Summer Birthdays and Attainment?

(168 Posts)
Kendodd Fri 29-Mar-13 22:05:11

What to do? DD2 is only in reception, she has an end of August birthday. Is lower attainment throughout her school career inevitable? Is anything being done to address this?

Interestingly her big sister is in Y2, they have different 'tables' for different ability levels. All the children, apart from one, on the top table are September birthdays.

wheresthebeach Sun 31-Mar-13 22:35:06

Try not to compare your child to others - it doesn't help anyone - esp you.
If you DC has an area that needs working on then put in the extra time early so they don't get behind (I wish we'd intervened earlier with DDs spelling as it impacted on her attainment in KS1 and setting only reaffirms hierarchies in class). She's catching up now which is great but my new motto is 'don't worry -take action instead!'

averyyoungkitten Mon 01-Apr-13 08:36:06

Try not to compare your child to others - it doesn't help anyone - esp you

That’s very much the attitude on MN isn’t it? Certainly do not compare yours to others where others may be found wanting. No, that attitude doesn’t help anyone, and it doesn’t help me at all. Fortunately my DD is an early summer born and may not be as affected as others but I certainly think there is an affect too. If your DC are able anyway it is less likely to cause problems or to be noticed. But where is the support here for those of us who have DC who are differently abled in the intellectual arena? It seems having a DC of high intelligence is the one and only unspeakable on MN. I remind myself not to brag. sad

Badvoc Mon 01-Apr-13 09:54:36

Children are compared to each other from the moment they enter pre school!
Do you think it was nice for me to realise my son was at the bottom of his class!?
I have to be frank with you, I don't give a flying fuck what little jimmy is doing, but I do care when my child is obv struggling.
I tried asking the school for help...got nowhere.
So helped him myself.
He is now in year 5 and, whilst he will never win a nobel prize, he is academically exactly where he should be for his age.
It's been a ling hard slog, and I have had no help at all from school.
And that is all too common ime sad

iseenodust Tue 02-Apr-13 11:43:26

No it is not inevitable. However, DS late Aug birthday recently sat an 8+ entrance examination and the school said that they age adjust the results for a more accurate picture. They clearly think there is still a gap in KS2.

I agree work on confidence/social skills including out of school. DS has got huge amounts out of sport unrelated to school: A group of friends where no-one cares what literacy table you are on. His hand eye coordination is great for his age. An unintentional benefit was he was the first in his class to be able to tie shoelaces (because I couldn't find football boots big enough with velcro fastenings).

mrz Tue 02-Apr-13 11:53:36

Most formal testing includes age standardised scores regardless of KS

http://www.nfer.ac.uk/nfer/research/assessment/eleven-plus/age-standardisation.cfm

iseenodust Tue 02-Apr-13 14:45:38

That's interesting to learn how it works, thanks mrz. Am I right in thinking that is not used though in SATS in primary schools (clearly not the teacher assessment elements)?

mrz Tue 02-Apr-13 14:55:59

No because the levels are based on skills not scores and the skills are linked to stages rather than ages.

iseenodust Tue 02-Apr-13 15:03:23

Slowly understanding dawns !

Kendodd Fri 10-May-13 12:05:32

Here we go, found the link, www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15490760

It says-

Early years specialist Dr David Whitebread, from the University of Cambridge, says one possible solution would be to increase the age at which children start school.

Children in the UK start school much earlier than most of their European counterparts. Dr Whitebread says research has shown that the later children start formal education, the less marked the month effect is.

"In countries where they start a year older than the UK, the month effect is less marked and in countries where they start as late as seven, it completely washes out."

If children are kept playing in kindergarten until the age of six or seven, they are better equipped to cope with formal education, he adds.

lljkk Sat 11-May-13 14:36:28

ZOMBIE thread.

I think I'd like an automatic HIDE for all these threads.
I think I linked to Norwegian & Italian studies earlier where they still find an age-related effect in spite of starting 2 yrs later.

If you're really bothered then campaign for flexible starting dates, but the system will be abused, and perpetuate social inequities too, I promise you.

Bumpsadaisie Sat 11-May-13 14:45:47

Think it depends on the child really though am sure the general findings of the research hold true.

I was end of aug, and was top of the class all through school and went to Cambridge. My dd is nearly 4 and starts in September. She can read and write a bit already and I know she is going to be further ahead than some of her peers who are autumn born, most of whom have not gone further than writing their name so far.

I think it will be things like tiredness and the ability to keep gripped and emotionally continent where DDs immaturity will show. She does still lapse into toddler style hysterics about minor things, esp if she is tired. Also in physical stuff, although dd is tall, she is less physically confident and co-ordinated than her older friends.

Kendodd Mon 08-Jul-13 11:11:03

Good News! Sorry can't help myself from boasting. DD2 is the top reader in her class and the only child on her book band, there are only two children on the book band below her, interestingly both September birthdays. Her teacher described her as 'exceptionally good' to another mum!

I am so pleased, even if it's just early flowering and she moves more towards the middle in later years I think the fact that she's ahead now means that she won't be stuck on the lower tables just because she's young.

