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Fed up after parent's evening

(25 Posts)
alwaysneedaholiday Tue 29-Oct-13 21:19:09

I have just come back from DS's (year 4, age 8) parent's evening feeling pretty confused and fed up.

Apparently he has just achieved level 4C in reading, which I thought was pretty much OK, but his reading age is only a couple of months older than his actual age.

He is in the top spelling group, having done well in an assessment, and has a spelling age of nearly 11...but hasn't got them all right in a single week, so will be moved down. (He isn't a natural speller - I could have told her this).

Having achieved level 3 in maths in year 2 (with same teacher, who I thought had over-assessed him TBH), he has stayed at level 3B since, so basically no progress in year 3 (different teacher). He has been put into special maths group for the '3Bs' (said in snotty manner).

We have always known maths is his weak point, so have started a bit of extra tuition to help with his confidence.

Other levels are 3A.

I just feel as if he is doing fairly well, but the teacher has been so negative about him. Or have I got the wrong impression, and he is falling behind?

birdsnotbees Tue 29-Oct-13 21:22:37

So in reading, he's above his age group. In spelling he's several years above his age group. But in maths he's a year behind but you're sorting out private tuition. And in none of this the school is actually offering to help, just moaning about it?

Weird school! Maybe be a bit more assertive and ask what THEY are planning to do about it?

simpson Tue 29-Oct-13 21:25:16

I have a yr4 boy and in his school those scores are not falling behind.

What did the school say when he made no progress in yr3 (maths)?

My DS was on the verge of making no progress NC wise in yr3 in his writing (3C) all year and his teacher spoke to me several times so I was aware of it, he did pull it out of the bag at the very last minute!

A 3B now in yr4 would be considered good/slightly above average in my DS's class a 4C very good.

Are you sure that the 3B maths group is not to push them more?

simpson Tue 29-Oct-13 21:26:44

I thought a 3B was expected level for end of yr3, not behind. Although the lack of progress would concern me.

strruglingoldteach Tue 29-Oct-13 21:28:59

No, he is not falling behind. 4c for reading is very good for the start of Y4. The 3b for maths is fine- 3b at the end of Y4 would have him on track for a 4b in Y6, right where he should be. As he's already on a 3b, he has most of this year to get ahead of expectations.

The lack of progress last year is more of a concern. Do you feel he was making progress? Maybe he was over-assessed, or maybe he needed some time to consolidate what he had done previously.

alwaysneedaholiday Tue 29-Oct-13 21:31:10

Thank you for your thoughts.

birds I think I will go back in and be a bit more assertive, now I have had time to think about what was said.

simpson 3B group is definitely the 'bottom' group - I was left in no doubt about that! Glad your DS rose to the challenge!

alwaysneedaholiday Tue 29-Oct-13 21:40:25

struggling I do think he needed time to consolidate, as he had performed above his usual standard (in my opinion) to get the level 3 in year 2. This is obviously not acceptable in this school!

I do think there should have been a chat about this last year; I was just fobbed off every time I expressed any concerns. Too late for that now though.

A 4B in year 6 would not be expected, that wouldn't be good enough as far as I can tell.

simpson Tue 29-Oct-13 21:44:43

Goodness, just shows how different some schools are!

I don't know what NC level the kids are on in the bottom group in my DS's class obviously but reading wise I would guess at some of them not being a secure level 2 yet (by some I mean 2 or 3).

4C/3A would be the top group (this I do know for sure).

AnyWetCuntweaselsInTheFuckerGr Tue 29-Oct-13 21:46:55

That just sounds like a shopping list. If that was all they were going to tell you, they should have just sent an SMS & saved you the trip!

The important question is why. Why is his performance inconsistent; why is his spelling an issue; why why why.

The idea is to support him to be the best he can be, so to early-identify & resolve roadblocks to success. The maths thing would piss me off. 2 years no progress needs soul searching from the school, not just the student.

birdsnotbees Tue 29-Oct-13 21:48:12

Sorry if that sounded like I was having a go - I wasn't - in your position I would have reacted the same. But yes, go back as the teacher is being critical without offering any solutions, which is very unhelpful.

(Personally it sounds like he's doing OK and that he has lots of support at home, so actually little to worry about.)

strruglingoldteach Tue 29-Oct-13 21:52:16

I guess the problem for the school is that as he got a 3 in Y2, in order to show adequate progress he should then achieve a 5 in Y6. If they did assess him too highly, then this is a problem of their own making!

