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Daughter in Year 4 moved down in her Maths and English, please help!

(31 Posts)
llllll Thu 21-Jun-12 10:48:58

Sorry this may be long, never posted in this section before please be gentle with me!!

In Year 3 my daughter was in the extended group for her English and the top group for her Maths.

Both me and my hubby were really proud of her. My hubby struggled at school and left with no qualifications and has worked hard later in life to get some qualifications so he really wants his children to do well.

We both worked hard with daughter at home with her maths and English. She loves writing poems and little stories and has a great imagination.

At the end of Year 3 my daughter just came out with "I have been moved down in my English and Maths" so I ask her when this happened "ages ago". So I was a bit annoyed as teacher never mentioned she was struggling.

So in Year 4 me and hubby put loads more effort into her English and Maths at home hoping that she would move up in her maths and English but it has made no difference. She is telling me her Maths work at school is "easy" and her maths homework she is finishing in no time.

She told me last night that she thought her Year 3 teacher didn't like her so that was why she was moved down in her Maths and English. I feel really frustrated as I know she is capable of more but when I have had a chat with her teacher they have told me she is at the level of her ability.

Do I get a tutor or do I keep the pressure on with the teachers and tell them she is finding the work easy.

IndigoBell Thu 21-Jun-12 10:56:27

So you think she's been moved down from the top group to the second to top group?

Does not in itself sound like a cause for concern.

Nor does it sound like she's struggling.

Nor is it something a teacher would normally discuss with parents.

redskyatnight Thu 21-Jun-12 11:03:07

I'm not sure it's helpful to compare with peers at a class level. My DD is in the top maths group in her class. She wouldn't have been had she been in DS's year as his peer group was so much stronger.

Your DD being moved down a group doesn't mean she is doing badly - just that others are doing better. You may well find that there is overlap between groups anyway, so actually she's working at the same level as the top group.

LemarchandsBox Thu 21-Jun-12 11:07:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoComet Thu 21-Jun-12 11:08:07

Primary teachers and indeed secondary teachers never overtly tell parents what groups DCs are in.

At primary particularly they can be horribly vague, using colours, shapes and things.

Pointless the DCs KNOW what group they are in.

Unfortunately, as a parent, all you can do is talk to your child and go in and talk to the teacher if you are concerned.

It may be that your DD is falling behind where she was, the teacher may have tried her in a group that was too hard, they may have had a rearrange and made more smaller groups. Trouble is the only way to find out is to ask to meet with the teacher.

It's a dreadful waste of everyone's time and effort, but that's how it is.

exoticfruits Thu 21-Jun-12 11:09:48

I would say that she was just very good early on and now a lot of the others have caught up and are better. I am sure that she is in the group that suits her best. I would just pop into school and have a chat about it with the teacher. You may find that she has not actually 'gone down'-it just appears to be her estimation.
I would talk to the year 4 teacher very early in the next school year.

Greeata Thu 21-Jun-12 11:11:59

If you are worried about it, go and speak to the teacher. She might have moved your dd for a number of reasons and it may be nothing to do with her performance.

My dd literacy teacher often moves children around to get the children used to working in different groups. Two of her friends had to be moved into separate class rooms because they were chatting too much. grin

llllll Thu 21-Jun-12 11:15:41

Thanks for replies.

Hubby worries about the kids schooling as he left school with no qualifications, I do tell him to chill but he does have a rant about it every now and then and he is having one of these weeks!!

veritythebrave Thu 21-Jun-12 11:23:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

veritythebrave Thu 21-Jun-12 11:25:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JoannaFight Thu 21-Jun-12 11:30:44

I have dts in yr 5. One in the top maths group one in the lower group. I always say that it's better to be managing comfortably in a lower group than struggling in a higher one.

I'm sure the same work is covered in the long run, it's just best to be working at a speed you can cope with. Especially important in maths where you need to really understand each step before moving on to the next. I would be guided by the school in this.

Hamishbear Thu 21-Jun-12 12:23:50

In our school if you are in a lower group you'll generally be working to a lower NC level.

DeWe Thu 21-Jun-12 13:30:12

Have I got this straight?

Last academic year your dd1 was in year 3.
She started in year 3 in the top groups, and at some point she was moved down a group. She didn't mention it straight away, but told you some time after it happened.

This year she's been in year 4 and hasn't been moved up again.

You've asked the teacher who's said that they feel she's in the right ability group.

Last night (which I assume is end of year 4) she said she was moved down because her year 3 teacher didn't like her.

Is that right?

She obviously wasn't majorly bothered about being moved down because she didn't mention it for "ages".
If she was moved down because her "year 3 teacher didn't like her", but ability wise should have been there, then it is likely she would have been moved up again by her year 4 teacher.
If teachers call in parents and say the child is "struggling" so moving down, then it makes it into a big issue to move down.

As she has spent this year (I assume) working in the same group, then there is a good chance it is right for her.
Why do you feel she is capable of more?

