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No Differentiation

(9 Posts)
pookyandponky Mon 05-Nov-18 20:37:12

My daughter has just started Year 5 in a new school. (We moved for work)
At parent’s evening I tried to discuss the fact that there is not any differentiation in maths lessons. All children do the same work and if they finish there is a “challenge”.
Also, there are no texts used for writing. The teacher just chooses a genre but it doesn’t seem there is a text read and discussed first.
I am a teacher of over 20 years in KS2 and I need help to address this. I desperately don’t want to be that parent. But, I am at a loss of how to to take my concerns further without coming across as being confrontational.
Please help me.

dragonmummy17 Mon 05-Nov-18 20:42:17

If the school is following a mastery curriculum for maths, the old style differentiation won't be used. All children access the same learning. Less able are supported through use of equipment, preteaching and adult support. More able are given 'challenges' to deepen understanding within the same objective so that they master the content. It's the new way of teaching maths and is supported by government and groups such as ncetm.

pookyandponky Mon 05-Nov-18 20:59:29

Hi. The school is not following a mastery curriculum in a full way. They are using Singapore maths, which does allow for that if followed correctly. The issue is that the main work (bulk of the lesson) is not achieving any learning as the children in the group already know how to do it.

dragonmummy17 Mon 05-Nov-18 21:07:26

Sounds like they don't fully understand the Singapore maths yet... they should be being moved to the mastery task quicker. Maybe in the discussion with the class teacher, ask how they are developing her understanding and stretching her without mentioning the word differentiation?

extrastrongmints Mon 05-Nov-18 22:06:04

employing a mastery based approach is no excuse for failing to differentiate for the brightest. See for example:



“We don’t do differentiation now, we do mastery instead”
This one breaks my heart. Somehow the message has reached schools that differentiation is bad. Particularly, that the brightest kids should not be accelerated. This is showing itself in some schools as really bright kids being asked to work on mundane crap for months because the whole class hasn’t yet caught up. This is not what mastery is about at all.

parrotonmyshoulder Mon 05-Nov-18 22:14:30

It’s similarly awful for the kids with difficulties, when poorly misinterpreted, I think. I was told that my extremely dyslexic DD ‘just has to’ learn the same spellings as the rest of the year group as ‘we do mastery now’. When I asked how she would be supported to do this (when she still couldn’t consistently spell ‘the’ in year 3), that was genuinely the teacher’s reply ‘she just has to’.
Improvements have been made, thank heavens.

parrotonmyshoulder Mon 05-Nov-18 22:15:03

Not in DD’s spelling (much!) but in the support offered.

OctaviaClayton Tue 20-Nov-18 15:30:55

There is no easy way to tell a school that what they are doing is not right for your child. If they do not realise it themselves, no matter how gently you phrase it, they will become defensive.

There is also the issue that, in Y5, the focus of the school will probably be already be on SATS results. If your DD is going to 'pass' her SATS then there is no value - in terms of the school performance table - of putting more resources into teaching your DD at an appropriate level.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sun 02-Dec-18 15:04:00

In our case my son is 2e and is not being accommodated at either end. This is despite the fact that they have been explicitly told how to do it by two different experts. Homework sent home is impossible with me helping him a lot.
In retaliation though my son is now just all out refusing to comply with them. Cognitively he’s so far ahead but has a few sen diagnosis’s, including a physical disability, and school is hard as they don’t even know what to do

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