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Does your primary stream year 1 children

(62 Posts)
ReallyTired Fri 23-Jan-15 12:51:30

I hate streaming early on. Supposely its great for more able kids and awful for summer born boys who get stuck in low groups. However its dreadful for my daughter who is in the top stream and sat with the same girls for everything. The girls in the top group (including my daughter) get picked for everything. I feel that this is making all the children including my daughter arrogant and dismissive of children in other groups. The pressure of being in the top group makes the girls incredibly bitchy and competitive.

I want the school to introduce some mixed ablity teaching for subjects like Art, music, DT, ICT, registration etc. I believe that some mixed ablity teaching would improve respect and social interaction for every child. Is there any evidence for my theory that streaming actually harms bright kids?

AuntieStella Fri 23-Jan-15 12:53:38

There is no streaming in our primary at all.

They used to set quite early for maths, but think that's now from year 4 onwards.

MrsHathaway Fri 23-Jan-15 12:54:44

In Y1 (and now in Y2) they have ability groups for literacy and numeracy, but mixed ability for other work (eg topic work). There are several children on the top table for both, but some who are stronger in one area than another.

That's a single-form entry school, mind you. Is DD in a larger school, and therefore in the "top class" all day long?

I don't know about evidence, but anecdotally I had some major brain resetting to do when moving from a very academic school to a quite academic school. "So ... not everyone gets straight As then?" gives you a very odd view of the world.

Shedding Fri 23-Jan-15 12:57:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

quietlysuggests Fri 23-Jan-15 12:57:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HollyBdenum Fri 23-Jan-15 13:46:46

Our school sets for some subjects but the groups change from subject to subject and from term to term. As the classes are of mixed year groups it is very unusual for a child to be in the top or bottom set for two years in a row. The teachers encourage everyone to participate and any sort of bullying or unkindness based on academic ability would be unacceptable to pupils as well as teachers and would be frowned on.

It sounds as though the problem might be an overly competitive culture within the school rather than setting alone.

Taffeta Fri 23-Jan-15 13:51:25

Our school streams by ability from Y1, puts children in different classes, so the streaming is available for all to see.

I think it is appalling. It labels those in the "lower" class thick from the age of 6. Expectations are then set lower, from teachers and child. It just seems like lazy teaching/management to me.

Quenelle Fri 23-Jan-15 13:54:09

No streaming at my son's school (lower, not primary). They have various arrangements to support the children according to their individual needs including one-to-one support, mixed year groups and smaller groups. It's very fluid and they move the children around the groups as their needs change.

I too wondered if your school is bigger? DS's school is small, only 120 pupils from YR to Y4.

Taffeta Fri 23-Jan-15 13:54:41

And yes it does make those in the top stream arrogant. I had issues with this with my DS in Y4 & 5, he's better now he's in Y6, but his classmates not so much. Of course, the 11+ makes it even worse.

ReallyTired Fri 23-Jan-15 13:59:35

Dd school is two form entry. There are just ablity tables in the class. The idea of putting children into different ablity classes is horrific. I wonder how they can justify that to OFSTED. Do they ever move bright summer borns between classes.

Why is the UK so cruel to small children?

Taffeta Fri 23-Jan-15 14:07:27

The summer born thing they are careful about. DD is an Aug birthday and it's always plastered over her notes at parents evening.

Children occasionally move between classes, but it's certainly not the norm. For example, I can't think of any children in the "lower" Y6 class that weren't in it in Y2.

HollyBdenum Fri 23-Jan-15 14:10:55

I thought you meant setting, not streaming. I'm really shocked that a school would stream at that age.

wyamc Fri 23-Jan-15 14:11:52

Ours streams for literacy and maths because the ability range is huge e.g. some reading paperbacks, others not yet having taken off with reading at all in Y1. I think it would be hard to teach literacy particularly if some are free readers and others are on the first level reading book, which was the case for dd's class.

But they'd sit for registration, art, RE etc in mixed ability groups. Just that when it was literacy or maths, those on a similar level would go together for guided reading etc.

It worked well I thought. They weren't really aware in Y1 what level they were on as the groups were sea creature names I think.

NotCitrus Fri 23-Jan-15 14:21:18

3 form entry, a couple advanced tables and I suspect one or two 'extra support' tables in class for literacy and numeracy, and 6-10 kids taken out for more advanced maths. Gets mixed up quite a lot though ds tends to be with the same names, even if a few aren't allowed to sit next to each other as they talk too much.

