even if you have are assurance in WRITING now that the Secondary will allow your DC to move up with those that they have been with since they were 6yo, that that position could change at any point in the intervening years.

There would be a very high chance of having t repeat Y6.

PatriciaHolm Sun 16-Feb-14 00:17:27

She almost certainly won't be able to go to secondary early, LEAs are generally very keen on keeping them in year, so for that reason alone I would resist. A good school should be able to differentiator without officially putting her up a year.

Davidhasselhoffstoecheese Sun 16-Feb-14 00:22:50

I don't think I would. Emotionally she won't be as mature as the others and will hit pubity later - which could be tricky.

If she moves up two sub levels in a year she will be a 3b in year 2 sats next year which is very good but not genius. Loads of my DS's class were level 3 in year 2 sats and are now level 5a or 6c in year 6. It's a strong position to be in when moving to secondary.

If she moves permanently to the year above she will just be a smidge above average according to y2 sats this year. 2a is ok but only a tiny bit above the norm for year 2.

I think it's much better for confidence to be the bright child in the class - which she will be right now in her present class. I'd be happy for my child to do some work with older children but stay with get year group through school.

17leftfeet Sun 16-Feb-14 00:36:44

Don't do it

She's obviously bright but as pp says not exceptionally so and the school should be able to differentiate within the class

It causes issues at transition to high school as the majority of local authorities won't allow early entry so she would be waving goodbye to her friends and having to repeat yr6 -how depressing for her

Also socially it can cause problems -they may all play together now but it only takes one family to sow the seed of 'they think they are better than us' to make things difficult, especially in a small school where they will have a small pool of friends

SoonToBeSix Sun 16-Feb-14 01:00:57

No because if she did start high school early she would miss out on
a year of her childhood.

TallyGrenshall Sun 16-Feb-14 01:19:10

I was moved up a year and as other posters have said, I had to repeat Y6.

I was bored and all my friends had left so I was quite lonely as well as the other children had been together all the way up so had their own strong friendships.

I wouldn't move her

jenniferalisonphillipasue Sun 16-Feb-14 08:53:09

If she has to repeat yr 6 then I will definitely not do it. I do have complete confidence in the teaching staff but my dd will be the only one in the class working at a higher level (v small year groups with yr,1,2 together) so my worry is she will be isolated. However we can support her at home and if it were really necessary I would consider moving schools.

Eastpoint Sun 16-Feb-14 08:57:15

I was moved up a year at one school and then moved back to my real year when I was 8. It was really difficult being less co-ordinated than the other children, my writing wasn't as neat, I was worse at catching in PE lessons etc. I was academically capable, but not physically (I am much younger in the school year than your daughter). I really would recommend she stayed with her own year group.

pukkapine Sun 16-Feb-14 09:10:39

I don't think it is a good idea either. They should focus on broadening your daughter rather than accelerating her.

DS started going out of his year group at the start of Y3 for maths only, as they simply couldn't differentiate to that degree within that subject. They were struggling to constantly stimulate him and I was getting worried that he was becoming the stereotypical bored disruptive bright kid and he was starting to dislike a subject he clearly has a natural aptitude for. Since being out of the class for maths this problem is solved but I am worried about what will happen for him towards the end of Y4/Y5 when he doesn't have a maths peer group. It's also caused problems of chips on shoulders from other parents, which is wrong, but not much fun for a 7 year old to deal with.

Staying in his own class has been absolutely the right decision for all other areas. He's the youngest boy in the class and it's apparent on the social and emotional maturity side. He has a good bunch of friends and they are able to differentiate within literacy and topic work in a way they can't with maths. Similarly when they did sewing recently, he clearly struggled (his fine motor skills are poor) and he needs to be with his peers for things like this, or even science experiments where his processing and understanding is ahead but his fine motor skills are behind. I view those exercises as being more important for him for the additional skills he's practicing/learning, without feeling he is totally 'rubbish' at them.

Pooka Sun 16-Feb-14 09:27:02

The school discussed this with us re : ds1. Thankfully, we all agreed that he should absolutely stay with his cohort.

He was hitting 2a for literacy in reception. Maths not quite as strong.

While we were confident that academically he would cope, we all took the view that socially it would do him no favours - he was academically able, but socially at or slightly below his cohort, and would have struggled in the year above.

Started year 3 with 4s in reading and writing and 3 in maths. Very happy and confident - has matured socially and physically too so is comfortable within his cohort. The teachers have provided good differentiation within his class as well as providing guided reading with cohorts 2-3 years above his since year 1.

