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Worried my DD in Year 1 is being overlooked...

(20 Posts)
Jenski Fri 18-Sep-09 10:35:26

I am worried that my DD1 is being overlooked by her teacher because she lacks confidence in the classroom.

Parents were invited into the classroom yesterday. I noticed that the children have already been streamed for maths and english. I over heard the teacher talking to another parent, she basically implied that the parent had no cause for concern because her son was in the more able groups. Does that mean I should be worried to see that my DD1 is in the second from the bottom groups?

My DD1 is incredibly articulate and has a huge vocabulary and an amazing imagination. I would say her maths is probably average, but definitely not below average. However, I would say that her literacy is above average.

I am really worried that because she may be very quiet in the classroom (not at home!), that the teacher has not yet seen the best in her. I think it is very early in the year to stream and would not want this to be how she is considered in terms of ability, when I know that her understanding is very good.

I know this may sound like a rant from a pushy parent but I am not. I actually am a teacher and taught year one for four years, so I think I am able to judge her ability level. I feel that I need to talk to the teacher and explain how I feel without sounding as if I am being critical.

The class is big and the classroom is small. There are more girls than boys in the class, many of whom are confident and older. DD1 is a July baby, so one of the youngest in the class.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation and able to offer any advice? Maybe I should just leave it? At the moment I am feeling a bit upset about it, and I am not sure why exactly? I feel that they have just not 'got her'!

seeker Fri 18-Sep-09 10:38:44

What does the teacher say about her?

Jenski Fri 18-Sep-09 10:42:54

There is a parent evening coming up, but I am hoping to speak to her sooner. DD1 has only been back at school for 2 weeks so I don't think she can really know the children yet, which is why I was surprised to see streaming already.

She loved Foundation and did really well.

epithet Fri 18-Sep-09 10:44:22

As you say, it seems very early to stream - perhaps these groups are fluid and subject to periodic reorganisation? Has your dd's reading level been assessed in any way? I would ask the teacher on what basis the streaming has been done, to clarify why your dd1 has been placed where she has - not in a 'pushy' way, just in an 'interested' way iyswim.

She sounds a bit like my dd2 - also highly articulate and bright, but she never said a word at nursery (because she 'didn't feel like it') and was judged to be barely verbal by them hmm. Doesn't matter so much at nursery level, but might be a cause for concern in Y1.

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 10:44:54

Did she go to Reception in the same school?

...I had the same with one of my (twin) dds- she was by far the most able of the two but through nursery no-one noticed as she was so reluctant to talk.

The experience in Reception was completely different. I wouldn't worry if I were you- she hasn't been there very long and I bet her confidence will grow as she (and her teacher) discovers she can do things. Also remember that the ability groups are always pretty fluid.

Jenski Fri 18-Sep-09 10:51:48

Thank you for the messages. I know that the groupings will change. I just feel disappointed for her, because she tries so hard and knows that she is capable. It is really niggling away at me. I feel that I have let her down! (I know that sounds daft!)

She did go to reception in the same school and loved it. She is very well behaved at school, and will talk but probably better one-to-one than in a whole class. You wouldn't know it if you met her because she is a right chatterbox at home and very good at communicating with adults!

I will ask the teacher about the basis for the streaming in an inquisitive way!

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 10:53:37

sorry- x posts with everyone else!

...after just two weeks it would be an amazing teacher who managed to "get" every one of thirty kids- I'm sure as a teacher you appreciate this!

I would just let your dd and the teacher get on with it. See what happens by (say) half term?

nickschick Fri 18-Sep-09 10:56:58

Dont fret,you as a teacher are very 'aware' and obviously you want whats best for your dd- I think parents evening is a good time to discuss your worries and perhaps keep an eye on things.

Jenski Fri 18-Sep-09 10:58:13

I understand your point Preciouslillywhite, but that is exactly why streaming in week 2 is, in my opinion as a teacher, absolutely ridiculous.

Surely the teacher should be assessing ability in the first few weeks of year one, and getting to know the children. I have always found that children change so much just over the summer holiday, that assumptions cannot be made about their ability.

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 10:58:35

cross posts with you again!

I also had the same with my DS- remember going home with a lump in my throat after two weeks of Yr 1 when he was in what I couldn't help but perceive as the "wrong" colour group- and hating myself for it!-he was also very young in his class- a shy, August baby!

I'm sure everything will be fine. I do know how hard it is, though!-just try not to let her know you're concerned, otherwise she might get into a tizzy about it, which will make things more difficult.

Jenski Fri 18-Sep-09 11:00:02

Sorry x-post nickschick, I think you are probably right, I am probably being over 'aware".

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 11:01:45

sorry, that's "her"- your DD, rather than "her"- the teacher

whattheheckdoIdonow Fri 18-Sep-09 11:05:21

I would have thought if she is a good teacher she would be glad to have your input.

I would guess she would be more influenced by the work your dd does and her reading than by her speaking up in class but I understand your feeing that she is not seeing the best of her and has incorrectly grouped her~if this is the case she will soon move.
My ds teacher is fantastic and the dcs are still tending to move seats daily as she gets to know them all[yr3].

Jenski Fri 18-Sep-09 11:05:23

Yes PLW, good advice.

I feel better for posting this actually, thanks all smile.

whattheheckdoIdonow Fri 18-Sep-09 11:07:06

But don't worry about it, because as her true ability comes through,she will graduate up to the top group.

Jenski Fri 18-Sep-09 11:09:12

Thanks Whattheheck, I hope she is one of those teachers who is aware of the constant need to move children around. I do not really know her, my initial thoughts were slightly, dare I say it, 'neurotic' shock. But that means nothing hmm

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 11:10:11

Good luck Jenski- blimey, a teacher and a parent- you've got the worst of both worlds wink

katiestar Fri 18-Sep-09 11:37:13

The main thing is that you don't transfer your anxiety to your child.As you know there will be movement between the groups and she will end up in the right group.

MollieO Fri 18-Sep-09 11:50:40

Wouldn't the teacher stream on the basis of the report from the Reception teacher, at least to start with? I would imagine she will then take her own view as she gets to know the class.

Ds is currently doing a fab job of hiding his ability in year 1. I didn't ask about streaming as I think I know where he is currently placed and the only way is up!

Cakesandale Fri 18-Sep-09 14:59:21

Hello again MollieO - don't worry not stalking you!

I think you are right, the streaming will be temporary based on reception teacher's report. If anything like my dd's school it will change as teacher gets to know her(and as she settles and shows her true colours), and then keep changing depending on all sorts of things. But they have to be given somewhere to sit for various activities, and it does tend to be based on ability as it is currently being perceived.

And being on the top table isn't all it's cracked up to be - they tend to be told to be quiet and get on with it a bit too much, from what I have seen (which admittedly isn't much)

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