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How will new school work out what set DS should be in?(returning from abroad)

(14 Posts)
Feminine Sat 22-Oct-11 13:15:41

So, we are looking at very bad grades from DS on his MID-term report (here in US) (he is nearly13)

but, they are caused by a complete apathy on his part...he is perfectly capable but very sad at school and frustrated (possible depression)

We will be returning to the UK in February, with these grades ,it would be totally understandable if they placed him in the bottom set for everything.

However, after showing him the GCSE bite size he is able to understand/ complete 90% of it ,in all subjects.

It may sound very strange to those who don't know the system here, but it is flawed and grades are lowered for things that would be overlooked/ helped out with in the UK.

Of course if it is suggested he needs to work from a bottom set, I understand ...just don't want his dreadful small town school USA results to ruin his new start...

How do they asses please smile

scarevola Sat 22-Oct-11 13:29:10

It probably depends on the school.

I've seen it with one of my DS's friends. I've no idea of the detail, as I was neither parent nor teacher, but they put him in the middle for everything that was streamed (my guess is that they were assessing him themselves) and at half term he stayed put in everything except maths, in which he moved up two sets

noblegiraffe Sat 22-Oct-11 13:32:12

Depends on the school and even the department within the school. My maths department would probably give him a test, most likely a SATs paper for initial setting then review with the class teacher once he has settled in.

Feminine Sat 22-Oct-11 13:39:39

Thank you both smile

How many sets are there? I was assuming 3 ,probably got that wrong though?

How do sets work (in terms of moving around , possible grades)


noblegiraffe Sat 22-Oct-11 14:04:35

Setting is entirely school specific, as is the grades that will come out of them. A small school will have fewer sets (mine has 8), in a lower attaining school top sets might get A* to C, my top set would be A* to A.

You need to speak to the individual schools. They might not even have sets in Y8.

noblegiraffe Sat 22-Oct-11 14:06:31

And any decent school will have regular tests which result in movement between sets. At least at the end of every academic year and probably throughout the year as well.

Feminine Sat 22-Oct-11 14:07:53

Thanks noble

I am wondering just how much notice they will take of his US grades actually?

They follow a totally different system... I don't think they can compare?

Feminine Sat 22-Oct-11 14:10:21

Oh, Thanks X posted ~I think that almost answers my question smile

If they are fluid (to an extent) at least they can work with whatever he is able to do, I suppose?

noblegiraffe Sat 22-Oct-11 15:51:33

I don't think my school would take much notice of his grades because they would be pretty meaningless to us! What would be useful is knowledge of whether he was above average, below average, needs extra support, gifted and talented or plodding along in the middle. Just to roughly get an idea of where he's at. Then we would take some time to figure out where he fitted in our school.

Feminine Sat 22-Oct-11 16:31:04

I'm thinking bringing his scores national grade/ ability test would be a good thing then...

they have something called I-step that they take twice a year,it shows how they are performing in testing for the core subjects/how they are doing against kids in the same state. ie: did not pass/ pass/ pass -plus.

Luckily for us, he does very well in those. smile

Thank you again noble , I have been a little stressed (to say the least)

GnomeDePlume Sat 22-Oct-11 18:38:18

Feminine - my experience was that the school didnt ask anything about prior education. We transferred back into the UK at the primary stage. There was an assumption by the school that the DCs would simply have followed the UK system (despite them having come in from a different country and language!).

IME you need to be very proactive. Raise concerns with the school very quickly. Your DS will have done different topics in subjects like history. You may need to work to bring him up to speed.

Feminine Sat 22-Oct-11 20:49:14

grin thats funny gnome

especially with a different language involved!

Thanks for your suggestions!

mummytime Mon 24-Oct-11 08:21:14

I wouldn't worry too much, most schools are continually assessing pupils. Do you have a school for him to go to yet? Have you talked to the school?
In my area there are schools with 5 sets, some with 2 lots of 3 sets, one with 2 lots of 6/7 sets (smaller classes for Maths).
Just prepare your son to find the system very different.

Feminine Mon 24-Oct-11 15:06:46

mummytime Thank you.

No, we have to appeal for our first choice.

I think the second choice will be fine too, if it comes to that ~ guess I could phone them both?

I am so glad it will be different, schooling in this school district is positively victorian!

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