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How exactly do you know your child is top of their class

(365 Posts)
shadesofsun Sat 27-Jun-20 20:23:57

As per the title, I am curious as to how so many parents claims their child is top of the class, so who tells you that?

Are teachers really telling parents this or giving a hierarchy of where the children sit?

OP’s posts: |
GinDaddyRedux Sat 27-Jun-20 20:26:54

Yes, ok..but what is your AIBU question? is a great forum for this. There's even a "Gifted and Talented" section..

D4rwin Sat 27-Jun-20 20:27:11

You sit there at parent's evening and notice the scores down the list of names. Teachers are not very discreet unfortunately.

RedHelenB Sat 27-Jun-20 20:28:23

It's the ones that read Harry Potter age 6.

Actually I did known Dd1 was because she always got more or less full marks in everything through school. Having said that she rarely read!

Neolara Sat 27-Jun-20 20:29:11

Because they win the academic prize for their year group or house in secondary school.

LaureBerthaud Sat 27-Jun-20 20:29:32

I have never spoken to a parent who doesn't claim their child is in the top set for everything grin It's cringe.

shadesofsun Sat 27-Jun-20 20:31:38

I have no idea where my child is in their peer group with schooling.

I know what they find difficult and have to work harder at but have never been told where they sit in the class capabilities yet i constantly see on Mumsnet about other people's children being top of the class so I genuinely wondered if I'm missing some secret information posted somewhere!

A few parents at school do talk about how intelligent their children are in a boastful way I guess but I never really engage with that!

I'm happy if my child is happy

OP’s posts: |
sirfredfredgeorge Sat 27-Jun-20 20:34:30

Because they win the academic prize for their year group or house in secondary school

Our schools only remotely "academic" prize is for progress, doesn't really say anything about ability.

TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Sat 27-Jun-20 20:34:37

In year one they sat on tables named after shapes. They moved between the tables for some subjects. Ds2 realised that the shape name for the table he (and a friend) were on for every subject had more sides than any other. He then worked out that they did harder work than other tables and came to the conclusion it was the cleverest table. He and aforementioned friend also did their year 2 SATS in year 1.

I can proudly report he is distinctly average now (year 8) despite his early promise grin

BendingSpoons Sat 27-Jun-20 20:40:10

If children are top of the class, sometimes they are given different work to do e.g. being the only child choosing books from the year above. The teacher may talk at parents evening about stretching them, ensuring they are fulfilling their potential etc. Children are sometimes put on tables loosely by ability. The children themselves often work out if they are on the top table or they figure it out in other ways e.g. they are the first child to get a certificate in assembly for knowing all their times tables.

BendingSpoons Sat 27-Jun-20 20:42:31

TheFormer it feels like a secret code. If you can figure out why you are on Hexagon table, you truely deserve to be there grin

PaquitaVariation Sat 27-Jun-20 20:44:22

Because the teachers have told me every year at parents evening.

Unescorted Sat 27-Jun-20 20:47:52

At primary - no idea. At secondary subject prizes were given for top, most improved and most effort and house prize for all rounder.

Cartesiandebt Sat 27-Jun-20 20:47:56

At my dc’s prep school they give prizes to the top boy and top girl for both maths and English in each class, from Yr 4 up. And various other academic prizes in Yr 6. It certainly clears things up & puts the cat among the pigeons where the competitive parents are concerned grin

TheFormerPorpentinaScamander Sat 27-Jun-20 20:48:08


TheFormer it feels like a secret code. If you can figure out why you are on Hexagon table, you truely deserve to be there grin

That's what his teacher said. She said she'd never had a child work it out before grin

TeacupDrama Sat 27-Jun-20 20:48:21

it doesn't matter whether the tables are 1-5 or red, blue etc or whales dolphins etc, it doesn't take long for kids to work out that dolphins get harder sums than sharks and the Lion reading books have more pages and harder words than the Panther group
if your 8 year old has a reading age of 10.2 it is unlikely that they are in the middle or bottom of the class
it is much easier to know if your child is in top 3 or bottom 3 than it is to know whether they are 12th or 18th out of 30

oohnicevase Sat 27-Jun-20 20:48:50

At my dd secondary they tell them who is performing where in the class ! Brutal imo . Luckily she is usually in the top 3 but it can't be fun to be last.

