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Calling all teachers, does this sound right to you re: ds and his level grouping in year 5?

(24 Posts)
Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 17:00:54

Ds has just gone into year 5 and obviously has a new teacher.
Ds tells me he is in a lower group than he was last year for literacy. He is infact now with a lot of children that really struggle and are on IEPS.
It just doesn't make sense. He got a 4c in his lietracy at the end of year 4. Last year the school were giving him extra literacy homework as he found the stuff he had quite easy.
His friend is over tonight and they were comparing homework. They both used to be in the same group for literacy and his friend had extension homework wheras ds's seemed really easy for him if I am being perfectly honest. Thing is he is in same groups as before for everything else.
Do you think it sounds like they have made a mistake and shoudl I go and see the teacher about it? I am just worried as the homework was too easy imo.
Thanks

cornsilk Mon 10-Sep-07 17:02:06

yes it doesn't sound right. Go and speak to the teacher.

Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 17:08:39

I just don't want to get her back up but I know it's not right iykwim

FluffyMummy123 Mon 10-Sep-07 17:09:35

Message withdrawn

HonorMatopoeia Mon 10-Sep-07 17:11:15

I'd say a 4C would be more likely to fit into a middle group but it would depend on his cohort. I presume his friend in the higher group got a similar test result?

LIZS Mon 10-Sep-07 17:14:31

Sounds odd. However ds who has dreadful spelling and finds handwriting hard is not in the "bottom" group , if my reading of those he has mentioned with him is correct. Last 2 years he was in the lowest spelling group with different children but this year's grouping seems to take a wider perspective of literacy. Theoretically they run 4 groups for English , 2 parallel pairs.

Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 17:53:22

HM ~ they all got 4c's. Apparently that was the highest they tested them to.

Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 20:38:46

bump for evening crowd

HonorMatopoeia Mon 10-Sep-07 20:40:42

In which case you should definitely pop in and have a word as he could be even higher (I tested my Year 4's and got a range from 4C to 5B so 'over 4C is a very blanket statement!). If he finds it too easy he'll just switch off and then it's a dreadful job to get them enthused again believe me. Good luck!

Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 20:45:28

Thanks. I am so worried that ds is going to be pulled back. He said it was really easy and is happy to be in that group (because it's easy!). I feel so stressed about it all as year 5 is so important.

Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 21:27:04

Any help on how to word what I say to teacher? I just want to come across as a parent concerned her child will get bored/fall behind rather than a pushy mum iyswim. I don't care what group ds is in but that the work he has is right for him!

popsycal Mon 10-Sep-07 21:32:33

I teach Year 5. Getting a 4c at the end of year 4 is the best you can do in the QCA4 test so unless they have reassessed in the last week and based setting on that, or have rank ordered all of the 4c levels and grouped according, I think there may be a mistake.

It could be simple human error (eg typing error when data has been input into the computer).

Ask to see the teacher. Go in say you are a little worried that ds seems to have been moved down a set and it was unexpected given his level at the end of the year for his QCA4 and as you understand from your 'friend' who is a teacher, you though this was the highest reportable level. Ask if there is anything you can do to support him at home as you are worried abotu his placing in what seems to be one of the lower ability groups.

hth

popsycal Mon 10-Sep-07 21:34:17

BTW I was head of year for abotu 5 years and a few years ago, I made a similar error. Well, the first school did. They sent us their data, reporting a pupils to have got a 2c rather than a 4c. As a result, I placed that pupil in a bottom set rather than the top set. It was obvious pretty quickly so I rang her parents, apologised and moved her set.

Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 21:45:08

Thanks popsycal that is so helpful. I will definitely speak to teacher tomorrow. For some reason I am really upset and it's silly really but I am

popsycal Mon 10-Sep-07 21:49:52

Good luck. Just tell the teacher that you don't want to seem pushy but that you have two main concerns: 1. that the set he has been placed in is unexpected and you just want a bit more info about the set and the level at which they are working so that you can support ds accordingly at home.
And 2. that ds said it was great as it was 'dead easy' and you don't want him to get complacent.

Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 21:55:22

Thanks popsycal you have been really helpful. I must try and remember it all now to say tomorrow grin

nachomama Mon 10-Sep-07 21:57:57

Hi Blossom
I used to be a Y5 teacher. It's hard to say what might be going on without knowing on what basis the groupings/ assessments were made. I know that I have taught children who've read fluently and beautifully and were excellent at retrieving information, but were not so good as some weaker readers at reading the subtext and finding the nuance. So I have had groups of apparently "good" readers mixed with not-so-good readers based on the depth of discussion around the texts. I would say 4C sounds really quite decent, though I confess to real displeasure at grading/labels, especially if as a result of a test. But I digress...

Hopefully your son's teacher is approachable and relaxed. Teachers do feel like they have the criticism coming from all angles, so it is understandable to find one's back up, iyswim. In any case, I would see her at home time if she is an easy going type- otherwise perhaps a note would be better so as not to catch her at a bad moment- just asking if you could arrange to have 5-10 minutes of her time later in the week after school. It would probably help to say that you want to discuss your son's literacy work and group.

When you do discuss it with the teacher, it will come across better to her if she feels that you are not judging her as the professional, but trying to understand and make sense of it in order to help your son at home. If you stress that you sit with DS when he does HW, and that his HW has been unchallenging, that might help the teacher. She has only known him for a week. It could be that he is giving the "dunno"s to questions in class, and she thinks he really doesn't know. In any case, the statement you've just made about the work being right for your son (as opposed to his place in a group) is what you and the teacher share, so she should see this as a common interest with you.

Best of luck. Let us know how it goes

Blossomhill Mon 10-Sep-07 22:13:49

Thanks Nacho. I will be really calm and as you say we are both working towards one thing and that is the best for ds. So I will make that point very clear.
If ds had been in her class say 2 months and then he was put in that group I could understand, just seems strange that he has been moved in week 1.

nachomama Mon 10-Sep-07 22:33:39

And Blossom, this just occured to me:
This weekend I planned groups for the sessions I am to take this year (I now do block teaching for PPA/NQT cover a few times a week) About a third of the class was easy to place, and I am confident the children in that cohort are where I want them to be; another third will probably work out well too; the rest of the names on my list swapped and changed- with certain personalities and dynamics coming in to play. I am not completely sure about these. I shall be telling them all tomorrow that these groups aren't set in stone and I am sure that it won't be long before there are a few changes. My decisions have been made on the basis of previous teacher's notes (v. important) and just a short time with them in shunt up day and this past week. There are likely to be a few who haven't let their light shine yet.

Getting the balance right is not an exact science.

And of course, as popsycal said, in some cases, it could be just an administrative error.

Blossomhill Tue 11-Sep-07 13:20:59

Nacho ~ I can understand having to play about with groups. Maybe that is what has happened. I am speaking to the teacher after parent'e evening tonight! Fingers crossed, feel so nervous (silly or what?)x

popsycal Tue 11-Sep-07 18:49:26

Any update?

Blossomhill Tue 11-Sep-07 20:02:06

Well.... only managed to have a brief word but ds is still in the top group. It was a mistake on her part that he had different homework. Apparently there is a cobbled mix going on and some of the top group are being spread out. We only had about 2 minutes so I feel reassured that at least ds is in the right group.
Thanks everyone for all of your help and advice. I think I will leave it now and maybe recap the situation in October when we have reviews.

nachomama Tue 11-Sep-07 21:51:09

Good news Blossom. wink

BobbyGrantycal Tue 11-Sep-07 22:10:27

Excellent news. Keep an eye on his homework and chat to DS about what is going on in lessons.

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