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Work differentiation

(36 Posts)
user1483972886 Sun 28-May-17 07:24:23

DCS go to the village primary where there are 2 years in a class so about 20 children in the class.
They do well at Yr 2 SATS but the progress between YR2 and YR6 SATS was below average last year in all areas with overall pass of 25%.confused
I understand that DC's class is divided into 3 levels /streams where the lowest stream is the combination of the year below and those in her year who are really struggling /developmental issues. DC is in the 'top' stream. But it seems a fairly coarse differentiation? They have several good readers but some in the 'top' maths stream would probably be doing well to be 'average' in a larger school.
Is it normal that a class of 2 including 2 year groups only has 3 levels? A friend of mine suggested it should be more like 6!
It would be interesting to know how things work in other schools.

user1483972886 Sun 28-May-17 07:25:16

Sorry it should say class of 20...

mrz Sun 28-May-17 07:30:41

SIX confused

HonniBee Sun 28-May-17 07:44:33

Those poor teachers! You can't honestly expect her to prepare 6 lessons? Unless she has many TAs!

Think about 6 groups with 20 children- that's 3/4 in a group. She'll barely have anough time to spend with one group before she'll have to move on to the next.

There are more ways to differentiate than just groupings. Within each group they might be doing slightly different tasks. She might be differentiating using questioning. Differentiation isn't just groupings.

user1483972886 Sun 28-May-17 08:38:52

But is 3 enough to cover 2 year groups? How many do other scools have?
We visited a prep school where they had workbooks with 3 sets of questions so they were all doing the same work but at 3 different levels (this was 3 levels in 1 academic year). Wouldn't that make the differentiation easier?

user1483972886 Sun 28-May-17 08:54:24

Tbh my friend who suggested 6 groups is a primary teacher of a class of 30 so I expect she was basing it on how it works at her school. I think dividing kids into 3 groups, given the wide spread of abilities, ages etc, isn't sufficient.

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer Sun 28-May-17 09:01:54

I think that you would probably find some level of individual differentiation within those groups too.
So that are all doing the same task but little Johnny has a word bank because he struggles with spelling.
Mary is doing the same maths as the others but she has access to deinnes because she struggles without something concrete.
Paul is next to the teacher because he needs a higher level of support to put his ideas into sentences etc.
A lot of my differentiation is not written down but is reactive to what the children need or is based on my knowledge of individuals.

irvineoneohone Sun 28-May-17 09:17:10

Dividing 20 children into 6 groups covered by one teacher doesn't sound realistic.
Isn't that the problem with small schools?
Less pupil = less funding = less budget.
At least you get better teacher : pupil ratio. So I am sure teacher must be doing some sort of individual differentiation if needed.

mrz Sun 28-May-17 10:01:12

*"*^*Wouldn't that make the differentiation easier?*^*"* For the teacher ...possibly. For the child ...not the best way by any means.

mrz Sun 28-May-17 10:02:20

*"*^*Tbh my friend who suggested 6 groups is a primary teacher of a class of 30*^*"* six way differentiation in a class of 30 is stupidity

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sun 28-May-17 12:57:01

Only one year but ds' reception year has ten phonics groups for 60 children. Think it is similar for maths.

irvineoneohone Sun 28-May-17 13:29:52

Tomorrowill, I think it maybe a bit different in reception.
Do they have ten groups for maths and literacy in yr1 upwards as well?

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sun 28-May-17 13:33:55

From what my friend told me they stream from year 3 and also will teach a child out of year if it is needed.

mrz Sun 28-May-17 16:35:01

Ten phonic groups is insanity!

RebelRogue Sun 28-May-17 17:19:29

Sounds about right. We have 4 groups for 28 kids. The groups are fluid so you can move up or down, and also you can be in one group for english and another for maths for example.

mrz Sun 28-May-17 17:26:04

Research shows setting and streaming in primary are ineffective. Differentiation doesn't require ability grouping.

Ifonlyoneday Sun 28-May-17 21:10:22

What is the top maths group doing in yr two that you say is not top set in other schools?

irvineoneohone Sun 28-May-17 21:24:21

Tomorrow, I hope your school is better organised than my ds's school.
They are all over the place. They used to stream maths and English since yr2. I don't know if it was generally effective or not, since it wasn't enough for my ds. Now they don't.
They used to send children up year groups. Now they don't. But it wasn't effective for ds either.
Now with new NC, they say you can go outside your year group expectation, which is not true, but just a excuse.
So best differentiation imo is within the classroom, as long as they don't cap the ceiling. (Which obviously never happen.)

irvineoneohone Sun 28-May-17 21:27:50

* can't go outside

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sun 28-May-17 22:32:14

I wonder if the no capping will change with the change from level scoring to progress scores.
Atm ds is only in reception though and I only know what the head of year, one of TAs and a few parents have told me.
Tbf capping him to year one expectations next year would be interesting on progress scores though in most subjects for him.
irvine was it not effective as he needed to go up more than one year?

irvineoneohone Sun 28-May-17 22:46:30

Actually he was sent up 2 years above, but work wasn't challenging enough. But I doubt he coped emotionally if he was sent more than that.
He always told me he was actually helping others, not other way around.
Also there was nothing new to learn.
He got TA results expected for yr6 children in yr2, so unless he had differentiation catered for him, nothing could have worked anyway.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sun 28-May-17 22:51:28

Ty for the answer. I am hoping things will change or the schools are letting so many children down.
It's scary it you have to hope.

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 28-May-17 22:53:25

I can't see any point at all in working above year (or indeed any year above), the teaching pace is still based on the normal student, so a very able student will still learn the stuff faster and still spend the same time requiring differentiation. It would only be useful if the kid was not very able, but had simply learnt the existing year all ready.

That's why differentiation needs to be about the individual - as I've said personally I'd appreciate more differentiation into completely different subject areas, but that would almost certainly be an undue burden on the teacher. Although when I was at school I was given the (new) computers and told to get on with it as my differentiation, so it certainly was that kind.

irvineoneohone Sun 28-May-17 23:29:20

Yep, I agree, sir, going far ahead is not a good idea. But things like maths is such a simple, straight forward concept for some people up to certain degree, so it was inevitable and difficult to avoid, don't you agree? Same for reading above age expectations.

But now he has slowed down, and doing more of side way stretch rather than going forward. But still school isn't a good help with this either.

I wonder why other countries- which doesn't use ability groups but do whole class teaching- get better overall results in things like PISA.
Do they differentiate better within the class than England?

Trifleorbust Mon 29-May-17 11:43:09

I think your expectations of how many different things can be planned and taught simultaneously are a bit baffling. I'd like to see you differentiate for 6 different groups. hmm

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