Summer-born children in danger of being left behind, says school study

Jun 4, 2015 by

children

National curriculum should be tailored to account for needs of younger children in first year of school, say researchers

Summer-born children are at risk of behaviour problems and poor academic attainment in their first year at school unless the curriculum is tailored to take their needs into account, according to research.

The major study found that the early years foundation curriculum in England favours older children with more advanced language skills, and that children born in the summer months – who can be almost a year younger than their classmates – were in danger of being left behind.

Published on Thursday in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, the research found that the youngest children were almost twice as likely to have both language difficulties and behaviour problems relative to older children in the same reception class.

“Our results question whether many of the youngest children in the classroom have the language skills to meet the demands of the curriculum, to integrate socially with older peers and to regulate their own emotions and behaviours,” the authors noted, after surveying more than 7,000 children in reception classes in Surrey.

Summer-born children – defined as those born between May and August and so little over four when they begin school – were perceived by teachers to have lower levels of language ability and have more instances of reported language and behaviour problems.

Source: Summer-born children in danger of being left behind, says school study | Education | The Guardian

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