To fall out with school re Kagan structures?

(52 Posts)
saresywaresy2 Thu 03-Nov-16 14:49:57

Hi, my son has just gone into year 6. He's lovely. He's academic, he's sporty, he's a lovely friend, and he tries his hardest at everything he does. He's always been well loved by his past teachers. This year the school has decided to move away from ability tables and has put the kids into kagan structures tables. We haven't been given any information about this and I am struggling to understand the benefits for the brighter children.
However, the main issue I have, is not that he's sitting with lower ability children, but that he's sitting with actively disruptive children. It's a big primary school with big classes and a lot of children who are difficult. Always having been on ability tables he has been away from the sharp edge of that, but now he's with a kid who is swearing and goading and being loud and basically making his life a misery. I've been to school and I've been told that they're giving the children tips on how to deal with it, and my child must tell a teacher every time it happens, and the other child will be punished by having to stay in and write the class rules out etc etc. I don't want this for him though, I just want him moving away, but they won't. AIBU?? I'm pretty sure I'm not and it is very unfair, so what should I do??

corythatwas Thu 03-Nov-16 14:52:50

So if there are a lot of children who are disruptive, who do you think should sit with them?

Seekingadvice123 Thu 03-Nov-16 14:54:25

Imagine if every parent complained that didn't want their child sat near any one disruptive..... totally unworkable I'm afraid. It's very annoying and worrying but not much you can do aside from going in and making huge fuss which may or may not make a difference.

YelloDraw Thu 03-Nov-16 14:55:10

Yeah.... everyone wan't their child away from the low ability / disruptive / SEN children. Its well shit for your son, but unless you can buy a more exclusive education, it is the realities of school life.

kesstrel Thu 03-Nov-16 14:59:18

I am so grateful that I was at a school that had individual desks from age 8. Group tables above that age facilitate bullying, and there is no evidence that they are better for learning.

JasperDamerel Thu 03-Nov-16 15:03:34

DD has always had far more trouble from disruptive high-ability children than from anyone else, and far preferred her mixed ability table to the high-ability maths table where she was regularly poked, kicked and told she was stupid by a couple of bright, middle-class boys who behaved impeccably whenever an adult was looking.

YelloDraw Thu 03-Nov-16 15:23:33

Group tables above that age facilitate bullying, and there is no evidence that they are better for learning.

Indeed. Group tables are a stupid way of learning IMO - children facing the wrong way, can't see the board, can't see the teacher, no personal space, everyone facing in etc.

MargotLovedTom Thu 03-Nov-16 15:30:57

corythatwas that's not for a parent to decide is it; it's the teacher's responsiblity. It's hardly surprising that the OP is concerned about her son. Should he just put up and shut up? Actually, not shut up - makes sure he pipes up very time another child does something wrong? Because that's going to make his life easier isn't it?

What are the coping tips the children are being given OP?

Theoretician Thu 03-Nov-16 15:42:34

So if there are a lot of children who are disruptive, who do you think should sit with them?

The other disruptive children?

If they are already learning fuck-all because of their behaviour they may as well do it in a group setting.

If they need to be taught how to behave, before they can be taught anything else, they may as well be taught it in groups that don't include people who don't need to be taught how to behave.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Thu 03-Nov-16 15:45:46

Theoretician - absolutely agree. Why should the OPs sons education suffer because of a few unruly kids who will no doubt be a pain in the ass all the way through school.

BarbarianMum Thu 03-Nov-16 15:49:28

Well, objectively it's no more unfair that a bright child should sit next to a less academically able one than a less academically gifted one should. And arguably less damaging to their attainment long-term.

<<now he's with a kid who is swearing and goading and being loud and basically making his life a misery.>>

Well why not speak to the teacher about this. Surely you'd do that even if that child was as academically able as yours?

BarbarianMum Thu 03-Nov-16 15:50:51

Well, objectively it's no more unfair that a bright child should sit next to a disruptive child than a less academically gifted one should. And arguably less damaging to their attainment long-term.

Apologies for the cut and paste bollux. blush

RatherBeRiding Thu 03-Nov-16 15:51:52

No YANBU. What can you do about it? If the school's answer is to provide "coping tips" then it doesn't sound like a school that is going to be open to your request to move your child.

Ask for a copy of their complaints procedure? Ask for a copy of the LEA's complaints procedure? Complain on the grounds that your child's education is being hampered and that his school-life is now a misery. Not sure how far you will get though. Is there another primary school in the area you could consider? Sometimes if all else fails you just have to move to a more suitable school if there is one.

DixieWishbone Thu 03-Nov-16 15:57:08

I don't think the OP is complaining about the children not being academic, but because they are actively preventing her DS from learning.

