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ds seems to be too advanced, teacher says she doesn't know what to teach him

(23 Posts)
iamalice Sat 29-Sep-07 20:14:25

Basically ds who is a September child and has just started his last year of nursery school has, according to his teacher, met all the goals for nursery and reception. She is going to have him seen by an educational psychologist. All came as a bit of a shock, we knew he was bright, but did;t realized how advanced he had become. We are thinking of asking to move him up to reception in January if the psychologist agrees, after all if ds had been born a week earlier, he would have started in Jan. Has anybody done the same for his reason? Anybody in the same situation?

ladygrinningsoul Sat 29-Sep-07 23:19:22

I have to say (having been there myself) that being both the youngest and brightest in the class is not a good combination and is a great recipe for being picked on all the way through school - especially if you arrive at school at a different time from everyone else. Would any other children be starting reception in January?

snorkle Sun 30-Sep-07 09:49:02

Going up a year can be an easy way to provide a quick fix for a very bright child, but it isn't always a good long term solution so think carefully. As you go up the school the difference in academic levels between years becomes less and less, so the academic benefit to him slowly reduces over time. At school transfer time the chosen senior school may refuse to take him 'out of year' and so he may end up having to repeat the top year of primary (which can cause more problems than starting out in that year). I know several children who have had to do this - and some who have gone private at that point to prevent it. Even where an LEA will allow ocassional youngsters to stay in the higher year, they often insist on a demonstrably very high achievement levels to allow it (eg near perfect SATs scores taken a year early) which means you have the stress on ongoing testing and your child is effectively penalised if they do 'level out' in any way (even if they are coping fine in the year up).

iamalice Sun 30-Sep-07 09:49:25

Yes, there would be about 15 kids starting. I am not sure what we are supposed to do, because he seems very advanced now, but by the time he is 8, he might be more at other children's level. Also I am not English, so the school's system is still all a mystery to me....

iamalice Sun 30-Sep-07 09:50:53

Thank you, this is very interesting.

totaleclipse Sun 30-Sep-07 10:08:23

Really? being picked on for starting reception at a different time, 4 & 5 year old would'nt even notice, surely.

Issy Sun 30-Sep-07 10:23:15

There was a girl in DD1's Reception class who started a year early. She easily met all the academic goals in that Reception year, but in July her parents were persuaded by the school to let her repeat the year. The school's observation was that whilst her academic skills were easily at the level of the rest of the class, her social skills and gross motor skills were lagging behind and this made it very difficult for her to make friends and join in playground games. My sense is that she had rather an unhappy first Reception year but she blossomed in that second Reception year and was then ready to move on. From her parents' persepective, particularly as this is a fee-paying school, it would probably have been better to delay her entry for a year.

I am of course not saying that this would happen to your son, but you need to bear in mind that a child's readiness for school is about much more than academic readiness.

FrannyandZooey Sun 30-Sep-07 10:31:02

I was moved up a year at school and it was fine. The only thing that did stress me about it was having to see the ed psychologist every year to check that I was still meeting the standards and coping emotionally. I was always nervous they would decide to drop me back again, and in theory this could have happened, which would have meant starting again in a completely new year with children I didn't know.

Bink Sun 30-Sep-07 11:19:26

We have had exactly your experience, alice: dd (October birthday) was moved into reception half-way through her pre-reception year and stayed that year ahead through years 1 and 2. Mostly that was fine - the work all suited her, the emotional/social side was pretty much fine (she's a bouncy sort) - but she went on progressing at her own speed which meant that at the end of year 2 she was in the lead of her (accelerated) class. So the acceleration worked as an initial quick fix but really wasn't going to be a long-term solution. (Moving her up yet another year would have been a dreadful idea, eg.)

We have now moved her to another school, where she's back with her own age group (ie, she's repeating year 2, but the schools have different curricula so she's in no way sitting through the same lessons) and they are doing proper, targetted extension work with her. Plus making sure she does not skip boring stuff like writing neatly with a proper grip (which she was getting away with when she was in the accelerated class, because what she wrote ticked all their boxes).

So ... it rather depends on the school, I guess, but if the school is prepared to differentiate work for your ds, then I would say staying in his "own" year & doing that is a much better long-term plan.

TimmytheDog Sun 30-Sep-07 20:20:45

It is a really tricky question but my ds (a Nov 02 baby) is in Year 1 and loving it. He is not spectacularly bright but is very mature for his age generally, really struggled to 'connect' with younger children (and there seemed to be an awful lot of summer birthdays) in his nursery year and was extremely unhappy.

