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Confused at parents eve - suggestion of literary test

(17 Posts)
Neverenoughhoursintheday Thu 13-Nov-14 22:46:15

First secondary parents eve. Ds excelling at maths, science - top of top set. Achieved level 5 at Primary.
Met with English and Ds is in lower end of sets and getting less than at primary. Saw the list of pupils in class and they ranged from level 3 to level 5.

Raised my concern that maybe ds is not in correct class - I appreciate ds is stronger at maths than english, therefore don't expect english top set, but maybe middle not lower end.

He isn't achieving in all his literacy based subjects. The school have suggested a test for dyslexia etc. There have been no concerns previously.

I'm concerned as to why suddenly at secondary he's not achieving expected levels. I don't think he has any special needs, I think its cos he's not in the lower class and therefore expectations have been lowered.

Any teachers/parents have any advice - am I being an over expectant parent ?

oddsocksmostly Thu 13-Nov-14 23:19:12

Dyslexia can present in different ways. I'd be pleased that they were suggesting a test.

Neverenoughhoursintheday Fri 14-Nov-14 03:39:56

I'm not adverse to the test, I appreciate any help if its necessary. I'm just surprised that he was placed in the lower sets initially with a sats of 5, and now his target is the same as the level he started school with, therefore there is no expected advancement during the year

Ohmygrood Fri 14-Nov-14 05:20:13

The English teachers at his secondary school will be specialists in that subject. They will have a degree/masters in English and knowledge of experience of teaching that subject through to GCSE. I would trust their assessment.

blackteaplease Fri 14-Nov-14 05:37:49

My dh is a secondary teacher. He says that primary schools often mark children up at a higher level than they are.

I would accept the test and see what happens after that. Perhaps it will open up some help and strategies for your son to make progress.

TeenAndTween Fri 14-Nov-14 07:23:27

If he is not achieving in all his literacy based subjects I would definitely go along with the school and try to find out why. Being placed accidentally in a low set for English wouldn't affect how he is achieving in History (would it?).

Some issues are masked at primary. e.g. It wasn't until secondary that my DD1's organisation/instruction following issues became much clearer. One of the symptoms is struggling to organise essay work coherently.

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 14-Nov-14 07:27:54

It seems to be quite common for a child's English levels to drop between Y6 and Y7. I would go with what the school suggests.

Neverenoughhoursintheday Fri 14-Nov-14 09:29:48

The low set class is the class for all literacy based subjects, so am wondering whether the levels expected to achieve are lower iyswim. His english target for this year is the same as he achieved at primary. Whilst i don't want to be the pushy mum this doesn't seem right

Blu Fri 14-Nov-14 09:42:17

I think you are right to be concerned, and being concerned and working with the school to support your child is not bring pushy.

But I wonder if you are focussing your concern on to the class he is rather than why they have put him there and what exactly is bringing his levels and targets down? I would arrange a more in depth mtg with the relevant teacher, get detailed answers to those questions, and look at some testing.

The work they do in Secindary is totally different to the Yr 6 SATS literacy . It worked the other way for us; much furrowing of brow and sucking in of air as to whether DS would make L5 SATS, and in Yr7 he was swiftly declared G&t in English , and his confidence shot up.

Has the different approach shaken his confidence, perhaps ? If he is a Maths whizz, the secondary English curriculum is far less formulaic than the Yr 6 SATS work.

Neverenoughhoursintheday Fri 14-Nov-14 10:09:37

Thanks Blu valid points.

justanotherquestion Fri 14-Nov-14 22:37:36

Has he done CATS testing at secondary and if so, what was the VR (verbal reasoning score? This may tell you more about his natural ability, it may also tell you about any huge discrepancy between his numeracy/non verbal and literacy scores. It is just possible that the school have picked something up here which is making them suspect dyslexia.

If not, they should be telling you where his weaknesses are, specifically, especially if he was L5.

PiqueABoo Fri 14-Nov-14 23:18:21

"It seems to be quite common for a child's English levels to drop between Y6 and Y7."

In DD's case that is because the teaching has largely reverted to a place she was at four years ago (ditto for most of her Y7 class).

That naughty primary [teach-to-test|summer-slide|whatever] line might be true in some cases but I think it's also being used as cover for some serious expectation problems.

kscience Sat 15-Nov-14 09:39:28

Have the school done their own baseline testing on entry to the school to determine sets and targets?

I would work with the school with regard to testing, the fact that they are already flagging up underachievement is a good thing. What else do they have in place to assist you child's progress? Are you happy with this?

What class they are n will have little effect if they have different teachers for all of the literacy based subjects and they are all coming to the same conclusion (s already pointed out each specialists in their subject) against the judgement made by one exam the end of last year (highly taught to and coached)

Neverenoughhoursintheday Sat 15-Nov-14 12:29:01

All valid points that I will explore, however he was placed in the lower end classes before he'd even started at the school. This seems odd in itself as this was based on his Sats level 5 and the majority of kids in his class started at level 3 and 4.

Ohmygrood Sat 15-Nov-14 12:47:32

Did the secondary school assess them in any way before they started?
For example, my ds's school did assessments with them on their taster day and used those to set them initially.

Neverenoughhoursintheday Sat 15-Nov-14 20:01:08

No, there was no taster day, so it seems streaming was purely on sats

Ohmygrood Sun 16-Nov-14 00:00:50

In that case it does seem strange.

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