Going up a year and subsequent 11+(70 Posts)
My DD is in Reception. She has been independently assessed outside of school as having a reading age of 7-8 y.o. Tonight I attended a parent meeting her school set up to help parents with phonics and realised just just how incredibly boring it's going to be for her in class. The reading books we received so far she read in about 30 seconds. In maths she has not been assessed but we just signed up for IXL math and year 1 level is too easy for her (don't know though if IXL is an adequate reflection of the school programme). So, I'm wondering if a) I can put her one year up, to Year 1 at this stage, b) provided that's possible if it's going to be good for her in the pastoral sense and c) how would it work with grammar schools entry later on, would they allow her to sit an entry one year before her intake, or would we have to repeat a year somewhere anyway? Has anybody been in this situation / had similar worries? Any opinions?
Why assume she'll be bored?
My girls were reading quite well above that and dd1 was certainly doing long multiplication part way through year R but they weren't bored. An intelligent child can find things to interest them and there are plenty of other things that they need to learn in year R.
If they read the school book in 30seconds, that's simple-they can read that then one they find more interesting.
What's more you may well find that other children catch up and even overtake her even by the end of reception. There were a couple of summer born girls who entered reception completely non-readers and were close on dd1's heels by the end of reception.
And you don't know the class-there may be children ahead of her now.
Schools are also reluctant to put a child up on the say so of the parent, for obvious reasons. Plus, assuming it's state school, unless there is space in the year above they can't put her up because of infant class size.
If it's a state school then realistically you have zero chance; the prevailing approach is to differentiate within class, and there is no reason to believe that school can't do this.
For 11+, normally the birth date range Is set and individual exceptions need to be negotiated; but again the prevailing approach is to stay within year.
I'd give it more than a few weeks of reception!
Ds started reception on level 10 white (or was it MAGNOLIA), by the Christmas he was free reading and onto Harry Potter (he is one of the oldest in the class). He goes ahead of the curriculum and is pushed but stays with the year group. I would say that it is a little early to say that your dd needs more challenge. They have probably barely had time to read anything. I would put a note in the reading record saying that this book was too easy, dd reads e.g Roald Dahl BFG at home. Remember phonics isn't just reading but also spelling.
In terms of grammar schools you can look at the admissions criteria. I think some might on a case by case basis, but remember that however much the test might be age standardised it won't compensate for a year of schooling. Also what happens at the other end when her friends all learn to drive, go out to the pub, go off to Uni, she will grow up more quickly. Do you want that? You need to make sure that the school differentiate the work appropriately but I would say that it is too early to make that decision.
A number of children will be ahead of their peers as your DD is but why was there a need to get her assessed outside school? The school will quickly realise what she can do and you can go to the library and supplement her reading books. My friend's DD was 5 reading years ahead at age 5. She stayed in her year group. There is also maturity and social skills to consider.
Where I live, there is one go at the 11 plus- in year 6. I know a tiny handful have taken it earlier but they do not get another go. Alternatively they repeat year 6 so are in the correct chronological age for secondary school.
These days schools must extend the curriculum to allow the brightest of children to develop their skills and you should discuss with her teacher how this is to be done. There should be extended tasks for the brightest children. School at this age is not just about academics. It is about far more than that and I suggest you have a look at the early years curriculum to familiarise yourself with everything she needs to achieve. It is quite a list!
I have a DD in a similar position, except for the assessment bit. I get where you're coming from, it's a bit alarming when you read the list of things they're learning this week and you're counting how many years ago they could do them all. And yes that does include the social and physical ones.
How's your DD's writing? Our school are teaching them a pre-cursive letter formation (lead ins and lead outs but not joined yet) which is at least one new thing to learn.
We're also letting her have lots of after school activities so she can have lots of learning there. DD has such a thirst for learning I can't see school killing that off whatever they do with her. DS is more of a worry as he gets surly and doesn't engage with things he can't see any point in. But he's also older, so there's more organised stuff than in reception. Reception is fun, and is the gentle introduction to the whole school life thing. Not the year to skip I don't think, even if skipping were possible.
Please don't underestimate also the importance of physical and social aspects associated with going up a year. If your child is sporty then they may well be at the bottom of the list for team selections as the other children are stronger and a year older. Your child may also be seen as "the baby" in the class and other children might not be inclined to play with them. My daughter is a late August baby and is small for her age. We had issues with other children picking her up and carrying her around because she was "cute". This started to impact on her behaviour and she started to dumb down. It was quickly dealt with by the school but it is a real consideration and one you might not have thought about.
In the USA where it always used to be OK to skip a grade, they are now keeping children with their year group but offering an accelerated and enrichment program for the most able for this very reason.
I would be looking to work with the school on this one and keep them in their year group.
Learning to read only a small a of reception - is she really that far ahead in physical literacy, maturity, maths, science, music etc that you would pull her out of her peer group and put her with a class of DC a year more mature than her? There are probably DC that are miles ahead of her in sports, music and other aspects of development.
She should not be bored because the teachers can differentiate with her for reading and group her appropriately for other things.
In our class we have lots of good but not exceptional readers but most of the DC also do extra curricular stuff out of school and we don't do homework. We have some exceptional 5 yr old gymnasts, some who play violin, talented footballers, rugby playersetc (all girls).
