to ask if you have a child who is at the bottom of the bottom set in school?(18 Posts)
Sorry posting here for traffic. I'm in a bit of a quandry about dd8. Lots of medical issues, time off etc and behind in school. I posted in education regarding keeping her back a year and got helpful replies, which prompted me to have a meeting with her teacher this week.
Was shocked to hear how behind she is, the top end of the class are 9 book bands ahead of her and she is basically in the bottom 3 in the class. That in itself doesn't worry me so much (I am so glad she is alive and semi-well ) but we are in a 11+ county and from next year the ante will be upped and the pressure somewhat increased. Teacher is really lovely, was honest regarding dd, feels that her issues are related to illness etc, was very positive about her. However, she will be assessed in September for remedial class (why has this not happened before?!) that will take her out of class 3 days per week in order to "bring her on".
My concern is that this extra pressure will be too much for her and I am wondering if it is better to withdraw her from school and home educate her (I have experience with this so no qualms about HE per se) OR should I leave her there and hope that she improves. I don't want additional pressures to be honest on her (or myself) as she has so much going on already health wise.
Can anyone share their experience with a low-set child and how things have worked out for them?
Surely when she sits her 11+ they will have to take into account her health issues, might be something worth investigating?
DS was consistently placed in bottom sets at primary due to the fact our LEA doesn't recognise dyslexia as a learning difficulty and do not fund any extra support. His SAT year (same as 11+) was hard but he did really well in them.
At high school (different LEA) he was assessed within weeks, diagnosed and a support package in place within a term. He's gone from bottom sets (based on Primary school levels) to top in everything bar one subject.
So what I am trying to say is get her through this year and take every ounce of help thrown your way. Makes lots of praise, offer reassurance and tell your lovely DC she's already a success to overcome such a hard time. High school/middle school is a whole new ball game and they look at each child as a blank canvas. Good luck.
Thanks for your reply, that is really reassuring. She also has ADHD but does not get additional support up until now. I will do everything I can to help her progress, will just take things as they come I suppose.
She will get there. DS was written off in yr2 by his teacher, she was so embarrassed when the educational psychologist told her off on front of me and dp. Has the school's SENCO been involved at all? I'm not sure how statementing works now in primary schools. Good luck 🍀
It depends what happens in the 'remedial' class, really. I've seen those kinds of classes where there was a staff:student ratio of 1:4 - the kids got so much help and attention from the teacher. I could imagine that being a lot less stressful than being at the bottom of a big set.
As a primary teacher and SENCo, I think you should give it a try, it sounds like a great opportunity. Who has been involved so far other than her current and previous class teachers?
LEA doesn't recognise dyslexia as a learning difficulty and do not fund any extra support
I'd home ed then you can help her to catch up around her health issues.
ugly I am afraid if I do home ed her she will fall further behind, simply because I love the trips etc but not so much the academic work. I am already home schooling a dc with ASD and I am quite exhausted already. The remedial unit would be 1:4 so quite a bit of extra help.
I think I will persevere this year and take her out next year if it gets too much.
My 8 year old is pretty low down in terms of academic ability. Also social and emotional too. When you say 9 book bands lower than others, which book band is she on? Mine is on Turquoise books but I actually think these are too difficult for him and he should still be on Orange.
I am very happy with the school though. He has come on a lot but he hasn't been pushed too hard. The homework he has been bringing home has been super easy for example but this means he can actually do it himself which is a real confidence boost.
If your daughter is not enjoying school then HE is an option. If you don't think you could bring her up to speed in academics could you afford a tutor a couple of times a week who could then set some work for you to do with her during the rest of the week?
Ds was always at the bottom of the class until he was 8.5 or so. We are in Scotland and don't have 11+ so can't advise re that but honestly in the last year and a bit he has shot through the sets and is now in the top few kids. I am .
I truly believe the main key has been that he became interested in football and wanted to read / calculate the football league tables etc and it's just built enough of his confidence for him to fly.
Equally , he might drop back down again and as long as he is reaching his potential then that's fine by me. We can't all be geniuses.
A good remedial class should be effective and not too much pressure - in fact may prove far less pressure than trying to cope in a class working on material ahead of where she is. If she's missed a lot then starting from where she is at should allow her to catch up much more efficiently. Hope it works out!
Jeez, I haven't heard the expression 'remedial' since the 70s.
Why do you think grammar school is right for her?
I was also going to ask whether the school are using the word 'remedial' because that is incredibly old school.
Really, I think it depends on the nature of the intervention class. Is it a 'catch up' group with a focus on academic progress or is it more of a nurture group with a high staff ratio at least partly because of the need to support pupils with SEMH needs?
TBH most schools ramp on the pressure in Y5/6. The new SATs are generally considered to be similar in standard to 11+ so I'm not sure 11+ really comes into it.
I think in your position I would push for Ed Psych involvement to establish whether your DD is behind purely due to the disruption to her education or whether there are other underlying issues.
Also, check whether the intervention class has a full time, well qualified Teacher. Many of these groups are staffed by TAs- I wouldn't touch this with a bargepole.
Is she on SEN Support, and under the old system was she on School Action or School Action Plus?
I would be concerned that a remedial class sounds a bit "one size fits all" when what she possibly needs is something that is specifically targeted to her areas of difficulty. When my dyslexic DD was in a remedial group, I remember the leader telling me that she felt it was doing her no good at all because the other members of the group had major difficulties and were simply holding her back.
I would suggest you ask for details of your DD's national curriculum levels and all other assessments over the period when she has been in school so that you can get a picture of whether she has been making progress or not. If not, I would seriously consider making a request for an EHC needs assessment with a view to getting a targeted Education, Health and Care Plan. As pp say, there's lots of advice on this on the SN Children board.
Thanks for replies everyone, lots of great advice.
Apologies for remedial term if that is offensive, school did not refer to it as that, it was called that when I was in school. I think teacher called it support unit.
Without outing my location we do not have SATs here, so 11+ determines secondary school. I am very keen for grammar because sadly secondary modern does not offer anywhere near the same opportunities as grammar school. Not just academically, but in terms of sport, drama, music etc. I went to both so saw the difference myself.
Dd is on book 3 ORT whereas top group are book 12. Bottom set are book 5, so dd is really bottom of bottom set IYSWIM.
Will definitely look into EHCP. I Feel slightly torn as dd is really quite immature and I suppose after all she has been through I want to let her play/enjoy herself as long as she can. On the other hand she will not progress academically if I don't get my act together.
I asked teacher about Ed Psych and he said that dd would have assessment with SEN teacher in Sept and we would take it from there. I do know from my experience with my other DC that Ed Psych are very reluctant to do assessment and waiting list is 20 months.
That's where applying for an EHCP might help. If they agree to assess, they must complete the assessment within 16 weeks of you asking for it.
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