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Parents evening soon and dd1 complaining that the year 2 work is too easy (she is year1)

(72 Posts)
AnxiousElephant Mon 26-Mar-12 21:32:37

We have parents evening this week. In autumn she had been reported as 2b in reading, 1b in writing and maths, so ahead of average. She is in the top work group with the majority of children in year 2 (mixed year 1 and 2/ ability group) and I know until recently that she was the top of her class in reading. She is saying that the work is too easy now.
The question is do I ask what will happen next year when she does move into year 2, as she will then be in the same mixed year 1/2 class? Do I ask for her to be moved to year 3?

Dustinthewind Mon 26-Mar-12 21:57:28

Talk to the teacher about what she needs to do to enable her to progress, a child would have to be at least two levels above expectations for them to be considered for a move in my school. Is she operating at a consistent level 4?

She needs work appropriate for her abilities, even if she is ahead of everyone else in the class, but I'd expect the teacher to manage that within the class. She should also be given work that involves and interests her, so you need to find out why she's bored, and what happens when she finishes the work she's given.

AnxiousElephant Mon 26-Mar-12 22:07:30

Thanks dustin, she doesn't say she is bored, just that the work is easy. I'm a bit confused about a level 4? She was 6 in january so achieved level 2b in the term when she was still 5 and this is expected in year 2 (end of key stage 1?) and her maths/ writing were 1b (I was told this was expected at the end of year 1 not the beginning?).

Dustinthewind Mon 26-Mar-12 23:06:40

I'm sure your daughter is very able, but I'm also saying that to range from a W to a level 3 is perfectly possible within the average Y1 class, even though the national average is a 2b at the end of Y2. Reading is almost always the one that children excel in rather than maths or writing in the early stages.
To consider her being moved in my school, with the huge impact on friendships and curriculum, she'd have to be thinking and producing work around that of a Y5 child.

Dustinthewind Mon 26-Mar-12 23:15:17

Talk to the teacher about what she intends to do to motivate and enable your daughter to achieve, and be honest about what your daughter has told you.

madwomanintheattic Mon 26-Mar-12 23:30:22

Agree with dust. Dd2 was working between 3 and 7 years ahead in yr r, and there was no discussion re moving up a year. It came up in y1/2 but was discounted for social reasons.

Differentiation should be happening without removal from peer group, unless the child is so far ahead that they are unable to meaningfully engage on a social level with peers, and are having quite severe problems. It can work well, but isn't necessary when you are just talking about a year or two.

Iamnotminterested Tue 27-Mar-12 14:04:31

OP what work exactly is she finding too easy? Is it just the reading? As Dustinthewind said a lot of children can excel in reading at an early age, but TBH her writing and maths scores are average. I very much doubt that she is anyway near the top of her mixed class with the reading, there will probably be year 2's already at a secure 3B, hence her teacher will more than be able to cater for her. My DD2 was a level 3 for reading at the end of year 1 but it never crossed my mind that she would not be sufficiently challenged in year 2 - as it turned out there were a small number of children who did extension reading/comprehension tasks in year 2 which must have proved to be enough of a challenge for her as she got a level4 in year 2 sat's.

mumblesmum Tue 27-Mar-12 19:24:22

Working at 1b, I hope she isn't in the 'top work group' in her mixed Y1/2 class for writing and maths! Now, that WOULD worry me.
Can you go to a library or buy some books from a boot sale to broaden her reading experience?

Iamnotminterested Tue 27-Mar-12 20:16:08

Erm. Also what mumblesmum said.

cubscout Wed 28-Mar-12 10:21:15

Sensible advice all round here. I would strongly advise against a move up a year group - whilst the social differences might be small at this age, further up the school there may be difficulties, and your dd will almost certainly have to repeat a year at some point as at secondary transfer, the local authority will not accept her a year early.

There is the added issue that if she really is evry far ahead, then the issue of gettind bored will not be resolved, and is likely (in my experience anyway) to get worse.

My ds scored Level 3's in Year 1 and 4's by the end of Year 2. He is now working at KS3 Level 8 in maths as we end Year 5 and his school have bent over backwards to provide extension work. Things are a bit easier as there are about 6 or 7 really bright kids in his class who are Level 5's accross the board and so the teacher can plan extension work for that group. He stays in class for maths, sometimes working on his own, sometimes doing class work to check methods and is taken out 2ce per week for 1:1.

