Can an average child in YR2 go on to be a high achiever?

(178 Posts)
User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 09:47:03

DD is at a good primary, which achieves well above average across the board in the annual stats.

DD has met age related expectations in all her reports so far, and has just started year 2. She is bringing home White book band books (level 10) which are a stretch, but she can systematically read them. Purple band (level 8) she reads fluently. She writes well creatively, although not very long pieces, but still spells phonetically mostly. Maths took a while to click but now addition and a few tables are secure. She still can't tell the time.

She has excellent fine motor skills, an really impressive ability to construct and fix things, and a noticeable flair for non-verbal reasoning (i.e. recalling recurring patterns etc.). Her social skills are also excellent. She seems generally bright to us and all around her - until she started school she was ahead in all her milestones, and in the initial screening at school slightly above average in everything.

However for the last two years she has been set with the bottom third of the class much of the time (I assume there are some children in separate remedial groups which I'm not aware of) or at best the middle group. Her teachers have consistently said she is 'doing fine' and 'where she needs to be', but their impression and expectations of her in class simply doesn't reflect the child we know. I feel we're being fobbed off with the subtext of 'she's not that bright', when actually something isn't working and she's not meeting her potential.

I'm concerned that I'm going to look like I just have an over inflated idea of her abilities - and maybe I do! - but does school just 'click' a bit later for some children? Can she go from being average to being a high achiever later on in the years? The school obviously has the potential to get children achieving at those higher levels but I can't work out why it's not happening for DD.

Any insights would be helpful. And please be kind, I might sound like a bit of a dick worrying about this, but I just want DD to have the best chance in life she can.

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Lougle Tue 11-Sep-18 10:01:33

You're DD is doing well and meeting expectations. She's got years ahead of her to find herself. Don't worry. She's very young.

Lougle Tue 11-Sep-18 10:03:36

My DD3 was still refusing to read altogether at home at that stage, and she's only just now realised that reading is quite enjoyable now, entering year 5. She's a really bright girl, just stubborn. Things click when they click.

PoxAlert Tue 11-Sep-18 10:07:36

She doesn't need to be a high achiever in reading....

Maybe she'll be a high achiever in animal care, dance, chemistry, or a million other things that she won't get a chance to learn in Y2.

Also, she will free-read eventually. Sure some might at the end of Y1 and for others it'll be Y4 but once you can read, you can read. flowers

I wouldn't worry about where she is now. She'll feel the pressure and there will be no benefit to her being pushed, it'll just knock her confidence.

My dad constantly wanted me to be the Olympic gold medal in anything I did and it was so disheartening. My daughter is a "high achiever" for everything academic at school, but when you see her on a climbing frame she's lightyears behind some of her peers, she cant/wont ride a bike etc etc.

So trust me, they can't be good at everything and if your child was top of her class you'd be worrying about something else you wanted her to achieve. That's just being a parent I think! brew

Justgivemesomepeace Tue 11-Sep-18 10:09:48

I could be right off track here so feel free to ignore me. She sounds a little bit like my dd. People who know her say how bright she is, could always converse around and understand all kinds of concepts, great socially. Could always read fine, not sure about book bands (she's 15 now can't remember how they work), maths fine. Hopeless at spelling. Never got it. Did everything phonetically and still does. Struggled to tell the time. Still only can if it's a clock with hands, can't do 24 hr clock at all. All through primary I asked whether they thought she could be dyslexic and was told no. Raised it with secondary, they had her tested and hey ho, dyslexic traits. It was the phonetic spelling and complete inability to recognise letter patterns I couldnt get my head round along with the very bright, perceptive, intelligent girl we knew, didn't translate into what she demonstrated at school. She can read fine but slightly slower. She can't copy things accurately without looking at every single word. I didn't know about the telling the time thing until it came up in the testing, along with following directions ( as in turn right, then second left etc). It might be worth considering although I'm probably right off track.

ArsenicNLace Tue 11-Sep-18 10:10:51

Absolutely they can! My son is a summer born child and turned out to be moderately dyslexic. He was distinctly average in kindergarten and juniors.

He's now year 10 and top set in most things. School have been great re his dyslexia and he's come on in leaps and bounds at senior school.

Sometimes children just need to find their stride.

User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 10:10:52

Thanks Lougle. Reading at home is a battle. She's very resistant to doing it, although her ability is good, and if it's a non-school book we don't seem to have the same problem. I'm worried that always being in a low set won't give her a sense of what she can do if given the chance, she only has a low bar to aim for and the kids in that group don't generally have the best concentration or behaviour (hers is very good on both counts). I just find it a bit baffling.

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MrsSchadenfreude Tue 11-Sep-18 10:12:06

Yes, absolutely. My friend’s DD was in the remedial class for everything at primary, and her teachers told my friend that she might manage to work with children or animals. She got a First in maths from a RG university and is just finishing her PhD. She absolutely flew when she got to secondary school. Children envelop at different rates, and no child should be written off at any stage at school.

Lougle Tue 11-Sep-18 10:14:50

You'll find also that when she gets to Secondary School, everything will be much more targeted towards her learning style. DD2 has just started secondary school and there are 10 classes. They can set the children according to their strengths/weaknesses and needs.

