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To complain about this homework?

(12 Posts)
MrsSnape Sat 18-Oct-08 16:51:16

My DS is bringing really easy homework home lately. He's just gone up into year 5 and this is the first year where he has not been put in the 'higher' class. So in un-pc terms, he's with all the kids that are not doing as well as they should be.

Anyway he had a friend home for tea on thursday. This boy is in year 4 and he showed me some of his homework and it was the same as what DS is bringing home in year 5!

I remember this happening to my friends child last year and when she went in to see why her year 4 child was bringing the same homework home as a year 3 child she was told it was so the "not so bright" children in the class would be able to do it!

So basically, the 'brighter' kids are being kept behind so that the 'not so bright' kids don't feel left out?

So, honest opinions...is it worth going into school and asking why he's bringing the same homework home as year 4 kids (I know full well the 'other' year 5 class are not doing this homework) or is it really not worth the hassle?

I'm just worried that if they're giving them easy stuff for homework so the other kids can keep up, what are they doing during school time??

SarkyandGeorge Sat 18-Oct-08 16:57:15

I think that if they thought that there was a problem or that your son was possibly one of the 'not so bright' children then they should have come to you first. How do they expect your son to advance when they aren't willing to either challenge him or even give him the benefit of the doubt that he would be able to complete it.

If I were you I would approach one of the teachers, ask their reasoning behind it and ask them to give your child homework so his age group. He wont learn the answers if he's not given the opportunity to answer the questions. He may find it harder but that's how you learn.

wheniwasyoung Sat 18-Oct-08 16:59:09

Lowest common denominator.

My child wasn't allowed extra reading books home in case the other mother's didn't like it. hmm

MrsSnape Sat 18-Oct-08 17:05:13

Thanks Sarky, I agree, surely they should be stretched a little, not given stuff they could do off by heart.

I mean this week for instance he's brought home a sheet with little clock faces on. The time is given in digital form and he has to draw the hands on the clock!! he's nearly 10 for gods sake, don't they do that in reception?

Wheniwasyoung, we have had the reading book thing too! DS was so sick of bringing home 'baby' books when he was trying to get through the Harry Potter novels that I just gave up in the end and told him not to bother with the school books. Since he went into year 5 he's been put back on level 7 reading books so that all the kids are around the same level! To put this into context...DS2 who is 'not where he should be' academically is on level 6 and he's in year 3.

Needless to say, I've told DS1 not to bother bringing the school books home again.

kid Sat 18-Oct-08 17:44:26

Why can't they give different homework according to their abilities?

If he isn't being stretched with his work, then how can they expect him to progress. Personally, I would speak to the class teacher about it.

Homework should be linked to what they have been doing in class. I would be very concerned about what exactly he is learning in school. Do you have a parents evening soon?

Why was he moved into the 'lower ability' class??

blueskyandsunshine Sat 18-Oct-08 17:52:09

You should complain. Or say to the teacher that you'll be treating it as optional.

grouchyoscar Sat 18-Oct-08 17:55:26

Ask the school about their differentiation policy. Is work graded within a mixed ability class to cater for the ability of the child?

cory Mon 20-Oct-08 09:01:40

Let me just think this through:

For the first time your ds is not in top set, right?

How many sets are there? In ds's school there are about 5 sets and it's not a major disaster to move down a set, but the nature of the homework will change accordingly, to fit in with what they perceive as the child's appropriate level.

Do you think your ds should not have moved down?

If he is in a lower set and this other child happens to be in the top set, then it is understandable that they may be doing Yr 5 work (particularly if the Yr 4 top set this year is made up of very bright children). Dd's top maths set were doing Yr 8-9 work in Yr 6. It may be that the teachers assessment is that this other child, though a year younger, is on the level of your ds.
(I am sure there are people in Yr 2 working on the same level of difficulty as my ds in Yr 4- schools are after all supposed to differentiate according to ability, not just chronological age).

Do you feel that this represents a step backwards for your ds. Never mind what the other kids are doing, is this not teaching him anything new? If so, it might be worth bringing that to the teacher's attention.

Is there a possibility that the other kid is doing the work as something new, to stretch him, but that your ds's set are doing it as revision, to check that they really have got it off pat?

MrsSnape Mon 20-Oct-08 10:40:27

It's awkward the way it is set out really.

There are 2 classes in each year group and DS has always been in the top set. When he was in reception he was very far ahead, year 1 he was still ahead, year 2 he was slightly ahead but not massively but then year 3 was a terrible year and he was bullied on and off all year. By the end of the year he was pretty much borderline between "slightly ahead" and "average" but he remained in the top set for year 4.

By the end of year 4 he was on the 2nd to bottom table (4 tables colour coded for ability) and the two bottom tables made up the next "lower" class whilst the two higher tables made up the "higher" class.

So now DS is in a class with kids that are either very far behind where they should be, kids that just mess around all day etc sad He is on the top table in this class but I think the work is still geared towards the 'lower' end of the class.

I'm just worried that now he's in year 5, its quite important what they learn in these next two years and I don't want him being held back. Apparantly he will be in the top class again next year but I don't want this year in a low class to mess things up.

cory Mon 20-Oct-08 10:43:23

Is there a chance if he works really hard that he might be moved up before next year? Could you put it to the teacher? I can see why you don't want him held back.

I would not mention the work done by the top table in Yr 4, that is a bit irrelevant and may sound like jealousy. Instead concentrate on whether you feel the work your ds is doing is too easy for him- that's what you'd need to discuss with the teacher.

Gobbledigook Mon 20-Oct-08 10:58:27

I agree with cory - it's almost irrelevant what everyone else is doing and it all comes down to whether the work your ds is getting is appropriate for where he is at personally.

If you don't think is the case then definitely discuss it with the teacher.

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