AbbyR1973 Sun 16-Feb-14 09:51:50

DS1 also works with year 2 and scored similar on Sats papers practise. He is currently in a mixed year 1/2 class and does all his work with year 2. I am beginning to see him aligning his friendships more closely with year 2 although he does have year 1 friends. I am extremely worried as to what will happen next year when year 2's move up. I am envisioning another year of him working on his own as he was in reception, because there is no other child in his cohort who is even close to his level. School have yet to suggest that he could go ahead a year. If they did and if he could continue in the cohort through to secondary school I would go for it.

jenniferalisonphillipasue Sun 16-Feb-14 10:04:53

Thanks for the replies. Dd is very mature for her age. She is also very physically able with good fine motor skills. In her current school I don't feel she would be disadvantaged by moving up but I think it's the long term we have to look at. I think I will have to do some research.

lljkk Sun 16-Feb-14 10:12:35

Good luck. There's a lad in DD's y7 class (state high school) who is a year above; he's in top sets too. He does fine socially says DD, although the others sometimes treat him a bit like a pet.

teacherwith2kids Sun 16-Feb-14 15:07:04

I skipped Y7 as a child - academically it was the right move, socially I didn't make lasting friends until I took a year off and joined university in the correct age group.

DS's initial school offered a move to the y3 / 4 class when he was in mid He would have been well up to the work academically - L3 for Maths and reading in mid Y1, though lower for writing due to fine motor issues. However, he would have struggled even more socially than he did already and tbh to me it just seemed a cop-out for the school, who wanted him to move classes rather than trying to differentiate for him in his proper year group.

We ended up HEing him for a while before a planned house move landed us in a much larger town and a much bigger 2-form entry school. He then had a much wider selection of peers / near peers (for a variety of reasons, the cohort in his first school was rather low achieving, whereas the much large cohort in the new school had a selection of other children closer to him in ability) and thrived both socially and academically from that point on.

Tbh, unless the school can differentiate effectively for your DD in her proper year group, and can go on doing so throughout the school, I would move her. Otherwise, yes, acceleration will meet the immediate problem, but what about when she is in Y5 / Y6 - or even worse, repeating Y6? Does the school have the capability to continue to extend her leanring throughout?

Littlefish Sun 16-Feb-14 18:57:09

I don't think this is a good idea. Whether or not she is capable academically, I would have concerns about her emotional and social ability to cope in the future, when others may hit puberty before her, or mature more quickly.

If the current school can't cater for her needs (which in my opinion is really poor), then have a look at other, bigger schools which may have other children her age working at a higher level.

Her current school should be able to cater for her needs, simply by differentiating what they teach her, and the work that she does. It should not mean that she is taught separately to her chronological cohort, or that missing out a year is the only option.

Viviennemary Sun 16-Feb-14 19:05:18

If she can always stay a year ahead then it's worth thinking about. But if not then it's a complete waste of time. Personally, I would just keep her in her age group class.

usernameunknown Sun 16-Feb-14 19:23:13

While a 2a in year 1 is good, any decent school should be able to differentiate at that level. It isn't massively ahead of expected levels (at the moment). I would wait to see if she hits a level 3 in the next few months before deciding. She may have 'peaked' early and will be caught up by others soon.. A level 3, especially in writing, isnt easy to achieve in year 1 due to maturity.

DoneWithStruggling Sun 16-Feb-14 20:35:04

I was moved up a year and moved to secondary without repeating year 6. But the work was still un-stretching (a year really doesn't make much difference, given the spread of abilities in any class) and I also felt a bit behind socially. Sixth form was particularly painful as it was hard to go drinking/18th parties etc. I ended up working a crap job for a v-e-r-y long year (too young to go travelling) before going to uni so I would be old enough to drink.

Stay with your age group. If one academic year is going to make enough difference, then it's not worth the bother of moving, because teachers are supposed to cater for 2 years above and 2 years below as part of normal "differentiation".

Paintyfingers Sun 16-Feb-14 20:36:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoneWithStruggling Sun 16-Feb-14 20:40:17

I am not actually as alcohol-obsessed as my recent post may suggest... It was just massively inconvenient at the time and just heightened the difference I already felt socially. Also felt really late to start driving, with (perhaps) the result that 20 years later I still haven't learnt. Easier just to never start...

JennyOnAPlate Sun 16-Feb-14 20:56:04

I wouldn't.

A good school should be able to teach each child to their individual ability without separating them from their age group.

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