The winter of the summer child

Kanuga, Ingrid (2015) The winter of the summer child. Working Paper. Kanuga, Ingrid, University of Reading. (Unpublished)

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This paper has presented a focus on the Summer Born effect using a deductive research approach. It has enabled the accumulation of evidence in relation to the birthdate effect and considered a range of explanations on why this occurs. The weight of the evidence suggest that the birthday effect is indeed a serious issue which persist until the end of higher education. It demonstrates that the children are affected in their overall academic performance, their general feelings towards education and emotional well-being through loss in confidence and increased chances of bullying.
If all children entered the first year of reception at the age of 4 years and 2 terms then they would all be 6 by the time they started Year 1 and from an emotional and cognitive aspect be ready to start formal education. Reception curriculum should simply be learning through play with a very gradual move to a more formal approach towards the end of Reception Year 2. There would still be an attainment gap between the youngest and oldest child in the class in Year 1, however this would have been reduced to 13% and with an increased cognitive understanding; the risk of a child developing an aversion towards education because of their initial start would be reduced as would the risk of lower self-esteem.
If those involved gain a better understanding of the “Summer Born Effect” and that these students are more likely to be behind their autumn peers and not at the same stage of development, they can find better ways to support them. The needs of the very young children when it comes to these foundation years should be the priority. The current change in policy, while valuable for some, will probably not improve early schooling – or eventual attainment – for the majority. More discussion – and more change – is still needed.

Item Type: Report (Working Paper)
Subjects: Education
Depositing User: Ingrid Kanuga
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 10:19
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:20

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