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Last Updated: Thursday September 06 2007 11:04 GMT

Repeating year six: your views


Kids who are failing at school could be made to repeat the last year of primary school, under a new plan.

What do you think of the idea?

Do you think it's a good idea because it will help kids get up to the right levels in maths, reading and writing to go to secondary school?

Or do you think it's a bad idea because they'll be left behind from all their friends?

What else could be done to help pupils who find school hard?

Whatever your views, email and let us know!

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"Practically, the schools won't be able to cope with the children who might not do well. The teachers will feel under loads of pressure to make us get good grades which will mean more practice tests and less time for creative things. Also, it means that people who are scared of going to secondary school may try to do badly so they get to stay in primary school if they have friends in the year below."

Sarah, 9, Jersey, Channel Islands

"I think it is a great idea. It will show the kids who mess around that they really aren't allowed to. They already do it in America and France so we know it works. Most of the kids in my year six didn't care about anything and I wish some of them had been kept back."

William, 12, London, England

"One of my best friends got held back a year but that doesn't make me think of her any differently. Besides, the threat of being held back would make me try even harder!."

Aoife, 12, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"This is a stupid idea. How do you think it would feel to be picked on by a bunch of guys or girls who are younger than you, teasing you because you're older and got held back? Also, what would you be doing in this repeat of year six, the same things you've already done. It would be very boring and dull to sit in the same chair and listen to the teacher go through a problem for the second year running."

Nic, 13, Bath, England

"I live in Belgium and if you don't do well one year you either have to stay down a year or go to another school. The threat of staying down usually makes you work harder!"

Alice, 13, Brussels, Belgium

"That is a very silly idea! Why don't they just give you extra help at high school? The teachers could make a room for the failing children and help them even more to catch up!"

Courtney, 11, Croydon, England

"It's a great idea. In Germany if we fail our tests then we must stay a year back and it works; everyone works very hard so that they don't have to be held back a year or go to a lower school."

Matt, 13, Nurnberg, Germany

"It is a terrible idea because kids will probably get teased about it when they eventually do go up into high school!"

Eleanor, 10, Crawley, England

"I reckon there should be an optional choice, either to re-sit or progress forwards into Year 7. I don't know why UK kids complain so much, I think it's a great idea because a great education is the great foundation for life!"

Sarah, 10, Leeds, England

"In America they already do that. It does help the children who get left back to do better, but it must be sad and a bit embarrassing. I have never been held back and I am glad. I think the threat of being held back might push kids to work harder."

Lucy, 12, California, USA

"I think that it is a good idea and a bad idea. You will catch up with others, but it will be humiliating to know that your friends are in a higher class than you."

Daisy, 12, Oxford, England

"I think repeating Year 6 is a good idea as more kids will work harder and care about their scores. It works in other countries and so I think it would make some difference in the UK."

Jessica, 11, Wakefield, UK

"I repeated Year 6 - it wasn't a bad idea and I have improved tremendously. I think the idea is rather good because it will help children improve on their school work and hopefully achieve better grades."

Chloe, 12, London, England

"I think it's absolutely disgusting! Just because some people aren't as good as others they will have to have another year at school when we have plenty already!"

Bethany, 11, North Hykeham, England

"I'd hate to be left behind when all my friends went up a year. It would make me feel stupid and it wouldn't help at all."

Beth, 11, Gorseinon, Wales

"I don't think that it would help you do better because you would just be learning the same things. You would be tempted to mess around more because you would get bored more easily."

Ciara, 11, London, England

"I'm in year 8 this year but I still think it's a good idea as you will get better SATs or GCSEs in older years. If people taunt you then, in the end, you'll be the one with the better job and career!"

Matt, 12, Stoke-on-Trent, England

"I think it's a good idea because when you're in year 6 you are much more laid back than any other year. With this rule you will get your head down and work harder to achieve the results needed."

Abbie, 11, Oxford, England

"I think that it is a stupid idea. When I went to secondary school I was fine because I had my friends there but if I didn't I don't know what I would have done. Also, the people that get put behind would be behind their friends all the way through life and this would destroy any confidence they had."

