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Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Old Nov 28th 2012, 8:14 am
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Default Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Not often I feel a bit stumped and ask for advice but I could really do with some! Our (just) 15 yr old has been offered a place at our 2nd choice school but on closer liason with the school it seems she has the choice of either the higher band in yr 9 or the lower band in yr 10. The reason is that the higher band kids start GCSEs a year early in some subjects. Here in NZ she is quite high achieving and very hard working so I think her natural peer group would be the top stream kids BUT she is November born so would be very old to be back yeared. Alternatively, our first choice school runs a more traditional set up, which would mean she could just about wing it in yr 10 BUT they are at 181 in yr 10 with a PAN of 168 so I'm not hopeful that an appeal would stand a chance. Ironically the first choice school has just the PAN 168 in its year 9.

I'm confused and for about the first time in my life, I don't really know what to do Does anyone have some wise words or some experience they can share or failing all that just an opinion
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Old Nov 28th 2012, 4:54 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

I'd go with 'going back' rather than 'going forward' simply because of the stress of the change in system. It buys her time, who cares what year you left school when you get to our age?
As it happens going for Y9 not Y10 puts her with the more academically able group if I have understood correctly so also fits for that reason.
Banding is weird to me, I can relate more to being in sets for each individual subject and indeed did 2 O'Levels early myself in top set donkeys years ago.

My kids(younger) went back to the beginning of their respective NZ school years in September in UK, so are effectively repeating half a year although youngest is now in his correct UK cohort but oldest has gone back one (he was young in UK year originally). This seems to have worked ok for both.
Glad to hear second choice is looking positive for you.

Originally Posted by bourbon-biscuit View Post
Not often I feel a bit stumped and ask for advice but I could really do with some! Our (just) 15 yr old has been offered a place at our 2nd choice school but on closer liason with the school it seems she has the choice of either the higher band in yr 9 or the lower band in yr 10. The reason is that the higher band kids start GCSEs a year early in some subjects. Here in NZ she is quite high achieving and very hard working so I think her natural peer group would be the top stream kids BUT she is November born so would be very old to be back yeared. Alternatively, our first choice school runs a more traditional set up, which would mean she could just about wing it in yr 10 BUT they are at 181 in yr 10 with a PAN of 168 so I'm not hopeful that an appeal would stand a chance. Ironically the first choice school has just the PAN 168 in its year 9.

I'm confused and for about the first time in my life, I don't really know what to do Does anyone have some wise words or some experience they can share or failing all that just an opinion
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Old Nov 28th 2012, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Have you asked her what she wants to do? If she is high achieving then it sounds to me like she should be able to make the decision for herself.

If she's confused about it then offer up all known reasons for both and then see if she can decide.

That's what I would do- and will probably end up having to do once we make our move.
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Old Nov 28th 2012, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

There was a thread about this sort of thing a while back (the last post was maybe 2-3 months ago), but darned if I could find it. If you can locate it I think you'd find it helpful because several people posted on their own experiences with children being bumped up, or dropped down, a grade. In general I think children did better if they were held back (put with children who were younger) than if they were bumped up, mainly because any educational challenges were offset by being more socially comfortable because they were older. However, I recall one or two people said their kids dealt perfectly fine with bing bumped up - I think it depends a lot on the school.
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Old Nov 28th 2012, 10:59 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
I'd go with 'going back' rather than 'going forward' simply because of the stress of the change in system. It buys her time, who cares what year you left school when you get to our age?

My kids(younger) went back to the beginning of their respective NZ school years in September in UK, so are effectively repeating half a year although youngest is now in his correct UK cohort but oldest has gone back one (he was young in UK year originally). This seems to have worked ok for both.
Glad to hear second choice is looking positive for you.
It sounds a bit different to our situation though- our daughter has just completed yr 10 here and is being offered yr 9 in the UK (she's Nov. baby and her yr group in the UK is 10 for 2012/2013) or year 10. It's not repeating a year if they enter the UK at the start of the academic year and in September go into the yr they were in in NZ- it's just getting into the right yr group.

I agree it makes no odds by the time you finish school, but it makes a lot of difference when you're 15 if your peers are 13 turning 14 or when you're 16 and your peers are 14 turning 15 ...

Originally Posted by Beccarose View Post
Have you asked her what she wants to do? If she is high achieving then it sounds to me like she should be able to make the decision for herself.

If she's confused about it then offer up all known reasons for both and then see if she can decide.

That's what I would do- and will probably end up having to do once we make our move.
Yes, she's 100% involved and her preference is to be in the age-correct year group, which is yr 10. However it's obviously complicated by the offered school having this system so she wants us to make the decision for her. Clever girl.
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Old Nov 28th 2012, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by bourbon-biscuit View Post
I agree it makes no odds by the time you finish school, but it makes a lot of difference when you're 15 if your peers are 13 turning 14 or when you're 16 and your peers are 14 turning 15 ...
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So you've answered your own question then...given the November birthday she will likely find her peers very immature if she goes down rather than up.
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Old Nov 29th 2012, 1:46 am
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by bourbon-biscuit View Post
It sounds a bit different to our situation though- our daughter has just completed yr 10 here and is being offered yr 9 in the UK (she's Nov. baby and her yr group in the UK is 10 for 2012/2013) or year 10. It's not repeating a year if they enter the UK at the start of the academic year and in September go into the yr they were in in NZ- it's just getting into the right yr group.

