Does dd sound like she should be in the bottom set in maths?

(26 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Dec-12 18:00:16

I always thought she was quite bright. She passed her 11plus but didn't get a place on distance so has ended up at the comp. she got a 5c in her maths sats in yr 6.

She's in top sets for everything at school apart from maths, which I only found out last week. Dd was complaining to me that all the kids in her maths set are "thick" to quote her. From the names I know in primary school they're not the most academic kids.

She was saying to me she finds it really easy at school, is getting good marks for homework, etc.

They've just done another test last week and dd says she got a 5b. Her score was 78 which she thinks was out of 100. Dd got the joint highest mark and other kids were getting level 3s and 4s. Dd has asked her teacher if she can go up a group and they're going to think about it.

If nothing happens should I push it?

xmasissodepressing Wed 19-Dec-12 18:02:06

This doesnt sound right at all. Think you need to speak to the school.

shellyf Wed 19-Dec-12 18:14:10

Shame that she refers to other children as "thick".How do you know about their academic abilities?
Hopefully you will get a progress report and then you can ask appropriate questions to staff.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Dec-12 18:20:16

Well 2 of dd's friends from primary school are in the class and they're frequently here telling me about their detentions, not bothering to do homework ever, test scores, sat scores, etc. they're both very proud about the fact they're in trouble at school so much. One of the other girls I know spends most of her school time in isolation for swearing at the teachers and refusing to do any work.

But yes, it wasn't nice of dd to refer to them as thick and that has been pointed out to her.

Thanks Xmas, ill email school in the new year.

mercibucket Wed 19-Dec-12 18:41:26

Sounds iffy. Did she mess up the start of year exams or someone didn't mark it right?

VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Dec-12 18:46:17

Mercibucket, that's possible. They do CATS when they first start and I have no idea how she did in those. Hope if that's the case it doesn't keep her in the bottom set all year.

LIZS Wed 19-Dec-12 18:46:36

possibly not but maybe her confidence level is better at the top of a lower set or she has specific gaps to make up? How many levels are there (some sets may be parallel or mixed ability)

ShipwreckedUnderTheTree Wed 19-Dec-12 19:18:34

As a KS3 co-ordinator in science, I set the year 7 classes prior to their arrival and based on what the primary tell us about the kids.
This works perfectly well in the vast majority of cases but there is always the occasional mistake, sometimes by the primary and sometimes as data is transferred onto our system.

I am actually grateful when parents politely contact us early on because we do want kids it be in their correct set. definitely worth a gentle enquiry to the KS 3 co-ordinator with all the data you have smile

shellyf Wed 19-Dec-12 19:22:50

There is usually movement around sets during the year in our local schools.Hopefully she will end up in appropriate set next term.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Dec-12 19:27:27

Dd thinks there are only two sets, top and bottom. Another mum with older kids there said there's top, middle and bottom sets.

shellyf Wed 19-Dec-12 20:12:50

There are about five or six sets in our local schools.Your dd must be in a much smaller school.Think you should email or talk to her Head of year to have the situation clarified.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Dec-12 20:23:00

It's quite a big school. Six forms in each year.

noblegiraffe Wed 19-Dec-12 20:38:25

Unless it is a highly selective school I would be exceptionally surprised to see a child with a level 5 at KS2 in the bottom set. I would definitely phone the school and ask on what basis the children were setted, whether there has been an error and when the setting will be revisited (I'd expect now or Feb half term). No harm in getting them to double check, and then if there hasn't been an error, you can at least explain to your DD why she is in that group and what she needs to do to move up.

noblegiraffe Wed 19-Dec-12 20:39:24

Don't phone the head of year, you need to talk to the maths teacher, KS3 coordinator for maths, or the head of maths.

nkf Wed 19-Dec-12 20:42:14

Get them to check. 5c isn't that high. And it might be that they set a baseline test and she was in te 4s. Kids can forget a lot over the summer. Ask her not to refer to other students as thick. It might be a numbers thing. Top sets tend to be filled to the brim and perhaps she was one who missed out. Like the other kid in her class. But just ask the school.

senua Wed 19-Dec-12 21:31:13

Did the school ever respond to your letter about the History teacher?

VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Dec-12 21:31:50

No they didn't. angry

noblegiraffe Wed 19-Dec-12 22:36:05

A letter is too easy to put to one side then forget about, you really need to follow-up with a phone call.

teta Thu 20-Dec-12 22:23:23

5c is usually a high enough mark for the top sets in an average comprehensive.My dd achieved this,but was assessed at the end of year one where she was borderline for the top group due to a bad exam result.They decided that it was an erroneous result and that they would ignore it.I would make an appointment to go in and have a word with the teacher or speak on the telephone.My dd's comp never seemed to respond to e mails or letters.
My dd used to say the same about the bottom groups at her comp that they are thick and that they don't want to learn.It shows that your dd is differentiating herself from them which is only a good thing.Don't criticise her for it!.

oldpeculiar Fri 21-Dec-12 11:11:55

Your DD and the other girl will stand out like sore thumbs.She'll be moved up I'm sure especially if she has shown keenness by asking..

VivaLeBeaver Fri 21-Dec-12 11:52:07

Her form tutor has rung up this morning. I was out, Dh took the call. They're not moving her up yet but will keep an eye on things. He said dd has shown a lot of improvement and if this continues they will move her up. H says they don't feel she is been held back by where she is currently.

I'm a bit surprised but will have to accept their verdict. Dh didn't ask any questions so not sure why she was placed in the bottom group initially or what time frame there is.

tiggytape Fri 21-Dec-12 15:16:49

DS also Year 7 at a comp. In his school a 5b would be the middle set. The top set is just children who got a 5a or level 6 in their SATS and then similar scores in the tests the comp did before half term.
It is a massive school though so there are lots of children on each grade. In a smaller school, I would imagine all level 5's would be top set so something doesn't sound right.
Unless of course they aren't streamed by ability and there is some other way they've divided up the classes for Year 7?

tiggytape Fri 21-Dec-12 15:19:03

There are 4 maths sets plus a support set for the pupils who are really struggling at DS's school. If there were only 3 sets in total then pupils on 5c would also be in the top group I am sure.

ihearsounds Fri 21-Dec-12 15:41:19

My dd's school has 6 forms, and 3 levels for maths. In year 6, she gained 5C for maths. In the September she did Cats, the school based the levels from sats and cats, and because she did a lot better on the cats she was in the middle set. Friends of hers who also got a 5C, didn't score as well in the CATs and were put in the bottom set. The school spoke to me in depth about their decision as head of maths felt that at the time she was borderline between the two sets, as generally the middle set consisted of those in 5a and b.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 21-Dec-12 15:46:09

I do trust their judgement that they think she's in the right place. I'm sure there is something to be said for been in the top of the bottom set rather than the bottom of the top set if perhaps the kids in that set are at 5a or 6 level.

We'll just continue to support her at home with maths, making sure she undstands her homework, etc.

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