“Age is an issue of mind over matter…”

I’ve just been reading up on the report that summer-born children should have an instant boost to their exam scores due to the fact they are younger than their older peers.

According to the report, younger students “have lower self-confidence, lower belief in their academic ability, and are more likely to start smoking younger than their relatively older peers.”

Ok, to begin with I’m not quite sure what smoking has to do with exam scores. I suppose you could suggest that smoking early could eventually lead to further “illegal” behaviour which could impact negatively on their studying efforts , but I think this a pretty vague and narrow-minded assumption to make.

I am not disagreeing with this report because I am a bitter September born student. I am actually an August baby, and when I first started primary school at age 4 years 1 month I actually had a lot of self confidence, I thrived in class and had a standard of reading and writing equal to, if not better than my elder peers. This completely contradicts the report.

I understand this might not be the same for all summer born babies, but I feel the data used to create this report has quite low population validity and surely cannot be used on a national scale? Creating different grade boundaries depending on the month you were born in could be a very risky move; it could discourage those born in September and October from even bothering, and cause the July and August born to assume they already have a massive head start, which could have terrible consequences.

Instead of bringing in this potentially dangerous rule that a few years down the line could have negative repercussions, why not focus on early intervention for younger pupils and monitoring progress to ensure they are kept up to speed with their elder peers? Surely this is a better option than effectively fixing exam boundaries?

But then, what do I know? I am, after all, an August born child…

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