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Primary education and different rates of development question

(10 Posts)
spottypancake Sun 02-Oct-11 10:56:28


I have read lots of threads where people want to know what reading band a YR or Y1 child is, lots of threads with NC levels etc.

Question is: The answers often say that children develop at different rates and the range is huge - OK - but when does the developmental rate become complete or irrelevant? At what stage can you make an objective assessment of where your child is at or if he needs extra help due to being "behind"?

spottypancake Sun 02-Oct-11 11:57:27

sorry if it's a silly qu!

WoodBetweenTheWorlds Sun 02-Oct-11 12:07:42

It's an interesting question, actually, but I suspect it's impossible to answer - again, because all children progress at different rates. I guess the reality is that some children will never catch up, whereas others will catch up and even overtake their peers when they are good and ready. I can remember boys at my secondary school who didn't really come into their own until sixth form!

WoodBetweenTheWorlds Sun 02-Oct-11 12:11:32

Sorry, meant to say, I think you have to go with your gut instinct as to whether your child needs additional help, in addition to listening to the views of their teachers. Lots of children might need extra help at certain stages of their education - this might not mean that there is anything "wrong" as such, merely that they need a bit more support at that particular time.

Cortina Sun 02-Oct-11 13:29:14

OP, NC levels give an average and can be used as a gauge to check roughly how a child is progressing.

In our school the child that starts ahead tends to stay ahead, whilst I am told this isn't the case across the board but think it might explain some anxiety amongst parents. Our children are set for maths ithe lower sets are exposed to far easier work. Children sometimes move around but this is reasonably rare especially after a term or two. As someone once said 'good doesn't become average without outside help'. I've seen the work for the lower sets it's simple addition the top sets are working on something that looks like calculus (ok, I am exaggerating) but what's clear is pretty soon a huge gulf could open up. The projected NC levels are so much higher for the top sets the low sets are unlikely to catch up. It's possible but I'd argue unlikely for all but a small minority. Again I can only come to this with my own experience and from what I've read.

Ok, we can't all be top flight mathematicians perhaps but then what gets my goat is when cognitive bias possibly creeps in. The low sets (in Y3) have to draw a emoticon (face) to show if it was hard, medium or easy the top sets are asked to write a couple of sentences to describe how they found the work. The assumption perhaps is in general the low sets in maths won't have the skills in literacy as yet. I've read that it's assumed those that are ahead can make quick connections are generally bright and this can quickly turn into a self fulfilling prophecy.

As Jo Boaler said 'the set or stream that students are placed into at a very young age will almost certainly dictate the opportunities they receive for the rest of their lives' (1997). I am not sure if this has been disproved? But with this in mind I can see why parents are anxious children are as high up as possible whether it's reading schemes or sets or NC levels we are talking about. I am told things can all level out by GCSE and know that academic qualifications are not the be all and end all - my son is no rocket scientist and I am trying to keep positive and open minded about things.

Cortina Sun 02-Oct-11 13:31:34

Sorry OP, I wrote that answer after reading the Y1 bookband question. NC levels should be able to give a rough guide. How old is your child?

IndigoBell Sun 02-Oct-11 13:55:42

It's not a silly question, or one that is impossible to answer.

At some stage school determine that your child is not progressing well and they place them on the SEN register.

When and how this happens varies from school to school.

spottypancake Sun 02-Oct-11 20:59:59

5yo DS, Y1.

Thanks for the replies - interesting! I think that he may need some extra help but want to try and sort that out before he ends up in the bottom stream. We have a parent meeting soon so I will ask his teacher.

Tgger Sun 02-Oct-11 22:59:05

Tricky one. I would chill out until they are about 6 or 7 but I can see that that can be difficult in this country (just think in a lot of countries they don't start formal education until 6 or 7).

Evilclown Mon 03-Oct-11 14:05:37

A very good answer is here:

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