repeating reception

Repeating Reception Year or Not?

Some people never get to meet with an Educational Psychologist whilst today I met a second for my son who is only in his reception year at school. The first time was when I was wondering whether to send him to school. She came out to evaluate whether she thought it would be in his best interests to remain in Reception the following academic year. Apparently they do not like to use the term “held back” but that is what in effect it is.

repeating reception

She asked me what his strengths are – that’s easy he is happy. She said that was good, and to be honest if there was anything I could wish for that my children have it is happiness. She explained that research shows that children who stay back in reception year do not make much extra progress. I think that is because they compare themselves and try to identify with those around them. I am not sure my son has that ability to think that way.

He, in my opinion, is a very likable little boy. He has made good friends in reception (and has those all-important party invites that any parent may understand the fear of them possibly never receiving). Would he miss those friends if he was separated from them? Is he so lovely that he’d easily make friends again?

repeating reception

Year 1 is really fast paced compared to Reception – but my husband thinks that may be he needs the push. Currently though he is already falling asleep at school, and does get over-stimulated, or wet himself at school – and that’s with full time support. Would year 1 be too much and lower his confidence?

Also what if he does catch up when he’s older? He can never move back with his peers, and in secondary school everyone will know he was held back. He is a bright lad maybe something will click and he will be on par with his peers. Or there’s the possibility that he will never “get” some of the areas that he is struggling with so there would be no point him not moving up. He may need other ways to help him (he is a very visual learner).

party planning sensory processing disorder

Thankfully the Educationally Psychologist is supporting us whatever the decision. I am sure whatever is decided the school will fully-support him – I cannot say enough how grateful I am for all their help and support. We have his meeting for his review next Monday (and the first time I may hear about this thing that is replacing the Statement).

I have had some feedback of regret about keeping their child back, but then seen others who are pleased they have managed to fight for their child back. So if anyone has any experience or even feelings on this I would love to hear it please.

15 thoughts on “Repeating Reception Year or Not?

  1. I think sometimes you have to make a choice and a leap of faith. no one know s him better than you. Will waiting a year make year 1 any less difficult? who knows really? A good school should be able to meet his needs whether he is in year 1 or reception would be my opiion but jOy i think only you can decide x

  2. My son was born on 9th September, right at the top end of the year. he was bright at nursery, very bright. And so I asked if he could be moved up a year. They said no. Whilst he was incredibly bright they felt that socially he would suffer as he wasnt mature enough. I hated the teachers for that but they were right.

    We later found out that he was dyslexic, hugely so and moving him up a year would have been a disaster.

    I on the other hand was born on August 18th, so was the youngest in my year. I failed miserably at school. I dont think I stupid, but I do think I wasnt ready for the curriculum dictated for the school years I was in. I think I would have been much better being held back a year.

    Its a tough call and I dont quite know why I am telling you this. But I think you will make the right decision and if keeping your son back a year is that then I do think it will be something you dont regret. Though if there are doubts I think you might regret letting him stay “in year” if he goes on to struggle.

  3. My parents regret that they didn’t wait a year to send my sister to school. She had to repeat a year at a later point and it was the absolute right decision for her. She grew so much in confidence and went on to finish school with great A Level results.

  4. Fantastic that you are getting the support from school. It’s a tough one and is definitely a conversation I have had with a few parents whose children are July/August babies – always seems to unfair they are expected to be at the same level as children almost a year older than them. Whatever decision you make will be the right one lovely xx

  5. I have no experience of this Joy as my kids are not school age yet so am afraid I cannot add anything useful. I am sure you will make the right decision though. I fear my two may have quite different experiences of beginning school with one born in December and one in July.

  6. I know of two children that have repeated years, and I don’t think their parents would tell you it was a bad thing. Especially in the case of the boy that I know, he grew in confidence so much in that second year, that it really helped him with his work too. He is now flying… Good luck with it all xx

  7. It’s a very difficult decision, I’m glad that you have so much support from the school. It’s difficult for me to give an opinion but knowing me I think that I’d be tempted to move him into year 1 and see how it goes, they are still so little anyway and I’m sure that there must be huge variation between the children in those years anyway, I know that there is in my son’s reception class. Perhaps by the end of year 1 things might be a bit more clearer? Wishing you the best of luck with making the decision xx

  8. A very hard decision and one that a few mums have to make. A mum in my sons school was battling with the same choice with her son in reception and decided to let him stay with his friends that he had bonded with and move up to reception. Although it was hard work she now agrees that it was for the best as he is learning with his peers and also they all help and look out for him as well – the bond they have now, going into year 4 next year, is so fantastic. You will come to the right decision, and it is great the school are helping you as well.

  9. SUCH a hard decision and you know the answer deep down. Go with your gut. And never think that he’d be a “year behind” or anything like that. Finland gets the best results in the world and they don’t start school till SEVEN! Better to take things at his pace, than sign him up for a life of education where he’s struggling the whole time? Maybe he’ll cope with the push as your OH things? Only YOU KNOW xx

  10. My children go to a small school, the infant department only has 2 mixed classes, Reception/Y1 and Y1/2. Both of my younger children stayed in Rec/Y1 for 2 years. My daughter was painfully shy and my son was struggling, I think he is dyslexic. I’m probably the only parent that welcomed the decision, and really didn’t see it as being kept back. It has worked well for both of them and I’m really happy that it is an accepted practice at their school. My son is at the end of year 2 now, he has made dramatic improvement in the last few months. I have always said he would suit a Scandinavian education, only starting to learn at age 7. We under value the importance of play and the pressure on children to reach targets is increasing. I’m so sorry that you have to make this decision and that you are not being offered a more flexible solution that avoids the ‘kept back’ stigma. Good luck to you both xxx

  11. Hi , I know your post is from a while ago( almost 4 years ) but we find ourselves in a very similar position so I was just wondering what you decided in the end and how it all worked out for you … thank you

    1. Hi he moved into year 1 fine and again in year 1 they discussed whether it was best to hold him back (and of course he didn’t pass the phonics test). He never was held back though and now in year 4 he is actually ahead of his peers in some areas (he is especially good in maths). On saying that I am not happy with the school, who ignore his sensory needs, and am currently considering home educating. I hope you are able to make the right decision for you and your child.

    2. Hi there
      I am in a similar position and took me a while but decided to hold my son back in reception. Have you made a decision?

  12. Held back its never a good experience. Marks you really hard, of course a kid would carry on. The first impact will be hard for a child to see friends going foward, loosin confidence, self steem. I could bring worse problem. I think the challenge is the best. Working over the hollidays to catch up. Very rarelybin my opinion the answer is to held back

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