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How do I approach this with my DD's teacher?

(56 Posts)
dfghj Fri 02-Sep-16 17:57:21

My daughter is in P4 and left for the summer in top reading group. She is a voracious reader and sent much of her holiday reading the while How to Train Your Dragon series. Her best treat is visiting a book shop or library and all her friends ask her for recommendations.
At the risk of sounding like a terrible person, I have heard her classmates read and she is head and shoulders better than most of them.
So she returned to school confident of being in top group again.
However the class has merged with another (private school so class still only 20) and my daughter is now in the 3rd reading group.

Now I don't have a problem with that per se, as the class now has some accelerated learners and other very able girls. And I know that reading alone does not determine the grouping, as they are also judged on comprehension skills etc.

My worry is the fact that my daugher's confidence has taken a big knock and I think the teacher should explain to her that she is still an excellent reader and that she can work towards moving up a group by improving whatever skills required.

I have an appt to see her teacher on Monday morning. How do I put this to the teacher? I basically want to ask her to praise my child so she doesn't lose her love of reading by feeling she's not good enough. Do I just say as much?
With thanks.

MrsDc7 Fri 02-Sep-16 18:00:18

The teacher will completely understand where you're coming from. You can just explain that you think her confidence has taken a knock and you would appreciate it if the teacher would approach it with her and ensure she understands she is still an excellent reader. I would do the same if it was my child xx

TheTroubleWithAngels Fri 02-Sep-16 18:19:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Fri 02-Sep-16 18:29:40

I think it's probably worth mentioning to the teacher that she is upset about it. I doubt it will impact her love of reading though. Few children read all summer unless they genuinely like stories. Do try th remember that it's a very small class being split into even smaller sets. You are only talking about around 12 people being ahead of her and she needs to learn no to hang her self esteem on beating others (especially at reading as most will be at least as competent as her very soon).

Seryph Fri 02-Sep-16 23:27:27

Firstly, who told her she is in the third reading group? If her teacher, then you need to have a serious conversation about that. I would have simply told her that there are a lot of people who read as well as she does so the teacher needed more groups and left it at that.

simpson Fri 02-Sep-16 23:46:04

Tbh both my kids have always known which group they are aren't daft.

Imo it is more important to nurture the love of reading than anything else. I would emphasise that to the teacher that yes she is upset but you want her love of reading to continue and what does she need to work on.

irvineoneohone Fri 02-Sep-16 23:59:49

Is she in the right group?
If they set by last year's grouping, drop from top to third seems bit steep.
Maybe they are still adjusting group , since new school year has just started?
I'm not sure "How to train your dragon" is top reading level for P4(YR5?) though.

Ditsy4 Sat 03-Sep-16 03:32:11

How does she know?
Are you talking about the Guided Reading group she is in?
It is early days her teacher will be still getting to know her. Make sure her comprehension skills are up to scratch.

MrsDc7 Sat 03-Sep-16 06:16:03

Irvine... OP didn't say reading how to train your dragon made her DC top reading level, she just said she had spent the summer reading it

Zippidydoodah Sat 03-Sep-16 06:51:05

I'm s teacher and havd had very able classes at times, in which the top three groups are of a similar level. They are just grouped into sixes for guided reading purposes.

Obviously make it clear to the teacher, as you have in the op, that you're not concerned about her moving but that you just want her confidence to be boosted. Nothing is more annoying than parents complaining about children moving groups (I had lots of complaints st one school I worked at, for adjusting the groupings...I was just doing my job!) it doesn't sound like you are one of "those" parents, though! grin

flumpybear Sat 03-Sep-16 07:02:44

Telling a child they're 3rd (or whatever) at whichever subject is dreadful!!! Setting them up for anxiety and a fall, but sociology experiments Many years ago found kids who were told they're under achieving get worse not better - I'd be worried about the school!!

WipsGlitter Sat 03-Sep-16 07:05:10

How many days have they been back at school? You might want to chill for a few more weeks...

Paulat2112 Sat 03-Sep-16 07:13:39

Probably three weeks or so wips

Op I had a similar thing last year with math groups! Dd was P3 last year and she was devastated when they moved her group. I tried to explain that it's not all about what group you are in, you can't be the best at everything all the time and of course it's just about making sure you work hard and do your best, doesn't matter if that 'best' means you are top or bottom group! Definitely have a little chat with the teacher, just explain as you have here. They must get asked things like that a lot.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sat 03-Sep-16 07:26:58

I very much doubt the school told her she was set three. I didn't know for sure what set I was in at school until secondary school when they told us. I don't know the impact for the others because I was in the top set for maths and English.

I don't have set groups in my class. I base it all on the objectives each child needs to achieve and their performance in the previous lesson. If they need more work on an objective, I give them that opportunity. If they have understood it, they move forward to applying it in a different way or onto a new objective.

Reading groups are about the comprehension as well. OP does your DD have good comprehension? I don't just mean she can tell you what's happened in the story either.

I don't think you need to tell the teacher to praise her. If they are a good teacher, they will do that for every child without the parents asking. Maybe discuss with her what you could do at home to improve her reading and build her confidence again.

JasperDamerel Sat 03-Sep-16 07:35:16

Irvine, P4 is Y3. I'd say that How to Train Your is above average for a child who has just come out of KS1.

Paulat2112 Sat 03-Sep-16 07:38:20

I don't think P4 is equivalent to Y3, is it? The op child will be about 9!

Paulat2112 Sat 03-Sep-16 07:39:35

Sorry I meant 8! Not sure why I said 9 haha. My own dd is in P4 and was 8 last week! It's too early 😂

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sat 03-Sep-16 07:41:51

7-8 is year three for us.

Zippidydoodah Sat 03-Sep-16 07:41:54

Nobody would have told them which ability group they are in. Children work it out all on their own!

It is a very good point re: it being very early in the term. The teacher is still getting to know the class.

Paulat2112 Sat 03-Sep-16 07:45:54

According to a little chart online, my dd who is P4 would be Y4

SofiaAmes Sat 03-Sep-16 07:56:24

Is your dd actually upset by her placement? My dd who was a very advanced reader used to complain that her teacher wouldn't let her check out the books she wanted from the school library. I went to speak to the teacher and it turned out dd was wanting to check out "baby books" and teacher felt they were too easy for her and she would lose interest in reading (not sure I follow the logic on that one). I pointed out that since we all knew that dd was a very advanced reader for her age (I made the mistake of saying yes to her reading the Twilight Series when she was 7...thinking it would be too difficult and therefore not worth a no... and then she went and read it) did it really matter if she sometimes wanted to read books with only 3 words on a page. (Maybe that's the kid version of watching moronic tv even if you are a genius intellectual.)
I think that sometimes kids just need to be given the freedom to work at their own pace and not constantly compared to their peers.

mrz Sat 03-Sep-16 08:23:18

Paula children in Y4 in England will have their 9th birthday between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2017.

irvineoneohone Sat 03-Sep-16 08:37:02

Sorry. Yes , it sounds like above average for yr3.
So it makes more sense that teacher is still adjusting, or 3 top levels are of similar levels.

2014newme Sat 03-Sep-16 08:46:25

How to train dragon are popular with year 2-3 at our school so 6-8 year old.
The issue may be that if she has spent the hols reading that series she may not be reading as broadly as others who are likely to be reading books for 9-12 years and beyond especially if they ate very able kids. I would focus on expanding the range of books she reads across fiction, non fiction, poetry etc

tulippa Sat 03-Sep-16 08:49:55

Are the groups definitely set on ability levels or have they been organised another way? Behavioural dynamics/mixed ability/Kagan method for example?

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