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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?


mumofthemonsters808 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:17:33

My daughter has just begun secondary school and was 11 at the end of August. Physically she is a lot smaller than her class mates and is not as mature as her friends. Academically, there is no difference, the majority of the class got fabulous SATS results, her included.

DS (April born) has just started school nursery and some of the August children look far too young to even be there, but they run rings around my boy in terms of their speech, so I think it all depends upon the individual child. I did read that by age 8 the August borns catch up, but I'm not sure how true this is.

redskyatnight Thu 12-Sep-13 11:18:44

In DS's year there was a clear distinction of the autumn/winter birthdays (and mainly the girls) being ahead in Reception and Y1. This distinction started to blur during Year 2 and I'd say by the end of Y2, the younger children had caught up.

In DD's year I've been unable to spot any differentiation by birth month - in fact 3 girls with August birthdays have been consistently in the top groups.

Studies suggest that younger children will always be behind on a statistical level - as above, my personal experience seems to suggest it start blurring around age 7.

Periwinkle007 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:30:36

I think it is by the end of Yr2 ish.

having said that though there are many children who are younger who aren't behind. It depends very much on the child. I have seen parents on here saying that their child is one of the oldest and isn't any further ahead and they are worried about that because people tend to assume the older ones will be. They are all different but it tends to balance out by the end of Yr2ish whatever their age and development 'schedule' (can't think of a better word but I mean their own personal development timescale)

and of course if you were looking for the most advanced children then you will have noticed them, had you been looking for the ones who weren't as good then you would have noticed them. She may happen to be in a class where there are more children who happen to have 'got' reading quicker or happen to find maths easy, in a different class she might have been top. You just can't tell. If you think she is bright then the chances are she is doing very well and you have nothing to worry about.

HattyJack Thu 12-Sep-13 11:34:37

There is a bit of information about it here

I'm interested in how they catch up though - is it because the teaching 'allows' for it by stagnating a little so they can catch up, or is it because as children get older their ability to learn begins to slow a little, meaning the younger ones can catch up? (I am a parent of a summer birthday DC btw)

Panzee Thu 12-Sep-13 11:38:39

There is a huge stage of brain development at around age 7, so by the end of year 2 would make sense for things evening out.

Periwinkle007 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:47:24

I think it is just the way the brain develops HattyJack. There are all these basic skills that they have to learn and some just pick them up earlier than others, sometimes age related, sometimes maturity, sometimes just the way it is. Then the way they are taught things is different. So the initial skills are reading, writing, basic maths etc. then teaching changes to include geography, history and science so children don't have the same focus on these specific skills. I don't know that it is their ability to learn slows, I think it is just the types of things we are expecting them to learn changes and becomes much broader. But then I really have actually no idea, that is just how I personally think about it. It is also less measurable in a way. Once they have learned basic reading skills, writing and maths then learning the other subjects falls into place (all subjects involve needing to read and write don't they so until those skills are gained it is more obvious if a child is a bit later to develop them).

Farewelltoarms Thu 12-Sep-13 12:11:09

Non statistically significant anecdote coming up...
There's an enormous boy in my son's class. I think he'd be big whatever, a neck-wider-than-head type, but the fact that he has an early September birthday emphasises it.
Every year he'd win the boys' running race.
Until this year, y4, when my May-born slip of a ds beat him.
I think at last the physical advantage he enjoyed has evened out.
The academic one disappeared earlier (not for this particular boy - he's always been bottom of the class), but def by end of ks1. The old practice of having younger kids starting later definitely seemed to exacerbate the disadvantage.

PrincessScrumpy Thu 12-Sep-13 12:28:53

This gives me hope. Dtds were 4 Weeks prem so will start school 2 days after they turn 4 but their corrected age will be 3. It seems wrong and i'm really worried about it even though they don't start for 2 years. Thank you

intitgrand Thu 12-Sep-13 16:06:00

After GCSE

Talkinpeace Thu 12-Sep-13 17:11:11

for DS it was year 2 - he's LATE August

WorrySighWorrySigh Thu 12-Sep-13 17:17:21

The information I remember reading was that the difference fully unwinds at around age 15.