Elizabeth, 13, York, England

"I don't think this is a good idea because when that pupil does move up to year seven they would feel humiliated and might even get bullied."

Ella, 12, Mansfield, England

"I think it is a great idea because there are a lot of people in my class who are falling behind. I think that an extra year in year six would help."

Simran, 12, London, England

"Personally, if it happened to me I would be humiliated. I think it's a great idea and kids will understand how important it is to learn."

Reema, 12, London, England

"Even though I'm going into year 8 in September I still think it's a great idea. You'll enjoy school more and want to go to school."

Andy, 12, Telford, England

"Going to secondary school is scary enough without being a year older than everyone else. Besides, when you take your SATs you have already been told what secondary school you're going to, so it would be a let down."

Meg, 12, Colchester, England

"I think it's a really bad idea. I'm going into year 7 next year and I am not going to know anyone, but going to a whole new school a year younger than everyone else would be torture!"

Katie, 11, Kent, England

"I think that it's a terrible idea to hold kids back a year. It would be really embarrassing for them and may even make them perform worse at school."

Sara, 12, Liverpool, England

"I think it's a bad idea. My dad had to repeat a year because he wasn't old enough. He got bored of school because he had to do all the work again!"

Alex, 13, Kendal, England

"That's not fair. You will be the oldest in the class and won't get to see your friends. If that happened to me I would never get over it. I would be so upset. I would be worrying that nobody would like me. I would be embarrassed."

Jessica, 11, Norfolk, England

"I think that all years should have this. So, if you didn't understand it the first time, the next teacher does not go on thinking you are OK. If you are warned that you are likely to have to repeat the year then you can either pay more attention or ask for help."

Jodie, 10, London, England

"I think children should be tested each year and if they fail, do the year again. That way our school reports would be something to work for each year."

Hannah, 13, Belfast, Northern Ireland

"It's so wrong. It's not hard to see that it isn't the person's fault if they struggle to learn. In secondary we have extra classes and sets to help them achieve their best, not having to match everyone else!"

Lorna, 12, Manchester, England

"I don't think it is a good idea to make children stay on any longer. People who fall behind fall behind because they don't like doing work, so if they were made to do more work, they would not work any harder."

Tara, 10, Ipswich, England

"Yes I think that is a good idea. They do that in America. If kids fail more than two subjects in high school they get left back. In elementary school they do that too, but only if you are doing really bad."

Celine, 13, New York City, USA

"I think this is a good idea because it will help most to have better test scores. I have experienced this in Yemen."

Abdullah, 11, Birmingham, England

"In school you're there to learn - if you have to repeat a year you won't learn or be with your friends any more."

Hannah, 9, Hampshire, England

"I think this is a great idea! Kids will feel safer at secondary school, as most bullies are dumb they will stay in primary school while the rest will carry on."

Kashif, 12, Nottingham, England

"I think it's stupid because it means you'll be in school for longer and that's unfair."

Gareth, 12, Cardiff, Wales

"If they failed it the first time, they'll only fail it again because they'll get bored in class (having been through the stuff already) and they'll be embarrassed at having to stay behind with pupils younger than them. Also, there is great emphasis on the SATs in year six and another exam would only stress both pupils and teachers more."

Osnat, 11, London, England

"That's terrible - you won't see your friends at school and yes embarrassing as you're the odd one out - taller and older. I hate the idea."

Chloe, 11, Norwich, England

"I think that if children need to be held back a year because they can't read or write properly the standard of teaching needs to go up, not making children stay back a year. It's not their fault."

Ottilie, 13, Crediton, England

"I am going into year seven in a few days and I think it would be horrible to do year six again, especially the SATs. I got all level 5s in my test but my best friend got all 3s. She is going to the same school as me and I don't know what I would do if she got left behind!"

Lauren, 11, Middlesbrough, England

"I think it will help as if you're struggling in your last year you'll probably struggle in secondary school which might lead to bullying!"

Funso, 10, Isleworth, England

"How embarrassing would that be! If you were the only one kept behind, then wouldn't you be the talk of the school? You'd have to make new friends, if the others moved to secondary, and, due to the humiliation, you wouldn't want to go back, so maybe play truant, all to be kept back again!"

