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All I really want from a primary school...

(63 Posts)
MilestoneMum Wed 08-May-13 23:06:39 that when DD leaves she is good enough to be in the top stream for English and Maths at secondary school.

She is only 4 years old but I think she is bright, not G&T, but has no difficulties either.

But the school she has been allocated got an OFSTED rating of "Requires Improvement". Does that mean I will have to do tutoring or, dare I say it, Kumon, to ensure she is stretched enough?

piprabbit Wed 08-May-13 23:11:26

Chances are the school will be working their socks off to address the issues raised by OFSTED and your DD may reap the benefits. Does the OFSTED report specifically mention that able pupils needs are not being addressed, or do the issues lie elsewhere?

TeamEdward Wed 08-May-13 23:18:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerylStrop Wed 08-May-13 23:20:11

Have you been to the school? Did you like it?
Trust your judgement, not that of Ofsted.

MilestoneMum Wed 08-May-13 23:21:28

I don't want to out the school but yes, the report did mention something along the lines of not pushing the most able children.

I guess this might be addressed, but if the teaching staff are the same I fear it might not be so easy to change.

piprabbit Wed 08-May-13 23:24:43

So keep a careful eye on your DDs progress, talk to the school about how they are supporting your DDs needs (whatever they turn out to be) and don't worry about tutoring at this stage.

freetrait Wed 08-May-13 23:27:29

Ah, but now it has to pull its socks up so they will be pushing the brightest children, or should be (this happened at our school and they are certainly challenged now!). If I were you I if you liked the school I would send her, monitor it up to Y2 and then if you are unhappy change school for Y3. There is plenty of time to catch up Y3-Y6 if necessary.

Wellthen Thu 09-May-13 06:30:26

It sounds like you are putting an incredible amount of pressure on your daughter. There is NO school that can PROMISE your child will be top set material at 11, when they start at 4.

pumpkinsweetie Thu 09-May-13 06:39:09

She's only 4, pushing her would send her backwards.

Pozzled Thu 09-May-13 06:48:41

To be blunt, I think you should carefully consider your priorities. 'All' you want is that she should be in the top stream at secondary?

Firstly, as wellthen says, even the best school in the world can't guarantee this.

Secondly, the best way of trying to help your child succeed is to ensure she is happy, confident and motivated. At the age of 4 I honestly believe that the atmosphere of a school is far more important than the amount of 'pushing': a good atmosphere will motivate the children so they want to learn.

I do sympathise to a certain extent- my 4 year old is at a school where they aren't great with the more able, and I know that she could be making faster progress.

Remember though, that you will have a huge influence on her progress. Not through tutoring, but through showing her a love of reading and learning, curiosity about the world and a determination to succeed. If you can provide that, she'll be fine.

jetstar Thu 09-May-13 06:55:56

Very well said Pozzled smile

claraschu Thu 09-May-13 06:58:06

You sound like you have your priorities so far off the mark that it is hardly worth answering. I agree with Pozzled, though.

mummytime Thu 09-May-13 06:59:07

Oh lets not forget that being in the "top" set is not an objective thing, it depends on the other children. So someone who is in set 1 at one school could be in set 3 at another.

At 4 you have no idea how well your child will do at school, which in itself can be a different thing to intelligence.

dangly131 Thu 09-May-13 07:02:00

Is there a reason why you yourself can't do a little extra activities with her if you want her to make good progress? 20 mins here and there playing games like tricky word twister is quality time with her but also fun learning time. No need to pay for a tutor...

noramum Thu 09-May-13 07:04:55

All I want froma a school is teaching my DD that learning is fun and provide a stimulating envrioment.

You put your child und far too much pressure already. Often children, especially girls, are advanced at 4 put the others will catch up.

Let her enjoy it and see how it goes. No good tutor will take a 4 year old anyway.

cory Thu 09-May-13 07:08:47

"All I really want is that when DD leaves she is good enough to be in the top stream for English and Maths at secondary school."

I wouldn't make this the sum total of my ambitions.

My dd was easily good enough for this when she left junior and went straight into top streams for all subjects; she was predicted straight A*s and A's. But junior school had been a terrible experience for her due to complete failure to meet her pastoral needs. Once she felt safe at secondary she had a breakdown and dropped out of school. She is currently trying to scrape the 5 GCSE's she needs to go onto college. The fact that she has been in top streams throughout is no consolation whatsoever.

Limelight Thu 09-May-13 07:20:02

I'm with Pozzled. All I want from a Primary School is for my DC to be happy, and engaged, and to be learning at their pace.

SuffolkNWhat Thu 09-May-13 07:31:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissAnnersley Thu 09-May-13 07:36:41

I used to think the same way as you OP but have realised that confidence, perseverance and good social skills are equally important.

Of course I want my DS to do the best he can academically but there are so many other factors that make a children 'successful' learners than top set English and Maths.

SomeBear Thu 09-May-13 09:08:27

My DCs are all going through what OFSTED considers an "outstanding" school. DD1 is indeed in the top sets at secondary, but more importantly has turned out to be a good person - she is very happy, motivated and enjoys plenty of outside activities with her friends. DS is going through the same school and is not top set material. He's just not academically motivated. No matter how much encouragement he gets from the school or from home, he will never be a high achiever at school. But he is a good person, happy, motivated and enjoys plenty of outside activities.

The school haven't failed my DS, he's only ever been treated as an individual.

Bramshott Thu 09-May-13 09:15:29

That's a very narrow view, and as PP have said, can't be guaranteed. My DD is also bring (Y5 now) but as she's got older, struggles with Maths, and frankly being in the top stream would probably completely undermine her confidence. However, her excellent (my words, not Ofsted's) primary school has helped her to:
- feel secure and confident, and make good friends
- develop a love of learning
- nurture her particular talent for creative subjects
- learn about the wider world
- have plenty of time for outside play, sport and nature activities
- take advantage of some fantastic opportunities for enrichment outside school

There is SO much more to a good primary education that outstanding achievement in English and Maths.

Bramshott Thu 09-May-13 09:16:40

bring = bright blush

givemeaclue Thu 09-May-13 09:27:09

I wouldn't go to a school that wasn't achieving the required basic standard of education

givemeaclue Thu 09-May-13 09:27:23

I wouldn't go to a school that wasn't achieving the required basic standard of education

sheeplikessleep Thu 09-May-13 09:31:44

OP - is your DD in YR at the moment or about to start in September?

DS1 is in reception at the moment in a 'needs to improve' school. Before he started, I had concerns - all I had to go on was a look around, the SATS results (around average) and the Ofsted.

All I am now going on is seeing his progress and he is thriving. He loves spelling out words and gets a real kick out of writing too. Not just at school, but loves writing shopping lists, reads bits and pieces now whilst we are out and about. Most importantly and encouragingly to me, he is really motivated to learn, his learnings in school are seeping into his everyday life. I don't care how other children are doing and even what set DS is in. All I am bothered about is seeing how he progresses, that he develops a love of learning, is happy at school and continues to develop and progress.

Equally, I don't put everything on the school. It's up to me and DH (probably moreso at this level) to encourage and nurture his interests and enthusiasm and overall outlook to learning. I'm sure us one on one reading with him every night does more than a few hours of 1:24 attention he gets in school. I do not expect a school to provide his education, I see it as a joint responsibility until he gets to secondary school and his work will probably go above my head

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