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Being taught out of year: experiences?

(50 Posts)
Arkadia Fri 02-Jun-17 19:19:09

To make a long story short, my DD2 next year will find herself to have to be taught out of year. She will be in P2 but she will have P3+ stuff in all subjects.
As skipping a year is frowned upon (and it not might be a long term solution) this is the situation we are at the moment.
At the beginning of next year a personalised plan will be agreed and in theory everything is going to be hunky-dory, but in practice how will it work? Has anyone got first hand experience they might want to share? I can already see the teachers trying to avoid that class like the plague...

WankersHacksandThieves Fri 02-Jun-17 20:12:43

Not quite sure what you are meaning Arkadia?

Do you mean your DD is P2 age but will be doing some topics at P3 level? Or going up to a P3 class? Or it's a composite class?

Arkadia Fri 02-Jun-17 20:21:52

She is in a composite class now and she is top in all subjects (P2), so in essence she has skipped a year but will have to "repeat" it.
As I said, skipping a year is not an option, so she will be in P2 but doing different stuff. In other words, she will be working mostly alone sad
Doing P2 stuff is just unfeasible and I think she has already done all the extension work available at that level, so she has to move on. With a bit of luck things will adjust themselves moving forward, but for now the situation is far from ideal...

Arkadia Fri 02-Jun-17 20:23:41

Forgot to add, alas there is no composite class next year.

RedScissors Fri 02-Jun-17 20:35:21

I'm not quite sure what you mean, especially as we don't have 'P2' or P3' schemes of work.

Your DD is currently in a P1/2 composite and is working with the P2s, First Level of CfE.

Next year she will be in P2, yes? She will continue to work at first level and any teacher worth their salt will easily be able to adapt lessons. With respect, your DD isn't that much ahead of her cohort. Children can make big leaps around the age of 7.

WankersHacksandThieves Fri 02-Jun-17 20:43:06

There is always a wide range of abilities of children in all classes. My Dss have at times been reading at 4 or 5 years above their age. There is no need for them to be moved classes overall. Sometimes they had to go up to other classes for Maths or English and at others they did the class topics with everyone else but working at their own level. It's important for them to be with children their own age and also that they are in the right year in high school.

If you mean that your DD will repeat the same topics then speak to the school about it. They usually work it out so that children moving from composites to non composites dont have this situation.

Arkadia Fri 02-Jun-17 20:43:55

Well, it was the HT who warned me that she would be working mostly alone and it was her teacher this year who said she was taken aback by her, so it is not just in my head (but I see where you are coming from, red.)
Let's put it this way, from what I have seen in my school, I don't see how differentiation for 1 pupil would work and in any cas my point is that she won't be working at the top table, but... alone sad
It is true that in P1-3 the do sod all (DD1 is finishing P3), but without sound boastful, DD2 COULD jump straight to P4 and spend the first few months when they do nothing but revision to close whatever gap she will have.

Arkadia Fri 02-Jun-17 20:57:48

wankers, as I said it was the HT who warned me that my DD2 would be working pretty much alone next year, that is why I was asking about experiences of working outside the year as a whole, not just in reading or maths.
To me it looks like a logistic nightmare for all concerned...

WankersHacksandThieves Fri 02-Jun-17 21:09:54

That sounds really odd. I can't see any reason that your DD would need to work alone regardless of her ability. I'm not a teacher though.

Surely if she is working above her class then she would simply join other classes for things where that is required or she would join in with her own class but do things at her own level.

It doesn't seem that hard to manage to me, I'd be a bit concerned about the HT and school tbh. Why is she even telling you this without offering a proper solution? What was the purpose of telling you? Does she just want you to remove your DD to save them any hassle?

Arkadia Fri 02-Jun-17 21:15:36

No, that WAS the solution ;)
The HT was somewhat inclined to have her skip a year, but that is not an option (perhaps for the better? Who knows), so the best she could offer is a "personalised plan", but she will work on her own. I suppose they will all join up for things like projects and such like, but not for English or maths. I suppose reading and writing are not a real issue.
However I was curious to hear about similar experiences to gain an understanding on how it might work.

WankersHacksandThieves Fri 02-Jun-17 21:24:50

I'd be surprised if that was common practice tbh. Hopefully someone with personal experience will come along though smile

I know some pretty bright kids including some that have gone to Oxbridge/Harvard etc and none of them to my knowledge have ever had to work by themselves (or have skipped a year). I'm not doubting that your DD is very bright. Teachers and schools should be able to cope with that. Under the old curriculum, DS2 passed level C in reading and writing in P2 (the expected level of pass is P4-P6). No-one ever suggested he needed to move class or work by himself.

nothingtodotoday Fri 02-Jun-17 21:31:02

Most classes have a very mixed ability. A P4 of 26 might have children working from early level to second level in all subjects.

In writing she would have higher targets than others but still writing on the same themes with the same lessons.

Maths might be different but I would think she would be learning the same topics but at a higher level.

I would expect topic work and group work could be similar but the teacher would have higher expectations of her work.

Does that help?

Appin Fri 02-Jun-17 21:40:50

I teach a P3/4 composite. Children in my class work across a range of levels (early level to first level and some beyond). I differentiate, as most teachers would do. I really don't see why a child would have to go up a class to have their needs met. It's puzzling.

Also, working at P3 level is still First Level, it's not really that far away from P2 level.

Arkadia Fri 02-Jun-17 22:54:06

Thanks for the replies. I have to say, I thought it was common practice, since skipping years is so frowned upon, but never mind.
In any case, given what I have been told and what I have seen at my school in the past three years I do find it difficult to see how such an arrangement could work in OUR case, hence my perplexities.

