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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?

lou2321 Fri 20-Apr-12 12:55:24

Looking at some of the other posts as well, I would be really concerned in general in the standards at this school if only 2 children were white level or above. Many of the Y2 children in Dss school are white-free, some in YR are on white.

I may be wrong and it may be that we have a generally bright intake in Y1/2 but this would seriously worry me.

Your DD sounds bright and mature but nothing that the school can't handle surely and if not the answer is most definitely not moving her into year 3, I would not consider it for DS even though he is predicted level 3/4 for sats, he is academic but not a genius and well within the realms of normal for his age and it is so important he mixes with children of his own age IMO.

ragged Thu 26-Apr-12 18:36:18

There will be plenty of irritating & immature behaviour in the year above, too. Including amongst the very highest ability pupils. No escaping it unless you home-ed.

Amazed how much so many people know about the other children's academic attainment.

TheSecondComing Fri 27-Apr-12 00:23:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kistigger Fri 27-Apr-12 13:49:00

I'm very interested in the fact that so many know exactly what level your DCs are on.

Our infant school is reluctant to give out any information. So much so that when the school year started they wouldn't even state which spelling words the children were supposed to be practicing (parents complained and several weeks later all the children got lists of words). They didn't tell us which foundation stage level/targets they got to at the end of reception, I only know because I dug around the internet for a copy of the targets and looked up their word for word levels as a number (if that makes sense). I know the levels aren't the be all end all etc but it would be good to know if what I think DD is attaining is the same as what the school think.

anxiouselephant it's hard as a parent when they think the work is too easy... we are going through the exact same problem. Does your DD still look forward to going to school each day? If so then they are probably challenging her better than perhaps she lets on. My DD on the other hand has a tantrum most days about not wanting to go cos the work is too easy (I know she is right, the school have admitted it but they seem unable to get their butts in gear to do anything about it!). My DD is also mature enough for a higher class but we have the problem that the infants and juniors are officially two different schools, I'm still in two minds about whether it is good to move them up or not or whether it sets them up for bullying. My personal belief is that the whole school should work around ability with children chopping and changing for different lessons, so that achievement is praised not swept under the rug as in our school, also so that children learn the skills needed to get on with children of all different age groups not just the ones born up to 12months of them!

mumblesmum Fri 27-Apr-12 21:22:14

I also find it hard to understand how a 5 or 6 year old says work is too easy. I would expect a ks1 curriculum to be exciting and impossible to label 'too easy' or 'too hard'. If you are doing a project on dinosaurs and digging for bones, making eggs, finding mysterious footprints, learning about differetn types of dinosaurs, etc.... what can be 'too easy' there? In creative writing, there is always something to get better at. What is too easy there?

I can only think that it may be too easy in maths if the work isn't differentiated - but often the best mathematicians falter in some areas and don't know everything!

Explain - what does 'too easy' mean?

TheSecondComing Fri 27-Apr-12 21:59:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mumblesmum Fri 27-Apr-12 22:34:17

But, secondcoming with a child-initiated curriculum, your dd has ample opportunity to stretch herself with her writing and reading.
The curriculum doesn't consist of reading and writing. They are enablers that help the child expand their knowledge. For instance, if the class is learning about castles in YR, some may only be able to write a label with a teacher's help, but your dd would be able to write a couple of sentences by herself, with phonetically correct spellings.
I still can't understand this word 'easy'.

TheSecondComing Fri 27-Apr-12 23:34:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kistigger Tue 01-May-12 15:15:54

mumblesmum while the theoretical curriculum is exciting, the actual reality boils down to what the teacher teaches, offers and how much children are given free reign to extend, imagine and follow their hearts desires!! Teachers have the power to make school the best place or the worst place on the planet, especially at primary age when generally they have one teacher for the whole year.

