Rank in class

(95 Posts)
MilestoneMum Mon 27-Jan-14 18:02:17

When I returned from parents' evening last term DH asked me where DD was ranked in the class in terms of ability, as DH's (independent) school would tell parents this.

Would a teacher discuss this? DD is in a state YR and is very capable but at a school which "requires improvement" so I guess we want reassurance she is in the top handful.

Sparklingbrook Mon 27-Jan-14 18:07:17

I am sure they would tell you if you asked. I have never asked.

mammadiggingdeep Mon 27-Jan-14 18:07:57

I think what would be more useful would be to compare to national average, which most schools would do.

The changes by Gove means that children will be ranked in their class.

I think it's vile personally but that's just me.

mammadiggingdeep Mon 27-Jan-14 18:09:34

Sparkling....we wouldn't at our school. We would compare to national average for that age. Not sure about other schools...but none of the schools I've ever worked in have done it and I've never been asked for it by a parent either (13 years experience).

Hoppinggreen Mon 27-Jan-14 18:09:38

Highly unlikely I would say. My children's state school certainly wouldn't.
I went to a Private school and our rankings weren't given out either to us or our parents or anyone else.

Skiingmaniac Mon 27-Jan-14 18:09:41

I work at an independent primary - we don't give out rankings....I would only say top half or bottom half if pushed.

I remember the rankings when I was at independent secondary school but they didn't do it at my Indy primary.

Sparklingbrook Mon 27-Jan-14 18:10:20

I just want to know that my children are where they should be-I am not really bothered about top of the class-just if they are underachieving.

meditrina Mon 27-Jan-14 18:10:41

Teachers are generally reluctant to do this, because so much is changeable when eg are that small and still on EYFS.

But I can remember being completely would up about this with my first (because I had no point of reference and needed reassurance that he was normal!). If cornered, you can usually get a teacher to 'fess up if the pupil is in top/middle/bottom third. But, trust me, in the long run YR 'rank' is not going to matter.

Sparklingbrook Mon 27-Jan-14 18:11:55

My two are 12 and 14 so may be a bit out of date mamma. I vaguely remember a Year 4 teacher saying where one of them was in the class order.

lilyaldrin Mon 27-Jan-14 18:12:32

They can probably tell you where she is compared broadly compared to other children her age - eg. working at 30-50 months or 40-60 months in particular areas.

spanieleyes Mon 27-Jan-14 18:13:53

Rumour is that Gove has abandoned his plans to rank children!
I certainly wouldn't tell you how your child ranked in comparison with other children, I might say how they rank against national averages. If I had a class of low ability children, an "average" child might be near the top of the class, if I had a class of bright children, the same child might be in the middle ability wise. Class rankings are meaningless.
A school which "requires improvement" doesn't necessarily have children of low ability so even a "capable " child might not be in the top handful, it depends on the rest!

mammadiggingdeep Mon 27-Jan-14 18:15:48

I hope that's true spaniel...maybe...god forbid...maybe he listened to the teachers' opinions on that one?!

Sparklingbrook Mon 27-Jan-14 18:16:50

Why are people so interested in where their children are in relation to the rest of the class?

Daykin Mon 27-Jan-14 18:17:30

It's pretty meaningless in a non-selective school. dd1 is in the top groups for numeracy and literacy but she doesn't know how many beans make 5 and her reading is below the national standard. The whole class have had a rough ride and compared with ds1 (also top group but a completely different school experience) she is miles behind where he was at that age. She also has 12 EAL pupils so in YR it was hardly achievement to have better English than pupils who had no English at all. There is no value in me knowing that she is doing well in the class compared to other dcs when the other dcs are behind as well.

LondonBus Mon 27-Jan-14 18:20:10

Oh, I remember being ranked at secondary...the top 3 were highlighted and later bullied by classmates for being a swot. It was not cool to be able at my school

When I've asked where my DC are in the class I've been told which 3rd they are in. Schools tend to set work at higher, middle, and lower levels IME. I only asked with DS2. DS1 was obviously the most able child in the class, and DD's teacher repeatedly told me "She was still only little" which was code for; She really doesn't get this reading and writing lark, and she will be in the bottom set in Y1.

