Better to be bottom of top group or top of next group in science?

(35 Posts)
Iamnotminterested Mon 20-May-13 13:11:40

Thoughts welcome. I know that DD is working at the level of the middle/bottom third of the top group in science in year 7 (because they all discuss it, don't they? :-) ) but is in the second group. What would be the advantages/disadvantages of staying put and to be in the top % in her current group versus moving up?

wordfactory Mon 20-May-13 13:16:33

Some schools only allow the top set to take triple science, so that may be worth checking out.

Branleuse Mon 20-May-13 13:17:39

bottom of top set

scaevola Mon 20-May-13 13:20:36

If there is significant overlap between the standards of the sets (and children don't divide themselves tidily into 30s or whatever class size), then they are likely to be covering the same topics. So it dosn't really matter. Will you have a chance,may at a parents evening, to ask about whether there is much difference?

But if say, only the top set will be given the chance for single sciences when they come to make GCSE choices, and if your DD is sure she wants to do that, then yes try to get her moved up. If however there are many children at this level split between the two sets, your best chance is for DD to work in a way that shows she really is securly performing at a higher level than everyone else in 2nd set.

Are they about to have exams, and will they all sit the same paper.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 20-May-13 13:20:43

Are you being offered the choice, OP?

BackforGood Mon 20-May-13 13:33:02

That's what I was wondering TOSN confused

Iamnotminterested Mon 20-May-13 13:35:15

No parent's evening now until year 8.

Don't know about any more tests this academic year.

The idea is being discussed at present.

bettycoast Mon 20-May-13 13:47:42

Putting the question of what subjects it will allow her to study to one side, DD1 would perform better at the top of group 2, and DD2 better at the mid/bottom of group 1. So to do with how the child responds to placement too. In this family anyway.

eatyourveg Mon 20-May-13 14:05:07

I've done it this year for ds3. It meant sacrificing the triple for the double but I would rather he get a 2 Bs or even a B and a C in the double than 3 Ds or lower in the triple and he's not a natural scientist anyway.

Do ask what exam the second group do before moving as the criteria for science A levels is often the triple

boardingschoolbaby Mon 20-May-13 14:08:54

As a science teacher I would say you need to base it on the individual student- some work much better with the "challenge" of being at the bottom, others need the confidence boost of being at the top of the next group in order to do their best and would give up if they were constantly chasing the rest of the set.
I would talk it through with your son and his teacher to see what might be best (if you have the flexibility to choose)

boardingschoolbaby Mon 20-May-13 14:09:35

Sorry- your daughter not son, got confused with reading the replies of others.

Iamnotminterested Mon 20-May-13 14:38:21

Haven't really given much thought to the science options at GCSE.

Isn't year 7 a bit early to thinking about it (she's only little! )

DeWe Mon 20-May-13 14:41:25

Depends on your dc and the set situation.

If they're doing different levels at GCSE then it's a bigger consideration, as there may be a limit as to when they can swap to the other set.

If they're lacking in confidence, they may be better at the top of the lower set. They understand quicker than others, and have the confidence of getting higher marks.
If they're a bit lazy and will coast at the top, they may work better with the challenge of better ones. Dd2 works enough to keep out of trouble, so she'd be better in the higher one, as she wouldn't end up the top of the second one, she'd end up middling.

wordfactory Mon 20-May-13 14:44:58

Year 7 is nottoo early to be considering GCSEs.

Some schools begin their science curriculum in year 9, whihc means the decision as to whether a pupil sits double or triple is made in year 8.

creamteas Mon 20-May-13 19:17:52

DS2 spent much of his life (primary and secondary) bouncing between top and second set (maths and science). He would find the pace of the top set a bit too fast, give up and go down to second.

This would completely demoralise him, and he would drop to near the bottom of set 2 for a while, then get his act together, go up to the top.

He would then be promoted to set 1 and the cycle started again!!

In year 8, when in set 2, I was told at parents eve he was due to go up again, and I asked if he could stay were he was. The school understood my reasons and were happy to facilitate this and he stayed in set 2 up to his GCSEs. Best thing that ever happened smile

lljkk Mon 20-May-13 20:03:21

I think it will depend on the kid; DS1 does best near bottom of the group (he rises to a challenge). DS2 does better working in his comfort zone, so better being top or near top. DD used to be like DS2 but is now like DS1.

TeenAndTween Mon 20-May-13 20:25:05

I agree, depends on the child. My DD1 works better being towards the top of a lower set than the bottom of a higher set. I suspect DD2 may turn out to be the opposite.

needanewnickname Wed 22-May-13 23:15:11

I recently discussed setting with my son's maths teacher who said that some children do better at the bottom of top set while others do better at top of second set. If your daughter lacks confidence in her ability in science she might be better off top of second set. If she is someone who is inclined to coast given the chance then I think bottom of top set would be better.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 22-May-13 23:22:44

My dd was given the choice of movi g up but we asked for her to stay in the lower set as she was really inspired by the teacher in the lower set.

Niceweather Thu 23-May-13 07:53:25

My concern would be that the kids in second group might be less interested, less on task and more disruptive etc.

Iamnotminterested Thu 23-May-13 13:05:40

Thanks for all the replies.