When my DC were at elementary school and had to sit at group tables (thank goodness they do not have to do that at middle school) disruptive children were pulled to one side and sat on their own in their own chair - like the ones that have a small table attached. If they continued to be disruptive the Assistant Principal came and removed them to her office and parents were phoned.

Can you ask the teacher if a similar approach can be used in your DS's classroom? The disruptive children have to sit up next to the teacher in their own chair?

They shouldn't be given the opportunity to disturb anyone, particularly non-academic children who need to be able to concentrate.

ReallyTired Thu 03-Nov-16 15:57:27

The problem with ablity tables is that it causes a fixed mindset. It damages the self esteem of less able children. The other children assume that children sitting on the dragonflies table are stupid and that the children on butterflies are able to everything.

I think the problem is that the children have been used to sitting in ablity groups. The damage has already been done.

kesstrel Thu 03-Nov-16 16:03:06

Just been looking up Kagan. Here's what it says about those who don't use group tables:

But then, when or how will they acquire the social interaction skills which will most predict their life success and enjoyment?

Um, during the 85% of their waking hours that they're not in formal lessons? From their family, their friends, their community?

Comfort yourself, OP: your child is just acquiring social interaction skills ....hmm

BarbarianMum Thu 03-Nov-16 16:03:45

<<I don't think the OP is complaining about the children not being academic, but because they are actively preventing her DS from learning.>>

No, if that were the case, she'd not have added all the stuff about the move away from ability tables would she? It would be a straight AIBU about disruption in the classroom.

gillybeanz Thu 03-Nov-16 16:06:36

YABU what if every parent went in to have their child moved from a disruptive child.
Your ds has to learn how to manage such behaviour, and the teacher has given instruction on what to do.
I don't like ability tables as it doesn't teach the children how to work alongside children with different abilities.
Knowing you are on the bottom table does nothing for your confidence or self esteem, you just think everyone is better than you. sad Some top table children likewise gain a sense of superiority and think they are better.

corythatwas Thu 03-Nov-16 16:11:40

Theoretician Thu 03-Nov-16 15:42:34

"So if there are a lot of children who are disruptive, who do you think should sit with them?

The other disruptive children? "

Have you ever been in charge of controlling a group of school children? If all the disruptive children are put in a group together, then chances are the disruption will be such that nobody on any table will be able to learn anything. The best chance of containing them is to break them up. That gives the OP's son, and everybody else, the best chance.

Headofthehive55 Thu 03-Nov-16 16:16:27

I think it's the opposite gilly. Being in ability groups was really helpful for my low ability child.

AcrossthePond55 Thu 03-Nov-16 16:18:31

If I was sitting next to a disruptive passenger on a plane or train, I would expect to be moved if I complained to the conductor/flight attendant. Why should we expect our child to just 'put up with it' when seated next to a disruptive student?

In either case, I'd expect the person with authority to deal with the disruptor in an appropriate manner, not to tell me or my child that I have to 'learn to deal with it and here's how'.

FWIW my DS1 (in US 5th grade, aged 10) was routinely called out of his class to help with an emotionally disturbed child because this child had 'connected' with DS1 the year before. This child was a 'runner' and staff couldn't get him back from the yard, but DS1 could. I have some beautiful pictures of the two of them interacting together taken by their teachers including one of the two of them at the far end of the yard sitting together arm in arm by the fence as DS1 talked him back in. Neither DS1 nor I had a problem as it didn't affect DS1's learning, but if it had or if this child had been prone to hitting out or abusive behaviour I would have put a stop to it.

perfumedlife Thu 03-Nov-16 16:20:28

My ds has this op. Running to the teacher when the disruptive goaders kept going resulted in my ds being bullied mercilessly. The school were hopeless at dealing with that too. I home school. I took him out of school and we're moving much further away to a school I believe has a handle on this madness.

applesandpears33 Thu 03-Nov-16 16:20:29

Have the school given any indication as to how long the kids will be sitting in the tables that they have been assigned? If they change the tables round quite frequently then he should be sitting beside someone else in a month or two.

girlwhowearsglasses Thu 03-Nov-16 16:35:07

Gosh.

Some of the attitudes on here are very hmm about other children. My son is 'one of those' chidren. He has ADHD, he can't always concentrate. He is bullied. If he were 'with all the other disruptive kids' he'd give up altogether.

Really who do you all think your children are that they can't be with the 'low ability' children. (BTW my son has a perceptual reasoning percentile of 99.9 but that's beside the point). Its never as simple as you'd like to believe that there are all these no hope children your child shouldn't have the displeasure of sitting next to!

perfumedlife Thu 03-Nov-16 16:39:06

It's every child's right to a good education girlwhowearsglasses and so if the school can't facilitate that for the children who are ready to learn then the school is failing those children. These kids shouldn't suffer to make schooling possible for children with problems behaving, whatever the cause, be it ADHD or just jumping beans personalities. That's nothing to do with ability.

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