In YR it's very difficult, if impossible to rank children. You can rank on test scores, etc, but that just doesn't happen in reception, and a child who enters school not realising sounds link with letters, while the rest of the class can, can be reading simple words independently by February, while some classmates are struggling to blend words.

Wellthen Mon 27-Jan-14 18:26:08

Why does being in a requires improvement school mean you want her to be top? The school can easily have bright, capable children but still require improvement. No matter how much Gove would like it, we don't currently judge schools purely on intake.

all I know is that dd and ds are in the highest ability groups for maths/literacy in their respective classes. DS is in his own wee maths group as he is doing maths a year or two ahead of the rest of his class.

WeAreDetective Mon 27-Jan-14 18:32:55

This is pointless.

As others have said, it's the comparison with the National picture that's more valuable. And how much progress they are making as an individual that's even more important.

AvonCallingBarksdale Mon 27-Jan-14 18:35:06

I asked whereabouts DS was in his class in Yr3 only telling you this to highlight an example and was told firmly by his teacher, that she wasn't able to discuss that.

WeAreDetective Mon 27-Jan-14 18:35:24

That's really lovely, ilove and you must be very proud of them. but I am not sure how that moves the thread along really.

NewNameforNewTerm Mon 27-Jan-14 18:37:19

I won't rank children because we look at and assess each strand rather than just one lump. e.g. So hypothetically a child is 5th in decoding, 16th in comprehension, 12th in handwriting, 6th in spelling, 30th in punctuation, 19th in grammar, 2nd vocabulary choices, 24th in creative composition, 2nd in place value, 12th addition and subtraction 7th in knowing times tables ..... the list goes on and that is just the rankings for one week, as by the end of the week's teaching it could change.

Anyway it is all about national expectations not rankings compared to current peers as cohorts can vary so much.

BackforGood Mon 27-Jan-14 18:37:58

Why would you want to know where they "ranked" in class ?
Ability in terms of what ?
If you want to know the NC level they are working at in a subject, then you can compare where they are nationally, but I couldn't give 2 hoots about a snapshot judgement as to if Tom or Fed scored higher or lower in a test than my dc, just that my dc were doing their best, and improving Year from year.

is that not what the OP was asking? About where their children are performing in the class?

I'm in Scotland though so we dont have the National Levels to compare them to (and I dont really know what they are or what they mean)

do your children not get put into ability groups within the class? I know ours do for maths/literacy

NewNameforNewTerm Mon 27-Jan-14 18:42:54

I read that Gove wants assessments to identify what percentile children are compared to national figures rather than rankings within a class.

Wallison Mon 27-Jan-14 18:43:19

In common with many others, I don't see what the point would be in finding out where your child 'is' in relation to the other kids in the class - quite apart from anything else, the cohort will vary from year to year. Surely the most important thing is whether or not she is making progress? I would ask about that.

lalouche Mon 27-Jan-14 18:45:22

I went to school in france where class ranking is (or was) very explicit. It is poisonous IMO. Demotivating for kids at bottom, and kids at top end up chasing high marks for the sake of it rather than having any innate sense of the fun of learning and challenging themselves. Ask if a child is within range of expectation and making good progress by all means, but a class rank is a dangerous and meaningless piece of information, especially in reception.

Kittymalinky Mon 27-Jan-14 18:46:00

Nope, we wouldn't at out school. Not good practice and useless information.

Also I wouldn't know where all my kids ranked in terms of 1-24. I would tell a parent if their child was high, middle or low ability and how we are supporting/pushing them. Ranks ate meaningless really

NewNameforNewTerm Mon 27-Jan-14 18:47:20

It is more of a private school phenomenon. I have heard of cards with children's names on displayed on a rankings chart at the front of the class and a big show being made of swapping children's name cards around after the results of that week's tests as they rose or fell in the rankings.