He moved into Reception a year 'early' and was so much happier and did very well; he moved into Year 1 this Sep and again is thriving. I am aware that he may need to repeat a year at some stage - particulalry if he is sporty - but probably not until he is at least 7+ so just taking things as they are for now. The school have committed to keeping him in this year unless he starts to struggle with the curriculum so no 'testing' to see if he can stay there (that sounds horrible)

It depends on the child but if you feel it is what he needs then go for it - in Scotland they have a much more sensible system and it works so well there I am surprised at the slavish adherence to the artificial 'peer group' we have in England.

ninja Sun 30-Sep-07 21:24:48

I think the main thing is what YOU feel is best for him. Is he happy at Nursery? Does he seem older and more mature than his peers? As you say a week older and he'd be in a different situation.

dayofftomorrow Sun 30-Sep-07 23:18:29

why the slavish adherence to the sept 1st cut off, some children would be so much happier with the different year group, dd is like this has to do different work than rest of class when it would be so much easier for all concerned just to move up a class

iamalice Mon 01-Oct-07 09:31:50

thank you, lots of food for thought here.

iamalice Mon 01-Oct-07 19:19:39

Does anybody know how ed psychologists assess a child?

ahundredtimes Mon 01-Oct-07 19:30:18

I would be oh so wary of the whole 'goals' and 'targets' things to be honest.

Children can meet and exceed these targets, but it isn't necessarily in their emotional interests to be moved up a year. I don't like the thought of nursery children being 'taught' anything to be honest.

I resist this whole 'meeting the goals' thing, there's a lot more to a child than the correct boxes being ticked.

Is he happy in his nursery class, interested in the world, enjoying the books on offer, making intricate tunnels in the sandpit?

I was offered the option of moving ds1 up to reception early, but resisted for the reasons above.

PSCMUM Mon 01-Oct-07 19:33:41

Hmm - interesting.
My dd is an october baby, so one of the oldest, but not within days of the next year up. She has just started reception, and is advanced in relation to her class mates. The school have drafted in another TA just for her! She does group work with the rest of the class, but then when they split up and go onto their streamed tables, she sits on her own with the TA. I thought she'd hate it as she is a real social butterfly. SHe loves it. SHe looks forward to it every day, and she has just started some 'hard maths' as she calls it, and is very proud of herself. Moral of my story is, wait, don't rush to put your ds up a year. My dd is being stretched as much as she needs to, but is also still playing princesses in the playground with her other mates who are 4/5 like her. I feel very lucky!

Bluestocking Mon 01-Oct-07 19:36:36

I'm with LGSoul - being the youngest and brightest in the class is an absolute nightmare - cue years of bullying. Sounds like PSCsMum DD's school have come up with a much better solution to keep a clever child interested.

PSCMUM Mon 01-Oct-07 19:38:28

Yes, and I just have to take this oppurtunity to say that it is a state primary in east london!

hoteast Mon 01-Oct-07 19:42:56

Whereabouts in East London? Can you give at least initials? We are in Bethnal Green..

PSCMUM Mon 01-Oct-07 19:45:01

o hi hoteast, its in hackney. it is STA. Its lovely.

hoteast Mon 01-Oct-07 20:13:33

NO, don't know it, but there are definetely some veyr good schools in the east. Take care!

Bink Mon 01-Oct-07 22:13:52

Alice, there are some other threads on here re ed psych process - and it may vary according to practice/age of child/particular reason for the assessment etc. - but for a child like yours (ie, presenting as very bright, with no problems) - it'll probably be an hour's session "doing puzzles" and chatting (on his own, usually) in the ed psych's office, at the end of which you'll have a chat to the ed psych & he/she will tell you an IQ score (different scores in things like verbal & non-verbal - think there may be a third category, can't remember now).

And you will probably think, well, hmm, we knew he was bright; this has confirmed that; I suppose that is helpful; but I'm not sure exactly how, as it hasn't clarified anything! However, you may get a really good ed psych who will talk through your options with you in a way which gives you more food for thought; or, of course, you may get rather interesting IQ scores which vary between the different categories, so giving you something to focus on.

iamalice Mon 01-Oct-07 22:43:30

My gut feeling is to leave him in his prereception year, but I guess the teacher would need to give him some challenging things to do before he gets bored. I don't think he is bored right now, but she thinks he will. I cannot believe they would test his iq! Seems a bit exagerated.

I am a bit concerned that he might have other issues, he plays very well one to one and has lots of friends, but in class given a choice he wants to draw/write or be on the computer, and needs to be reminded to go off and play outside. He does enjoy himself when he does though, so the interaction with other kids is there, but needs to be encouraged. I hope they can work on encouraging normal play and sillyness which he loves normally outside of school. I am very pleased that the school realized that he is a bit different (i use this word for lack of a better one!)

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