- Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland - Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education

× Home Parents Associations Contact Us
Log in Register Forgot password? ×

repeating year 1

re... : repeating year 1           reply
16/09/2010 11:46 - Ask Mother Hen
If you really want the school to apply for him to repeat the year, then ask them to do that. If it is refused then so be it - but at least you will know one way or the other.
If his teacher last year did not recommend that he repeats the year, then perhaps he/she is right. The teacher worked with him in the class and would be aware of his progress and social skills in the classroom so she/he is a good judge of the situation.
Try to help him as much as possible by supporting him in homework, encouraging him to do the work but being available for support. He may need to build his confidence and this best achieved by you encouraging and supporting him. When he makes an effort, praise him. Be specific - "I see you got 2 of your maths questions answered - well done. You are doing well - why don´t you move on to the next one and call me if you need help?". Use double encouragement wherever possible (e.g. tell his Dad, in front of your son, how well he did in his homework). Encouragement is very important in building self confidence in children so work on that as much as you can.
The other solution that you can consider is moving him to a school that is less academic. He wouldn´t have to repeat the year - just join at the same stage he is at. A different school may not put as much pressure on the academic side school and more on the personal and social development of the child which may work well for your son.
Consider these options and let us know how you get on.

re... : repeating year 1           reply
17/09/2010 00:21 - Ask Mother Hen
Thankyou for your advice, but we already do all the things you have recommended. If this is not backed up at the school, the effect of one or both parents praising him is lost. He is compared to his peers constantly at school - through tests - only getting a sticker if he scores 10/10, when for him getting 6/10 is such a fabulous improvement...
It is heartbreaking to see the confidence he has built up with me over the summer squashed out of him by a system in which he is a square peg in a round hole (or a 7 year old peg in an 8 year old hole). Over the summer, we carefully helped him with his reading, using a tried and tested reading system for 10 - 20 minutes a day and various books that he found funny and interesting.
As I have explained moving him is not an option, as he cannot go to the other school, as he is too young for the second class and has already completed his first class year. They way it was explained to us, the amount allocated for his education from the state has been used up.
Our other option is homeschooling, but that needs to be entered into very carefully, as I would be very worried that could do more harm. I think homeschooling when it is well thought out and properly done is great, but not when you are doing it because you can´t see any other option left. For us, I don´t think it would make him happier, and could have the opposite affect of making him think he had "failed".
We are addressing his confidence issues with the school, and I am profoundly grateful to his current teacher for listening to us, or maybe it is her way of teaching to build up his confidence - from speaking to some of the other parents i think it is both. This week he has come home saying "I am great at maths," and "I tried really hard at spellings and got them all right!" and, hey presto, he is! (we have been telling him that for 3 years - like I said we need back-up)
Either way, its a relief. I feel less worried about the situation this week after 3 years of trying to get some resolution so our child would be happy at school - forget his test scores etc - having him happy and believing in himself is most important.
I´m keeping my fingers crossed.

re : repeating year 1           reply
12/09/2010 22:48 - Ask Mother Hen
am a bit confused about grants ...are you in a private school, are you in montessori or the ordinary school system cause if your in a national school then you can repeat as many years as you like. there is no grants in the public school system to use up that I know off and most schools will allow you to repeat if the child needs it

hope this helps

re : repeating year 1           reply
13/09/2010 22:54 - Ask Mother Hen
I´m afraid I´m confused also. Are you talking about Ireland? Not sure what class you mean by Year 1 and Year 2? Do you mean Junior and Senior Infants or !st and 2nd Class at primary level? Perhaps you are referring to 1st Year and 2nd Year at second level? If this was clear, as well as the type of school your child is attending, then we would be able to advise properly. Hope this helps.

re... : repeating year 1           reply
14/09/2010 12:59 - Ask Mother Hen
oops - should also say it is a national school

repeating year 1           reply
08/09/2010 20:34 - Ask Mother Hen
What steps should a parent go through if they feel their child should repeat a year? The school is not keen (due to cost). The child has just started year 2 and has struggled for 3 years. This year seems worse at the outset. The child is very young in the year and the school very academic. After he started school, the school revised the admissions policy regarding age, and his birthday would put him in the year below. He is a bright child who is underachieving.
He cannot change schools because he is too young for Year 2 in most schools and has used up the Year 1 grant for his education from the govt.

re... : repeating year 1           reply
14/09/2010 12:57 - Ask Mother Hen
Thanks for your replies, I´m sorry I was confusing - was a bit too cryptic as was trying to preserve our anonymity! We live in Dublin. There are 2 nice schools around here.
He is in year 2 - born in May 2003, so he just missed the cut-off date in one of the schools but we were so happy he was offered a place in the second. We could not defer the place, so he became the second youngest boy in the class.
This year the youngest boy (his mate) is repeating Year 1.
At the end of his JI year, we knew we´d made a huge mistake about sending him to school at 4. Ironically we were offered a place at the other school, in JI, but when we explained the situation, we were told he had used up his "state grant" for the year so could not repeat JI unless his repeat was sanctioned by the first school, who would have to apply to the state for him to repeat.
He has struggled every year at school - it is a very academic school - his confidence and maturity seems to be the root of the problem. His test scores are bad - 20th centile in JI, 30th centile in SI (very good teacher who inspired him and built up his confidence), Year 1 back down to 20th centile.
He has been given extra help in Maths and literacy for 3 years.
He is a very bright child but I am very worried this is setting him up to fail in the school system.
I know he would be much happier repeating Year 1 but the school have said they only do this in exceptional cases as it involves making an application to the State and the State can refuse. They make it sound like it is almost impossible to do, but I do not know the state system enough to argue.
They keep telling us that all he needs is extra help. This has not worked so far. At the end of last term, his teacher said she would not recommend his repeating a year, that he had matured well, and that he just needs a firm grounding in the basics - I simply don´t know how he is supposed to catch up on one hand and keep up at the same time!
I have worked with him throughout the summer on a reading programme designed for adults to help their children, and this has been great, but every September he returns to school confident and eager and I watch the bounce being knocked out of him.
This is probably TMI
Thanks for your patience and I really would appreciate any advice.

discussion forum terms & conditions