Publication - Research publication

Children's development at the start of school in Scotland and the progress made during their first school year: An analysis of PIPS baseline and follow-up assessment data

Published: 6 Jan 2016
Part of:
Research
ISBN:
9781785448942

This report shows the results of analysis on the starting points and progress of children in Scotland in Primary 1 in early maths, early literacy and non-cognitive development and behaviour.

60 page PDF

2.2 MB

60 page PDF

2.2 MB

Contents
Children's development at the start of school in Scotland and the progress made during their first school year: An analysis of PIPS baseline and follow-up assessment data
Appendix E

60 page PDF

2.2 MB

Appendix E

Characteristics of children who are relatively old for Primary 1

Analysis was undertaken in which children were put into age categories corresponding to three-month increments from four years six months to five years nine months and then one category for children older than that. Figure E-1 gives details of numbers, sex, mean age and mean SIMD quintiles.

Figure E-1: Age categories and background data

Age category Sex (male=0 Female =1) SIMD Quintiles (Scores ranged from 1 representing the most deprived to 5) Age at start of Primary 1
Lowest - 4.75 Mean .52 2.82 4.62
N 1420 1429 1433
Std. Deviation .50 1.39 0.08
4.75 - 5 Mean .52 2.88 4.88
N 1666 1676 1677
Std. Deviation .50 1.42 0.07
5 - 5.25 Mean .50 2.92 5.12
N 1672 1680 1686
Std. Deviation .50 1.42 0.07
5.25 - 5.5 Mean .49 2.94 5.36
N 1426 1430 1434
Std. Deviation .50 1.42 0.07
5.5 - 5.75 Mean .36 3.12 5.58
N 321 319 321
Std. Deviation .482 1.48 0.06
5.75 - Highest Mean .37 2.94 5.94
N 63 63 63
Std. Deviation .485 1.52 0.17
Total Mean .50 2.90 5.03
N 6568 6597 6614
Std. Deviation .50 1.42 0.31

Figure E-1 indicates that the pupils who were older than expected in Primary one (over five and a half years) were more likely to be boys (64%) and slightly more likely to come from less deprived homes.

Figure E-2: Mean total scores at the start of Primary 1 by age category

Figure E-2: Mean total scores at the start of Primary 1 by age category

Figure E-2 shows a clear steady rise in total score until age five a half when the rise falls away. The older children had, on average, lower cognitive scores than expected. This is confirmed and quantified for each measure in the figure below.

Figure E-3: Months equivalent differing from expectation for older children.[14]

5.5 to 5.75 years >5.75 years
Total -2.8* -17.0**
Early Reading -3.0* -12.6**
Early Mathematics -2.4* -17.9**
Picture Vocabulary -3.4* -19.5**
Phonological Awareness -3.9** -22.6**

** Significant at the 1% level * significant at the 5% level

PSD for older children

The number of children rated in the older categories was small but the difference between their ratings on the scales and the average scores are shown in Figure E-4.

Figure E-4: PSD for older children

5.5 to 5.75 years N >5.75 years N
Adjustment comfortable -0.29* 31 -0.64* 7
Adjustment independence -0.19 31 -0.61 7
Personal confidence -0.09 31 -0.33 7
Personal concentration (self-directed) -0.19 31 -0.76* 7
Personal concentration (teacher-directed) -0.22 31 -0.51 7
Personal actions -0.31 31 -0.76* 7
Social relationship (to adults) -0.12 31 -0.70* 7
Social relationship (to peers) -0.24* 31 -1.02** 7
Social rules -0.26 31 -0.65* 7
Social cultural awareness -0.07 31 -1.15** 7
Social communication -0.19 31 -1.29** 7

** Significant at the 1% level * significant at the 5% level

Although the samples are small the data do fit a pattern in which the entry to Primary 1 of children whose PSD is delayed tends to be deferred by one year.

A natural question to ask concerns the long term impact of deferring children's entry to Primary 1 for a year. The analysis in this report cannot give a satisfactory answer. Previous work in the USA looking at so called "red shirting" has suggested no advantage to keeping children back for a year at the start of school and we know that once children start school, making them repeat a grade is generally detrimental. We also know, from our analyses of data in England, that delaying start to Christmas or Easter does not bring advantages. But this is different. There is clearly a tradition in Scotland for a small number of children with delayed cognitive development and PSD to be kept back for a full year. It might be valuable to examine this as part of a different study.


Contact

Email: Wendy van der Neut