KingRollo Mon 27-Jan-14 18:51:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsKCastle Mon 27-Jan-14 19:04:52

Class rankings would be pointless and meaningless. On what basis would you rank them? If you look at maths, for example, one child might know all their times tables perfectly, another has a better grasp at written methods, while a 3rd is really confident at problem solving. All 3 children could be at a very similar level, but with different strengths. The same with Literacy- one has excellent reading comprehension, one writes perfectly structured but rather unoriginal sentences, while another has a real flair for language but forgets to put full stops in!

I admit to being curious as to where my DD1 fits in (Y1) but I have no idea and won't ask because there's really no point. (And, of course, because it's none of my business!).

MilestoneMum Mon 27-Jan-14 20:18:56

So is it acceptable to ask what NC level DD is working at?

The school's results aren't the best but I want DD to fulfill her potential.

LondonBus Mon 27-Jan-14 20:22:58

In Reception they don't work at NC levels, but from Y1 on wards you should know what NC level they are working at, so should your child. Your child should also know what they need to do do move to the next level.

LittleMissGreen Mon 27-Jan-14 20:24:13

I've been told NC level working at, but never where they are in class.

DC's (independent) school do, on a subject by subject basis, from Y4 onwards, and only in written reports, not at parents' meetings

thenoodlemachine Mon 27-Jan-14 20:30:00

Snort @ "All I know is that MY children are really, really, really, REALLY clever".

mrz Mon 27-Jan-14 20:30:19

Top of (a low achieving) class or bottom of (a high achieving) class ... hmm

Commander6 Mon 27-Jan-14 20:31:48

I asked and found out!
Then I had some odea of where they were. Becuase I knew their capabilities well, I was able to tell if they were underperforming in some subjects. And to find out why!
ie did they not get on with the teacher, was someone getting their attention in class, were they bored, were they struggling etc etc.

Buggedoff Mon 27-Jan-14 20:36:22

She's in YR, so ranking is pointless. When they are still so young their attainment is so linked to whether they are old or young for the year.

This will gradually change over the next few years. So you may find that a slightly above average September born child will be at the top of the class in YR, but will be a middle attainer by KS2. I really wouldn't stress too much at this stage.

Sparklingbrook Mon 27-Jan-14 20:40:42

In YR I would want to know if they are in the top group for dressing themselves and making friends. smile

HanSolo Mon 27-Jan-14 20:47:56

It is meaningless- I was top in every subject throughout my entire secondary education- but it's very easy to be top when I began reading at age 2, and most of my peers had EAL, and had been to dire primary schools to boot. (I had too, but my parents were teachers/lecturers)

HanSolo Mon 27-Jan-14 20:49:13

Also, your DD is in Reception, when most of their 'achievement' is down to how far they have developed.

My DC's school does rank them, from Y4 onward, but it is academically selective.

NearTheWindmill Mon 27-Jan-14 20:54:25

When my DC were at primary everyone knew the rankings anyway. Top table, the articulate child who could read a longish passage at a parents' assembly, the children talked about who was on "grown-up" books and who went out with the lady who helped the ones who needed help. It really wasn't rocket science.

DS tranferred to prep at 8. From 8 his report gave place in class, place in year, mark, and average mark for the year. Personally we found it quite helpful and because DS was competitive it helped him raise his game where necessary. Having said that it was a very competitive and selective prep.

Wallison Mon 27-Jan-14 21:16:24

I don't get how a place in class ranking tells you if your child is underperforming or not. At the risk of sounding wanky, surely the only way to tell if your child is underperforming is if their attainment doesn't square with what the teacher judges they are capable of doing. Am I missing something crucial here?

curlew Mon 27-Jan-14 21:20:05

All you need to be able to do is read upside down at parents's evenings. One of my most useful skills. Second only to my ability to put covers on king sized duvets in an unfeasibly short time.

thenoodlemachine Mon 27-Jan-14 21:31:18

DD's class is sorted by ability into four or five groups for reading and maths and it is pretty obvious who the brighter kids are so easy to tell. The kids are not told where they are by ability (groups have neutral names eg Red, Yellow) but if you asked the teacher she would tell you. Also, the kids know without having to be told.