My DD says school is too easy because school's idea of differentiation in maths is allowing her to 'sometimes work with a dice with higher numbers than the other children' ie 7-12 instead of 1-6 (DD is in Y1) when the reality is she can manipulate numbers in their thousands and has the ability on the whole to work at the level of the Y4s. Also they do lots of worksheets (various subjects) so there is no possibility of extending the work, they simply have to get on with the task they are given, so unless the teacher allows them to do extended work after then she doesn't get to do any! Also what purpose does phonics sessions serve when DD has the reading level of the average 10yo and comprehension of an 8yo??!! My school does not offer to let her go into the year above, makes her sit through all the easy level stuff and do it even though they know she is way beyond it because they don't want to be seen to be giving favours to any one child, they don't want parents coming in and moaning that 'so and so's child is getting... why isn't mine'. So I have sympathy when parents say DCs say it's too easy.

mumblesmum Tue 01-May-12 18:21:25

I can see that maths and phonics can be too 'easy', if not properly differentiated, but children surely can't find all the other subjects (writing, other areas of maths, history, geography,icy, science, re, pe, art, dt, music) easy?

Rainydayagain Sun 20-May-12 12:09:09

Is it too easy due to the fact that a gifted child moves so fast?
Have they got it when the other trudge on to the conclusion. ( even creatively)

I can see how doing worksheets that are similar to us doing a five year olds work desperately dull!!

lou2321 Mon 21-May-12 11:34:46

kistigger I would be deeply unhappy if this was the differenciation my son was getting at his school. They have never made him join in the phonics classes as he was on level 5 phonics when he started in YR.

If your child was behind you would expect them to get the extra help they need so it should be no different the other way round. Its such a shame that teaching attitudes like this still exist, there are so many teachers that get really excited to have a bright child in their class and thrive on ensuring they progress well. Its not giving favours - its treating children individually.

Some parents have had a moan about the fact that some Y1 children are in the Y2 class but its really none of their business TBH.

Ds's school have insisted they will still be aiming for 3 sub levels progress for him in Y2 in spite of him already acheiving the level he needs to be at the end of next year which is reassuring.

I can totally understand why this issue is so frustrating for parents and DCs.

AnxiousElephant Fri 27-Jul-12 19:22:01

It is exactly that! They give different worksheets for maths, higher level books (although from dds home reading she is a free reader including comprehension yet still lime at school) but she has been itching to learn french all year like her y2 group. Physically she is as capable as y2, swims unaided for a couple of lengths (although her certificate for swimming congratulates her on swimming 2-5m?) brilliant climber, refused to carry on ballet because it was taught through role play rather than learning actual positions iyswim. She enjoys doing experiments and has done since age 3 years but no science really. Loves history but none of that really until year 3. I am seriously considering private so that she gets a broader curriculum tbh.

AnxiousElephant Sun 16-Sep-12 00:08:36

I just wanted to update this thread. smile
So we have just started year 2 (dd got a 3c, 2c,2c at the end of last term and is now free reading within a week back age 6). She tells me that the guided reading in the top group is at orange book band level. How will this challenge and stimulate her? This is 5 bands below where she reads now??

Myliferocks Sun 16-Sep-12 00:18:20

One of our children left infants school on a level 3A bordering 4C. She spent 2 years at junior school coasting until she was able to go to the same middle school as her sister when she was yr 5.
Middle school has been the making of her as she now has individual subject teachers. Because middle school is yrs 5-8 the teachers are able to give her work that actually makes her think for the first time in her schooling.

Jinsei Sun 16-Sep-12 00:26:55

It sounds like a very low performing school, OP. I don't blame you for being worried. I know you said that you live on an army base, so maybe it's difficult, but is there any way you could move her?

AnxiousElephant Sun 16-Sep-12 01:05:53

We are due to move bases next year and will be hopefully going independent at that point for this reason. I am also about to have discussion with the SENCO/ head of KS1 and her teacher about it. I am not a pushy parent but I do want what is the best education for her x

AnxiousElephant Sun 16-Sep-12 01:35:01

The worrying thing is that this school has a 'good' ofsted rating so isn't meant to be low performing!

Jinsei Sun 16-Sep-12 14:02:37

It may be rated as good but still get poor results compared to the national average - the school may be adding value, even if the majority of the children come in at very low levels. It's all about the progress that the children make, which has to take into account their starting points.