Ds used to get very frustrated and bored, but quite soon learned to stretch himself, discuss sensibly with teachers what he wanted to do, challenge himself in subjects he finds hard (art, french) and in the process learn life skills. It is a sad fact that many many bright children will probably not be stretched very much by NC stuff until they reach A level standard.

SarkyWench Wed 28-Mar-12 10:24:38

tbh at this age all work is supposed to be pretty easy.
the idea is that they are given tasks that are well suited to their current ability.

DS1 has always described all school work as 'easy' but they have taught him a whole heap of stuff smile.

AnxiousElephant Fri 30-Mar-12 22:08:12

mumbles a level 3 certainly isn't what most children get in year 1! It is well above average in a state school and I said she was working at 1b on entry to year 1 in writing and maths, she was marked at 1a and a 2a for reading this week but her teacher stated that this is probably an underestimate as the report was filed 6 weeks ago. She has moved up in reading and is on white band (plus lots of other material at home, can't remember who gave me that advice). You also have to bare in mind that she has another term to go before the end of year grade in year 1. She is 1 of only 2 pupils on this level for reading and none above this, the other student is year2.
If you look at this -

and this

it would suggest she is far from average!

Dustinthewind Fri 30-Mar-12 22:16:36

She's not average, she's able. But do you really think that moving her up a year is the only way the school will meet her needs? Do you live in an area of economic deprivation, does your school have an intake that are well below national averages?
Because those of us with quite a lot of experience in these areas are saying that your DD falls within expected parameters for a Y1 class, but you seem unconvinced.
So, you are her parent, do what you think best.

Dustinthewind Fri 30-Mar-12 22:18:18

And she's an able reader, which should be met by good quality reading experiences in class and out.

AnxiousElephant Fri 30-Mar-12 22:29:53

Dustbin we live on an army base, the school is on it. She is able academically and is getting increasingly annoyed with the immature behaviour of the other girls in her class, who constantly fight and argue while she works. She is mature enough to be with an older year group. I don't think for a moment she is a genius, however, guided reading in class for example needs to suit all the childrens understanding.......she understands far more complexed stories than those read so the questions asked about the book are fairly trivial ........where is the challenge there? Also, because it is a mixed class and she works with year 2 now, what happens next year? How can you differentiate effectively? Why would it not be appropriate to put her with more mature children who will probably concentrate better in the average group?
Now I see what you are saying about making the work easy but don't agree that it is healthy. I found all my school work easy right through GCSE with no revision .........however, the strategy for learning fell down after that because I gave up too easily when things were difficult and didn't bother to revise for A levels = fail. I could have done so much more with my brain if I had been taught strategies to use it properly, instead of coasting along. Children need to learn to work, not just pass things.

Dustinthewind Fri 30-Mar-12 22:32:28

Good luck.

Jinsei Fri 30-Mar-12 22:35:39

She would have been distinctly average in my dd's class, OP. State school in a middle class area, and a high achieving cohort.

I'm sure your dd is a clever little girl, and she is obviously doing well, but unless it's a very low-achieving school, I'd be surprised if the more able children in year 2 were working at a similar level to your dd right now. Those levels aren't exceptional even for year 1, let alone year 2.

The school should be able to cater to her needs without the need to move her. But this is a positive thing, believe me. Our school did suggest moving dd up a year, but socially it would have been completely wrong for her. They can challenge her perfectly well within her own classroom.

mumblesmum Sun 01-Apr-12 18:49:23

anxious you said that she was on the top table (Y1/2 mix) in the Autumn term, working around a 1b. That is a worrying level for the top Y2s!

White band is about 2a, as you say. I am really shocked that there are no Y2 children above this, as over half my class are reading lime and above. My school also caters for a high proportion of transient forces children.

What do they do in guided reading? What phonics scheme?

I really can't blame you for being a bit worried. How much longer are you there for?

mrsshears Sun 01-Apr-12 19:29:11

mumblesmum sorry to hijack but if a child were on whiteband would they automaticaly be a 2A or above? or could other factors be taken into account such as comprehension etc?