MilestoneMum Mon 27-Jan-14 22:11:58

DD is September born so I would expect her to be towards the top end of the class and if she is not, I'd be wanting to support her more somehow.

TalkinPeace Mon 27-Jan-14 22:12:06

I know where both my children lie in their secondary cohorts in most subjects.
Its not particularly useful information because I do not know all of the other children and it does not impact on their different attitudes to work.

thenoodlemachine Mon 27-Jan-14 22:14:57

I would want to know where dd is in relation to her class rather than in relation to national averages because it is a v high-achieving school. But I am a control freak.

TalkinPeace Mon 27-Jan-14 22:22:01

somebody has to be second from bottom in every class remember

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 27-Jan-14 22:27:36

When I was youg we were always ranked in class on our termly reports, (state primary and senior). My mother was always cross if I was lower than 4th in class! Thankfully, it had all changed when my two went to school and positions in class had gone out of the window.

OP What would you do if you did not get the reassurance that she was in the top handful?

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 27-Jan-14 22:33:50

I think it's even less helpful then thenoodlemachine. I spent years at secondary school being bottom of my very high achieving year group in twice yearly English exams and thinking I was completely useless at it.

Nobody was more surprised than my parents and I that this actually translated into a B at GCSE. I don't think I was that far off an A either. Unfortunately my self-esteem and confidence had taken too much of a battering to change my view of the subject.

Rankings are fine if you are at the top or near enough to the top that the extra work might get you there. If you are at the bottom with no hope of making the top they are pretty soul destroying.

kilmuir Mon 27-Jan-14 22:36:48

Surely they could be in top set but thick? Depends on abilities of rest of cohort surely

thenoodlemachine Mon 27-Jan-14 23:38:45

But these are not RANKINGS, Rafa, they are groups. Some of the kids in DD's class are v fluent readers while some can barely read their own name. Therefore they are assigned books according to their ability.

Wellthen Tue 28-Jan-14 06:30:33

But its meaningless. I'm genuinely confused as to why you would want to know this. I taught a class a few years ago that had a group of 4 very bright children. Gifted and talented for definite. Not sure why such a big group on one class. Some t was for literacy and some Numeracy.

So my level 5s were actually my 'second top' group despite being very bright and capable because they were behind a group of level 6s and 7s!

That's an extreme example but all teachers have had brighter classes one year and less bright another year. Especially in big schools. To be honest its nothing more than competitiveness.

Timetoask Tue 28-Jan-14 06:44:57

OP, could your dh be confused with this senior school? I know of one senior private school that ranks all the children (maybe they all do? I don't know).

My DS goes to a fantastic prep school. He is in year 2. The teacher has told me that he is the top group and what areas he is getting extension work in, what things need improving, etc. She didn't even tell me how many children are in the top group (for all I know it could be half the class).

I would absolutely hate it if they ranked each child. What would that do to the confidence of those at the bottom and also it would be a huge amount of pressure for those at the top to stay on their ranking. Not much fun.

I don't know if they do this further up the school, I really hope not.

thenoodlemachine Tue 28-Jan-14 07:42:13

Of course it isn't meaningless how your child performs in relation to the rest of their class! Your extreme examples are exceptions.

KingRollo Tue 28-Jan-14 07:57:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 09:24:17

We want to know because it's great to know that your child is higher up the list than her child!!!!

That doesn't mean that we should be told. But that's why we all secretly want to know.

and why I am very grateful for my ability to scan teacher's lists upside down and very quickly on parent's evenings!

BalloonSlayer Tue 28-Jan-14 09:33:16

Class rankings stopped being done years ago.

It's where the saying "top of the class" comes from.

So in say 1950 someone would say "Young Algernon is doing well at Eton. He is top in Mathematics, 2nd in Stinks, only 9th in Geography but we don't care about that do we Darling whaa haa haa" etc.

