jo_marnes

Advice Please!

    Recommended Posts

    Hi everyone,

     

    My son started Brighton Primary last week and has been put in reception because they start that year later here, even though he has already done 18 mths at school in the UK. He is 5.

     

    His teacher called me in today to discuss moving him up to a Yr 1/2 class as he is far more advanced than his classmates and she is concerned he is frustrated and bored. She said she was having him assessed and his results were 'off the scale'. I suggested him being put in a Yr1 rather than a Yr1/2 but they are full and so he can't do that. I don't know what to do.

     

    While I don't want him to be bored and frustrated in his current class, I don't want him to be behind in another class, which may have 8yr olds in - he's only 5 and I don't want him to grow up too quick. I want him to continue to enjoy school, not go from being good to being the worst in his class etc. And I wonder how it will affect him when he goes to secondary school etc. He's a very outgoing boy and I don't think he'd have trouble settling in - I'm just not sure what's best. I have very limited understanding of the education system here and am not sure how often they swap kids about like this. Does anyone have any advice and/or experience?

     

    Thanks,

     

    Jo xx

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Personally i don't think a 5 yo should be in the same class as 8 yr olds unless the school is very small, eg a country school. Even though your son is ahead academically he is still 5. 8 yr olds are far more coordinated, think at different levels and are bigger, stronger , faster. Yr 2 age range is nearly 7 to 8 1/4 at the oldest.

     

    Your son needs a cohort of people of similar age and experience to make friends with. Your teacher should be able to provide extension of what he needs as well as teach the other 5 yr olds.

     

    Down the track it means that when his class goes off to High school, they will be 13 some nearly 14 in yr 8 and your son will be 11 to 12ish. He may be fine. Some kids do well whatever, but before they changed the system here from the youngest kids going up to yr 1 6 months after starting school, some of the boys struggled.

     

    The other thing to think about is, is your son quick to learn etc or is he advanced because he has had 18 months at school. The other kids will and do eventually learn to read n write and some advance quickly in reception.

     

    A yr 1/2 class will have a mix of grade 1s and 2s though. Is your son closer to 6? He may be fine in this class. Schools do put up a kid sometimes by skipping a whole level, but a lot of schools prefer now to keep them with their peers and extend them sideways rather than ahead. Junior primary espesh is such a mix with some kids chowing down mini novels at 6 and writing screeds, whilst others struggle through readers.

     

    Anyways to me school is not just about academic achievement and there are a lot of other areas which count for a lot. Hmmm difficult decision for you.

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Guest Bodie

    Hi Jo. We had a similar issue with our daughter. She was placed in a year 1 class due to her previous time spent in a London school. We were initially happy with this decision. However, it did not take long for the negative effects to surface. There was a real mixture of ages in the class even though it was a straight year 1. Some of the children were 18 months older than her. The problems came not so much from the work but in the relationships with others. The games she wanted to play were games the others had grown out of. This meant that she was often treated like a baby or left out. She also had difficulties keeping up with the others and was, in her mind, always the last one. Her behaviour at home was terrible. When she came home one day crying and saying she was stupid, we removed her from the school immediately. This was a hard decision as she'd had such an unsettled time with moving schools and countries etc. However, both myself and my husband are teachers and we felt the school was not the right environment for our daughter. They failed to look after her and we're more interested in our well being as we were paying the fees. We enrolled her at a local primary school where my sister was doing her teaching prac and we haven't looked back in the year she's been there. The school put her in a mixed class and said a decision could be made later as to her grade. They wanted to put her in the grade above at the start of this year. We were undecided but our daughter begged us to put her in the class with her same age group. She is now back to being happy and proud of her achievements. Of course our experiences will be different from yours as is every school and its population. However, I feel sick when I think about what we put her through last year and wanted to share my opinion. Good luck!

    Tracey

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    He'll be 6 in August. I can't get my head around how they work out the ages here. How can someone in the same year be 18 mths older?

     

    I think he'd probably be ok in a Yr1/2. But it's just guessing. I think he is ahead because he is a quick learner AND because he's been at school already. In the UK he was reading at Yr2 level (he was in Yr1) and in the top 3 in his class, despite being the youngest in the year.

     

    Going to have a meeting with them next week sometime as I just don't know enough to make a decision.

     

    Jo xxx

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Guest Trakki

    When we arrived Sophie had spent a year in reception in the UK. She was working with year 1's in UK so we were concerned that she would get bored but we soon found that although she could already do the work the teacher was fantastic making sure she was kept busy. We did wonder if she should go into year 1 but the school were quite adament that she should be with children her age. She is now in year one and very settled, not really ahead big style now and very happy. We have been asked if we feel that she was helpd back and maybe she was but I didn't want her going into a year with older children and end up struggling. I feel we made the right decision.

