Advanced search

Get £10 off your first lesson with Mumsnet-Rated tutoring service Tutorful here

Forgive me MN, for I have commited a cardinal sin - I allowed myself to get involved in a park-time chat about reports/NC levels

(78 Posts)
FirstLeg Fri 26-Aug-11 19:06:28 now I am (a) slightly concerned and (b) slightly suspicious.

Friend A (who brought up the subject) said her DD had got a 4, and two 3A's in her report (can't remember what in), while friend B said her DD had all 3A's. Now, this at the end of year 3 - our DD's are 8 (although theirs are nearly 9 and mine just 8).

I thought DD was doing well with her 3C's, and her teacher has always been full of praise for her, said how bright and capable she is etc, but now am worried that actually, she is not actually doing that well, and the teacher is overstating her ability for some reason.

It did cross my mind that my friends were exaggerating, but I have no idea why them might (they are lovely people and not showy-offy types imo). Friend B did counter her DD's (slightly!) lower scores compared to Friend A, by saying her DS got 5C's at the end of year 5, which would seem ever more 'inflated'.

I know I shouldn't have got involved, and shouldn't worry, but you know how it is. I even said I couldn't remember what DD got blush. Stupid me for trying to be pro-active and arranging a catch up in the park before school starts... Boo!

cornsilksi Fri 26-Aug-11 19:08:23

they sound awful...who compares reports FFS?

BeerTricksPotter Fri 26-Aug-11 19:13:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2BoysTooLoud Fri 26-Aug-11 19:13:33

Tis a sin and you have been punished!
I think we have all been there and I always feel slightly dirty even standing on the sidelines of such discussions.
Yes and I always end up worried and cross with myself for being so!!

FirstLeg Fri 26-Aug-11 19:16:59

Oh, they aren't awful Cornsilk, they are nice people. Which makes me think they aren't exaggerating, and they weren't boasting either - I sort of started it in a way - we were talking about the fact they (the DD's) are getting an NQT next year, and I was saying it was a good thing, as hopefully she will have loads of energy (!), and then said that our three would do fine anywhere as there were all pretty bright...cue the 'oh yes, on X's report it said...' etc etc

So, I reckon it must be true and actually DD isn't doing as well (compared to her friends) as I thought she was...

I suppose what I want is for someone to come on here and say, 'well 3C's is pretty good anyway' blush

cornsilksi Fri 26-Aug-11 19:19:02

I think 3C sounds just fine - is she going into year 4?

FirstLeg Fri 26-Aug-11 19:20:23

lol! BeerTricksPotter. I will remember that oversharing is bad...
2BoysTooLoud - good to know you understand how I feel. I am sure I will get over it once term and busy-ness returns...

FirstLeg Fri 26-Aug-11 19:22:06

Yes Cornsilki, she is. Ta for that! smile

beatofthedrum Fri 26-Aug-11 19:24:13

The average child is level 2b at the end of Y2 and 4b at the end of Y6, meaning they should be around 3b at the end of Y4. Your daughter is right where she should be so you have no need for worry at all. (I'm a primary teacher). HTH.

mrz Fri 26-Aug-11 19:31:44

A 3C at the end of Y3 is good so stop worrying the expected levels are 2A-3B

FirstLeg Fri 26-Aug-11 19:37:14

Two teachers smile - thankyou! Irrespective of my friend's DD's, my DD is still definitely on track then...
Maybe my friends just have mini geniuses. I admit they do seem more mature and 'grown up' than DD, but I didn't think they were miles ahead academically...

I shall allow myself an evening just to fret and then I will re-read this in the morning and tell myself to shut up!


IndigoBell Fri 26-Aug-11 19:44:03

I thought DD was doing well with her 3C's, and her teacher has always been full of praise for her, said how bright and capable she is etc, but now am worried that actually, she is not actually doing that well, and the teacher is overstating her ability for some reason.

This is the bit that always flaws me. They tell me my DS is doing well. And then when reports come out I find out he is doing only average.

Your DD is doing average / slightly above average.

It's just problems with the impreciseness of language. When your (and mine) teacher says DD is doing well, you interupted that to mean 'one of the best in the class', whereas teacher only actually meant either 'made good progress this year' (did she?) or 'exactly where she should be'

I get caught out every report blush

IndigoBell Fri 26-Aug-11 19:44:55

I have never ever had a teacher admit to me that my child was not doing well - even when they blatantly weren't.

There's something in the teachers manual that says always reassure parents and tell them how brilliant their child is sad

Tidypidy Fri 26-Aug-11 19:55:50

I am always honest with parents of children in my class, what's the point in lying? If a pupil of mine is struggling then the parents should be aware as I'll have kept them informed throughout the year and extra support will be given when needed. I do however, always try to find something positive to comment on as positive praise leads to more positive results.

Please don't turn this thread into a teacher bashing exercise.

IndigoBell Fri 26-Aug-11 20:24:13

I'm not at all bashing teachers.

Her child was not struggling. So the teacher correctly said she was doing well. However the OP interpreted that statement differently to how the teacher meant it.

You only know what you've said to parents. You don't know how they've interpreted it. It's very, very easy for whatever you say to be misinterpreted for a variety of reasons. None of them due to bad teaching.

For example doing well might mean 'made 2 sub levels' but the child still might be bottom of the class.....

mrz Fri 26-Aug-11 20:25:41

Some teachers like to only tell you the positive Indigo but we aren't all like that.
(I think it's their own insecurity rather than a teachers manual ) I've already warned the parents of the children in my class in September to expect the truth after I heard my colleague telling them she only writes nice things in the reports. biscuit

IndigoBell Fri 26-Aug-11 20:51:04

Well, I think what the OP describes is very common. ie the parent getting a more rosy view of their child then is accurate.