Nothing I have to confess I don't see what would the benefit be in attending the same lessons as the others P2 as
1) sha has already been through them this year and
2) she has already done all the work (in some cases more than once...)
The same with maths, how many "teen takeaways" can you do? (her sister in P3 is not that much ahead and they do not differentiate the work AT ALL). The one thing she hasn't done at all is Big Maths, but if you ask me, really no big deal, nor big loss.

Appin I think one of the problems is that in P1-2-3 kids (from what I have seen) really do sod all. OK, the curriculum is jam-packed with activities of various kind, but it IS easy to dash ahead because when you try and isolate the substance from the fluff, you are left with not that much. I cannot believe there are so few kids in this predicament.

On the plus side, at least it seems we have seen the back of Biff and Chip and their magic adventures :D

nothingtodotoday Sat 03-Jun-17 08:17:50

Arkadia - The thing is they are not the same lessons. The subject will be the same but they will be differentiated. In the class there should be groups working at different levels anyway surely?

So for example - In subtraction she will be working at a higher lever after a whole class mental maths lesson where her learning will have been consolidated when supporting her peers and theirs stretched by looking at her examples. With writing the same title can have many different expectations from Early to second level.

Cakescakescakes Sat 03-Jun-17 08:21:50

Skipping a year leads to so many problems further down the line eg when she reaches 16/17 and peers are learning to drive, going to pubs etc and she will be too young to join them (legally...) this can lead to even more isolation etc. I've seen it happen with a family member.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 03-Jun-17 08:29:39

DD is in P2, and for eg reads at at least p7 level. She is in with her class, and takes part in all of the class projects etc, but gets to not do the spelling tests. She is in her own "group" for English and maths. When the other kids are doing maths or reading, she does too, just with resources from higher up the school. So she does kind of work on her own, but mostly when the other kids are working on their own too.

There so so much stuff that she is P2 level at or Les that there is no way she should be skipping a year etc. I was always very clear to the school that while I'd appreciate it if they could manage to teach to her level, I didn't want her accelerated or treated differently, or made to stand out from the other children.

The school are striking a pretty good balance IMO, in what is obviously a difficult teaching situation.

Arkadia Sat 03-Jun-17 09:33:29

I don't know why people keep harping on about skipping a year when I said at the outset this is NOT an option.

Its, do tell me more... The problem, if you like, is that kids are not stupid. The fact that the work is SO different will transpire, especially if only one is doing it. Mind you, things might sort themselves out over time and that would be for the best, but what if they do not... Also, going out for some classes will single her out, no matter what.
Nothing I don't really like the idea of a child working as a TA within their own class (or any class for that matters). I can just hear her saying to another child "come on, that is SOOOO easy!!".
Besides, what is she supposed to do during the "introduction to sums" class or the "let's talk about this picture book" or the "let's sing the 'zero the hero song'".

Squishedstrawberry4 Sat 03-Jun-17 09:38:51

In our school the children remain in year group but pop out to access maths or English with the class above. I think Maths is the only thing to worry about. Everything else is very easy differentiation wise.

Squishedstrawberry4 Sat 03-Jun-17 09:43:06

Personally I wouldn't worry too much. My kids were all top of the top set and the school always managed. infants is essentially about play anyway

WankersHacksandThieves Sat 03-Jun-17 09:43:14

Kids don't care what level others are working at especially at that age. Maybe you could teach her manners and understanding?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 03-Jun-17 09:44:44

Arkadia she doesn't go out for any classes (except to pick up books) Effectively the school treat her as having additional needs, so integrated as far as possible, but adjustments as required.

Arkadia Sat 03-Jun-17 10:29:34

wank, kids may not care, AT THIS AGE, but they DO notice.
Its, exactly right, the HT said that too re: additional needs. She was supposed to be tested, but that is being deferred for now until she is older. What I don't get is how can you not want to slash your wrists if the class goes at a pace that is SO not yours. Don't you just get demotivated? More to the point, as in general expectations are very low indeed, if you happen to be "able" they will be even lower (proportionally), so you end up coasting all the time and when you come across something actually difficult you are not equipped at all to deal with it.

MacarenaFerreiro Sat 03-Jun-17 10:42:58

Another one who is thoroughly confused by all this. Every class will have a wide range of abilities. Children who are strong in maths may struggle with literacy, or music, or art.

From what I've seen after having three children progress through Primary school is that most teachers are very well equipped to deal with different levels. There is very little "whole class teaching" for English and Maths - the children work in groups and have targets according to their abilities. So on a Monday morning when they're doing their "what I did at the weekend" diary in P2 or P3, the target for Jane who finds it difficult might be to write at least two sentences and use capital letters properly. For John, who is an able pupil, his target might be to write three paragraphs and use lots of adjectives.

If they are doing topic work, art, music or anything else the teacher should be pushing the able ones to research more, add more details, prepare a powerpoint presentation, share their learning with the class and supporting the less able ones to get the basics done. This is what I see happening EVERY DAY in my child's school.

My eldest started P1 reading fluently - we didn't teach him, he's just weird like that. So he read in a group by himself, with a classroom assistant. But he wasn't on his own all the time - just that 10 minutes a day while he read aloud.

There is no "p2 work" and "p3 work". If you feel that your child is not being stretched then that is an issue with that particular school/teacher not the system in general.

Arkadia Sat 03-Jun-17 11:03:59

Macarena, if you had read the thread from the start, the issue is not what you describe (although at MY school I see very little in terms of work differentiation).

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