Our school is at the other end of the spectrum - very middle class area and highly educated parents, so the school's results are outstanding. However, the school is rated as "good", not "outstanding", because the children are ahead of average when they start out in reception, and so the school can't take all of the credit.

alcofrolic Sun 16-Sep-12 15:35:40

Anxious, I would be anxious too if the top group in Y2 was only reading orange! Are parents poorly educated in general? Do parents get involved with school? Do they read with their children?

Several of my class are on the same(ish) levels as your dd even though it's a half/half forces school, with about 65% transiency. I know that some children can be very unsettled if they have to change schools a lot. How long to they stay at the school on average?

I would think that some of the forces' pupil premium should be used to address attainment in KS1!! (Not that it helps you much at the moment.....)

ibizagirl Mon 17-Sep-12 06:11:50

Anxious, I had all this with my dd who is now 13. She has always been very able and on g&t but found the work so easy and was just left to sit at the table doing nothing. She always had good sats etc and was marked as 3b when she was 4 for a story she wrote and got 3A in year 2 sats and 4A in year 3 and 5A in years 4, 5 and 6 (there was no level 6). The school was rated good but is not in an affluent area and some children were and still are well below average. So in my opinion i think the school just didn't "expect" to teach a child like my dd (i can't think of any other way to put it but you know what i mean). Most of the children were very slow learners. I used to help a lot at the school and some were unable to read a book in year 6. They went on to the local academy. Dd was always left to her own devices and was told to help other children rather than give dd extra work which she craved. I asked about senco as obviously the lower ability children were getting loads of attention and was told "oh no, thats only for children with special needs, not your dd". Most of the time i was told to "look on the internet" for work for dd. There were no books at school for her because they were too easy and she had read them all so she took her own in but a nice teacher tried her best with dd and gave her a set of childrens Shakespeare books. Very kind. Year 6 was totally useless and dd hardly did a thing - was a waste of time going to school. Anxious, try and get things sorted sooner rather than later. Like you i am not a pushy parent but want the best for my dd. Best wishes and good luck.

alcofrolic Mon 17-Sep-12 19:06:00

BTW anxious. Service schools have to account for how they're using the pupil premium to raise standards (£200 per forces child). Perhaps a good question to ask at the parents meeting would be how the school is utilising the money. It is your right to know.

AnxiousElephant Mon 17-Sep-12 20:30:53

thans alcofrolic and ibizagirl - the school is a service one but most of the parents are from technical trade group backgrounds, lots with degree and masters, teaching quals for adults. Not frontline soldiering iyswim. The postings range from 1-3 years depending, some on courses and others more permanent. There have been several very bright children at the school but all have had the same problem and responses. This leads to a significant majority choosing independent schooling instead. Therefore the bright percentage decreases and stats.
Glad you don't think I am pushy smile. As I said, dd was not hothoused and she goes out playing most evenings, only does the 10 mins reading a day and not even that sometimes (school books anyway!).
I think I will ask about the services budget tbh. They sent a letter out for parent governors but unfortunately I won't be able to get to meetings or I would love to do it to see what goes on.

alcofrolic Mon 17-Sep-12 21:10:27

Our service budget is used to employ a family liaison person, who deals with the families; the children entering and leaving that school; incoming families and children with parents on tour.

This was done to address the 'accepted' 6 months settling in time whenever a child joins a new school, assuming that a well-managed introduction would shorten the settling in period and thus increase academic standards. It seems to be working!

We have much the same transiency (1-3 years) and similar parental rankings, so there should be no excuse that the top group in Y2 is only reading orange!!!!

Now I only need you to tell me that you're in Yorkshire, and that will add to my simmering theories about Ofsted expectations!

AnxiousElephant Mon 17-Sep-12 23:23:30

No, no, not in Yorkshire ......if only it was confined to one area! sad The school are excellent at pastoral care regarding settling in but interestingly it was detailed on the last OFSTED that more could be done to challenge the brightest children.

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