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'Bottom table' worries

(9 Posts)
Y2TM Tue 06-Sep-11 21:20:50

Looking for some reassurance or a smack in the chops!

I feel disappointed that my Year 2 DD (who is a twin) has been placed on the bottom table with all the toublesome boys.

I've been worried about her for some time. She is Level 5 ORT but has no consistency with reading, has mostly phonetic spelling and not so good working memory or concentration. I feel her Y1 teacher let her down and let her drift in the middle tables.

I spoke to her teacher on a few occasions last year who assured me she was average ability but lacking in confidence.

It is made worse that her twin is working a year ahead of herself and on the top table and reading chapter books instead of trying to sound out tricky words.

The sensible part of me says that the teacher has reognised that she is stuggling and that she needs help. I will make sure she gets it this year. The pushy mum in me feels disappointed for her and that she will be brought further down by the children on the table who are very easily distracted (she is very well behaved if not a little distractable!)

I don't want her to be written off just now and that she will always be stuggling. I just want her to be happy and confident.

Any positivity gratefully recieved!

Fairenuff Tue 06-Sep-11 21:30:39

It may be that the bottom table has a TA working with them more often which will help her concentrate and stay on task.

She may be 'top' of the bottom table which could help to build her confidence rather than struggling on a higher level table.

It could be temporary to give some extra support until she moves to another table.

It could be that they would rather separate her from children she would normally choose to chat with so that she gets on with the work.

There could be other reasons. Talk to the teacher about your concerns if you think she isn't making progress.

Praise her efforts rather than her results and don't let her know you're a little disappointed. She will probably outshine her twin in other subjects as they get older. Don't worry, she will have her turn in the spotlight.

Pinkflipflop Tue 06-Sep-11 21:58:23

I doubt that the Y1 teacher let her down tbh, it's more likely that she just needs to be in the bottom group at the moment. Nothing to say she can't improve and move groups - work hard with her at home, encourage reading, discussing text, questions for characters and she will be fine.

ProfessionallyOffendedGoblin Tue 06-Sep-11 22:05:33

I'm irritated that you are assuming she's being written off because she is in an ability group that recognises she struggles and will be given the support she needs.
if you are indeed a pushy parent, then support your child at home and at school with all the areas she finds tricky.

' she is stuggling and that she needs help. I will make sure she gets it this year.'
So what have you been doing for the previous two or three years she's been in nursery or school? By comparing her with her twin, you sound more disappointed in her than anything else.

exoticfruits Tue 06-Sep-11 22:15:05

She isn't being written off. The mistake is to compare her to her twin. Is the school big enough to get them in different classes?

Iamseeingstars Tue 06-Sep-11 23:32:49

We are talking about the start of a new school year, so the teacher has to assess and group based on the information she has to hand.

You cant compare children, no matter what ages they are. I bet your child that isnt quite as academic is probably better than your other twin at other things.

Teachers give work at their appropriate level and it might start off easy to boost her confidence. If she does it easily then she feels she is good and the teacher will increase the levels accordingly.

Also, the teacher has to group all children accordingly and there will always be those that are in the bottom group and equally as many who dont make the top group.

It is the teachers job to make sure the children dont care about which group they are in, which they can easily do.

I would give the teacher a chance and see waht happens. If the disruptive children are a problem then this is a cause for you to talk to the teacher, but at least give her a chance to sort her class out. She will have so much assessing to do over the next few weeks to iron out anomolies.

Most of all, dont stress, you will pass this stress onto your child and make your DD feel worse.

PastSellByDate Wed 07-Sep-11 10:22:17


First of all you have to separate your concerns from Twin2's needs. Yes it's upsetting when your child is moved down a group and I've also been worried my my DD was moved down a group - but it can also light a rocket at home and get you focusing on what reading you're doing.

My 2 DD's used to read together and we found that we didn't always focus on each child well. So we have taken it upon ourselves to separate reading out. One of us read's with a child whilst the other helps with bath and doing hair afterwards. This means both children get a good start at reading. If there's time a few nights a week we all get together and we grown ups read some of our favourite books to them.

It also may be that the books in school seem a bit boring to your DD. Try looking at the Book Trust or the Richard and Judy Children's Book Club at WH Smith for some great books. The Early Reader books by Sally Gardner which are reworking favourite fairy tales (Snow White, Cinderella, The Frog Prince, etc...) are a real success with my youngest DD. Certainly our youngest DD was very aware that chapter books were for big girls and was only interested in reading those.

It sounds like you are concerned about your Twin2's reading and now the thing to do is to turn that energy into something positive. Start making improving her reading your priority. Slow but steady work will help. Keep it fun. Let her chose books, magazines, etc... But keep practicing. It will get easier.

fuckityfuckfuckfuck Wed 07-Sep-11 10:26:10

My dd made leaps and bounds in year 2. She really struggled in year 1 and was placed bottom table in pretty much everything at the start of year 2. But her progress hasbeen amazing, suddenly everything just clicks and they get it. She's just started year 3 and her reading and maths are fantastic now. I really think the extra support they recieve on the lower tables helps a lot, my dd had extra one on one time for both key words and maths, and it shows. If you have concerns, by all means talk to the teacher and outline them for her. Dd's teacher was just wonderful, and was so proud of my dd when she got her SATs results last term. Please don;t worry. I know it's hard not to, I found school pretty easy and it was hard for me to see dd struggle, but she really will get there, and probably sooner rather than later smile

Y2TM Wed 07-Sep-11 13:34:10

Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to reply. Lots of sensible advice for me. I've thought some more about it and am focusing on the positives of her situation which are that at least they have recognised that she may need extra help and that she may have the opportunity to shine on that table and not feel like she's stuggling.

My DD loves books but doesn't like reading to me. We do it consistently though and I read to her all the time (on her own at bedtime) and get her to give it a try. I have concerns that she has auditory processing / working memory problems but am trying not to self-diagnose!!

I will see how she gets on for this first term and see what the teacher says at the first meeting. I hope that she will just be one of those children who it clicks for this year as she loves learning and is very keen as long as it doesn't involve reading something herself or writing about it!

(And you're right about the twin thing that she has much different strengths to her sister and is very confident socially).

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