PookBob Fri 23-Jan-15 14:25:38

My childrens school splits the class by ability even in reception. They use information received from nursery. In year 1, the 'bottom third' of the year is kept in a reception class.

MimsyBorogroves Fri 23-Jan-15 14:32:22

Yes, for numeracy and literacy.

ReallyTired Fri 23-Jan-15 14:45:52

Your school sound perfect. I don't object to setting for literacy and maths. Children vary a lot in ablity in those subjects and it makes sense. I object to having children in one group for everything. It makes the children think they are the best at everything.

WillBeatJanuaryBlues Fri 23-Jan-15 15:24:42

My DD has different level tables for Maths I am sure other things too....she is not aware, nor cares much. Not sure how year 1 dc can care that much?

Its really odd....I can see how down the line when they all understand all more it might be an issue but not in year 1. Its all jumbled anyway, dd is top table maths and I tell her sometimes when somethings harder she will be moved.

mrz Fri 23-Jan-15 16:51:19

No we have mixed ability in all year groups

HollyBdenum Fri 23-Jan-15 17:03:02

I see no advantage to anyone other than whoever plans the timetable to streaming rather than setting. So many children are stronger in some areas than others.

mrz Fri 23-Jan-15 17:16:16

A major international study carried out by ODEC found countries that dividing younger pupils by ability tend to have lower levels of achievement

TheFriar Fri 23-Jan-15 17:19:54

Ability tables in our school too BUT it's also very clear that you might be in different abilities depending the subject (english/maths) and mixed ability for everything else.

tbh? I think it's great! I have one dc who is from september and one dc who is a summer born. Bioth have thrived in that environment. The older one because he was allowed to do things more at his level (aka much ore complex), the summer one because he wasn't overwhelemed by things that were too complex right from the start (and my summer born WAS very behind in english in Y1~2).

For all other subjects? Tbh, the children in the class all know exactely who to turn to to have an answer when they get stuck, the one who can more or less always answer to the questions and can also teel the teacher things they don't know about. My september one hasn't needed to be on 'the top table' in science etc... for everyone to know that. And he knows it. And yes it has been hard to teach him not to be arrogant or dismissive.

What I think mixing them helps with is the fact that they have to learn to work with people with different abilities and to respect their point of view regsrdless of whether they are top or bottom of the class in maths/english. It helps them at the level of knowing how to handel relationship and working in a team with people they might not know as well.

From your description though, they aren't putting the children by ability. They've put them into static groups which is very different.
Eg even if our school was using ability tables for everything, my september born child would be in the lowest table for Art but the top for maths. He also probably would be in a different group for PE than he is for science.
I don't know a lot of children who are top of the class in absolutely EVERYTHING. They all have the strengths and weaknesses.

ReallyTired Fri 23-Jan-15 22:00:09

Setting for individual subjects is very different to static grouping or streaming. Having children in the same group for every subject is dire. Lots of different groups for different subjects is far more positive. It recognises that all children have strength and weaknesses.

Bitlost Fri 23-Jan-15 22:49:10

Our school does and dd is very conscious of the fact that she "does not get things right like so and so on the [whatever] table." Dd is only 5 and already sees herself as failing. To me, it's a prime example of how mad the system's got.

ReallyTired Sat 24-Jan-15 17:09:03

Bitlost That is so horrible. Your daughter is the same age as mine. Out of interest when is her birthday. Dd has an April birthday and she is the youngest by miles on the top table.

I hate streaming! Hate it! Hate it! Hate it! The top streams are full of winter born girls from middle class families and the bottom streams are full of summer born working class boys.

There is one girl on dd's table who is so nasty and arrogant and dd simply can't get away from her. Being with the same group of girls is like cabin fever.
The girl in question and her mother see children on the other table as inferior beings. Its no wonder that British school children have some of the worst behaviour in the world. Why should they respect teachers when the system does not respect them? When does differentiation become low expectations?

Dd's god mother works in a school where the children are allowed to choose the level of challenge and all the tables are mixed ablity. The TA gentlely guides the children not to pick anything to easy for them. If the child takes something too difficult and sits there looking blankly then the TA will suggest they try the easier challenge. The adults in the room are not putting a ceiling on children's learning.

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