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And so the 'competitiveness' starts with the allocation of the new classes :-(

(34 Posts)
ceebeegeebies Tue 28-Jun-11 20:52:34

DS1 is in Reception and we have just been told which class they are moving to next year (the school has a yr 1 and a mixed yr 1/2) and they have done it on ability/sociability rather than on age as in previous years. Out of 40+ children in Reception, I guess the top 15 (ish) will go into the yr 1/2 class.

There is one mum on FB who is gloating (in a faux 'oh I wish he wasn't going into yr 1/2) way) because her DS is in yr 1/2 despite being a June baby - which to be fair, is probably quite an achievement. She is commenting on everyone's status just to make sure everyone knows wink

If my DS had got into yr 1/2, I think I would be saying how proud I was of him and gloated loud and proud grin

Why do I feel that this is just the start of competitive parents syndrome??

RafaNadalIsMyLoveSlave Tue 28-Jun-11 20:56:29

Take the wind out of her sails by sympathising with her grin

Say 'Oh, I do feel bad for you - I am SO relieved that DS is going into the Yr 1 class where the teaching will be tailored specifically for the needs of one age group rather than into a class where the teacher might struggle to manage the differentiation required.'

SuePurblybilt Tue 28-Jun-11 20:57:02

Because FB is messing with your head. Turn it off and never, never go on it againgrin

ceebeegeebies Tue 28-Jun-11 21:04:18

Rafa I like that - I might just use it grin I have said how I am SO glad that DS1 is going into yr 1 as the teacher (according to pretty much everyone) is absolutely fantastic and the best one in the school - plus DS1 will be with all his friends (apart from this lady's DS obviously).

Sue switch FB off - are you mad?? grin

Northernlurker Tue 28-Jun-11 21:08:18

Why on earth did your school feel the need to tell you that was why they'd done that? hmm

I remember when dd1 was moving from reception to year 1, there was one class which would be 15 year 1s till December then up to 30 in the new year with the January intake. The other class was 30 kids straight off. One mum was there with the list moaning 'Oh but I wanted Tarquin to be in that class, it will be so much better. Oh no look Darwin is in that class because his mother, Esme, kicked up a stink. I did ask but was told nothing doing....oh woe is me.......oh it's not fair.....' ad nauseum. I wanted to slap her tbh. Some people just have to make a fool of themselves.

Dd1 won the literacy prize at the end of KS1, the numeracy prize at the end of KS2, has been on the gifted and talented register for years and has glowing reports from all her teachers. I never mention any of this to my fellow mums. Of course she is also frequently a pain in the neck that I would happily shut in the cellar if I had one.........

ceebeegeebies Tue 28-Jun-11 21:14:10

Northern the school felt it necessary to tell us as it was apparently criticised by Ofsted in November for not doing it on ability and using age as a guide...so clearly by telling us, they are implying the school has improved wink

lemonmousse Tue 28-Jun-11 21:17:42

Have the school told you they've done it on 'ability/sociability'? Or has 'Facebook Mum' told you that?

I actually know a Mum who moved her child to a different school because the reception teacher wanted to keep her another year (mixed age classes - R/Y1 and Y1/Y2)

lemonmousse Tue 28-Jun-11 21:18:32

Sorry x-post - not just FB Mum then grin

Mischif Tue 28-Jun-11 22:24:01

I was thinking our classes had been rearranged to find a good mix - i.e. A doesn't get on with B so lets keep them separate, rather than it being to do with ability.

Elibean Tue 28-Jun-11 23:00:46

Ofsted said that? I feel vaguely shock at that, for some reason. I would have thought, at that age, a good mix was as important as anything else...

prettybird Tue 28-Jun-11 23:02:16

Is it by ability or by developmental readiness ?

Subtle but important difference.

The system is slightly different in Scotland (and handled better by ds' school) but I'll tell the story of how it happens at ds' school (using him as the example).

He's in theory slap bang in the middle of the age group, but in pratice ('cos in Scotland you can genuinely defer) he is at the younger end, pluss he was quite young/innocent character wise.

His school had a "straight" P1 (= Reception) and a composite P1/P2 class. He was put initially into the the composite class but all the parents were told that the children would be assessed and there would be a re-shuffle at the September weekend (it after 6 weeks, when they had only been doing half days). He was changed to the P1 class because that was the peer group that they felt he would be happiest with - which incidentally included one of the oldest kids (ie one who was nearly a year older than him, having been deferred, as we can do in Scotland).

He coped fine with that and ended up in the top groups for Language and Numbers. The Language one was misleading as he was learning everything off by hear and not actually reading - because he wasn't actually developmentally ready for reading even though school gave him lots of extra support but said that some kids only "get" it age 6 (and he was over 6.5 before he got it).

Cut a long story short, he has now finished P6 and is an excellent reader and doing well with his numbers. He's probably amongst the brightest in the whole P6 cohort. Over time, the developmental differences even out.

The kids that were in the composite class this last year ended up being composite P6/5 (ie down a year rather than up a year) because the P7 class could be squeezed into a single classroom.

To be fair on the school, the groupings for maths and languages tend to be across the classes in a child-centric approach. So for example, ds' maths group (the "top" P6 group) did their Maths with some of the P7 ( = Y6) kids.