Iamnotminterested Mon 02-Apr-12 09:37:09

Mrsshears It isn't quite as clear cut as that, although book bands do give a rough guide to NC levels ie. white band doesn't automatically mean 2a, gold 2b etc; as you say comprehension is the biggie , especially deducing inference as a child moves up.

mrsshears Mon 02-Apr-12 12:42:34

Thanks iamnotminterested i thought there may be more to it.

mumblesmum Mon 02-Apr-12 18:37:44

mrsshears It depends how the teacher assesses the move. We use PM benchmark, which comes with a graded set of books that are used to assess the decoding skills and comprehension.

Some teachers move children when they feel it in their water; some move children because of pressure from parents and others use APP or other assessment tools.

If a child is reading white band books, their decoding and comprehension skills should be a 2a standard.

strictlovingmum Wed 04-Apr-12 19:39:11

There is so much you can do with your DD at home, visiting library choosing different format enjoyable books,
working on maths skills, if she is able start her on more abstract maths, multiplying and simple divisions mentally/verbally.
All of this will give her plenty do digest without moving her up a year, socially/emotionally IMO it's wrong.
DD was assessed recently as free reader, maths 3c in Yr1 age 5.6 and no she is not gifted, not moving up a year, just very able.
And it appears this is not unusual at all, there are many very able children around who benefit from sufficient parental support, but not that many "truly gifted", those are streets ahead, not little ahead.

londalion Fri 06-Apr-12 05:20:48

Hi, your daughter sounds very like mine, but mine is 'up a year', so in Year 2. As we're overseas, I'm not au fait with the NC terminology or mileposts, but she's a fluent reader, with an excellent vocabulary and comprehension skills, her teacher says she probably has a reading age of 9 or 10, whatever that means. She and another girl in the class also get 'extension' language homework - so more complicated spellings / tasks to do at home each week, so I certainly know she's not struggling academically. That said, although she's in the top quarter of the class for maths, and the teacher describes her as an 'all-rounder' she's not getting additional extension work there.

I have spent hours agonising over whether being the youngest in a class is good for a child, especially as most educators say it's not. However, my daughter is an exceptionally aimiable and gregarious little girl, so the social side of school has never been a problem. The teacher she had last year wasn't as good and she would just tell me that my daughter was going to 'waste her potential as she was bright but was too busy chatting to work'. This year's teacher knows exactly how to keep her interested and is getting far more out of her as a result. She also says she shouldn't move down a year - yet.

The 'yet' comes as I do believe, as does DD's teacher, that in the long term it's better not to be one of the younger children. Not necessarily in academic terms, but the youngest is inevitably going to be smaller, slower, less coordinated, more easily tired etc etc etc. With every month that passes there's less of a difference between the boys at the bottom of the class and the girls at the top. Everyone'll be able to read and write well by the time they're 7. So my plan is to slot her back into the 'correct' year when we move in the next year or so. By then, it's not like she'll be reading chapter books while everybody else is saying 'a for apple' as would have been the case previously. By Year 3, I'm hoping that it'll be easier for the teachers to tailor work more specifically to each child's ability. And in our particular case, it means life at school should be a breeze while we settle back into the UK after 4 years away.

If I were you, I wouldn't push to move your daughter up at this stage, I'd ask what additional support the current teacher can give to challenge her within her own class. I'd also ask these lovely ladies what other resources there are out there for you to use with her at home. (and I'll be checking back for next year!)

lou2321 Fri 20-Apr-12 12:47:42

These boards are tough as you will often get people saying 'thats not that good' etc with regards to levels.

The levels she is achieving are good but pretty common at her age, in fact there are 5 children in DSs class including him who are achieving these or higher (2a-3cs in all subjects). It is not a particularly high achieving school, fairly average in an average area. My DS is achieving higher levels than this in Y1 and is working with Y2 all the time however there are of course some Y2 children who are on a higher level than him meaning it is easy for the teacher to push him to a reasonable level that suits him. This is not a boast but trying to put some persepctive on your post. I can't imagine how they could not give your daughter work that fufills what she needs.

I would be concerned if my DS was the highest achiever including all Y2s as maybe they would find it hard to differentiate for him.

Its hard to compare as some schools 'average' is a lot higher than another school so your DD could be working in the top few % of the school whereas in another school this is very average.

She is ahead in some areas but I would imagine that many Y1s are working at a 1b early in the year. The average of 1b at end of Year 1 is across the country so not a great way to compare.

Talk to her teacher properly and ask what she is doing to make sure she is challenged etc.

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