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.

FormaLurka Thu 11-Jul-13 17:57:50

I think that most people accept that in Year R and Year 1 a summer born child might experience problems associated with being the youngest in the class but I'm very hmm at suggestions that this do called summer born effect last to A levels.

Apologies for playing the 'if immigrants can do it' card but if an immigrant child can start school with no English and go on to a successful school life then surely a Brit child can make up being born 3-6 months later than some of the kids in the class?

My DD was fine but DD was a little behind the older kids so I did 'stuff' with her at home. At the start of Year 1 she had caught up. Are parents seriously saying that with an no academic primary school they can't support their DC so that the 3-6 month gap gets elimated?

FormaLurka Thu 11-Jul-13 18:28:21

... My DS was fine but ....

BettyandDon Thu 11-Jul-13 18:38:36

If I can get the link to work I will join that campaign.

We are considering moving to Scotland to give my DD an extra year before she starts. It's ridiculous that I am even considering it.

Has anyone starting school for real at age 5 in Y1 with positive effect? I just don't understand it. The law says children need to be in school age 5accurate really, if they want to start at the beginning some have no option but to be 4! Why the silly rules either children are ready for reception at age 4 and a day or not.

BettyandDon Thu 11-Jul-13 18:47:18

Goodness my post makes no sense.

My main point is are all children ready for school at age 4 and a day and if not they should not be in a reception classroom.

There was a fabulous study detailing this does anyone know what anyone in education has actually done about the findings?

alreadytaken Thu 11-Jul-13 20:52:30

Research study for those who want to read it

www.ifs.org.uk/pr/born_matters.pdf

Summer born children are more likely to be unhappy at school and feel they are bullied. Parental support is not there at school when a child is being bullied for being physically smaller and weaker.

FormaLurka Thu 11-Jul-13 22:36:00

It's a 3 page report where page 3 is mostly padding. It's hardly an authoritative study.

Lilymaid Fri 12-Jul-13 10:24:29

Formalurka - the link given previously was to the press release - the full report When you are born matters should be accessible from the link on this post.

I would be very interested to know what proportion of OU students and mature students are summer born children who under-achieved at school and then realised, as adults, that they were brighter than they had believed.

FormaLurka Fri 12-Jul-13 10:51:16

Thanks for the link.

I have to admit that I can't find fault with the report but commonsense t
ells me that its ridiculous that being born 3-6 months later than most of your classmates still has an effect at GCSE or A levels.

In Year R my DD wasn't at the same level as her brother when he was in Year R. So during the summer break I did about an hour of 121 literacy and numeracy with her each day. By Christmas Year 1 she had caught up.

If a DC went to an academically pushy primary then one can argue that the other kids aren't standing still but if your DC goes to an non-academic school like ours, it doesn't take much effort to catch up.

Copthallresident Fri 12-Jul-13 12:08:20

Isn't the issue that summer birth goes into the pot with all the other problems with attainment. The PISA figures show that compared with countries that introduce literacy skills later than the UK, based on introducing them when all children have the learning skills in place, does worse on average but has a greater variation in attainment. The bright do better, those who don't achieve for whatever reason do worse. My DD1 was summer born but hit the ground running when she had a chance to read and write, she actually changed from a hyperactive pita challenge to being a very fulfilled and contented child. Physically it was exhausting for her, I collected her from school with snacks to deal with the low blood sugar but I am quite sure mentally it was right for her. My November born DD2 couldn't see the point of Reception, she is dyslexic and was always going to need intensive intervention with the right teaching methods, forcing her to try to learn word cards and spellings she was incapable of memorising just sent her off into a dream world. The problem is that the British system leaves many children behind, and with dented confidence, not just the summer born.

Copthallresident Fri 12-Jul-13 12:09:55

Sorry, the UK does worse on average compared with countries that introduce literacy skills later. <also dyslexic, and summer born!>

nothingnew Fri 12-Jul-13 12:36:53

armalLurka - Just to say we may have at least one thing in common. We both put in extra attention to our dcs’ learning to ensure that they are not disadvantaged long term. My dc managed to catch up in every subject by around year 4 and now her literacy is nearly 3 years ahead of her own age. I believe being a summer baby is not the end of the world s/he can still go on to do well. However parental support and expectation will make a big difference especially in primary school ages. But then some children may not be as lucky as ours.

BettyandDon Fri 12-Jul-13 16:18:43

It is even worse when you consider that some summer borns can not access 2 years free nursery provision (from age 3) and only get 1 year instead of 2. Double blow really.

I am getting more angry and concerned about this TBH.

Does anyone know of any schools who have a decent set of actions against this ? It's a question I will be asking when we look around options for DD who will start Sept 2014.

alreadytaken Fri 12-Jul-13 17:08:11

a couple of things that are in the report but worth picking out -

parents generally did make an effort to compensate but it doesn't overcome the problem

starting school late probably doesn't help

Some possibilities are discussed in the report/press release including
age-standardised test scores so that parents see not only their child's SATS score but also what it is after adjusting for younger age. I think this would help drive home to teachers, parents and children than many summer born children will be doing a lot better than they think and will help to keep the child's confidence up. It might also let parents of winter born children see their child may not be doing as well as they think. This is low cost to implement.

Allowing all children to have a nursery place in the school year they become 3 might help. Government probably wont do this as there are costs attached to it.

The big problem is getting across to children than they not necessarily on the "lower" tables because they are less able but because they are young.

nothingnew Fri 12-Jul-13 20:29:13

Just a quick thought why don’t just give every child the same length of pre-school education instead by age/birthday. Why can’t children start pre-school at the beginning of September just like normal school term?! Surely this way will save money as well as being fair. Both my summer born children only got about 10 months pre school while some got 16 months as well as being older.

nothingnew Fri 12-Jul-13 20:39:30

Why on rule for pre-school education and different rule for formal education?

Jinsei Sat 13-Jul-13 11:03:38

There are six children on the "top table" in dd's high performing class. Only one of them has a birthday in the autumn term, one is an April baby, three have birthdays in June and one in August.

Research has obviously shown that summer-born children do have a slight disadvantage but I don't think it's worth getting hung up about, and it certainly isn't inevitable that they will fall behind. At the end of the day, it's down to the individual children. smile

nts24 Sat 13-Jul-13 17:24:56

" RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 11-Jul-13 11:34:06

How many high achieving primary school summer born children do you need to hear about before you accept that each child is different and when you were born need not have any impact on how you do at school?"

More than 10% of the sample size for it to be not just pure coincidence. Once you've done that and do some reading about hypothesis testing then we can have a proper discussion.

In the mean time, evidences still suggest that summer born babies are in general doing worse. Someone has mentioned already but just to emphasise, building up DCs confidence, doing some extra work with them and helping them with their school work will help them to catch up eventually.

nothingnew Sun 14-Jul-13 08:44:30

Although my dc caught up every subject eventually I found that maths is the hardest one to manage. While she is not particular gifted in maths I also think one of reasons being is that numeracy is a subject that needs to be taught unlike literacy. While during infant school time she was too young to grasp some of the concepts therefore it gets harder as she goes up years because she didn't have a good enough foundation. But again my data is only basic on my own experience and observation.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now