User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 10:15:57

I have wondered about dyslexia. However according to those Oxford book bands she's right on track with reading by national standards, if not slightly ahead of the average. The school don't 'teach' spelling as such, no spelling tests or lists brought home. It's all done in class, so it's hard for me to tell what is ability based and what is just the fact it's not focused on at school yet. I think in our cohort there's a lot of extra work done at home that people don't admit to.

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User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 10:23:47

Thanks MrsSchadenFreud and Lougle. That's heartening. We are annoyingly in the grammar catchment so there's also pressure to hit your stride before secondary! Hence it's making the whole thing a bit more heightened. We could move across county lines to avoid it (good comps not too far away), although I'd prefer not to.

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ArfArfBarf Tue 11-Sep-18 10:28:10

It sounds like she’s in a high achieving school in a high achieving class. Based on what you’ve said she would be top of the class in my dd’s yr 2 class.

BertrandRussell Tue 11-Sep-18 10:33:53

What does her teacher say?

BluebirdHill Tue 11-Sep-18 10:39:44

Talk to her about what she's interested in and what she'd like to read about and get her some books/comics on that. No judgment, whether it's fairies, space rockets, llamas, whatever, as long as it interests her. In my experience, school reading is often very uninspired and it's not surprising that kids don't like doing it. You've said that she's better with non-school books so build on that. And if her reading develops well then all other school work becomes easier.

User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 10:43:47

Bertrand her school say she is quote 'doing well' and 'where she should be'. I have tried to broach the subject of why she is set where she is, and what we could do to support her at home, but it's always met with the same stock answers. Hence I feel like they are saying 'she's fine, but not that bright, what do you want us to do?'. I could just be completely over sensitive now though as I feel there's no engagement with my questions...

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User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 10:47:11

The answer about what to do at home is "share lots of books". We've been reading story books several times a day since birth, so we've had that one covered for a while! It feels patronising and doesn't address the question.

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Tomorrowillbeachicken Tue 11-Sep-18 10:50:55

Purple would be top group in our school. Ds is top reader at school in year and reads white/lime books from school but higher at home.

WhitefriarsDillyDuck Tue 11-Sep-18 10:56:01

Statistically unless she has English as an Additional Language it is highly unlikely. Middle attaining pupils do not tend to progress to be higher attaining.

However we haven got to a point where the new KS1 curriculum to KS2 conversions has happened yet and those statistics may change.

User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 10:57:38

WhiteFriars in which direction might they change? I'm not following.

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powerwalk Tue 11-Sep-18 11:02:38

In my view late developers can blossom at a later age we do know of many that surprise, and so can children that work incredibly hard and do so consistently. We are talking years and years, not just a few months or short bursts of effort.

If your dd is not prepared to work incessantly and isn't a late developer, than she will remain average and will no doubt find her own talents and qualities in time. It is perfectly fine to be average and be pleased she is doing well.

jazzandh Tue 11-Sep-18 11:03:37

She sounds bright but unmotivated. That is the hard bit - getting the children to switch on and want to learn, unless they have a great love of the subject or are competitive.

DS1 was very much like this at the same age, and I tried to nudge him into extending himself a little, finding an element of interest in a topic. He has always loved to read mainly fiction.

DS2 loves to throw himself into topics, so we get books that he will spend ages looking at to go alongside the subject - however trying to get him to read fiction is a non-starter.

So I think it down to finding what will make her connect with her learning and want to be the best she can be. The teachers are satisfied with her progress, so equally are perhaps unmotivated to push her further.

Childrenofthesun Tue 11-Sep-18 11:08:17

DSS was distinctly average at that age. Quite good, although not considered particularly able, at maths. Reluctant reader and terrible speller. He was never great at the English side of things, though he ended up with a B at GCSE. Once at secondary school, however, it became clear that he was outstanding at maths and science. He just graduated from LSE with a first in Economics. Luckily we don't live in a grammar school area as he would never have passed the 11-plus and I don't know if he'd have reached his potential in maths at a "secondary modern".

Work on her confidence and self-esteem above all else. IMO self-assurance gets you further in life than great academic success. (I did extremely well academically but have low self-confidence and certainly have not pursued a glittering career!).

WhitefriarsDillyDuck Tue 11-Sep-18 11:08:53

WhiteFriars in which direction might they change? I'm not following.

That is the point- nobody knows until it happens. At the moment the old style KS1 converts to the new style KS2. To move from middle to higher is statistically unlikely unless you have EAL.

The OPs child did new style KS1- until the 1st new style cohorts cohorts get to KS2 the liklelihood of middle getting to higher is unknown.

User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 11:09:34

Jazz you might have a point. However she is six years old. I really struggle with the idea that she needs to 'pull her socks up' and get self-motivated. I do think there is a set of kids in the class who are unusually high attaining (free reading, writing reams of correctly spelled text at the end of year 1) and that is skewing things.

I struggle with the idea that you can have a bright six year old, from a highly-educated home, with motivated, engaged parents, and the school can't find a way to help motivate her to do her best...I feel she's at risk of being left to languish academically.

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User54546767 Tue 11-Sep-18 11:11:23

Ok thanks whitefriars it sounds like I need to read around that subject.

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