We saw that the difference had lasted well into the end of primary as DD spent a big chunk of time in a different system where she was the youngest in the year. Moved back to the UK where she became the oldest in the year and she went from being a bit below average to right at the top of the class.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Thu 12-Sep-13 17:21:15

That's very cheeky intitgrand grin

DD2 just started Y3 (May birthday) so I agree with others - end of KS1.

mrz Thu 12-Sep-13 18:31:44

Some summer birthdays are ahead from day one others catch up quickly and some never do...speaking as the mum of two summer borns month of birth is a bit of a red herring

Runoutofideas Thu 12-Sep-13 18:44:44

My Aug born dd2 started reception as middle groups for literacy and numeracy. Now in Yr2 she is in the top groups for maths and reading, but still middle for writing. Maybe writing is a skill which requires a bit more maturity? She has struggled more with the social side of things - always having to play the baby or the little one in roleplay games etc and being left out by the group of very able Sept/Oct birthday girls who call her babyish...

exoticfruits Thu 12-Sep-13 18:47:45

A complete red herring- DH born the end of August was always streets ahead from day 1 but DS , middle of August never really caught up academically but was always way ahead physically.

Bunnyjo Thu 12-Sep-13 19:27:02

I'm another one that thinks birth month can be a bit of a red herring. DD is now in Yr 2 and is a late August born; she is academically very able and was streamed into the Yr2/3 class in Yr1.

She is smaller and can appear to lack the physical dexterity of her bigger and older peers, but that doesn't appear to follow birth month either - the largest and most physically able in DD's class is April born!

There are many factors which affect attainment. Birth month is one of them, but they include thing like diet, FSM, first language, SN, parental input amongst many, many others.

EmeraldJeanie Thu 12-Sep-13 19:30:32

Statistically not a red herring.
Personally I' m a late summer born who was socially and academically behind, especially in primary. My summer born Reception boy is chatty and bright at home. Clingy so far at Reception and very quiet- early days. I am not going to compare him to Autumn born children [especially girls]. I have learnt that lesson through fretting with ds1. Complete waste of energy and time.

BaconAndAvocado Thu 12-Sep-13 19:39:23

Thanks all for all that info.

I feel less anxious about the situation now smile

clam Thu 12-Sep-13 19:45:15

By the end of Year 2, as has been said already. My August ds started accelerating past the groups above him partway through Year 1 and was at the top by Year 2.
When I last taught Yr 2, the top groups were full of Autumn-born girls (sensible and mature). When I happened to teach the same class in Year 6, many of those girls had been overtaken by Summer born kids of both sexes.

Feelslikea1sttimer Thu 12-Sep-13 19:53:04

My eldest turned 15 this August and I can honestly say he hasn't caught up yet... He is physically much smaller than most of his friends and quite immature in comparison but i do love that he is in year 11 but still so innocent!

Academically he is not so bad, he's probably middle of the road and will hopefully have his moment when he starts college next year :-/ xx

missinglalaland Thu 12-Sep-13 20:57:49

I've read, more than once, that statistically, as a group, summer born kids are "disadvantaged" right up to Uni! shock
Obviously, every kid is an individual, and your little girl is unique not a general statistic. The smartest kid in my dd2's year 2 class is little boy born in July, just for example.
Still, I'd keep it in mind as a spur to keep you fighting on her side and advocating for her whenever you need to do so.
I don't have summer born kids, but I do think they need a break sometimes!

mrz Thu 12-Sep-13 21:03:18

Statistically the data doesn't look at other factors that may contribute to that "disadvantage" including the fact that historically summer borns had one or two fewer terms in school right at the start of their school careers so their older peers were already ahead before summer birthday children set foot in school.

In my last class a boy with 31st August birthday was one of the most able and the child the others looked to for leadership.

Bunnyjo Thu 12-Sep-13 21:26:55

Statistically the data doesn't look at other factors that may contribute to that "disadvantage" including the fact that historically summer borns had one or two fewer terms in school right at the start of their school careers so their older peers were already ahead before summer birthday children set foot in school.

Exactly this!

Research supports the view that summer born children are at a disadvantage. However, most research does not take into account other factors that are also known to have an effect on education, which act as confounding variables on the data.

And, as mrz points out, until recent years summer born children had 1-2 fewer terms in school compared to autumn born children.

EmeraldJeanie Thu 12-Sep-13 21:31:54

If you are young in a year you would likely do better if you were 'you' but older.
Even if you are doing well you would do better if 6, 8,10 months older.
Being older in a year is an advantage. Well seems so to me.

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