Advanced search

Rank in class

(95 Posts)
MilestoneMum Mon 27-Jan-14 18:02:17

When I returned from parents' evening last term DH asked me where DD was ranked in the class in terms of ability, as DH's (independent) school would tell parents this.

Would a teacher discuss this? DD is in a state YR and is very capable but at a school which "requires improvement" so I guess we want reassurance she is in the top handful.

Farewelltoarms Wed 29-Jan-14 11:02:34

I went to a state primary until y6 then moved to a horrendous prep. They had two sets of exams a year and you were given a rank for each subject and then an overall position.

I was about a third of the way down in the first lot and then nearer the top in the second, having not done French and calligraphy (?!) before.

Even at the age of 10, I had a ferocious sense of the unfairness of this ranking and feeling like it was alright for those in the top half but made at least half the girls feel shit. I was really aggrieved on their behalf. If even a 10-year-old knows it's a bad idea...

I'm also not sure it was great for the top ones either. I very clearly remember the girl who came first for everything. She is an absolutely lovely person who has grown up into a marvellous adult, but she very definitely wasn't top of the class come GSCE/A level. I think she always felt she was letting herself down, when she in fact worked hard and did well (just not that well).

MillyMollyMama Wed 29-Jan-14 10:54:39

I know parents at my DDs old prep school pushed for "banding" of attainment. Therefore we had top 25%, middle 50% and lowest 25%. I disliked it intensely but it does keep the parents of the clever ones happy. However as they also had sets for English, Maths etc and only the clever ones did Latin, I think anyone with half a brain knew how well their child was doing in comparison to the others. There were also very many bright girls there, so being middle or lower was hardly a big issue. Ranking seems to be a topic for people with bright children. I was much more concerned with what DD could actually DO rather than what her ranking was.

I was at a grammar school. We were ranked about twice a term and the form orders were published on the notice board in our form room. By form 2 I stopped looking at them. I knew where I stood. I knew I was not top, I knew I was not bottom. Utterly pointless. Not remotely motivating. The top people were accepted for what they were. Just one of us. Just the same as the bottom few. However, the bottom few were called 'drones' by the Head Master. So it was not the pupils who singled anyone out for ridicule, it was the Head.

pointythings Wed 29-Jan-14 10:11:32

DD2's school tells us what NC level she is on and what she needs to work on to move up - that's all, and that's all I want to know.

She knows perfectly well where she ranks in class though. Fortunately the emphasis is very much on each child reaching their potential, not on competing against classmates.

looknow Wed 29-Jan-14 10:01:32

A friend has a super bright child. Other mums used to ask what group she was in, butterflies or grapes or whatever they were called. They knew her child would be top and wanted to compare book bands and group names
She had great evil fun jacking them around.

Parents want to know I suppose, to validate their efforts to push little Johnny forward. I only want to know my dc are working hard and developing good social skills. All this helicopter nonsense will hinder their self help skills eventually.

The friend with the super bright kid also used to say if your child is mega bright, you don't much care where they are in class, you know and worry far more about the emotional side.

mumnosbest Wed 29-Jan-14 09:50:48

As a teacher I would only discuss National averages and personal progress. I would make clear whether they were 'struggling' or 'exceeding' which would give clues as to their ability within the class. Also by next year (Y1) your DC will probably be quite aware of which group they are in and tell you themselves.

missinglalaland Wed 29-Jan-14 09:43:50

I can understand wanting to know and wanting reassurance.

BUT, I think you are being unreasonable. Your DD is in reception. It's waaaaay too soon to figure out how all the kids are doing "academically." At this point, I think it is all about settling in. As time goes by, it will be useful to know what SATs level the teacher thinks your dd is at for reading, writing, maths, etc. That will give you an absolute understanding of academic achievement thus far, without the information being distorted by the performance of other children in her particular class.

I don't think a state school would ever give you a class rank. I think it would be against the culture, and there would be a worry that giving you this information about your child also gives implied information about other children in the class that is none of your business.

I am sure that you and your dh just want the best for dd. The boring old chestnut about taking time to read to your child and listening to them read to you is so true. If you are anxious, it is the best use of your time and effort.

redskyatnight Wed 29-Jan-14 09:09:53

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend when her DS was in Reception.

She said that he'd come in from school and announced that he was in the top group with 2 other children. She (being at this point an uber competive mother) instantly demanded the names of the other 2 children and then cross examined her DS as to why the extremely bright girl that was reading Shakespeare and doing quantum mechanics (exaggeration for effect, but you get the point) was not one of them.

her DS sighed deeply and said

"Don't be silly Mummy. It's the top group for lego "!

