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Why would a teacher do this?

(60 Posts)
numbum Sun 13-Oct-13 22:02:36

Before I post, I want to say I will be speaking to DD's teacher but wanted to make sure there wasnt an obvious reason for the teacher's actions (hence posting here!)

Y2 DD is able. Reading level 15/16 from school plus her own choice of books from the library. Writing had just reached a L3 at the end of Y1. Maths, she is on the G&T register but I think its in a low ability class and she is around a level 2b/2a.

Over the weekend she has been very quiet, crying over silly little things and refusing to do her homework for the first time ever. I finally managed to get her to talk this evening and she said she couldnt do her homework, is rubbish and 'has a mind that doesnt work as quickly as others'. On further questioning it seems as if she's been moved to sit on the SEN table.

She has told me who she is now sat with and I know they are the SEN children.

Why would her teacher move her to this table?

cranberryorange Mon 14-Oct-13 11:21:24

My Ds who has SN and SEN is sat at a table with the other DC in class with SEN. I made it clear i wasnt happy about it at parents evening last week but was given the death stare and made to feel as though i was making a fuss over something thats standard across all schools.

Its very interesting to read it isnt common practice.

Ds has lost touch with all of his close friends from reception and just sticks to his table group because he doesnt have the confidence to mingle. Its good that they're a lovely group of Dc but terrible that he no longer feels part of the bigger group.

He is very aware he's on the slow and cant do it tablesad

Op i agree with all the advice about just asking the teacher.

PastSellByDate Mon 14-Oct-13 14:02:44

Hi Numbum:

Someone posted above that the SENCo is now responsible for G&T pupils (and it sounds like your child has been identified as G&T by school) - so it may be that the SENCo is working with SN & G&T pupils, possibly simultaneously and this has not been well-explained to your DD and possibly she has overheard something said generally and assumed it meant her (although I'm not exactly sure I'd be happy as a parent of a SN pupil to learn they're being openly told their 'slow' - true or not).

However, your daughter now understands that 'she has a mind that doesn't work as quickly as others' for some reason - and I think this is concerning, it has unsettled her/ upset her and should be raised with the teacher & if no joy - then with Senior Management.

I'm not clear but if your DD is registered G&T, then this statement makes no sense and is deeply damaging. I know many schools are loath to label pupils G&T because in essence it puts pressure on them to appropriately differentiate for/ support the student - but my view is that as teachers are endlessly telling us 'they're professional' it rather strikes me that they should be more than able to cope with this (especially at ages 4 - 11) as well educated adults.

So my approach would be to arrange to see the teacher & whoever coordinated G&T learning at the school together, explaining you're slightly perplexed by some of the things your DD has recently been saying.

1) Double check that the teacher is aware your DD is registered G&T
2) Ask for clarification on what is going on with the tables
3) Ask for confirmation that your DD is getting work appropriately differentiated for her ability level - if you're really concerned ask for her individual lesson plans in English & Maths.

Schools have a way of making parents feel they're at fault/ in the wrong for querying things - but can I remind all parents out there that tax payers (you included) pay these people's salaries. Those without children or whose children have grown and gone are truly relying on schools to do a good job by each cohort - to identify & foster talent and to create a generation of well educated, productive citizens that can reach their potential - therefore your checking on this isn't just being a PITA - it's ensuring that public servants (in this case the teachers) funded by taxpayers are in fact doing their job and effectively for the benefit of your child, but long-term for the benefit of the country.

(I'm off my soap box now - sorry a few issues with a school that would rather not teach maths at all).

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 16:12:00

OP - you should talk to the teacher. Hopefully the teacher will then explain to you that your use of language is disgusting. SEN and Low Ability are not synonymous terms. You and your DD need to stop being so ignorant.

Oceansurf Mon 14-Oct-13 16:16:57

Every school I have ever worked in has a 'SEN' table. hmm It's so that they are all sat together to receive the extra support needed off the TA. They are normally all mixed together in the afternoons, but for numeracy and literacy, I would say this was fairly normal. Likewise, the high flyers all sit together. Sorry!

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 16:19:16

Ocean And what happens when the high flyers also have SEN, hmm?

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 14-Oct-13 16:24:09

But surely they are all going to need support for differing reasons as with the nt kids. Surely all kids struggling with maths for example would be sat together sen or no sen?

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 16:28:59

Giles Of course. But that sort of common sense means you can't demonise kids. I'm guessing that what OP and her daughter delightfully call the 'SEN table' is actually the 'not good at maths' table. Or even, the 'not well behaved' table. Or it might be the 'well behaved' table - we just don't know, do we. And nor does she.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 14-Oct-13 16:33:57

It does sound like she's been placed accordingly and is maybe struggling with the increased difficulty and it just so happens that the children at the same level happen to be the additional need children.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 17:46:57

Giles or, maybe just some of the additional need children...

