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Would you bring this up with the school?

(8 Posts)
sunshineandhail Tue 04-Jul-17 14:08:10

My DC, year 4 has really progressed in maths this year. The feedback I have had is they are on the top table, doing really well and their maths is really solid. Also they thrive on competing with their peers, so no confidence issue there. DC received an A in effort and ability in recent report.

DC came back last night upset as teacher mentioned when they set groups as of next year, they will be in the lower.

I don't want to be the person who goes in ranting about sets but I feel this is not in line with the feedback I have been getting all year. Surely if my DC is in the bottom half of a year then there is scope for improvement. How do I give my DC a goal to work towards and aim to go up to the higher set if the feedback is brilliant and they get an A? Seriously, from the comments you would think I had a gifted child!


steppemum Tue 04-Jul-17 14:16:28

I am somewhat confused.
next year's sets are usually done next year by the next teacher. Cannot imagine why it is being done now.

It sounds quite regimented about sets, is this a state school?

PerspicaciaTick Tue 04-Jul-17 14:22:09

I would ask - just to check that I had understood the situation correctly.
If what you have heard is right, then I would ask the school if they reassess regularly and if there will be chances to move groups.
It maybe that your DC is on the top table in his current class, however at my DC's school maths is taught in ability groups made of children from the whole year group, not just the class so it could be possible to be doing well in your class but not quite well enough to go into the highest mixed group.
I also think it may be worth leaving this and talking to the new class teacher in September.

sunshineandhail Tue 04-Jul-17 14:32:44

Funny thing is that this happened to one of my other DC. They were put into lower group, I questioned it and they were moved a short while later. Turned out that my DC is one of the best at maths in the top group and got very high marks in recent exam. If I had left it, DC would still be in lower group!

I am feeling a bit paranoid.

RedSkyAtNight Tue 04-Jul-17 14:37:52

Not focus on sets?
Focus on the fact your child has made good progress and always tries their hardest.
Focus on building their resilience (not good that they get upset because of the group they are in).

Do they really get a mark for ability? More likely to be progress linked to their starting point.

There are a million ways that teachers organise groups – it might be that your DC is struggling with some basics so the teacher wishes to consolidate these before moving them on.
It might be that the “top set” consists only of the children that are likely to get the mastery level in SATS (a few in each class at DD’s school).

If you do want to go in, I’d focus round asking what your DD needs to work on, rather than getting hung up on the group they are in.

sunshineandhail Tue 04-Jul-17 15:03:20

I agree Redsky.

I am actually more upset that I have asked for feedback on what needs improving many times and have been made to feel as if I am a negative parent because there is no improvement needed! I am a realistic parent and actually very positive around my children which is why they are confident. If you tell me my DC doesn't know their 24 hour clock, I will go home and give them a hand and deal with it.

If DD could do with a bit of a boost in some areas then it is really not hard to just tell me when I ask.

CatsInKilts Tue 04-Jul-17 15:13:07

I would mention it to the teacher if your DC is upset. They will be able to either explain the reasons for the move, or set your mind at rest if there has been a mix-up.

squeezedatbothends Tue 04-Jul-17 18:01:45

All the research internationally states that setting children disadvantages them. Of over 100,000 studies in a meta analysis, only the very top came out unscathed and even then, only in a handful of studies. The Sutton Trust/EEF research - "does not recommend ability grouping and describes it as having very low or negative impact for very low or no cost. As a strategy, it comes very close to the bottom of the chart in terms of levels of effectiveness". It beggars belief in the light of all this research that schools still put children into sets. Children tend to settle into the level of work expected of them in a certain set, start to self label and limit themselves. So do others who start to view them as a "set 3" kid - i.e. average. Yet most schools are starting to claim they are 'growth mindset' schools - that they encourage children to reach their potential. If I were you I'd be going in and asking them why on earth they are setting in the first place.

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