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Top set syndrome!

(11 Posts)
ihearttc Fri 16-Sep-11 14:22:07

Just after some advice from teachers if I may?

DS1 has just gone into Y2. He's a relatively good reader...no idea of what level he's on as they seem to do it differently in his school but he's reading chapter books like Horrid Henry, Mr Majeika, Enid Blyton (Wishing Chair etc). He reads in what I would call a different way and always has done...he simply can't sound words out at all. He seems to see words as whole units and can't see the separate bits in them so if he comes across a word he doesn't know he will guess at it in context of the story and I'll correct him if wrong. Probably completely the wrong way of doing it but it seems to be working. In Y1 he was in the second from top set...his teacher told me that she kept him there deliberately because although he could have coped academically with the stuff the top set were doing she didn't want to push him.

It's become apparent this week that his new teacher has now sorted the literacy and numeracy sets out and he's in the top set for both...well at least he's with all the children who were in the top set last year so Im assuming he is! The thing is (and Im aware that this is going to sound awful) I really don't want him to be. He is a complete stress head and I know that he's going to spend all his time worrying that he can't do the work...he came home in tears yesterday because he thought he only had to do 1 thing and it turned out he had to do 2 things! There are some mega bright children in his class and quite honestly there is no way he could keep up with them. Don't get me wrong I know this is an important year and I want him to work hard but at the same time he's 6 years old and shouldn't be getting worried cause he can't work as quick or as well as some of the others.

Would I be completely daft to mention it to his new teacher before the groups have all got settled?

Cortina Fri 16-Sep-11 14:45:55

You say: There are some mega bright children in his class and quite honestly there is no way he could keep up with them.

Perhaps he's caught them up? What do we mean by 'bright' is their ability and intellect permanently & forever superior to your son? He's only just gone into the set, how do you know he can't keep up and will stress? I think all children will be having some early struggles & insecurities as they settle in back after the holidays, it's normal. I'd see how he goes in the next few weeks before you mention anything, the teacher will be monitoring him and move him if she feels he's out of his depth.

newtermnewname Fri 16-Sep-11 14:54:11

Now there's something you don't hear on Mumsnet every day, a parent wanting their child to be moved down a group!

Seriously, though, fair play to the teacher for letting him try in that set, as cortina says even though he may be a worrier he may academically be on par with them. Agree with the idea of giving it a while, maybe till half-term, and re-assessing then.

mrz Fri 16-Sep-11 17:18:47

Grouping should be fluid so shouldn't get settled but if you are really concerned ask to speak to the teacher.

IndigoBell Fri 16-Sep-11 17:22:50

It's worth telling the teacher your concerns - and then let her use her judgement. At least then she'll know what to look out for.

Merrin Sat 17-Sep-11 14:27:35

I wouldnt ask for him to be moved, but I would talk to the teacher about his feelings and your worries. It might be he now needs to work at that level and as time goes on he settles in and gains confidence.

MumblingRagDoll Sat 17-Sep-11 15:38:06

Has he shown any stress yet? Unless he has I would leave things...

PrettyCandles Sat 17-Sep-11 15:48:48

Not a teacher, but almost every September ds starts out in top sets and hates it. By half term he has generally moved down either within the top set or to the next set down, depending how the subject is taught, and is much happier. By the summer he is often back up in the top set, and is OK about it. This happens most years. I think maybe some children are just more easily stressed than others. They learn better if they are not stressed, whatever level.

ninani Sat 17-Sep-11 16:19:50

Maybe he seems more stressed at home than he is at school. Ask the teacher what she thinks about him being stressful. Did his teacher last year mention anything? Does the current teacher maybe have a plan to deal with it/boost his confidence?

ihearttc Sat 17-Sep-11 18:56:02

wow thanks for all the replies! Yes I realise I might be in a minority on here with wanting him in a lower set...I did mention it to my friend and she thought I was totally bonkers hence me asking on here!

He was in the top set in Y1 for most of the year but was moved down to the set below at Easter...in his teachers words so that he could be the top of that group to boost his confidence rather than trying to keep up with the others. I was fully expecting him to be in pretty much the same place this year so was a surprise when he said who he'd be grouped with. His teacher last year was very perceptive and worked out his little ways very quickly so maybe this one will do the same.

He's a bit of a perfectionist which is why I think he's struggling a bit and getting worried about stuff. I think possibly academically he is quite bright and on a par with the others but it's the written work which is bothering him because he can't do it quick enough or as well as they can...incidentally the others are all girls which doesn't bother him as he's friends with them but I don't think it's helping the situation.

Might see how it goes over the next few weeks and mention it to his teacher just so that she's aware of it. Thanks for all the replies.

beautifulgirls Sat 17-Sep-11 20:20:43

I would also add that having just moved up a school year the work is going to be different anyway to last year. There is no saying that in the next set down they are doing any less pieces of work at least. I would run with it for a while and if he seems to be having issues as time goes by then have a chat with his teacher.

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