Cartesiandebt Sat 27-Jun-20 20:48:53

Because the teachers have told me every year at parents evening

I recommend comparing notes with other parents, you may be surprised

rosiejaune Sat 27-Jun-20 20:49:42

Well it's probably easier to find out if your child is academically at one extreme or the other, either from observation at home, or teachers saying something.

The vast majority of parents of academically average children don't post on here saying that their child is average, and it wouldn't draw attention at either school or home usually, by definition.

So presumably your child is fairly average in that sense.

My daughter has always been home educated, so it's irrelevant to her, but I did well academically (I did go to school), and the ways I knew were e.g.:
-at one primary school I had my own spelling group because the other groups' spellings were too easy (at a previous school I just didn't have to do spellings at all)
-once I was sent on a gifted children's day (I didn't like it and wouldn't go back; the other children seemed snobby)
-I always finished my work first and then helped other children (I don't mean I told them the answers)
-The teacher wouldn't call on me if I put my hand up till they'd exhausted other options

LinemanForTheCounty Sat 27-Jun-20 20:51:31

The first rule of the hexagon table is that no one talks about the hexagon table.

Aside from that, of course you don't know how your child is doing compared to others and the phrase "top of the class" is pretty meaningless - top at what? They do all kinds of shit in school. In my kids' primary, I got reports that talked about maths, English, re (v important for this to be separate, obvs, due to baby Jesus and all that), ict, science and humanities. Those last two are bloody big catchalls so ofc the feedback was hardly forensic. As I would expect and indeed want. But there's no way I'd have known my kids' exact point on a graph from that information, much less where they were on the graph compared to others.

But, you know, it's the internet. People lie a lot.

PaquitaVariation Sat 27-Jun-20 20:52:07


*Because the teachers have told me every year at parents evening*

I recommend comparing notes with other parents, you may be surprised

I know. I’m a teacher. And they know that.

However since she’s working on gcse level material in y7 she’s probably somewhere near the top.

Keepdistance Sat 27-Jun-20 20:52:22

Mine wasnt top i dont think but was doing very well for year group so 1-2y ahead.
But easily distracted, difficult and lazy.
I think sadly a love for reading will be lost going into yr 4 next as we move more into grammar and difficult comprehensions. I mean her understanding has always been very good but it's becoming abstract.
Unfortunately maths isnt as easy. Though as she is clever with a bit of work we could get at least a year ahead.

Top of the class is statistically the eldest at primary anyway. You cant completely get past the extra year advantage. Also their interests depend on age.
Ks2 sats are used to set gcse targets for secondary though.
I think top depends on the cohort and what isnt measured by school completely is say soellings now a bright child who is also lucky to have a good memory doesnt actually need to learn them. They either already know from reading or you tell them once then do the test.
Whereas with maths dc still cant do time it's the to bits etc.
Early primary is actually probably irrelevant long term as you only learn to read once and write. The tested skills are comprehension and expression, creative writing. Again science and history etc arent really taught.
In fact i notice the kids with the brighter parents are the kids who struggle socially and the kids are not necessarily top (yet)

mdh2020 Sat 27-Jun-20 20:52:31

Both of our children were always top of the class. We knew they were on the ‘top’ table by who else they sat with. Other clues - being asked by the school to supply books for my daughter to read and the HT telling us our son needed to go to private school. Not boasting, it’s just how it was. They weren’t necessarily top in their secondary school but they both did well. ie., it’s all relative

Redcrayons Sat 27-Jun-20 20:54:32

In primary school he told. They all know who’s on the top table, who gets the harder work sheets, which colour band they’re reading. In the same way that they also know who gets picked for sports games all the time. Also when you go to parents evening The teacher will tell you.

Secondary school, no idea. With lots of different subjects though he probably isn’t top of all the classes.

MarcelineMissouri Sat 27-Jun-20 20:57:29

Mine is top of the class at maths. He’s also greater depth in writing and reading but just sits near the top of the class there I assume. He’s on the top table and to be honest it’s obvious to anyone which is the top and which is the bottom table despite the teachers best efforts - they’re kids, they’re not stupid. The difference in work can be very noticeable.

I know he’s top at maths because his teachers tell me and every child I know from his class will tell you that as well as he really sticks out quite far. He’s just naturally really good at it and picks it up really quickly. I’m not blinkered though, he’s crap at drawing and lazy at anything he doesn’t enjoy like writing a story based on anything other than minecraft!

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