Oh, and she won two out of three races at sports day smile

CarpeVinum Mon 08-Jul-13 11:18:22

DS is an August baby. When we changed to British school last year, between it being his first time being in an all English educational envirment, living overseasa so not having the constant language reinforcement and the late summer birthday I popped him back a year.

I think it has played a not insignificant part in how well the last academic year went.

camptownraces Tue 09-Jul-13 08:05:19

mominatrix -

it looks as if you could be hinting at this very selective school's failure to age standardise the scores in their entrance exam !

Makes a big difference at younger ages.

Recent research from British Psychological Society shows higher identification of SEN for those with later birthdays. Which begs the question somewhat...

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 09-Jul-13 08:23:36

Who knows how things will go in the future, but right now my Kate August DD is top table for everything in her year - and has been throughout primary school. There is no inevitability about August born kids being behind all the time.

RussiansOnTheSpree Tue 09-Jul-13 08:23:55

late August. Bloody iPad.

alreadytaken Tue 09-Jul-13 09:18:44

To go back to the original question lower attainment throughout the school career is not inevitable. However there is a known problem with children who have summer birthdays having lower attainment and the effect persisting at GSCE level. It virtually disappears at A level. So it is vitally important that the parent is aware of this and promotes confidence in the child.

A child who is on the top table can still be performing at a level below the one they will reach in 6 months, their potential may be under-estimated and they may not receive enough stimulation. However they will at least have the advantage of not losing as much confidence. They may still need all the help you can give on physical issues.

FormaLurka Wed 10-Jul-13 08:07:20

Before I joined MN I wasn't even aware this was an issue. Both DP, myself and the kids are summer born and we are or were doing well academically.

nothingnew Wed 10-Jul-13 14:22:11

dd1 's birthday is July. she didn't do well in infant school at all. But the gap has narrowed during junior school. Now she is in middle groups. But then she is like Laura0806's dc she is very shy and quiet. I have been doing a lot of background work to support her though. Fortunately dd work hard and want to do well although not a competitive type dd likes to please the adults around her. Without the extra work that I have been doing with her I am not sure if she would be able to catch up. Although now her literacy is a couple of years ahead of nc. I still believe that summer born children are of disadvantaged on the whole.

FormaLurka Thu 11-Jul-13 09:55:46

nothing - If your DD was born three months earlier for example I suspect that she would still be very shy and quiet.

Some kids aren't as mature as their classmates. Some aren't as numerate, literate or co-ordinated as their classmates. Parents with older kids accept it while parents with younger kids go on about its because they are summer born.

The experts tell us it is so, goes the argument. Well, if I had the time or inclination I could probably finds experts who disagree but anecdotes will have to suffice in their absence. In my extended family I have relations who range from having no qualifications to having a Msc and a MBA. Their maturity and academic/professional success has no correlation with when they were born. Looking at the kids in my DCs's classes, past and present, I see no correlation either.

Copthallresident Thu 11-Jul-13 10:38:22

My DD1 is a late June baby and in her friendship group at a very selective secondary there were two born in each of June, July and August. They certainly haven't been held back by late birthdays. When she started school she got very tired but didn't progress any more slowly.

DD2 is a November baby and has always been very tall and strong for her age. If anything I think she is the one who has suffered from the timing of her birth. There has been an expectation of maturity and she was constantly compared to the older DCs in the class.

Lilymaid Thu 11-Jul-13 10:45:33

Lower attainment for August babies isn't a given. I have an August born DS who was probably intellectually immature for his school year (though emotionally and physically mature). He has caught up from being average - his main problem was retaining what he had learnt - and is now on course for a high 2:1 in his degree.
We spent a lot of time with him ensuring that he picked up the basics. It is all well and good saying that they will catch up, but it is difficult to do that if you haven't got a good grasp of what is taught in the earliest school years.
BTW his best friend at primary school was born 31st August and was always top of the class.

nothingnew Thu 11-Jul-13 10:54:00

Some kids mature earlier, some later and many are in between. So the early matured summer babies would be least affected than the late ones. If being summer baby plus mature late or not earlier enough than that child would be disadvantaged at the beginning. My dc is shy it is a personality thing nothing to do with maturity. The fact my dc is more a thinker and observer also very cautious when approach tasks and people. Since dc move up groups her confidence has grown and become least shy but still quiet. Nine months to a year is a big age gap in very young children in general. It is a common sense. Of course being summer babies is not the end of the world they can still go on to get MA, Dr or in some very skilful trades or whatever in twenty years time. Who knows?! But just that some may have a slower start. I am being objective and not that interested in whatever academic qualifications people’s families have.

Badvoc Thu 11-Jul-13 10:59:16

Certainly has been the case for my ds1 (10) who is a June born.
Ds2 is a sept born and although he doesn't start reception until August I can see already that he is far ahead of ds1 at the same age sad

Badvoc Thu 11-Jul-13 10:59:36

And, yes I do think the gap is wider for boys.
They mature later.

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