I think you need to allow her to develop as a whole child and enjoy her reception year without extra maths too. Look at fun things for her to learn about the world, friends, team work, sharing, resilience, problem solving etc. If You have grand ambitions for her, she'll need all those life skills too. Look at Rainbows, Beavers, sports classes, woodcraft folk, forest school etc if you think she needs enrichment activities. But please remember she is only 4/5 and school is a long game. By yr2 loads of the class will have caught her up
My dad had a reading age 2+ years above chronological age in reception.
He was offered extension work by teachers but kept in his age class. It seems like a big gulf at that age when many DC can't read. To be honest a lot of the others did catch up over time though and I do think it's important socially to stay with their peers.
He was always top/ near top of his class through secondary and is now studying medicine so he's bright and clever but not a genius
Sorry that this will sound as if I'm just deflating your balloon, but reading tests always put DC ahead of their chronological age. Even dyslexic ones!
There is no reason to think that with a competent teacher and adequate differentiation, she would not thrive in her normal year group.
Not sure where you live but round here the grammar school tests, if that's what you want, are incredibly competitive, 100s sit for each eventual place. Why on earth would you want to give her the disadvantage of being a year younger and a year less of preparation? Bad idea. I take it she's your oldest? many children appear to be geniuses to their parents at the start of primary school but it doesn't usually last as other children catch up.
I only know of one child (in 14 years of being in the school system with my DC) who has been put up a year and whilst the work and exams at 15/17 were no issue and she is now a lovely young woman it was a nightmare when she wanted to go off to uni because she was too young for a lot of the grants etc. I know it's a long way in the future and things might change but it's another thing to think about. She was VERY frustrated at having to wait around! Anyway, I think the first years of school are more about learning how to be at school rather than formal education, social skills and peers are just as important.
She is well within the range of normal, and as pps have said, intelligent children are not bored in school. You will find she performs to a lower ability in a different setting anyway, children always perform better with parents than they do in the classroom. She would not be allowed to take the 11+ early. There is no reason to move her up a year, no advantages to doing so, and unless it is a private school, it would not be allowed anyway. Even if it is a private school she would still have to repeat a year moving into secondary.
I think it's too early to say. Let her enjoy reception. As a child I was reading newspapers by the age of 3/4. Later my peers caught up. My boys were sliw in reception then caught up.kids develop at different rates.
It's far too early to think about 11+! Mine have just taken this and alboth do advanced work at school. Given the volume of applicants I'd never feel confident enough to assume we'd pass - certainly not a year early!
My DS was fairly bright at maths as were 4 others the school streamed the children in I think year 5 and gave the top table of the top set additional more challenging class work and homework off the curriculum. The boys thoroughly enjoyed it and enjoyed the healthy competition between themselves. Quite a few in the class struggled but fortunately the brighter ones could still get on and weren't bored.
Maybe encourage some more fun extra curricular non or less competitive activities outside of school such as rainbows/guides, dancing, art, roller skating, trampolining, a walk to the park or woods or having friends round after school so your DD has more of a balance and isn't hot housed or burned out with school and learning by age 16. Also no one likes a smart A* mum or child so try and keep your opinions to yourself in the playground or within ear shot of other mothers etc. Give it a couple of weeks and if DD is still not being challenged enough maybe have a quiet word with the teacher.
Why has she been independently assessed outside school? That sounds very unhealthy.
As others have said there will be a wide range of abilities within the reception class.
Reading tests always seem to put children in advance eof their chronological age.
early years should be play based really so in reception how are her social and practical skills?
in my kids school they split up by ability for eg reading, maths, across the school so you just study at the level you are at, then back to class for social skills. it gets boring in the last year, but sats year is horrible anyway
Reception is great year to develop socially, emotionally and physically. I don't think she would get bored.
I think the gaps become bigger as years go by, so if she has to repeat yr6 or something, it might be even worse.
I don't think it's difficult to defferenciate in literacy so much. Maths maybe a problem, but it's really up to each school.
My ds use IXL, only because it follows NC so he wouldn't have any knowledge gaps. It's very basic and doesn't teach. So it maybe better to use teaching site like Khan Academy along side.
BTDT - both my youngest sister (15 years younger than me) and I were ahead of our chronological year groups. She was 2 years ahead and I was a year ahead but also an August birthday. It was fine for most of primary age but a disaster later on. We both did well academically, super selective secondaries etc (sister got 11 A* at GCSE with little effort having just turned 14) but struggled emotionally.
Lets just say that both of us ended up having complete breakdowns and having to take time out from university because we were frankly too immature to cope.
Our other siblings went through in their correct years and whilst they might not have been considered as 'brainy' as we were, they both did very well and had a much more settled existence and far easier friendships.
Looking at my DD's class, there were children who started reception free-reading Harry Potter and producing two pages of writing rather than one sentence and children who were able to write their names and read basic picture books. The teachers just set different work for each child. I know the mother of the first child and she's always been very happy with how the school teach her son.
Ds1 was/is exceptional at reading - in reception assessed by the school as having a reading age of 12. Was free reading and a struggle to find content-suitable books for a fair while.
He is in his age cohort, still doing very well and has never been bored because the school have always worked to provide adequate differentiation.
I cannot think maybe with one exception (bossy September born girl) of a child where advancement has worked well.
Also reading is not considered to require higher order thinking in the same way as perhaps maths does.
TBH, my ds was tested to have reading age of 12/13/14/15/16?(I can't remember!) beginning of reception. It was just a decoding age, I think. His comprehension was nowhere near that.
Also learning phonics properly will help your dc to have secure basic knowledge and will help in later years, so even she knows how to read already, it won't be pointless.
If your dd truly has reading age of 7/8 years old, grade 1 & 2 of this website should be very easy.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.