She is a hard worker and very determined to be in the top set because she knows that she is getting better grades in tests and monitoring than some in that set. Will keep you posted.

lljkk Thu 23-May-13 20:03:43

Ooh, this came up for DS tonite, chatting with his maths teacher, and DS also expects he'll be moved down a group. It feels like a good move, to be honest, his teacher says he could easily imagine DS moving back up later, but it's worth a try to see if his actual standard improves with the change.

SanityClause Thu 23-May-13 20:09:22

DD1 was at the bottom of the top maths group last year, and found it quite demoralising.

This year, she was in the lower group, and is getting on much better.

A friend's DD was in the middle group for maths but still got A at GCSE.

Leonas Sat 25-May-13 19:21:34

It depends on the individual. I had a boy in a top set English class who hated it as he knew he wasn't as capable as the others and he begged to be moved down. He was a very talented sportsman and was used to being good at things and therefore really struggled to deal with not being as strong as the others.
Some pupils like the challenge of being in a higher set and if they are hard working and willing to graft then being the bottom of the top shouldn't be a problem.

mumslife Sat 25-May-13 21:31:38

My experience daughter has always been top of second set for scienst high enough level to take triple didnt want to done double. Ended up top of second set not enough space in top set teacher said right on cusp as it ere. In core science teacher putwhole set utomatically in forfoundation which i argued endedup paying or her todo higher in biology and chemistry result she got a B. With the additionl she has just sat the same again twoat higher onefoundation. Didnt have to pay this time lol o will see what she gets. Incidentally she has an a. Star in her coursework. So at endof day ithasnt harmed her none. She has spent last few weeks in with top set as they are doing higher paper and she does admit its quieter lol

WastedTomatoGuts Sat 25-May-13 21:52:31

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ravenAK Sun 26-May-13 02:31:35

Where I teach, it would be a case of the sets being adjusted at the end of the year ready for September, unless there was a pressing reason why a child was misplaced in a given group & needed to move immediately.

It would be very normal for the top quarter, say, of set 2 in year 7, to be out-performing the bottom quarter of set 1, & they'd be re-set for year 8 accordingly. Apart from anything else, year 7 setting is based on KS2 SATs, & they aren't a terribly useful measure.

To be blunt, neither parents nor students usually get asked their opinion! If you are working at a level that indicates you'd be best placed in a particular set, that's where you are timetabled.

For us at least, you'd have to be in the lower ability groups, rather than set 1 or 2, before it started impacting on options at GCSE - & being in the less able groups would indicate that triple Science (or in my subject double English) would probably not be the way forward in any case.

I'd advise emailing/ringing the subject teacher, but if your dd is keen to be in set 1 & is doing better than students who are in it this year, you do have a strong case for her moving up.

Erebus Tue 28-May-13 19:20:31

DS1 has to go 'up a set' in order to be able to do the triple science he wants to do. Our school only offers double science or 'accelerated pace' triple sad. He'd be best in normal pace triple but that isn't an option.

Still not 100% sure the top set doing triple will be the right place for him, there are some very clever DC at the school so he will be near the bottom. He'd definitely be 'happier' near the top of a group, but heigh ho!

And no, Y7 isn't too early to be thinking 'GCSE'! At our school an extra MFL GCSE and statistics are offered (or not) to certain DC depending on their Y7 performance!

lljkk Wed 29-May-13 08:19:31

Does he want to do science, Erebus, is he keen on it?
I couldn't make your choice with DS unless he was very keen because I know DS would too likely get too demotivated being right at the bottom and floundering. Better to find a career path that didn't require triple GCSE. I know being very bottom works for some, though.

Thank goodness GCSE MFL is not required at DS school. Although DS German teacher was the only one who gushed about him at ParentsEve confused. So MFL back on the table as a maybe after all.

For some reason DS is still in top set maths for y9 shock; and has announced he wants to do statistics at GCSE (extra shock ), his stats exercise was his worst mark all term. But he loves probabilities. Think maybe he's a gambler in the making. I work a lot with stats so will try to keep an eye out for the next project exercise.

Erebus Wed 29-May-13 19:44:49

DS wants to do science, yes, and he doesn't really 'shine' at anything else. The word 'keen' doesn't come to mind, he can be a lazy little -um- so and so. But he understands that his best 'bet' lies in science.

TreeLuLa Wed 29-May-13 19:46:08

Bottom of top group.

IKnowWhat Sat 01-Jun-13 12:05:23

Depends on the child but generally I would go for bottom of the top set. What does your DD think?

Iamnotminterested Thu 18-Jul-13 17:37:42

Bit of an update: she's worked really hard and is going to be in set 1 in September. I'm happy because it's what she wants.

Evageorge Fri 19-Jul-13 14:57:32

If she feels confident, it is better to be in higher sets, because teachers usually have higher aspirations, and there is more room to develop. However, it depends on how she responds to not being top of the class.
Have a good weekend.

macreturnofthe Fri 19-Jul-13 15:19:48

i was bottom of top set and spent the whole time being threatened with moving down.....wished they had.

so in conclusion - as long as behaviour of the lower set is ok and the diff pace is ok keep high, if not move down

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