My DD2 - who has SEN, she's severely dyspraxic - has just passed the 11+ Most parents want their kids to be on her table. Not actually because she's clever but because she's nice. And she doesn't label or judge people.

HmmAnOxfordComma Mon 14-Oct-13 17:48:46

YY Russians - the 'SEN' table at ds's school would also have been the High Achievers one. He and his other AS friend were by far the most academically able in their year group.

If the OP means low ability, she should have said that. If she means SEN, they could actually be very academically able.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 14-Oct-13 17:55:23

Hopefully op will update.

I stand corrected - SOME, you are right.

A little curious as to how she knows do much about the academic abilities of the class. My dd tells me who she say with however I have no idea what the abilities of the table are.

How does she know it's a low ability class.

numbum Mon 14-Oct-13 18:03:17

Calling my 6 year old ignorant is just rude! Yes the children on what I, not DD, called the SEN table all have statements or IEPs for extra help and are low ability. I know this because I am a governor at the school plus my DD is friends with the children, I am friends with their parents and they talk to me about their DC!

My use of the words 'SEN table' wasnt diplomatic or pc so I apologise for that.

Anyway, I have spoken to her teacher today and he's said he moved her just for a few days last week as he was giving her extra challenges to do and wanted her sat with a TA. I mentioned her saying about the slower minds and he said she's misinterpreted something he'd said and he'd talk to her. He didnt elaborate on that and we ran out of time to talk so I didnt get to ask.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 18:04:21

And yet not as rude as you or your DD.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 18:05:07

Also - I'm horrified that a GOVERNOR would conflate having SEN and being of Low Ability. Thank heavens you aren't a governor at any school my DCs attend.

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 14-Oct-13 18:08:02

What on earth could he have said to her? confused

numbum Mon 14-Oct-13 18:08:46

The 'SEN' table in DD's class are the low ability children. Hence me connecting the two in my post. There are no SEN 'high fliers' in her class.

My DD is not rude. You can bitch about me til the cows come home, I dont offend easily. Leave my SIX year old out of it though thanks

numbum Mon 14-Oct-13 18:09:27

I dont know Giles and it has been playing on my mind all day. I think I need to find out though

Gileswithachainsaw Mon 14-Oct-13 18:12:38

Yes I think you do. He should not be telling anyone that their minds are slower. Their job is surely to encourage children to work to the best of their ability whatever that ability is. And if he was referring to the children in his class then he shouldn't be divulging information about the children.

Feenie Mon 14-Oct-13 18:17:33

You shouldn't know who is/isn't on an IEP or know why they need one whether you are a governor or not, though.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 18:26:43

OP - you don't know that there are no high fliers with SEN in your DD;s class. You believe that, but you don't know it. Governor or no. You clearly thing child with SEN = low ability so your own prejudice may be blinding you to the facts. Many people are surprised when they find out that I and my DCs have SEN conditions - because they do not realise that you can have an SEN condition and a Cambridge degree, or superb GCSEs, or ace the 11+.

mrz Mon 14-Oct-13 18:32:53

It sounds like poor practice all round.

sparklekitty Mon 14-Oct-13 18:45:34

You DD does have a kind of SEN if she is G&T. It could be that the LA group always have an adult with then and therefore she would always have an adult to stretch her (I'm guessing she is doing different work to the others on the table)

ipadquietly Mon 14-Oct-13 18:52:06

Any information taken to our governors' meetings has children's names blanked out. There is no discussion about specific teachers, children or cohorts. Governors should be looking at trends, not personal data.

It is shocking that, as a governor, you are party to information about specific children, and, furthermore, that you are using this information to question classroom management. shock

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 14-Oct-13 18:58:26

It's an abuse of position. Apart from the discriminatory attitude on display.

keepsmiling12345 Mon 14-Oct-13 19:03:58

It seems OP still thinks her use of "SEN table" is purely "not diplomatic or PC" rather than demonstrating a blatant misunderstanding of how a SEN may manifest itself. I'm afraid I simply do not believe that you know all the children have statements or IEPs for low ability because you a friends with their parents. As I said, my DD is in y2, talks about all the children in her class, I am friends with vast majority of parents, and I wouldn't even begin to claim I know who has exactly what learning abilities or challenges.

And if you are a Governor and using any knowledge you've obtained through that role to query what table your DD is sitting on then I'm afraid I think that is unforgivable.

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