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should I be worried to not know any details of my children levels or what is expected progress for their ages?

(143 Posts)
educator123 Sun 17-Feb-13 16:52:43

I recently came over to this section and ever since all I've done is worry

With all the talk of levels and book bands etc.

Is it unusual for a parent to not know their child's level...keep seeing this 2a etc popping up.

The teachers assure me that the children are doing well at parent evening, but how would I know. I've always liked the school and assumed I would know if something was wrong.

Now I feel like I know nothing, and would struggle to know what is the norm, and he things are ok!?

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 15:05:01

Overall I love the small school but i'm starting to see how friendships can become an issue with dd1s best friend leaving (to the other school) and Ds year having no other boys didn't really inside these things before.

Also the head is good which helps and she is nearing retirement so overall I'm starting to worry with two more to go through primary how it will be in the future

mrz Fri 22-Feb-13 14:15:38

I think schools are much more clued up than they were when I was 11

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 14:06:59

Yes that is something that has been mentioned, although of the children I've known move up to secondary surprisingly seem to do so with ease and in recent year have moved up alone or as one of two due to being in small year groups and able to choose between a couple of secondary schools.

I always thought it must be a really difficult transition but maybe the small size and nurture gives them the confidence to move on with ease!?

mrz Fri 22-Feb-13 13:55:27

I found it very difficult moving to grammar school where there were more pupils in one class than had been in the whole primary school

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 13:53:35

That's good to know, and was experience of a small school a positive one? Hope you don't mind me asking!

Its a very tough decision with my dd struggling with losing a close friend and with the knowledge of my Ds's intake to know what is best the other school is very good, with lots in the way of friendship etc.
But we live in a community in a village so would feel a bit wierd not using the school.

mrz Fri 22-Feb-13 13:03:37

I went through primary in a year group of 3 (2 girls and 1 boy) and the boy is still my best friend

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 13:02:10

So tough as the school they are currently at has a member of staff assigned full time to reception for phonics etc so that would be a teacher between 4 children for all of their EYFS but I obviously want an all round balance.

I should add he has 3 sisters so quite used to girls but that would mean quite girl heavy at home and at school!

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 12:55:57

They play together across the schools older ones look after younger etc but having said that my daughters very good friend at preschool joined the year after and there friendship didn't respark.

So there is 3 boys going this sept one of which he talks about but i'm not sure if the would instantly re connect after a year of being at school. Then his other good friend goes up the year after ds,
which is a real shame.

I need something to push me one way or another as I've secured rare places at the other school until Easter but I've been in turmoil about whether to move the dds or not since before Christmas sad

mrz Fri 22-Feb-13 12:48:42

Being the only boy would be my concern ... how accepting do you think the older boys will be at break times and friendship outside school.

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 12:33:05

Do you think being the only boy going in in that intake would matter?

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 12:32:32

From a teaching perspective (if the teachers are good) which is mostly likely to attain success and happiness for the child, in your opinion?

mrz Fri 22-Feb-13 12:29:28

The school my children attended had a PAN of 10 but was always over subscribed so mixed classes of 20 and 25. The school where I teach has a PAN of 30 (reduced from 45 to avoid mixed age classes) but has classes of 30+ in KS2.
both schools offer advantages and disadvantages so really it's down to individual preference.

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 12:21:28

Thanks, well the one they are at gas under 45 atm but within the village we live in, walking distance. Just had Ofsted - Good with outstanding features.
Really lovely family feel everyone looks out for everyone and nothing goes unnoticed. It is lovely BUT although they all play across the years the intakes can be small PAN 8 but in dc1 went in with 5 other made a 'best friend' who has now left, she is quite sad about it.

Dc2 went in as one of 8, 4girls and 4boys.

Dc3 due to start 2014 one of 4. He will be the only boy and then I have number4.

The other school has an extremely good reputation and constantly been outstanding for a long time although last inspection was 2010 (I know the framework has changed since then) but I would imagine they will do well again. There is 170 in total but large classrooms so worry it could get bigger although head says he doesn't want classes of more than 25 but council insisted they take 30 for year 5&6.

It's a ten minute drive, really don't know what the 'all round' 'best' option is, they are both good for different reasons.

mrz Fri 22-Feb-13 12:00:47

I think it depends on the individual schools more than numbers. Too small can be as bad as too large IMHO

educator123 Fri 22-Feb-13 11:54:14

Mrz - just of interest, aside from levels. What is your opinion on class sizes and learning?

I ask as I am in turmoil about school choice atm my first two dc are at school dd1 in a class of thirteen (mixed yr2&3)
Dd2 class of 17 (mixed r&1)

It all seems to work well the children all seem to progress well, move onto secondary well and the small classes seem a bonus.

I've been considering a School move for other reasons but they would go into an average class of 25 but 30 in years 5&6 I can't help but think a smaller class must be better but dc is due to start in 2014 and one of four going in and the only boy although their will be 3 other boys in his classroom (year1s)

Don't know what to do for best all round!?

Ruprekt Thu 21-Feb-13 15:38:33

Your school seem to be on the ball with so many things i suddenly thought maybe you only had 12 children in your class! smile

I work in a class of 30 in a year group of 90 in a school of 650!

Teachers i work with are worried about the children who are not making progress and how to tell the parents. I might suggest just inviting them in and saying it is as it is.

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 15:30:00

I have 26 in my present class and approx 250+ in school

Ruprekt Thu 21-Feb-13 15:28:29

How many children are in your class mrz? And how many in the school?

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 14:21:38

It's all changing next year

cloutiedumpling Thu 21-Feb-13 14:20:38

We don't have the same system in Scotland that exists in England. We are not given any information about the levels that our kids are at. We have no Sats testing either. As a parent it can feel as though school is a bit of a black hole. You send your kids there and speak to the teacher twice a year for 10 minutes but never really feel as though you know how they are doing. I'd love to get the information that English parents get.

poodletip Thu 21-Feb-13 13:00:34

christinarossetti sounds just like our school. I find it useful too. Of course it doesn't tell me precisely what the children have been learning but it does show me that they have (or have not) made measurable progress which is, after all, the important thing surely. We get printouts with the NC level and sublevel and an associated points score. It's been explained that each sublevel equates to two points on this score and they expect them to make 4 points of progress in a year so you don't necessarily expect to see a change in that each half term, and you certainly don't expect to see a change in NC sublevel each half term.

christinarossetti Thu 21-Feb-13 11:19:07

Yes, I know. My point is that I find them useful but appreciate that not all parents or carers do. I would also be more than happy not to receive them, but I do feel reassured that the school is now properly monitoring progress (this has been a weakness in the past.)

mrz Thu 21-Feb-13 09:23:03

It will show up on the school data whether or not the parents are given the letters and numbers every half term

christinarossetti Thu 21-Feb-13 09:21:58

Parents weren't involved in the decision to give half-termly reports btw - change of management.

I find them useful Fwiw, though appreciate that not all parents or carers do.

christinarossetti Thu 21-Feb-13 09:20:59

I completely agree that that's a better system mrz, but I have no influence over school policy and procedures.

In the meantime, I disagree that giving out levels and sublevels is completely useless - it will show up on the school data etc if children haven't made progress. I agree that they don't need to share the letters and numbers with the parents/carers but given that they have decided to give out a report each half term I'd rather a. that they don't create additional work for the teachers and b. that proper monitoring is actually being done in the school now.

Why it wasn't in the past is of course a whole other thread.

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