I suppose that is long-winded way of saying "Don't sweath it" - and just be grateful that your ds has a good teacher next year! In the end, that's all that really matters not what mad ladies are saying on fb smile

startail Tue 28-Jun-11 23:18:42

DD2 was the youngest in (the top half of) a class split like this. She may be again this year. I honestly don't know and certainly wouldn't boast.
OK the above is a little boast wink
As far as i can tell the school does it's best given very variable year sizes and limited resources. I get very angry at parents who think they should have another class to avoid the worst of the problems. Another 30 + pupils and school might be able to afford it.

Rosebud05 Wed 29-Jun-11 07:41:30

I don't think describing class allocation for 5 years olds as 'getting in' to a particular class is helpful in quashing any potential competitiveness.

If you see this as something to gloat about as you say, why shouldn't this other mum.

FWIW, my June born boy is very sociable and confident and able though I'd MUCH rather he was in a class with other kids only 9 months older than him than up to 18 months older at the age of 5.

My son is a June birthday and has been in the Y1/Y2 class this year as a young Y1. I must admit to being smug about this but actually it has been dreadful for him. The Y2s that he is with are the bottom 1/3 of the year 2s and so he is meant to be the top 1/3 of the year 1s. Actually a lot of the year 2s are of lower ability than the year 1s and the teacher has struggled with the mix. He has SN and has poor social skills so being with children who were 7 when he was just 5 was really not very good for him and he would have been much better with the full y1 class. I have actually asked that regardless of his ability, he be in the Y1/Y2 class next school year as his social skills are less mature than his peers. Hopefully he will find a friend - not happened in 2 years of schooling and 3 years of day nursery sad

Bonsoir Wed 29-Jun-11 08:49:40

My DSS2 spent a year in a mixed year group (it was Y5/Y6 equivalent here in France) and it was an unmitigated disaster for him - he got very depressed. And he is a very easy child.

thejaffacakesareonme Wed 29-Jun-11 13:26:40

prettybird - it's not universal in Scotland that composite classes are made up on the basis of development. Our local authority does it strictly by age.

Gooseberrybushes Wed 29-Jun-11 13:34:07

oh god how utterly ghastly in every possible wawy

that it's mixed, that it's done like this, that it matters, that she's just started seven years of ghastly trivial ghastliness, that one's perspecitve is still at that limited stage where it seems really important

what is really imporrtant is that your child is happy and with good self esteem and that this ridiculous nonsense is not passed on to them subtly

good self esteem is so vital to happy learning, and soon you will have much more to worry about - the thing to do is forget this rubbish and ignore and focus on what really matters

I don't know what this school is like but ten to the dozen it follows the usual NC path of expecting you to do the bulk of the work when it comes to instilling the basics of maths and arithmetic

soon you won't be able to believe that you were concerned with something like this, she is a silly sausage, you are a little bit for thinking she's got something to gloat about but anyway smile and good luck

Bramshott Wed 29-Jun-11 13:47:28

I'd just sigh and let it wash over you - honestly, by the time they come out at Y6, it won't matter any more!

If I was feeling evil I'd be tempted to take PFB mum quite literally and say "oh no, poor you. Never mind, I'm sure he'll learn to cope, even if he does have a shaky start".

Mind you, our school are splitting one of the junior years next year and have actively told us they are splitting them on "academic ability" which I was a bit hmm about. I think it would be better if they just said something like "we will make the decision based on a number of factors and place children where we think their learning can be best supported".

We get a bit of this too, my DS was, as one mother so kindly put it "held back" into the mixed YearR/1 class instead of the Yr 1/2 class with her son, well it was definitely the right thing for my DS at the time, he would probably have gone under in the Yr1/2 class, it is a mixture of factors, development, ability, actual age, friendships. They are all in the same Yr 2 class now and DS is fine, holding his own with the rest of them. Hate this sort of underhand gloating.

Gooseberrybushes Wed 29-Jun-11 13:59:28

shock at "held back"

how witchy is that

acebaby Wed 29-Jun-11 14:12:21

oh for goodness sake. What a ridiculous woman. I would delete her from your facebook immediately. Now that your DCs are not in the same class, you won't need to have anything more to do with her. As PP's have said, there are a big mix of things that the school will have taken into account (age, size, emotional development, friendship groups...) when deciding who went where. I honestly doubt that Oxbridge potential for 2024 was high on their list.

prettybird Wed 29-Jun-11 14:21:31

thejaffacaskesonme : accepted. But the point is that HMI (= Oftsed for the English MNers) doesn't make down a school for not doing it by ability or age. The key issue is how the school then teaches the class.

Also don't know if England has the similar legal requirement for smaller classes when it's a composite class.

prettybird Wed 29-Jun-11 14:24:25

Doesn't mark down a school blush

DeWe Wed 29-Jun-11 14:41:03

How do you know she isn't genuinely concerned, or maybe she feels you resent her child so is trying to make it sound like they've got a bad deal?
I know for two of my children (out of 3) that they'd cope academically, but socially it would be a big concern for me, so why can't it be for this lady.

Evilclown Wed 29-Jun-11 15:37:59

How ill advised of the school to make it known that it is decided by ability.

Actually 15 out of 40 children is only top 37.5%. Hardly gifted and talented by any stretch of the imagination

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