New report suggests adjusting August born's test results.

(230 Posts)
Suzieismyname Fri 10-May-13 05:27:34

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22469216
This will be ignored by Gove, won't it?

FadedSapphire Fri 10-May-13 13:56:23

My two best friends at secondary were Autumn/winter borns and I was late summer. I started to [secretly] compete with them. By hanging onto their coat tails I did all right.
I was a right dozy one at primary and a teacher used to call me Lizzie Dripping [which those of a certain age will understand..].
A proper dilly day dream I was who struggled early on as too young for school really and got very behind as no support.

wishingchair Fri 10-May-13 13:58:53

I'm sceptical about it. I'm an August baby and did well in school. My best friends were Feb and August whilst at school and we did much better than others who were winter term babies. At uni my best friend was a whole school year older than me (actually 18 months) and we were pretty comparable ... I ended up with a 2:1 and she got a 2:2.

My niece is July and is now a junior doctor. One of my DDs is an August baby and is doing v.well at school (would be even better if she didn't chat so much grin)

We're individuals. Some are brighter than others.

wishingchair Fri 10-May-13 14:00:42

And to FadedSapphire's point - some have better attention and can cope with the structure of the classroom better than others. Think that is a personality thing though rather than an age thing.

FadedSapphire Fri 10-May-13 14:06:43

It is possible I would have been a bit of a dreamy dopey Dora if older in the year but being young in the year compounded the problem.
No one bothered really that I needed extra help to pay attention and I got behind.
I hope these days more attention is paid to young rather babyish children such as me. The thing is, once I grew up a bit and gained a little confidence I realised I wasn't stupid after all but actually quite bright.

gazzalw Fri 10-May-13 14:11:23

But surely it's not just about what month you are born in but other variables too which presumably have been factored in/out of the research?

An August-born from a high-achieving, education-focused family will do much better (surely) than a September-born who is not educationally stimulated at all at home????

Pozzled Fri 10-May-13 14:12:49

I think the gap in achievement is a real concern, and needs addressing. It's something I've thought about a lot. (I'm a teacher, with August-born DD1 and June-born DD2!)

However, I don't think adjusting exam results is a good idea at all- you'll end up with employers and universities discriminating against summer-borns because their A* is worth less than an Autumn born individual.

I would like to see funding made available to support summer-borns and ensure they are reaching their potential- in the same way as the pupil premium. I also think teachers should be more aware of (and make allowances for) birth year. DD1 is in reception, and doing brilliantly 'academically' but we've had comments from the teacher about how she is easily distracted and doesn't always concentrate well. Well, yes- if she were 3 weeks younger, she'd still be at nursery.

Lilymaid Fri 10-May-13 14:25:43

Pozzled - I agree with what you write, but it all comes back to money. My August born DS now wonders whether he had ADHD when he was younger (pretty sure he didn't but he was easily distracted because he just couldn't "get" everything that was taught to him). He was lucky as we did everything we could to help him but not everyone has parents who can or will put in a lot of effort (and money) to support their DCs.

stillenacht Fri 10-May-13 14:30:26

My DS1 born late August,bottom group throughout primary (state). It has had a real impact on him.Took him out of state,remortgaged 60 grand and put him year below in private.Much better. DS2 born early Sept..great I thought...oh no DS2 has low functioning autism...aged 10 still in nappies...what can you do eh?! ;)

pozzled that's the sort of reports I used to get.

I know quite a few of the younger ones in my year lost engagement with education thanks to being labelled slow. Maybe I was fortunate as they thought I was clever enough but the overall tone was that I was not concentrating on purpose.

Bonsoir Fri 10-May-13 14:32:41

My DD (8, Y4) is a November-born in the French system, ie equivalent to a July-born in the English system. She is bilingual (French-English) in a bilingual school, but English is her dominant spoken language.

In the early years she was not particularly good at French and was very much in the middle of her class and unremarkable. However, now, six years into her school career, it is clear that she has been on a steeper learning curve than many of her year group and she is beginning to be remarked upon for her abilities. I know she is very analytical and have faith that she will fully catch up with her peers on the nuts-and-bolts of language stuff which is not yet fully on top of.

stillenacht Fri 10-May-13 14:33:52

My DS1 became totally disengaged due to being in bottom group.All but one of 10kids in that group were boys,all but two were July-Aug born.