Eastpoint Wed 29-Jan-14 06:19:21

DCs have all been to independent schools & we've never been told where they are in the class. The top children win scholarships/form prizes etc. mine don't.

curlew Wed 29-Jan-14 06:01:43

It's one of the few useful skills I took away from a long and fairly illustrious Civil Service career. That, and the ability to maintain entirely neutral small talk for as long as required, to write replies to detailed questions that appear to provide an answer while actually saying nothing and to turn 3 words scribbled on a napkin into a coherent press release.

bryte Tue 28-Jan-14 21:15:24

DH asked at DD's Y5 parents' evening and the teacher gave an indication, but not an exact placing. I doubt they could do that anyway unless they have had tests in lots of subjects.

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-Jan-14 21:14:14

I couldn't concentrate on what the teacher was saying and read upside down. Plus we only get 5-10 minutes.

Commander6 Tue 28-Jan-14 21:12:12

Nope. Though not sure which table you are on about? I dont remember my school doing that.

Reading upside down and across I could only just do that in the time that the teacher was talking. And I needed to get it right, else I would have come away with the wrong answer. No use at all, actually worse than that.

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-Jan-14 21:11:29

Oh yes Rafa. I have told this many times but-

When DS1 was in YR he got invited for a playdate/tea the very first term. Turns out the Mum played 'schools' with him and her DS and did little tests to gauge where he was. sad She then proceeded to do the same with the rest of the class.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 28-Jan-14 21:08:46

Possibly the same people who invite other children round for a playdate so they can look in their book bag and check what book band they're on sparkling

Sparklingbrook Tue 28-Jan-14 20:59:14

Are the upside down reading people the same ones who not only look at their own child's books left out on the table but every other childs on the table? hmm

Commander6 Tue 28-Jan-14 20:51:03

curlew. I was like you. Able to read upside down carefully, specially while the teacher was waffling on. And could read across to a certain extent too.
Quite often told me more than the teacher was trying to do.

You need to know your children. Know what they are capable of. And remember what they were like last year etc.

Talking mainly secondary.

mrz Tue 28-Jan-14 18:38:33

As a parent the only time I have seen other children's results (upside down) was at secondary never in primary.

tumbletumble Tue 28-Jan-14 18:19:44

I was at a selective academic independent school for secondary, but they still never had class rankings. Thankfully.

OP, by year 1 your DD will know which is the top group for reading and maths and be able to tell you if she's in it!

WeAreDetective Tue 28-Jan-14 18:00:20

Ahhh! I said 'useful'.

lainiekazan Tue 28-Jan-14 17:54:13

The teachers have always told me - and I didn't ask - where the dcs were in the class.

It was back in my day, in the swing yer pants 70s, that there was no ability grouping, no teaching to read, no grammar taught etc etc.

I agree that ranking depends on the cohort - but if you have a clever child then they will always be in the top few.

But the OP's child is in year R! Dd did not read one word in year R. She wouldn't even try. All I can say is year R performance is no indicator of subsequent primary school achievement!

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 17:49:21

Because I am The Elephant's Child and suffer from 'satiable curtiosity.

As everyone does, if only they would admit it grin

Hulababy Tue 28-Jan-14 17:47:13

Oh and DD was at an indepependent primary and now at independent secondary - no rankings given out throughout whole of primary and so far in Y7 none either.

Hulababy Tue 28-Jan-14 17:45:35

I never had books of marks, etc on my desk at parent's evenings for all to see. I always ensured I only ever had that one child's information in front of me; different pupil on separate sheets. Because I knew parents ould spend half their appointment scanning lists pside down if I did otherwise!

I work in infants now and we don't ever give rankings out - we will see if a child is working above, at or below expectations and will give out NC levels.

But rankings are a bit useless surely? It doesn't tell you how you actual child is doing in relation to themself and their own individual progress, And it will change for every subject. Just because a child is top of the class at reading, doesn't mean they are in numeracy, or wirting, or phonics, PE, science, etc...

WeAreDetective Tue 28-Jan-14 17:40:38

And you find that useful to do because....

curlew Tue 28-Jan-14 17:22:23

In my experience, mrz, you are alone of all your profession! They usually aren't ranked, but usually there are marks or levels next to their names on the list. Years as a civil servant means that I can scan down a list while not seeming to, and absorb all the information contained therein........grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now