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Why don't some teachers like to tell parents how their Dc is doing compared to classmates?

(141 Posts)
forgottenpassword Sun 10-Feb-13 08:29:31

Just wondered really. Is there a difference between practices in private and state on this? Ps not asking from position where answer is likely to be "top of the class".

Unacceptable Sun 10-Feb-13 11:57:07

You can support your child without knowing where they are in relation to others.

Help them to accept that everyone learns different things on different levels and encourage confidence in themselves and their own abilities regardless of how others are doing.

My DD often compares herself to classmates. I always tell her I'm not really interested in anyone else and want to hear her read or she what she can do and lavish her with attention and praise for her efforts.

The teachers can tell you how your DC are doing you really don't need the comparison

seeker Sun 10-Feb-13 12:27:36

I'm really sorry, nametqkenagain- I just don't understand your last post. In every case I have ever heard of, kids are given actual predicted GCSE grades. Did that not happen in your child's case?

sicutlilium Sun 10-Feb-13 12:36:10

At my sons' prep school at the end of Y5 -Y8 parents are given, for each subject, their child's exam score, the average score and the quartile their child's score puts them in.

tiggytape Sun 10-Feb-13 12:42:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

basildonbond Sun 10-Feb-13 12:42:55

In ds2's end of year report for each subject we got told his exam/assessment scores, the average score for his class (top set of partially selective comp so expected to be reasonably high) and the average score across the year. We also got told whether or not they'd met their targets for the end of the year.

MerryMarigold Sun 10-Feb-13 14:10:27

seeker, making progress is one thing. Making the progress as fast as others are is another. You can be making progress, but the gap getting wider and wider. Again, I don't think progress is hugely helpful unless you know how quickly the progress SHOULD be happening. It would have to be a very naff school or a massive special need for NO progress.

Mominatrix Sun 10-Feb-13 14:22:33

In my son's pre-prep, I had always known what position my elder son held in the class. It was very helpful as it allowed us to gauge which schools to target for prep-school entrance. It would have completely unhelpful to compare to the national average as the vast majority of the class was at or above the national average The prep-school scene in London is fiercely competitive and if one's child is not in the top quarter, it really does not make sense to look into the most competitive preps.

At his prep, they only give an indication of average, below or above average in the class.

Schmedz Sun 10-Feb-13 15:21:18

Teachers don't discuss other children's results with parents because they are NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! <takes deep breath> I would be furious if any teacher discussed how much better/worse my child was than someone else's in test performances and as a teacher myself I completely respect the individual child's right to privacy..if they want to share their results with their peers that is their choic, but I refuse to make that choice for them.

Schmedz Sun 10-Feb-13 15:25:16

Take it a term/year at a time and every time you think about the fact that you could have a holiday/get a car/improve your home or actually move to a big enough house etc... with all the money you would save on school fees if they went to a state school, just remember what you are buying and why you chose private in the first place. And if along the way you are not happy with the choice, change it!

Schmedz Sun 10-Feb-13 15:26:55

Oops...somehow posted the last one in the wrong thread! Supposed to be in another one to do with paying private school fees for the next 12 years!

Chandon Sun 10-Feb-13 18:39:43

Schmedz, I would never ask for Johny's grades, or Matilda's grades or any individual kids' grades.

However, if the teacher had told me that he scored 15 out of 100 for litacy, and most kids were in the 50-80 bracket, that would have really helped.

Do you see what I mean?

brandis Sun 10-Feb-13 19:50:23

I would agree with Chandon. DS's school's KS1 results look great so it is safe to assume that pretty much all children in his class are above the national average. That's the reason why a more concrete indication is required. I am able and willing to help him so if, for example, his handwriting looks noticeable less neat that of many others I don't see why I should settle for "he is doing fine" rather than getting him to do some extra practice at home.

In our case, DS is bilingual so I sense the expectations of him at school maybe a bit lower. FWIW, I don't think this should be the case - so knowing how native English children are doing (without calling any names, obviously) would be very helpful.