FadedSapphire Fri 10-May-13 14:35:27

I think that scenario is not uncommon stillenacht.

wheresthebeach Fri 10-May-13 14:35:58

The development gap is huge when they're young and at our school they are set from year 1. This means kids get a clear idea of who's considered 'top' and who's considered 'bottom'. It's not good.
A less judgemental and more flexible system which didn't label young children is the answer.

stillenacht Fri 10-May-13 14:36:59

Faded and wheresthebeach I agree

apatchylass Fri 10-May-13 14:48:13

I don't really get how it makes so much difference by the time you get to Sats. Both my two are summer born and while one was right at the bottom of the class throughout infants the other was at the top. They've both now levelled out and are doing fine.

Quite a few of the summer borns I know are top of the class by yr6, maybe because they were signalled as being behind by KS1 teachers so had extra parental input or worked harder once they became aware of the gap themselves in KS2.

JenaiMorris Fri 10-May-13 14:50:50

Adjusting for age makes sense for 11+ exams (although I don't think 11+ exams make sense anyway so that's by-the-by grin ) but as ReallyTired said, GCSEs and A-Levels are meant to measure attainment/knowledge not intelligence.

thegreylady Fri 10-May-13 15:01:03

Within my family the three academic high flyers were born:
August 31st-first Class honours degree from York
August 6th-2:1 in Philosophy from Sheffield
July 27th - 2:1 in Engineering and distinction in Accountacy diploma

The others were born Dec,April,May and all have good degrees too.The Dec born also has a Phd and the other two have Masters degrees. No allowance for age needed -1 privately educated others local comps.By 16 birthdate does not matter-an able child will shine.

racmun Fri 10-May-13 15:18:16

I read a really interesting article in the Times on Monday regarding ADHD. There has been a big Canadian study and there is a big correlation between being young in your school year and being diagnosed with ADHD. The younger you are the higher the rate of diagnosis.

It's a really tricky problem my ds is an August born and I am really worried about it. I think the real problem is that the school system is so rigid and it seems to be one size fits all.

Perhaps they would be better fitting grade expectations to actual age as opposed to school year.

sleepingbunny Fri 10-May-13 15:37:12

I have a friend who was involved in writing the IFS stuff on summerborns. Her response to it was "I did this research. Then I planned to have my children in September".
I have two July-born DDs. The first is in Yr1. She'd be doing fine if she wasn't so painfully aware of where she sits in the academic pecking order (somewhere in the middle). As it is she tells me that only the children on the top two tables can understand numeracy, so she doesn't bother.
Academically I assume she'll catch up - absolutely no reason why not. Confidence-wise, I'm not sure she'll recover.
If only they'd stop streaming and labelling children who are far too young for it!

MrsE Fri 10-May-13 15:51:39

My DD is 25 Aug born and youngest in her year. Her predicted grades for GCSE (Yr11) is A/A*. She has always been in the top set and very rarely struggled. Her best frined is 355 days older than her and is only predicted B in the majority of her exams.
I really struggle to see what difference as to when a child is born has on their academic ability.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 10-May-13 15:56:16

My German friend was shocked by the system here as in her German state this is what they do.

Children generally start school at 6. Each child is individually assessed for school readiness at 6 and if they are not ready at 6 they start at 7.

They have good educational results based on this system, she says.

Seems good to me!!

ChubbyKitty Fri 10-May-13 15:56:22

I'm an August baby and didn't do very well at all.

After reading on here about there not being enough support I'm starting to wonder if my failure wasn't entirely my fault, but it's probably way too late to know now.

But it does explain a lot. Seems I was one of very few people who cried for my mum in class in years 4/5 when everyone else had stopped(and so the teachers were never too nice about it). And yes. I am ashamed of thatblush

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 10-May-13 16:02:22

Kitty, don't be - I cried floods and I'm not even summer born smile

ChubbyKitty Fri 10-May-13 16:03:27

I'm quite the cryer even now.

I guess at least I have an excuse for my terrible maths skills?

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 10-May-13 16:05:39

Me too re crying smile

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