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School Year selection

School Year selection

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School Year selection

Hi,

 

I am not able to decide if my son should be in high school next year? His current age is 11 years 5 months. Technically in Victoria, children needs to be 12 years over for Year 7 schooling? I am confused, any advise?

 

Academically he is struggling and it seems to me that he is not ready for high school. Please provide your suggestions; would be appreciated.

 

Thanks.

Prolific scribe

Re: School Year selection

Personally mine were struggling and I got them kept back. They were already falling through the cracks and I didn't want those cracks to become a crater. Strangely, all of the kids they now hang with have all been kept back.

Super contributor

Re: School Year selection

Hi @mahsan Welcome to ReachOut Parents! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us.

It's a tricky situation I imagine, as your son may not want to be held back but his decision-making processes are not fully developed and there's a chance he's not able to see the complete picture and is motivated by wanting to stay with his friends.

I've been super lucky with my kids that they are all born in the part of the year that makes the decision for you. But as someone whose birthday fell closer to the cut off age, I got sent to school at 4 and was always one of the youngest in my year.  If I had been my own mum, I would have held me back.

 

The transition to high school is huge but is so often treated like any other movement from one year to another. Whereas it's actually a movement into an entirely different universe. The better prepared a young person is for this undertaking, the better. So I think it's awesome that you are weighing up his suitability and considering all your options. Well done!

 

Can I ask what feedback you're getting from his school? And what is he saying he wants to do?

Frequent scribe

Re: School Year selection

Hi @mahsan.  I have a son who is young for his year as well and one of my big regrets is not holding him back from starting school/not repeating him in the early years when I had the chance.  My experience is that once you are in the school system, it is very hard to convince the school to let them repeat.  One thing you might consider is moving him to a school that has primary and secondary in one and starting him in year 6 rather than year 7.  For our son, we have also been contemplating an overseas exchange year as that would mean repeating year 10 or whatever year it is he goes.  Having said this, plenty of kids do start high school at not quite 12 so he certainly won't be the only one.  Year 7 is very much a year for settling in, getting used to the high school routine etc.  You might be surprised at how well he does.

Super contributor

Re: School Year selection

Thanks for sharing that @hashtagmum Can I ask what the pushback from schools is around holding students back?

Why is it not a preferred option for them?

Frequent scribe

Re: School Year selection

I'm not sure what the rationale is behind it but in my son's case they said they thought he would be bored as he is quite bright and might end up mucking up even more than he was doing.  I also think the thinking is that repetition on its own doesn't achieve anything and may actually harm the child in terms of self esteem.  IN NSW at least, they also have to go through a massive amount of justification to the department so maybe that contributes to the resistance. 

 

The private school we switched our son into seemed much more receptive to the idea.  However in between him being accepted and actually starting at the school, he was diagnosed as having ADHD and started Ritalin (which helped enormously with school performance) and also blitzed his NAPLAN test (apart from writing) so both the school and we decided it probably wasn't necessary.  Son was also quite opposed to the idea.  I think if he had been receptive, we might have pushed it harder.  Kind of felt we had missed the boat but not doing it at the end of kindergarten (first year of school).  Still keeping the overseas exchange idea in reserve.  He is currently in year 9 and doing okay with support.  At the moment, he is thinking he will probably switch to TAFE after year 10 or after year 11.  Age might not matter so much if he does this, ie could stretch out getting a qualification by working at the same time. 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: School Year selection

Hi mahsan,

 

I understand your concerns.  I found the school starting age a tricky one to work out since I am not from here.

 

Having 3 children with 2 now in high school my advise to you at this stage would probably be to wait another year.

If you feel he is struggling academically another year in primary will give him a chance to consolidate and gain more confidence in his learning.  The move to high school is a huge step and if you know him best and don't feel he is ready it may be best to hold off.  However over the next few months if you see changes in him you can always change your mind.

 

Hope that is helpful and best wishes.

 

 

 

 

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: School Year selection

Hi mahsan,

 

I understand your concerns.  I found the school starting age a tricky one to work out since I am not from here.

 

Having 3 children with 2 now in high school my advise to you at this stage would probably be to wait another year.

If you feel he is struggling academically another year in primary will give him a chance to consolidate and gain more confidence in his learning.  The move to high school is a huge step and if you know him best and don't feel he is ready it may be best to hold off.  However over the next few months if you see changes in him you can always change your mind.

 

Hope that is helpful and best wishes.