When I said 4b as expected, that's the level that the government expects for a Y6 child, so if he achieves that he will not be behind.

Pooka Tue 29-Oct-13 21:55:09

The school needs to show at least 2 full levels progress between ks1 and ks2.

So in order for them to tick that box (in which ofsted is very interested) they need to get him up to a good level 5 by end of year 6. Generally in ks2 the rough rule of thumb is that children should make on average 2 sub levels progress per year.

So I expect if he was over levelled at the end of ks1 they are panicking now (particularly if it was endemic in year 2 - sets massive task for subsequent teachers). We've had this problem at our school. Over levelling at end of ks1 because of inadequacies at the time in the moderation and assessment, has set a massive challenge for the school to show progress and to avoid dropping below floor targets.

Pooka Tue 29-Oct-13 21:58:07

Oh and apparently 2 full levels are now not always good enough - schools should be aiming higher!

Is crazy and reduces children to mere levels/labels rather than kids who develop and progress at different paces.

alwaysneedaholiday Tue 29-Oct-13 22:00:21

any I felt completely bombarded by figures - I know they are not meaningless, but when so many are thrown at me, I lose interest! <perhaps a family trait - lack of interest in figures!!>

birds I didn't take it that way at all, I'm definitely going back in!

alwaysneedaholiday Tue 29-Oct-13 22:10:18

pooka I think you are right about the over levelling in year 2, and didn't realise it was such a problem for the school. It is slightly amusing as it was this teacher who dished out the level 3 in year 2, and now it's come back to bite her.

Thatssofunny Wed 30-Oct-13 08:12:43

I wouldn't be worried about these levels at all (except for the lack of progress). A 3b in maths would put him at the lower end of the middle group in my Y5 class. On the whole, I've got a fairly high-attaining class and several, who will be aiming for a level 6 at the end of KS2.

singinggirl Wed 30-Oct-13 08:26:13

The maths scores can also be a bit of a red herring, two full levels of progress over four years would even out to one and a half levels a year. So moving from a level 3 (probably 3c) at end of year 2 to 3b at end of year 3 could be on target. 4c at the end of this year would be a whole level in two years.

redskyatnight Wed 30-Oct-13 08:29:03

Agree with others that this must be an incredibly high performing school.

DS's school (120 children a year) gets "dead average" results.
At the start of Y4 there were only a very few top ability children at 4C in reading.

3B would have put him squarely in the top maths set (of 5).

The only thing I was nodding along to was the spelling - he sounds just like my DS (also not a natural speller) and putting him down a group was the making of him, it really rebuilt his confidence (and was put up again in Y5).

I think you need to go back and talk about what (if any) the teacher thinks are problems and what they are doing to help your DS progress.

ICameOnTheJitney Wed 30-Oct-13 08:32:28

OP our school is similar....very high performing and so as a result, I often feel deflated when my DDs aren't flattered for their (very good) levels....and their effort. The teachers push and push which is all good I suppose but can make me feel like nothing I do at home is enough.

FrauMoose Wed 30-Oct-13 08:37:31

Just out of interest why can't teachers talk to parents on an ordinary level. As in saying your child is secure on adding and taking away with whole numbers, but doesn't seem to have grasped fractions very well - despite a lot of work on the topic this terms - and that means they'll have difficulty with the chunk of work which is coming next?

itsametaphordaddy Wed 30-Oct-13 16:12:21

Your child is not behind. It just sounds like a particularly good cohort. My y4 class range from 2c to 4c in maths. My lower ability group are 2c to 2a.

missinglalaland Wed 30-Oct-13 20:26:03

fraumoose agree, completely!

Also agree that your son doesn't sound behind, at least not by our school's standards.

spanieleyes Wed 30-Oct-13 20:47:38

I teach year 5/6 and my lowest level group has children working at level 1/2, so level 3B would be manageable for the beginning of year 5, let alone year 3!

spanieleyes Wed 30-Oct-13 20:48:50

Sorry, meant yr 4 sad

alwaysneedaholiday Wed 30-Oct-13 20:54:42

Oh wow, thanks for all of your replies.

I think the school aims very high, which is great, but don't put my son down because he doesn't quite meet the high expectations! I think they should put it into perspective with other schools nationally.

Anyway, I will be going back in at the end of next week for a catch-up. I shall now make myself the most annoying parent in the class, and pester the teacher to make sure he is moving in the right direction.

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