This hasn't just happened with my DD. It also happened with both my DSs this year.

DS2 - in Jan I was told he was predicted a 2a or 3 in writing. In July he got a 2b. I was told he was doing well because he'd made good progress. However he didn't do as well as I was expecting based on what I was told in Jan.

DS1 - I was told he was doing very well at maths and they were very glad they'd moved him up to the top set (which they'd avoided doing at first because of his ASD and not knowing the other teacher). When I got his report at the end of year it turns out their defn of very well was not the same as mine....

So the teachers were always being accurate and truthful - but I'd misinterpreted their remarks.

FirstLeg Fri 26-Aug-11 21:15:44

Sorry, didn't mean to start a disagreement. Sorry things haven't been too good with school communication for you IndigoBell sad.

I have been very happy with DD's teacher, and she has always been helpful and seemed genuine. I suppose, like you say. I hear 'doing well' and translate as 'pretty clever', whereas she means 'doing as she is expected'. However, she has definitetely used the words 'capable' and 'bright' at parent's evening, so I understandably have thought DD is above average...

Now I wonder what words she uses for my friend's DD's lol!

Thanks to all for your reassurance smile

Teachermumof3 Fri 26-Aug-11 21:24:06

Hmm-how would this best be rectified, do you think? As a teacher-I give (as the school policy prescribes) a grade for effort (1-most, 4-least) and their NC levels, including the fine grade. This, we hope, makes it clear if the child is trying hard in that particular area and also how they are attaining.

My children's school has the same system, which I think works well as I thought is was easy to interpret. However, a friend of mine recently said that her son was doing brilliantly as 'he's got all 1s for effort' and is now putting him in for the 11+, but I know that he is in the bottom set for maths/english so the fact he was trying really hard, but is not in the top 1/2 of the year, wasn't really understood.

What would parents like to know? Is being told that your DD is 'doing well' not useful as it makes parents think they are doing better than average when they aren't? Would you rather know that they are 5th in the class in maths? I'm not being facetious, I just wondered what people wanted from a school report?

IndigoBell Fri 26-Aug-11 21:37:38

TeacherMum - yes giving out NC grades on reports makes it crystal clear what your defn of 'well' is. And that is what I prefer.

I guess the thing is that you only give out reports once a year, but during the year you probably say 'doing well' lots of times to lots of different parents.

By that you might mean 'making expected progress' and they might think you mean 'above average'

So your reports sound fine. And I guess watch the words you use during parent teacher meetings - talk in terms of either NC levels or 'average, above average' etc. And talk about that separately from 'making expected progress', 'trying hard'.

But doing well just could mean absolutely anything.

I think there is something wrong with your child's school communication if your friend doesn't realise that her child is not in the top 1/2 of the year....

This is where teachers have to be very careful about being positive. They may well be pleased with his progress, and happy with his effort, but they have not communicated effectively with his parents.

AChickenCalledKorma Fri 26-Aug-11 21:41:10

In a nutshell - your daughter is doing well, because she is above expectation for her age.

The children of Friends A and B are also doing well - a bit better than your DD. But not, like, orders of magnitude better.

The grades they are talking about are very good, but not so high as to suggest they are lying exaggerating. My daughter also got 3As at the end of year 3 and is on target for at least 5C at the end of year 5 (got 4A at end year 4). She is not a genius, but is very able. Two of her friends got the same levels (I know, because I teach them all in Sunday School and they maintain a - perfectly aimiable - running competition about how they are all getting on at school)

It is, however, still perfectly reasonable for the teacher to say your DD is doing well. Because she is. And, as you know, the moral of the story is not to compare notes on levels in the park wink

FirstLeg Fri 26-Aug-11 21:45:53

Interesting stuff. i agree with what you say Indigobell. Thank you for aksing TeacherMumOf3.

While I don't think reports should say x out of xx in the class, how about some sort of graphic showing where in the school and where nationally, the child's NC puts them? Like centiles in the red book?

I suppose this may not be helpful to parents who aren't used to information being represented like this, or could be too obvious in tiny schools, but maybe it is a clearer way of showing things for those in medium to big schools?
Just my first thought on the subject...

I agree though, that it is all the little comments said off the cuff through the year that build your picture of how your child is doing, and I would hate teachers to stop having 'little words' for fear they had to agonise over every phrase hmm

Minx179 Fri 26-Aug-11 22:07:16

Friend A (who brought up the subject) said her DD had got a 4, and two 3A's in her report (can't remember what in), while friend B said her DD had all 3A's. Now, this at the end of year 3 - our DD's are 8 (although theirs are nearly 9 and mine just 8).

If I understand correctly your DD is one of the younger children in the year while your friends DD are at the older end. Age doesn't always make a difference educationally but it can. Taking into account the difference in their ages your DD is doing well.

plinkplonk Fri 26-Aug-11 23:10:37

It does sound like your dd is doing averagely well. Which isn't bad - and isn't brilliant. I think you should focus on whether you feel your dd's needs are being met well. If they are, no problem. If you think she could be doing better, then talk to the teacher.

2BoysTooLoud Sat 27-Aug-11 07:28:29

In nursery I had the impression ds 1 absolutely the bees knees. In reception I realised that he was bright but not outstanding or in the 'top' group - bothered me a bit. Year 1 began to pull myself together - have happy boy who is doing just fine but not quite as mature as some.. so what?
I think [irritating cliche coming up] I am beginning to realise that education/life is a marathon not a sprint and it is going to matter very little whether he is top/ middle of the class/wavering about at age 6.
He is his own little person who needs to develop at his own pace.
I wobble sometimes when talking to his [more mature/top group] friends' mums.
I then mentally slap myself and tell myself to pull myself together.
Try and relax FirstLeg!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: