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Ability Groups

(126 Posts)
curiousmum32 Thu 02-Nov-17 21:16:44

My daughter who is 4 an in reception told me today that the class has been divided into a few groups- Moon, Stars, Earth, Sun. And that she is in the star group.
Cant figure out if she's in the top group or in the middle or below. Havent had a chance to ask the teacher and I am not sure if they would tell.
Please advise.
Thank you

Catalufa Thu 02-Nov-17 21:17:57

We won’t be able to tell you - it could be in any order.

Inkandbone Thu 02-Nov-17 21:19:48

You can generally work it out from the other kids, although it's probably one if the middle groups.

drspouse Thu 02-Nov-17 21:29:19

My DS' reception class was in keyworker groups. Then they were in so and so's phonics group and someone else's number group.

pipistrell Thu 02-Nov-17 21:30:00

Why does it matter?

sirfredfredgeorge Thu 02-Nov-17 21:31:54

How do you know they're ability groups - as opposed to any other sort of grouping? In our school they had the same group names, but it was nothing to do with ability

Stars - the loud annoying kids, think Stars in their eyes.
Moon - the kids who had a tendency to drop their trousers at the drop of a hat and show everyone their bums
Earth - the kids who were always covered in dirt.

Never did figure out who the sun group was made up of...

ineedamoreadultieradult Thu 02-Nov-17 21:32:06

The whole point is you are not meant to be able to work it out. She will be in the group she needs to be in and if she was having any problems the teacher would have raised it with you or will raise it at parents evening.

thepatchworkcat Thu 02-Nov-17 21:33:15

Might not be ability groups, could just be organisational.

PatriciaHolm Thu 02-Nov-17 21:39:37

May not be anything other than random, especially in reception.

If they do group them by ability, they are unlikely to tell you explicitly, though the kids will work it out for themselves pretty quickly!

curiousmum32 Thu 02-Nov-17 22:17:42

Right, not sure if its an ability group. I will ask the teacher.
Thank you

ProfessorCat Thu 02-Nov-17 22:21:14

Do you need to know? What difference does it make?

I've never been asked about why a child is in what group and if I group by ability or not. I don't think it's something that parents need to know.

Wiggypudding Thu 02-Nov-17 23:30:07

These are common names for ability groups

It's done in distance from the teacher so goes earth, moon, sun, stars

Stars is top group as furthest away from teacher ie needs less help

Norestformrz Fri 03-Nov-17 04:57:41

*“*^*It's done in distance from the teacher so goes earth, moon, sun, stars*^*”* what! As a teacher I have to say that would never occur to me hmm

OP I’d discuss your child if you asked but wouldn’t discuss my classroom organisation.

pipistrell Fri 03-Nov-17 08:18:16

It's very unlikely that they'd be grouped by abilities this early on in school anyway

irvineoneohone Fri 03-Nov-17 08:26:21

They definitely had ability grouping in reception at my ds's school, but I don't know since when.
It was very obvious to see as well, they used 2d shapes, and more vertices, higher the group. And the list was on the wall for everyone to see. They did the same for whole ks1, so must be school policy. Kind of grim.

ProfessorCat Fri 03-Nov-17 08:36:43

Of course they are ability grouped this early.

I have never in all my years of teaching seen or heard of the Earth Moon Sun Stars thing.

wobblywonderwoman Fri 03-Nov-17 08:45:02

It probably isn't ability. It may just be actually groupings. Like north, south, east ,west

sirfredfredgeorge Fri 03-Nov-17 09:02:25

No ability grouping in our reception, some whole class work, otherwise they laid out stations with activities, kids chose what they wanted to do within that choice. I'm sure the adults guided kids in specific areas, and took them to do specific things, but there was no ability grouping.

In KS1 there were groups, but other than for phonics, all the groups were mixed ability, phonics was split to the type of thing they were practicing.

I would disagree with professorcat on if parents need to know, but only so they can answer questions from the child like "why can't I sit with X now? why do I have to be in a group with annoying person Y?" etc. so the reasons, and if they're fluid so the child can be communicated.

MiaowTheCat Fri 03-Nov-17 09:05:23

Sometimes you can work out the code - shapes are often the number of sides on the shape!

DD1's class teacher is at real pains to say they're just groups to split up personalities across tables and that they're not ability related - but that they do group them differently for different tasks. DD1 however has told me 43 times in the last two days that she's moved to a different group and gets to sit on a different row on the carpet.

In their reception class the groups are basically linked with places they sit on the carpet - they've got a lovely carpet mat with different animals on it repeated in a pattern and they're in the group with the animal that they sit on. No other reason than that! DD2 is a Snail - except she can't say her S-es so she's in the "Nails group" which is possibly a totally different thing altogether!

I could see the earth moon stars thing working as in who sits in the back row on the carpet and so on - instead of DD1's incessant "I'm in the blue group now so I sit in the back row on the carpet did I tell you I'm in blue group and sit in the back row on the carpet" at the moment.

irvineoneohone Fri 03-Nov-17 09:09:05

Tbh, ability grouping in reception/ks1 doesn't really reflect the child's true ability ime. Most of top table were Autumn/Winter born in ds's classes.
By ks2, it will be totally different. Some will stay on top, some will be taken over.

2014newme Fri 03-Nov-17 09:20:51

They move groups constantly also will soon introduce more groups eg different groups for maths.

RedSkyAtNight Fri 03-Nov-17 09:54:10

Even if they are ability groups, please bear in mind that this is only relevant to where your DC sits within their current class.
They could, for example, be in the "bottom" group but still in the top 20% nationally if you go to a particularly high achieving school.
Please, please don't get hung up on what group your child is in, particularly in Reception!

Witchend Fri 03-Nov-17 10:55:21

It's done in distance from the teacher so goes earth, moon, sun, stars

Stars is top group as furthest away from teacher ie needs less help

Who says? They can do what they want. Dd1 had these groups once for reading, (plus comet) and the top group was moon and the bottom was stars.

My dc at infants always had several groups. Group for maths, group for reading, group for writing, group for art. All had their own names. Some were ability based totally, some were loosely ability based (so 6 groups with 2 equal groups in each banding) and some weren't ability based at all.
You cannot tell what this is. Wait a few weeks and then you will probably hear, if they are ability based, "Jonny's in triangles because he's really good at maths. Martha and Milly are in jumpers because they don't know all their letters yet"

dantdmistedious Fri 03-Nov-17 11:03:36

You cant catgotically day that star is the top - I’d say it’s more likely random so you or the kids can’t work it out. Mine had animals in reception - think it was lion tiger bear or something.

Joinourclub Fri 03-Nov-17 11:13:48

Wiggypudding
Actually in my experience it is to do with mass, starting at the bottom with the lowest mass - the Moon. Then the Earth , The Sun and finally The Stars. The mass of all the stars is clearly many times greater than the Sun, so the Stars group is only for those who are exceptionally gifted and talented.

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