We went to the Churchill war rooms and museum and they had some of his old reports with things like:

Position in class: 18th
Number in class: 18


DeWe Tue 28-Jan-14 09:33:42

When I was at school we did twice yearly exams through primary, which enabled us to have a rank in the form, we also had a mark, (out of 200, 100 being the expected from an average ability). This meant that the form could be compared in a weak sort of way with other years. I think things aren't marked as much with "points" in the same way, so ranking would be harder.

From my form 3, went to my secondary where we were put into different forms. Our "ranks" at primary were approximately: 1st, 3rd, 15th (out of 30). When we got our "rank" from our secondary at the end of the first term, we were all 3rd. Thus showing how the forms ranked in ability.

Rank isn't totally useless for a parent though.
NC levels sound great, but how many parents actually have a really strong grip on what is good and what isn't.
I know for my dc we were given at juniors a sort of chart: Expected for year 3 = 2a-3b (or whatever, I can't remember). This meant that some of the people whose dc had got 3b across the board thought they had a genius on their hands. But what they didn't know was that for year 3 they assessed up to 4c. When the maths sets across the forms (big school entry) were given there were some very indignant parents. If they had been told 3b/15th in the form, it would have not been so much of a shock to find there were children better.

But I think the op wanting to know to check her dc are in the top handful, is a bit sad really. I mean everyone would like to know their dc are popular, clever and the mainstay of the form wink. But to be asking to check that, seems to be putting a bit too much emphasis on that for a year R. And just because the school is requiring improvement, it doesn't mean there aren't some very bright children there.

redskyatnight Tue 28-Jan-14 10:07:58

If DC's school did rankings DD would do better than DS by virtue of simply being in a weaker cohort (e.g. she is one of the best 2 at maths in her class, but much weaker than DS at the same age - who didn't even make it into the top group of 6 children).

MilestoneMum Tue 28-Jan-14 15:01:56

DH may well have been thinking of his older years st school.

DD seems to be brighter than me so I see no reason why she shouldn't be in the top sets. If she isn't, we will try to help at home more.

Cat98 Tue 28-Jan-14 15:12:29

I was told in our year R parents evening that dc was 'top of a bright class but there are others chasing him' or similar.
I didn't ask - she just said it.

Tailtwister Tue 28-Jan-14 15:21:32

DS goes to an independent primary and the teacher didn't tell me where he was in relation to others in the class. In any case, there's a massive range of age and ability, so it wouldn't be a of any particular use to know anyway.

All I asked was how he was doing generally and if there were any issues the teacher had noted which required improvement and extra help at home.

TalkinPeace Tue 28-Jan-14 15:37:48

DD seems to be brighter than me so I see no reason why she shouldn't be in the top sets. If she isn't, we will try to help at home more.
but you have utterly missed the point

if the other kids in the cohort are brighter, then she will be lower down, regardless of whether she is brighter than you
its how she is relative to every child in the class .... which will change constantly as children mature and pupils change schools

BrianTheMole Tue 28-Jan-14 15:45:09

Well my dc1 is obviously super bright wink, but in reality she's somewhere in the middle. Dc 2 needs extra support.

Taffeta Tue 28-Jan-14 15:48:47

It's pointless. In DSs year (Y5) there were a group of people who assumed their children were very bright and a shoo in for the 11+ as the school streams by ability from Y1 and their children have always been in the top set.

It is now becoming known that it's not an especially bright cohort, so where people were making comparisons with others in the cohort, it really is irrelevant.

mrz Tue 28-Jan-14 17:18:40

"All you need to be able to do is read upside down at parents's evenings."

I never have any information about other children where it can be seen. I keep each child's info in separate folders and it isn't "ranked".

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 17:22:23

In my experience, mrz, you are alone of all your profession! They usually aren't ranked, but usually there are marks or levels next to their names on the list. Years as a civil servant means that I can scan down a list while not seeming to, and absorb all the information contained therein........grin

WeAreDetective Tue 28-Jan-14 17:40:38

And you find that useful to do because....

