Yesterday was the last day of school and the Fifth Grade, who are all entering middle school next year, had a graduation ceremony. It was a real occasion, with visiting speakers, a video compilation of photos and some singing. It was followed by light refreshments and an early release from school for Emily. I didn't video the whole thing, but did take a few movie clips with my camera that I edited together, just to give you a feel it.
We loved it. One doesn't normally tend to graduate from primary (= elementary) school in the UK.
On a related note -- congratulations to Emily for doing so well in her exams. She scored within the 99th centile in her maths AG exams and on the 95th centile in her EOGs.
AG ExamsWhen we lived in England, Emily, along with a few other children in her year, used to go up to the next year for her Maths lessons. When we moved to the US, she found herself covering subjects that she had already covered two years previously. I gave the girls a couple of months to settle in, but Emily's homework was so easy that she was bored by it and just going through the motions to avoid the penalites that would come if the homework were not done. I decided to see her teacher to see what could be done. Unlike her school in England, nothing could be done. We were told, however, that the school runs a special programme for academically gifted children, but that she would have to sit a week's worth of aptitude exams, but that the exam results would not be available until May. This would be too late to get onto the programme, but the AG teacher at the school said that it would help with her middle school placement next year, especially as they have no End of Grade score for last year. The AG teacher said that if Emily sat the exams, she could attend the AG classes pending her results.
I wasn't going to force Emily to sit a load of exams. I think that testing children at every turn is ridiculous. Different children develop different skills at different times and I believe in letting children be children. Unfortunately, the school system doesn't agree with me and I don't want Emily to get bored. As it is, she's cruised through this entire 5th Grade. Anyway, Emily was up for it, so she sat the exams. She scored on the 99th centile for maths and 82nd for english (ie. within the top 1%/18% of those who sat the AG tests in the county). Next year she is doing advanced sixth grade english and seventh/eighth grade maths.