I agree it makes no odds by the time you finish school, but it makes a lot of difference when you're 15 if your peers are 13 turning 14 or when you're 16 and your peers are 14 turning 15 ...



Yes, she's 100% involved and her preference is to be in the age-correct year group, which is yr 10. However it's obviously complicated by the offered school having this system so she wants us to make the decision for her. Clever girl.
Our son returned to the UK in July ready to start year 9 in September. He is 13 but his birthday is June.
The week he was due to start we decided to ask about putting him back in year 8. He is an average student and I figured never having studied french, or single subjects like history, geography or science could have been a problem.
The school agreed and he started in year 8. I don't regret the desicion at all. It has given him the time to work out what he is doing etc.

Your choice, Im sure it will be the right one whatever you decide.
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Old Nov 29th 2012, 9:30 am
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
So you've answered your own question then...given the November birthday she will likely find her peers very immature if she goes down rather than up.
Yes, but given her academic abilities she will likely find a class of kids comprised of bottom half of ability (100% NO judgement there- just about getting needs met) just as unsuitable.

We've decided we have to have a go at appeal and see where that gets us. Deep joy.
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Old Nov 29th 2012, 9:32 am
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by Spacecake799 View Post
Our son returned to the UK in July ready to start year 9 in September. He is 13 but his birthday is June.
The week he was due to start we decided to ask about putting him back in year 8. He is an average student and I figured never having studied french, or single subjects like history, geography or science could have been a problem.
The school agreed and he started in year 8. I don't regret the desicion at all. It has given him the time to work out what he is doing etc.

Your choice, Im sure it will be the right one whatever you decide.
Really glad you've made it work out for your son- that's great.
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Old Nov 29th 2012, 12:53 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by bourbon-biscuit View Post
Yes, but given her academic abilities she will likely find a class of kids comprised of bottom half of ability (100% NO judgement there- just about getting needs met) just as unsuitable.

We've decided we have to have a go at appeal and see where that gets us. Deep joy.
I don't get why there isn't the top band available in both year groups - makes no sense to me? If this is on pure numbers then surely you could make a case for her to be let in to the correct academic stream for the appropriate year group. That might be easier than getting in to the other school. They are failing to meet her needs by putting her in the wrong band.

I think the lower academic cohort would be worse in terms of being a negative influence on her. Whereas she would easily stand out as a natural leader among the younger more able group. I have already noticed the 'peer pressure' thing to conform e.g. can't be seen dead getting into parents' car etc etc I don't care what anyone says, but based on my own experience at a Comp in 1970s and what I have seen since...the less able the pupils, the more they tend to misbehave, other things being equal.

Last edited by luvwelly; Nov 29th 2012 at 1:07 pm.
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Old Nov 29th 2012, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by Spacecake799 View Post
Our son returned to the UK in July ready to start year 9 in September. He is 13 but his birthday is June.
The week he was due to start we decided to ask about putting him back in year 8. He is an average student and I figured never having studied french, or single subjects like history, geography or science could have been a problem.
The school agreed and he started in year 8. I don't regret the desicion at all. It has given him the time to work out what he is doing etc.

Your choice, Im sure it will be the right one whatever you decide.
Same here. My son had done Spanish in NZ not French. It's a toughie for Bourbon-Biscuit especially as daughter is old in her UK cohort to start with. On balance FWIW I would still tend to going back a year. It's disruptive moving countries in all sorts of ways.

Last edited by luvwelly; Nov 29th 2012 at 1:07 pm.
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Old Nov 29th 2012, 2:13 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by luvwelly View Post
I don't get why there isn't the top band available in both year groups - makes no sense to me? If this is on pure numbers then surely you could make a case for her to be let in to the correct academic stream for the appropriate year group. That might be easier than getting in to the other school. They are failing to meet her needs by putting her in the wrong band.

.
I was going to ask the same question about going into the upper band in year 10, but I think the reason that this would not be offered is because the pupils in that stream would have already done one year of some of their GCSE courses as they would have started them in Year 9.

Therefore the OPs daughter would be missing the first year of some of the GCSE courses.

That was my interpretation, but I could be wrong on that
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Old Nov 29th 2012, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Originally Posted by rebs View Post
I was going to ask the same question about going into the upper band in year 10, but I think the reason that this would not be offered is because the pupils in that stream would have already done one year of some of their GCSE courses as they would have started them in Year 9.

Therefore the OPs daughter would be missing the first year of some of the GCSE courses.

That was my interpretation, but I could be wrong on that
Thanks that would make sense.
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Old Nov 29th 2012, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Does anyone have experience of back yearing a high school kid?

Yes, that is correct. In year ten they are completing several GCSEs, so it's not possible for her to join that stream.

Looking on the bright side, our bird in the hand is a strong option at a decent school and they are very supportive and understanding of our decision to appeal and will welcome her warmly if we don't win, so that's good.

Appeal letter heading to UK today- I really don't hold out much hope as they are 13 over PAN in that year group already.
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