Schmedz Sun 10-Feb-13 20:02:15

I don't believe you can help your child develop any better skills by knowing how his or her performance relates to others in their cohort (or even nationally). If they are scoring low in literacy there are obviously specific issues which need addressing to improve, regardless of whether this is average/above or below for the class. Children develop at different rates, so no amount of worrying about how they compare to others is going to change their ability to learn at that stage in their development. Knowing what needs attention and development at ANY ability level is what is important and is a practical step you can take to help develop the skills they need.
If a teacher refuses to identify any weaknesses which need support, that is a different matter!

Schmedz Sun 10-Feb-13 20:03:49

And PS Chandon, you are obviously a lot more restrained than some of the parents with whom I deal who want to know EXACTLY how Johnny or Matilda are performing!

nametakenagain Sun 10-Feb-13 20:07:52

Seeker - he was not given predicted gcse grades until mid gcse, which I imagine is usual. Until then, the reports (which showed him achieving what the teachers expected) gave the impression to his parents he was doing well, and they assumed A levels and University were the natural progression.

I am not suggesting rank in class is useful but I think his case is an example of parents needing a bit of context on his expected grades a lot earlier.

bamboostalks Sun 10-Feb-13 20:13:35

It truly never fails to amaze me how interested folk are in the progress and achievements of other children which is essentially what this is about.

BelindaCarlisle Sun 10-Feb-13 20:14:53

I'll tell you why OP.
Son was g and t at primary. Top of class. Went to secondary grammar. Us lower middle.

That alone shows how pointless it is.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 10-Feb-13 20:35:06

It's not usual at all to only be given a target mid GCSE. Targets in core subjects at least are based on KS2 results, so will be fixed from that point on. Projected grades maybe, but if I were given just a comment on whether my child was working above, at or below target, I would be asking what the target was. I do realise that I am clued in to education. However, I am surprised that schools get away with giving inadequate information.

nametakenagain Sun 10-Feb-13 21:19:46

Tfm- I think your response to questioning the target is the right one, but you can see why many a parent might simply think " oh that looks complicated, I'm not sure I fully understand, but it looks okay, if he's on target".

Perhaps this is uncommon, and most schools are much clearer with parents about their children's potential and achievements. I'm not in a position to comment.

tiggytape Sun 10-Feb-13 22:08:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dromedary Sun 10-Feb-13 22:27:35

In my DC's state primary school her teacher told me that she was a long way ahead of the rest of the class (comparison).
In my other DC's private school the school report tells you where they come in the class in each exam, and overall. I was also told by the art teacher that DC was doing well in art, and she demonstrated this by showing me drawings by several members of the class, and pointing out how my DC's drawing was better than theirs. This was useful, as I am not artistic and didn't get what she was talking about.
In my nephew's grammar school they put up class results in order of achievement in the form room, in order to spur them on.

So it's possible to find comparisons being made in all sectors! To be honest, I think it is useful for parents to know this. For example, my DC is not strong at maths (natonally speaking). If she were doing well compared with the other children in her class, then I would be concerned about the school. As she is doing relatively badly in comparison with others, this tells me that at least part of the problem lies with her.

seeker Sun 10-Feb-13 22:36:46

"I'll tell you why OP.
Son was g and t at primary. Top of class. Went to secondary grammar. Us lower middle.

That alone shows how pointless it is."

seeker Sun 10-Feb-13 22:42:13

Sorry- posted too soon.

If you know what you dc's NC scores are, and hat the national average is, you know that p, even if he is G&T qt primary, once he gets to a selective secondary,he's going to be in a different cohort, so probably not top of the true any more. Whit is that pointless?

tiggytape Sun 10-Feb-13 22:58:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sashh Mon 11-Feb-13 02:15:46

I think that the position of a child within their class is of huge relevance. Let's take year 2 - the children in the class have received 2.5 yrs worth of identical education so far. The child at the bottom of the class has a problem IMO.

Not necessarily. What if that is the only bright child in a class of geniuses?

Also what makes you think their education is identical? Teachers should and do differentiate work.

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