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When do they start learning stuff?

(19 Posts)
chickensaladagain Tue 10-Sep-13 00:25:41

Ok so I know I'm being very pfb and a smug parent but dd has been at high school a week and learned exactly nothing

They are recapping work done in yr 3/4 and dd is starting to get frustrated

How long do I give it before I start to worry?

bruffin Tue 10-Sep-13 00:56:30

I very much doubt that is all they are doing. Is she learning nothing new in History or Geography or RE.

MortifiedAdams Tue 10-Sep-13 00:58:53

Sorry...confused - is she in year 7 and recapping year 3&4?

How do you know she is learning nothing new?

chickensaladagain Tue 10-Sep-13 06:49:58

Yes she's yr 7 and recapping what she did in yr 3/4

She tells me what they have been doing
Maths they have been doing mental maths test, number sequences (hardest one went up in 1.2 intervals) and really basic algebra

English they have had a spelling test, a comprehension test and a speed writing test

Science they have been doing old level 3-5 sats papers

They don't have history/geography on the timetable -they call it learning challenge and it seems to rotate so not sure how that works but so far it's been 'getting to know you' with her form

Ethics & philosophy they had a conversation about why some people believe in ghosts and some don't

Spanish is the only subject where she has learnt something and can now say, hello my name is...I am 11...what is your name?

She was bored in primary and very ready for a move but is feeling very let down that the promise of harder work she loves harder work hasn't been met

Bunbaker Tue 10-Sep-13 06:55:30

I expect the school is just trying to find out what the children are capable of before they get shuffled around into the right sets.

chickensaladagain Tue 10-Sep-13 07:08:03

Which is fine if they had made that clear

Dd likes plans, order, etc -this was unexpected so it's unsettling her, I've done a lot of work with her on her reaction when plans change etc but she's still pretty fed up with it all

mummytime Tue 10-Sep-13 07:11:38

How many lessons has she had of each subject yet?

Do understand the last thing a senior school wants to do is to give work that is "too hard" and totally turn off even the least able.
Secondly you can learn a lot from really simple stuff. I have known graduates spend an hour or more looking at "The Three Little Pigs", and I have also seen undergraduates study for an hour on 17+8 or counting dots on a card. Deep learning can be done with seemingly simple examples.

englishteacher78 Tue 10-Sep-13 07:15:38

Most schools do baseline assessments in the first week. Although year 3/4 work seems a little low to me.

chickensaladagain Tue 10-Sep-13 07:18:20

I appreciate they don't want to turn off children but they were placed in sets based on a mixture of primary reporting and sats results so we were under the impression they would be doing appropriate level work

They have done a full week's timetable so 5 periods of English, 4 periods of maths, 4 periods of science etc

I'm fine with the recapping and testing, I'm assuming they will be tweaking the sets, but I feel they should have been more upfront about this happening and for how long for so that expectations could be managed

chickensaladagain Tue 10-Sep-13 07:22:08


My dd went to a 3 form entry that moved them into sets from yr1 so I'm not sure what level the work is, just that was when dd did it at her primary?

She says science they are doing level 3-5 so maybe it's nc level 3/4?

EvilTwins Tue 10-Sep-13 07:45:28

I teach secondary Performing Arts. So far, my year 7s have done lots of games - getting to know you, getting into different groups, ball games, etc. I don't imagine they feel they've learnt anything new. It's all really important ground work though - I need them to feel comfortable in my room and with each other if I'm going to be able to get creative work out of them later in the term.

Give it time. At my DTD's primary school, the class teacher sends a curriculum plan home every term, so I know exactly what they're doing. In secondary, this doesn't happen. Perhaps you feel that things are unplanned because you're used to knowing more about what's going on?

chickensaladagain Tue 10-Sep-13 07:51:19

Sorry, I don't think I'm explaining myself very well

I'm sure the assessments are planned but they weren't communicated

Dd likes plans and doesn't cope very well if things are different to 'the plan'

She previously would have been in meltdown at this point but has just expressed her disappointment that the promise of being stretched and challenged isn't being met she is very big on promises being met

If they told us how long this assessment process was going to take it would help

It would also help me plan how many books to get from the library as when they finish a test they can read their own book and she has got through 3 already

SweepTheHalls Tue 10-Sep-13 07:55:12

We intentionally don't tell them about the baseline testing as if we do they get upset and try to revise, which we don't want, we just need to know what level they are naturally at, not when hot housed! Particularly in science, primary's no longer report science attainment to us, we just get maths and English, so it is essential to understand what they understand. They also will not have covered the majority of the higher level content in primary as they generally do not have the understanding or facilities to teach concepts like reactivity series and moments which are level 6/7 concepts.

Caitycat Tue 10-Sep-13 08:01:36

If your dd has sen, (which your reference to meltdowns implies) contact the school's Senco and explain the problem. They will be able to liaise with teachers to ensure she is comfortable with the situation and knows what's happening.

mummytime Tue 10-Sep-13 08:08:11

Can't she use the school library?
If she is really struggling this much, has she been assessed for SN? Have you spoken to the SENCO?

tiredaftertwo Tue 10-Sep-13 08:30:14

I don't think you sound pfb or smug, OP, and I can quite see why your dd feels frustrated and confused. Everyone talks about going to secondary school, how exciting it will be, how much hw there will be, how it will be such a big change, and they also talk about how much paperwork and tracking schools do to monitor progress, so to go to secondary school and repeat work you did three years ago must be worrying for her. I don't see, from what you've said, that everything is automatically fine, although it may be - I know plenty of children who have gone into year 7 and felt they have learned lots of new, exciting things at the end of the first week (and then gone on to achieve very highly and be very happy). I haven't any useful advice to offer I am afraid, but I would be concerned too (I have older children) and watch the situation very closely I think. What are the school's results like?

chickensaladagain Tue 10-Sep-13 09:22:06

She's was identified as G&T in reception and any odd querks she has have always been but down to that, but I do have concerns that she might has aspergers -but then her dad is very rigid about sticking to the plan so it might be learned behaviour

She has got better in the 4 years since we split

mrspaddy Tue 10-Sep-13 09:29:27

I would give it one of two more weeks then maybe talk to her year head or form tutor. I was a former Y7 teacher and a lot of the curriculum is prescribed and follows on from Primary.

A lot of tweaks/ teacher observations occur in the first half term. Curriculum is highly important but so are other factors - the dynamics of the group etc.

I imagine if you let the teachers know they will be able to do something -as it does sound repetitive and you are totally right in bringing it to the schools attention.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 10-Sep-13 09:34:17

I think if the needing to stick to a plan is becoming a problem, you probably do need to look into it.

Unfortunately, there will be lots of this at secondary - cover lessons, room changes, clubs changing days etc. So one way or another, it is probably a good idea to look at ways you and she can deal with this.

As for learning stuff, well it will come, but you have to keep reminding yourself it's early days: the last thing they will want to do with nervous year 7s who are making new friends (or struggling to) and finding their feet is to jump in with 'right then: today we are doing calculus and King Lear'!

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