Francesca, 11, Wolverhampton, England

"I think they shouldn't keep people behind a year, they should keep them behind after school or after classes if they weren't listening."

Faith, 10, Bury, England

"I think it is a good because it will help some children really understand what they're doing before they move on."

Sarah, 11, London, England

"I have just been through year six and I think it would be wrong to keep children back because they might have failed because of the teacher or where they sit. I think it would be more stressful for the child to keep them back from their friends and the new experience that most eleven year olds go through at secondary school."

Laura, 11, Corringham, England

"It's an excellent idea. English children are the hardest worked in Europe and this would take the pressure of those who are behind."

Benjamin, 13, Cambridge, England

"I think it's a good idea because people can improve but what if they never get good enough to move up?"

Jessie, 11, Barkisland, England

"I think it is a bit unfair because they would get to do their SATs twice and it is a bit unfair on those who are going to secondary who didn't get the results they wanted."

Laura, 11, Milton Keynes, England

"I think that it stupid because if they could be failing in two subjects but they could be doing really well in others."

Sian, 12, Newport, Wales

"I think it is not such a good idea because kids should get a chance and once they move from primary to secondary they might improve."

Maryam, 11, Wythenshawe, England

"I think they should definitely make children not doing well repeat year six because there are people in my year that are extremely behind at almost every lesson because they didn't pay attention. They should do this for every year not just year 6. School is for learning and when you're in your lessons you have to think about your education not your friends because it's up to them if they want to learn or not, most people lose touch with their friends when they finish school."

Sarah, 13, London, England

"I think it's a bad idea for children to repeat a year that they have already done. Because children try their best at everything and if they fail at one thing it doesn't mean they fail at everything. This year on my report I had two Bs and one a and last year I had two As and a B but I am not repeating year four."

Amy, 9, Blackwood, Wales

"We don't think it's fair to be held back a year because in secondary school they have different classes to suit our ability."

Hannah and Megan, 11, South Wales

"It is a really bad idea. If you repeat year six then some kids might treat you badly which will increase bullying and all your friends who you have known for years will be leaving you! It's an horrific idea!"

Annie, 12, Donaghadee, Northern Ireland

"I think it is a bad idea holding people back from going to secondary school. They will be left behind from their friends and they could have extra lessons at secondary school to help them instead."

Leah, 13, Lisburn, Northern Ireland

"I don't think that's much of a good idea - they will be uncomfortable joining the other class with no friends. They'll probably have too much attention and might get bullied. Anyway, they might improve in year 7 or in the future. I think they should have extra classes instead to reach the year standard."

Qabass, 12, Neasden, England

"Well, when I was in Year 1 there was a boy who was kept back while we went into Year 2. But he joined us again in Year 5. But that's here in Portugal so I don't know what it's like in England. I felt a bit sorry for him though."

Lilly, 11, Lisbon, Portugal

"Yes I think it is a good idea. I repeated year six because I couldn't keep up with the other kids and it really helped."

Tamara, 11, Liverpool, England

"I think it's a good idea and I also think that we should let kids skip a year if they are doing really well in school."

Alex, 10, Hartlepool, England

"I think the idea is both good and bad. It would make people work harder and give them a chance to catch up. But they would feel embarrassed and upset about repeating a year!"

Rose, 12, Lossiemouth, Scotland

"I think its a good idea because some kids misbehave and then don't do well so it'll teach them to behave."

Hazza, 12, Aberdeen, Scotland

"I think its ok as some people in my class are failing and the teacher spends extra long on the subject just because one person doesn't get it, holding us ALL back."

Amy, 12

"I think this is a bad idea as children will have to leave all their friends which they have know for years."

Emma, 11, Cheltenham, England

"I failed in my maths and I would hate to do year six again. I would miss my friends so much and I would have to do the SATs again - boring!"

Charlie, 12, Farnham, England

"I think it's unfair you should be held back, I left school last year and 7 of my friends came to my school so it was really comforting to be with them. I do not know what I would do without them!"

Jessica, 12, Slough, Berkshire

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