Sets in year 3(14 Posts)
DS1 is 7 and in year 2. They are apparently not streamed at the moment but from year 3 will be put into sets for certain subjects. I am already panicking a bit about this as I don't want DS1 to be labelled in any way. I hope that he would be somewhere in the middle but worried that he won't an that could affect his self-esteem. How does it work?
My DD is in year 3 and they don't really stream them as such. In maths, for instance there are different tiers of work so they will have a different paper to do but will sit in random places. The groups for guided reading are set as they have to be. DD tells me that there are a group of about 6 children who need extra help and they often sit together but that's pretty much it.
In our school they sit on different tables for different things. They aren't actually streamed into different classes.
It's not really a big deal. There will be 3-5 sets, given labels such as colours, animals or shapes, NEVER numbers, letters or top/middle/bottom. The staff may differentiate them as supported/core/extended, or similar. Core will always be the biggest, and may be further differentiated into 2-3 sets.
They may sit mixed, or at their group tables; they will all have the same input, but may get the same work, or differentiated work.
They may be with the same group if children for both maths and literacy subjects, or they may be with different children. The sets are not fixed (fixed setting is called streaming - that does label a child IMO).
The children do eventually work out which set is the most able children, but usually are happy not to be given/think it's not fair that they are given the 'harder' work!
IME of 3 schools, I've never heard anything like "I'm not clever enough for blue table" or "the hexagons are thick".
At ours they set (6 sets) across the classes for maths from year 3. They don't refer to them by number, but by the teacher's name-although the children work out pretty quickly where they are.
However I've never heard a child saying "I'm stupid, I'm only in set 4". What I do hear is things like "I like it in set 4 because I can do the maths and everyone works at about my speed" (no, that isn't a direct quote, but it's that type of thing they say in their own words)
They reassess the sets regularly, around about termly, and a few move up/down if they think it is better for them. Generally there is little difference between the bottom of one set and the top of the next, so moving tends to be to do with confidence as much as ability. They do send a letter home telling the parent and inviting them to come in and discuss it with the current and future teacher, if the parent wants to, and occasionally they have changed their mind due to this, if something has come up that they think changes the situation.
Also the lower sets tend to have fewer children in, and the bottom also has extra TAs in so they can support them better.
I think you need to ask questions of your school because I imagine every school does this differently.
DC's school no longer sets, but previously they set only for maths. The sets were numbered 1,2,3,4,5 (with 1 being the highest). Children moved up or down every half term. DS was in set 1, but still considered himself stupid (he was comparing to some of the very bright children in his set).
I would be surprised if your child was not already 'streamed' in that children in reception, ŷear one and ŷear two, work in ability groups and are given different work according to their level of ability. In my dds school these are named after colours, animals etc but it's not difficult to see which group is which. The children know that they are in ability groups and my dd refers to these as children who can work more independtly or who can do trickier work. E.g red group do trickier work than blue group who need more help etc.
This is likely to continue in ŷear three and above. This does not mean that children are labelled, there is movement between the groups and you may. Be in red group for maths but rectangle group for English etc.
if your child's self esteem is dependent on how he does in school is there any way you could address this confidence issue through other activities e.g Cubs, sports, drama, music lessons etc etc. in every class someone has be bottom but looking at my dds class I wouldn't necessarily say that the esteem of the children at the 'needs more help' end is affected!
Are you actually concerned about this or more that your child may be lagging behind at school? Do you know how he is predicted to do in the sats?
I too would presume they are already grouped according to ability / aptitude at different times of the day, for different subjects.
Personally, I would be very happy for my dc to be taught in a group who are all working within a smaller range of abilities, than one where the teacher was trying to differentiate across a much wider range of abilities.
Don't worry about 'labelling' - if you ask your dc, they will already know who the fastest runner is and who is good at spelling and who finds school work a bit tricky and, you know, it doesn't matter at all to the dc, if the parents don't make it into a 'thing'.
They are in groups but those groups are not obvious and seem to change each term. I shouldn't have given the impression that DS1 is lacking in confidence at all as he isn't! They just change a lot at this age and I would not want him pigeonholed as being a certain way. I have no idea how he is predicted to do in the SATS. Should I have? At the last parents' evening iN March, all was going well and no concerns identified.
Ok so in fact already in sets and it isn't causing an issue.
I would imagine that Y3 will continue with different groups for different subjects, with a few changes every term or half term.
To alleviate your concerns, ask your current class teacher to explain exactly what will happen in Y3 and how different, if at all, it will be from how differentiation happens now.
In my son's school they set from Spring term in year 1. We are a big primary, 3 classes per year so 90 kids per year group.
Therefore children can and do move into other classrooms depending on their set and then they are put on tables depending on ability within that set.
The school focuses heavily on the individual child, so for example, Ds1 was in the middle set for both numeracy and literacy but by the time they did their SATs in year 6, a lot of the numeracy middle set still achieved well above the average 4b.
My son and about 6 other students were taken out of the classroom and sat with a TA for part of their numeracy lesson and they were given the same work as the top set. The main issue is there can only be 30 kids per set so of course there is an overlap of ability.
So from a "middle" set at an outstanding primary school, Ds1 is in "top" sets at an outstanding secondary.
They seem to use traffic light colours in my sons class - it didn't take me long to work out that green was the extended and red was those struggling...
Ours have been in different groups since the beginning of year 1- for general work and then literacy and numeracy too. There is movement between groups every so often though ds has remained on the same table since yr 1. Going into year 3 in September - assumed this would continue and thought it was the norm in all schools.
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