Why did she suddenly come out with (roughly) a year after it happened, that she moved down because her teacher didn't like her? Have you been asking her why she moved down/hasn't moved up? I wonder whether she's feeling a lot of pressure to move back up, and is trying to find an excuse.

As others have said it does depend on others in the class. I used to help in dd1's class. I took the top 2 groups for a maths exercise/game, then moved into a parallel class and took the top group. In that parallel class the top group was not as good/quick/understanding as the 2nd group in dd1's class imo. This was help out when they were set across the whole year group there were none from that class in the top set, and all the top group and some of the second got in from dd1's class.

Badgercub Thu 21-Jun-12 19:13:59

OP please don't worry, groups are fluid and there are many factors that teachers have to take into consideration that may not seem obvious to an outside observer.

For example sometimes it can even come down to a combination of personalities rather than abilities. I spread my groups out so that the work is differentiated correctly AND the children are able to work well together.

Also in terms of work there can be very little difference between what the groups are given, it's just that the teacher may be focussing one group one improving one particular skill and another group on another. Etc.

Being in the "top" group really isn't everything.

Badgercub Thu 21-Jun-12 19:15:34

"At primary particularly they can be horribly vague, using colours, shapes and things.

Pointless the DCs KNOW what group they are in."

What do you propose teachers call the groups instead then? hmm

Genius group? Thicko group?

tiggytape Thu 21-Jun-12 22:47:21

Badgercub - I think the point was that its silly for teachers to be so secretive about it with the parents not with the children. Parents need only ask "are you on the same table as [insert name of genius child] to know if they're in the top group or not for example but teachers tend to shy away from explicitly telling a parent where in the class their child falls.

OP please just talk to the teacher if you are worried.
It could be a particularly bright year group and even above-average children don't all make the top group.
It could be a confidence thing - not all children thrive in the sometimes uber competitive environment of the top table but still do the same work but in another group. This doesn't limit what they are learning but just spares them some of the pressure (some top groups in some years are particularly cut throat amongst themselves even at this age).
It depends how it is set up. Maybe they aren’t even in ability groups all the time.

sashh Fri 22-Jun-12 05:23:34

Badgercub - I think the point was that its silly for teachers to be so secretive about it with the parents not with the children. Parents need only ask "are you on the same table as [insert name of genius child] to know if they're in the top group or not for example but teachers tend to shy away from explicitly telling a parent where in the class their child falls.

But it is still meaningless - there may not be a genius child in the class, there may be 20 geniuses.

OP Education is a marathon, not a sprint. Don't put too much pressure on at this stage, just be supportive, help with homework etc.

Rosebud05 Fri 22-Jun-12 07:25:11

What NC levels in your dd working towards, OP?

That will give you a better idea of how she's doing in regard to expectations for her age than which table she's on.

tiggytape Fri 22-Jun-12 08:57:46

sashh - Totally agree. But then the teacher should explain that "she is on the middle table but still working above the level expected for her age. We just happen to have an unusually advanced cohort this year."

Most parents are interested, as Rosebud says, in how their own child is doing. They don't necessarily want to compare their child with others but the lack of information they get (some schools refuse to disclose NC levels or optional SATS results) means that sometimes they are left to try to second guess what's going on. Teachers are never going to convince all parents to sign up to the 'don't sweat it' philosophy of educational progress and therefore a bit of openess is required if parents aren't going to fret.

llllll Fri 22-Jun-12 09:21:57

Hi I think it was the lack of feedback/information/understanding of how the groups work from daughters Year 3 teacher. This seems to have been the general thinking from other mums that I have spoken to.

My hubby just associates moving down a group to mean there is a problem as he was at the bottom of the class through school.

I have to try to reassure him that daughter is doing well but with a lack of information on my part I struggle to explain to him that there is not a problem.

veritythebrave Fri 22-Jun-12 12:48:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

llllll Fri 22-Jun-12 13:57:37

verity this is how I feel and hubby is very passionate about how how our children are doing at school. Of course I want my daughter to be in the top group for everything!! When hubby looked at daughter homework this week and she completed it and then tells you "that was easy", I want to know why she is finding it easy.

Hubby wants to know does the homework she gets reflect her ability this week it was: look around your house for objects that are the following shape: cuboid, sphere, pyramid, cone and cube.

AdventuresWithVoles Fri 22-Jun-12 14:02:25

Homework should be easy at primary school; by y3-4 it should usually be stuff they can easily complete independently.

I think DSy3 must be in the Thicko group because he cannot tell me what ability groups he is in (top or bottom or in between, I quite honestly do not know & he doesn't seem to understand the notion, either when I quiz him closely ).

They did mention back in y1 one time when he had been moved down a group because they recognised that he needed to work in his comfort zone & not be pushed. I fully supported that move.

veritythebrave Fri 22-Jun-12 14:08:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rockpool Fri 22-Jun-12 14:14:15

Blimey my dc did that very shape homework in rec/Y1,does 3D shape not increase in difficulty by year 4?shock

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