Hulababy Tue 28-Jan-14 17:45:35

I never had books of marks, etc on my desk at parent's evenings for all to see. I always ensured I only ever had that one child's information in front of me; different pupil on separate sheets. Because I knew parents ould spend half their appointment scanning lists pside down if I did otherwise!

I work in infants now and we don't ever give rankings out - we will see if a child is working above, at or below expectations and will give out NC levels.

But rankings are a bit useless surely? It doesn't tell you how you actual child is doing in relation to themself and their own individual progress, And it will change for every subject. Just because a child is top of the class at reading, doesn't mean they are in numeracy, or wirting, or phonics, PE, science, etc...

Hulababy Tue 28-Jan-14 17:47:13

Oh and DD was at an indepependent primary and now at independent secondary - no rankings given out throughout whole of primary and so far in Y7 none either.

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 17:49:21

Because I am The Elephant's Child and suffer from 'satiable curtiosity.

As everyone does, if only they would admit it grin

lainiekazan Tue 28-Jan-14 17:54:13

The teachers have always told me - and I didn't ask - where the dcs were in the class.

It was back in my day, in the swing yer pants 70s, that there was no ability grouping, no teaching to read, no grammar taught etc etc.

I agree that ranking depends on the cohort - but if you have a clever child then they will always be in the top few.

But the OP's child is in year R! Dd did not read one word in year R. She wouldn't even try. All I can say is year R performance is no indicator of subsequent primary school achievement!

WeAreDetective Tue 28-Jan-14 18:00:20

Ahhh! I said 'useful'.

tumbletumble Tue 28-Jan-14 18:19:44

I was at a selective academic independent school for secondary, but they still never had class rankings. Thankfully.

OP, by year 1 your DD will know which is the top group for reading and maths and be able to tell you if she's in it!

mrz Tue 28-Jan-14 18:38:33

As a parent the only time I have seen other children's results (upside down) was at secondary never in primary.

Commander6 Tue 28-Jan-14 20:51:03

curlew. I was like you. Able to read upside down carefully, specially while the teacher was waffling on. And could read across to a certain extent too.
Quite often told me more than the teacher was trying to do.

You need to know your children. Know what they are capable of. And remember what they were like last year etc.

Talking mainly secondary.

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-Jan-14 20:59:14

Are the upside down reading people the same ones who not only look at their own child's books left out on the table but every other childs on the table? hmm

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 28-Jan-14 21:08:46

Possibly the same people who invite other children round for a playdate so they can look in their book bag and check what book band they're on sparkling

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-Jan-14 21:11:29

Oh yes Rafa. I have told this many times but-

When DS1 was in YR he got invited for a playdate/tea the very first term. Turns out the Mum played 'schools' with him and her DS and did little tests to gauge where he was. sad She then proceeded to do the same with the rest of the class.

Commander6 Tue 28-Jan-14 21:12:12

Nope. Though not sure which table you are on about? I dont remember my school doing that.

Reading upside down and across I could only just do that in the time that the teacher was talking. And I needed to get it right, else I would have come away with the wrong answer. No use at all, actually worse than that.

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-Jan-14 21:14:14

I couldn't concentrate on what the teacher was saying and read upside down. Plus we only get 5-10 minutes.

bryte Tue 28-Jan-14 21:15:24

DH asked at DD's Y5 parents' evening and the teacher gave an indication, but not an exact placing. I doubt they could do that anyway unless they have had tests in lots of subjects.

curlew Wed 29-Jan-14 06:01:43

It's one of the few useful skills I took away from a long and fairly illustrious Civil Service career. That, and the ability to maintain entirely neutral small talk for as long as required, to write replies to detailed questions that appear to provide an answer while actually saying nothing and to turn 3 words scribbled on a napkin into a coherent press release.

Eastpoint Wed 29-Jan-14 06:19:21

DCs have all been to independent schools & we've never been told where they are in the class. The top children win scholarships/form prizes etc. mine don't.

redskyatnight Wed 29-Jan-14 09:09:53

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend when her DS was in Reception.