     

    You really have to go with your gut instinct and you could always trial him in the upper year as he can always be moved back down if he is struggling.

     

     

    HTH

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    In my opinion, primary school is all about learning how to play with others, get on with a range of different people, learn how to socialise, learn about routine and build general confidence. I strongly believe this is true throughout the primary years, not just in the first few. Time enough when they get to High School for the academic stuff to take priority. Your son I guess would have been really young when he started school in the UK as they can start the term after their fourth birthday (my son was the same - born in May but wasn't due till end of July, so effectively only just 4 in the September).

     

    Putting him into Year 1 might be an option, just to keep him from being bored and consequently disruptive (been there!). Since we've been here, my son has been in mixed year group classes all the way through (since Year 2 in a 2/3 class which he went into when we arrived here), always in the lower Year Group, and it has worked really well for him. A Year 1/2 class doesn't mean he'll do both years together and then go up to Year 3 next year. He will just do one year in that class, then next year possibly be in a 2/3 or just a 2, or even again in a 1/2 class. He will still have kids his own age - or similar to play with. Don't forget they don't have teaching assistants as such here to give him individual attention and make sure he's kept stimulated in a class of kids just learning their letters for the first time.

     

    Chat with the teacher, make your decision then, but from experience, it hasn't done my son any harm - and in fact he's just passed a scholarship exam for High School (he's in year 7 now) and has friends ranging from his age to a couple of years older - boys generally don't mature as quickly as girls anyway so they still like all the same (horrible little boys) games!

     

    PS I should add that in England, the school my son was at was so tiny that there were only three classes - the first was Reception - Year 2, then 3/4 then 5/6, and having older kids in the class really wasn't a problem, harder for the teachers obviously, but the big ones learned how to look after the littlies, and the littlies learned to look up to the biggies - it worked really well and there was very little bullying as everyone felt very "looked after"

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Ben is a May baby so when we came to Adelaide in July 2007 he had finished Yr 2of school eventhough he was just 7. He was top of class in UK, often disruptive and generally really unhappy. We put him in Year 1, and he was head and shoulders above the rest of the class as far as academic assessments were concerned but as Diane says school here is not just about spellings, reading etc its about the whole child and developing them to be comfortable, confident and rounded. At the end of the school year we were offered the chance of skipping a year so that he missed yr 2 completely and went straight into Yr 3. We chose not to and he is absolutely thriving, still way ahead of the class but probably ahead of the next year aswell and the school cope really well, he is extended in every lesson and I'm so pleased we stuck with his current year. Don't estimate how big a change it is coming here, especially for the little ones and if you can make life comfy to start with then go for it. A few things we did take into account were when could he drive compared to peers, socialising etc so i would even go as far as to say stay where he is, its early days and assess it at the end of term. PM if you would like to know some of the strategies our school uses to keep the little man occupied!!!! All the best Joanne

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    My son Chris was 6 when we arrived and went into Year 1. But it was soon obvious that he was streaks ahead of most of the class....he was tops in the Uk as well. He has always been in a mixed year class but always with a year higher. e.g. when in year 2, in a 2/3 class...when in year 3, in a 3/4 class.

     

    Whilst in Year 3, he was given work for Year 4..then Year 5....

     

    His teachers have been very aware of the need to challenge him...and when he feels he isnt being challenged enough, we bring it to the attention of the teacher...and they respond.

     

    So far I have found his school to be very good with catering for his needs on the higher end of the scale.

     

    My other son seems to be going down the same road. Matthew will be 6 in August and is currently a reception student in a reception/year 1 class....majority of stuff he does is Year 1, and it will be recommended that he is in a year 1/2 class next year.

     

    So with both of them, they are definitely with kids of their own age.....but their needs are being well taken care off....

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    He'll be 6 in August. I can't get my head around how they work out the ages here. How can someone in the same year be 18 mths older?

     

    I think he'd probably be ok in a Yr1/2. But it's just guessing. I think he is ahead because he is a quick learner AND because he's been at school already. In the UK he was reading at Yr2 level (he was in Yr1) and in the top 3 in his class, despite being the youngest in the year.

     

    Going to have a meeting with them next week sometime as I just don't know enough to make a decision.

     

    Jo xxx

     

    OUr boys are the same age....both 6 in august...

     

    ....what class is he in now.....just reception?...or a reception/year 1?

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Thanks for the replies. Spoke to his teacher again today and they are going to assess him in all areas - literacy, numeracy, social skills etc and decide when they have feedback from that. I would have no worries keeping him in reception, but he isn't 100% happy. He is aware he is doing different work from everyone else and isn't happy about it. He wants to do what everyone else is doing. Hopefully have decided by the end of next week.

     

    Jo xxx

    Share this post


    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now