She said that he'd come in from school and announced that he was in the top group with 2 other children. She (being at this point an uber competive mother) instantly demanded the names of the other 2 children and then cross examined her DS as to why the extremely bright girl that was reading Shakespeare and doing quantum mechanics (exaggeration for effect, but you get the point) was not one of them.

her DS sighed deeply and said

"Don't be silly Mummy. It's the top group for lego "!

missinglalaland Wed 29-Jan-14 09:43:50

I can understand wanting to know and wanting reassurance.

BUT, I think you are being unreasonable. Your DD is in reception. It's waaaaay too soon to figure out how all the kids are doing "academically." At this point, I think it is all about settling in. As time goes by, it will be useful to know what SATs level the teacher thinks your dd is at for reading, writing, maths, etc. That will give you an absolute understanding of academic achievement thus far, without the information being distorted by the performance of other children in her particular class.

I don't think a state school would ever give you a class rank. I think it would be against the culture, and there would be a worry that giving you this information about your child also gives implied information about other children in the class that is none of your business.

I am sure that you and your dh just want the best for dd. The boring old chestnut about taking time to read to your child and listening to them read to you is so true. If you are anxious, it is the best use of your time and effort.

mumnosbest Wed 29-Jan-14 09:50:48

As a teacher I would only discuss National averages and personal progress. I would make clear whether they were 'struggling' or 'exceeding' which would give clues as to their ability within the class. Also by next year (Y1) your DC will probably be quite aware of which group they are in and tell you themselves.

looknow Wed 29-Jan-14 10:01:32

A friend has a super bright child. Other mums used to ask what group she was in, butterflies or grapes or whatever they were called. They knew her child would be top and wanted to compare book bands and group names
She had great evil fun jacking them around.

Parents want to know I suppose, to validate their efforts to push little Johnny forward. I only want to know my dc are working hard and developing good social skills. All this helicopter nonsense will hinder their self help skills eventually.

The friend with the super bright kid also used to say if your child is mega bright, you don't much care where they are in class, you know and worry far more about the emotional side.

pointythings Wed 29-Jan-14 10:11:32

DD2's school tells us what NC level she is on and what she needs to work on to move up - that's all, and that's all I want to know.

She knows perfectly well where she ranks in class though. Fortunately the emphasis is very much on each child reaching their potential, not on competing against classmates.

MillyMollyMama Wed 29-Jan-14 10:54:39

I know parents at my DDs old prep school pushed for "banding" of attainment. Therefore we had top 25%, middle 50% and lowest 25%. I disliked it intensely but it does keep the parents of the clever ones happy. However as they also had sets for English, Maths etc and only the clever ones did Latin, I think anyone with half a brain knew how well their child was doing in comparison to the others. There were also very many bright girls there, so being middle or lower was hardly a big issue. Ranking seems to be a topic for people with bright children. I was much more concerned with what DD could actually DO rather than what her ranking was.

I was at a grammar school. We were ranked about twice a term and the form orders were published on the notice board in our form room. By form 2 I stopped looking at them. I knew where I stood. I knew I was not top, I knew I was not bottom. Utterly pointless. Not remotely motivating. The top people were accepted for what they were. Just one of us. Just the same as the bottom few. However, the bottom few were called 'drones' by the Head Master. So it was not the pupils who singled anyone out for ridicule, it was the Head.

Farewelltoarms Wed 29-Jan-14 11:02:34

I went to a state primary until y6 then moved to a horrendous prep. They had two sets of exams a year and you were given a rank for each subject and then an overall position.

I was about a third of the way down in the first lot and then nearer the top in the second, having not done French and calligraphy (?!) before.

Even at the age of 10, I had a ferocious sense of the unfairness of this ranking and feeling like it was alright for those in the top half but made at least half the girls feel shit. I was really aggrieved on their behalf. If even a 10-year-old knows it's a bad idea...

I'm also not sure it was great for the top ones either. I very clearly remember the girl who came first for everything. She is an absolutely lovely person who has grown up into a marvellous adult, but she very definitely wasn't top of the class come GSCE/A level. I think she always felt she was letting herself down, when she in fact worked hard and did well (just not that well).

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