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Year 7 Setting by ability

(42 Posts)
madasamarchhare Mon 14-Sep-15 02:45:11

Ds settled in really well to secondary school very happy and already seen confidence soar (hoping the bubble doesn't burst). However he thinks that the ability groups are ranked 1-? With 1 being the highest and he is in groups 4 and 5.
Without wanting to be precious over pfb I am concerned he has been placed wrongly but wanted reassurance from others that they will monitor the children over the first few weeks and move groups. We had been told children would move groups where necessary but as its all timetabled I'm concerned in practice that this doesn't always happen.
I'm concerned as his teachers were full of praise at primary English always being very strong and his sats were 5b for English and reading and 4a for maths. Although his report did note that he is more capable at maths but test nerves let him down. He was only 9 marks away from passing 11+
I think they've probably been grouped based on tests they sat on taster days which he was not happy with as all done on computer and wasn't completely comfortable with this.
Please someone tell me his capabilities will show and the school will act or should I give it a few weeks and if nothing changes speak to head of year. I don't want him to start out on a back foot.
Surprisingly if groups have been set as he believes he is also in a higher group for maths than English? Just doesn't seem to add up.

Decorhate Mon 14-Sep-15 06:42:07

You would really have to speak to the school as every school will do it differently. More common to set for Maths than English in Y7 but in any case it would usually only be for those two subjects.
Schools do generally use CAT tests (presumably the ones he did on his taster days) to set initially. And obv it also depends on the ability of his peers as to whether is is towards the top of the group or not.
I would perhaps wait till he has done his first lot of assessments later this term & if he has exceeded his targets then speak to the school about it?

ScentedJasmine Mon 14-Sep-15 07:09:49

I think I might try and find out for sure which way the number groups go on ability. Is there anyone you could ask?
However, I would hope that there would be flexibility in groups though don't have child in secondary yet.
My nieces seemed to be in mixed ability classes for all of year 7 Ithink...

Emochild Mon 14-Sep-15 07:14:28

Dd's school sets based on info from primary schools plus sats

Sets run 1-8 and a 4a in the sats would place them around the middle groups

That being said, in maths dd is in set 2 and they have been doing things like column addition and subtraction so at this stage of the year I wouldn't worry too much if they have told you there is movement within the sets

LadyPenelope68 Mon 14-Sep-15 07:24:10

Most Secondaries set 1-?, with 1 being the top set. Whilst your son might have been full of praise at Primary and within his year group was a higher achiever, he's now probably with a much larger year group with children who have churned 5a's and 6's in their SAT's. This would then definitely put him in the lower groups once reaching secondary.

LadyPenelope68 Mon 14-Sep-15 07:24:28

Gained not churned!

PrincessHairyMclary Mon 14-Sep-15 07:29:01

Our groups are labelled 7x1 etc but it could be just as easily named 7xapple it's just a way of labelling the classes. Most groups are mixed ability and students have their baseline tests in all subjects this week to find out where they are.

Mehitabel6 Mon 14-Sep-15 07:31:59

I wouldn't worry about it, they will soon change it if wrong. I expect that you will get a parent's evening early on where you can ask. If not phone the head of year. LadyPenelope is probably right about the much larger year group.

madasamarchhare Mon 14-Sep-15 07:42:02

Thank you all that's has put my mind at ease. All those things are what my sensible self if saying but I am a natural worrier
It's a fairly large school they've had an intake of 270 this year so 8 groups would be reasonable I think.
She's had maths homework which I was happy was the right level and I appreciate this term will probably involve a lot of finding out what they're capable of.
It's the English I'm most concerned over as that's her real strength.
I'll wait for parents evening as I hope there will be one before half term or soon after and then the teachers should have a better idea of capabilities

Decorhate Mon 14-Sep-15 07:47:40

Do you have a ds or a dd confused ?

LadyPenelope68 Mon 14-Sep-15 07:51:03

You've gone from having a son to a daughter?

LadyPenelope68 Mon 14-Sep-15 07:52:36

Whether that's his/her strength or not, if there are others with 5a/6's then being in a middle groups is totally correct for a 5b

HamaTime Mon 14-Sep-15 08:01:44

There will be 8-9 groups and your ds is smack in the middle. The top set will be people who are really good at maths and the bottom group will be people who really struggle. I doubt if there is a huge difference between the work given to groups 3/4/5.
Ds has gone from 'top set' in primary to group 3 of 6. There were at least 4/5 dcs in his primary class who were better at maths than him, and none of them got a 6 on SATs. With the bigger cohort there will be enough kids who are really good at maths to make a top set, with the ordinarily good kids being in group 2 and kids like my ds who is 'good at sums' but certainly no maths whizz making up the next couple of sets in the middle.

ifonly4 Mon 14-Sep-15 08:08:43

My DD was set for maths and French (they had to sit a test for this before starting school) straight away and I think things were reassessed October half term. At that point they were set for other subjects. They also re-set them (if necessary) at the start of each school year, based on their end of year exam results and overall performance during the year. Try not to worry about it too much at the moment as I'm sure many schools constantly reassess.

DD reckons they study exactly the same things in sets 1 and 2 and are expected to keep up.

At DD's primary they could only achieve levels 5. She got all hers and was put in all the top sets. However, English she was moved down to set 2 in English at the end of the first year. In Year 10 now and just gone back up to top set.

madasamarchhare Mon 14-Sep-15 08:10:47

Sorry no he's definitely a ds! As we are in a grammar area I would have thought most of the high 5's and 6's would be the ones who would have passed so they are not in the equation anymore. Which is why I thought as 5bs for English would rank her higher. I'll see how the term goes and the sort of work she brings home and take it from there b

Duggee Mon 14-Sep-15 08:14:37

Er you've just said her again!

Duggee Mon 14-Sep-15 08:15:30

No he's definitley a ds.

Rank her higher

She brings home?

rollonthesummer Mon 14-Sep-15 08:17:18

I'll see how the term goes and the sort of work she brings home and take it from there

Definitely a DS?!

BabyGanoush Mon 14-Sep-15 08:17:57

She grin again

Some people do this to avoid outing themselves.

Obs2015 Mon 14-Sep-15 08:28:18

Ds1 has been setted for maths. I assumed that the top set would be level 6 SAT.
But he told me that lots of the level 6's were in set 2 as well. Level 5's are in set 2 and 3.

madasamarchhare Mon 14-Sep-15 08:33:52

Are you in a grammar area obs?

madasamarchhare Mon 14-Sep-15 08:34:27

She or he doesn't actually alter the question does it?!!!

Moregravyplease Mon 14-Sep-15 08:35:35

They tested using CAT tests at my DS school just before the October half term and then they were set using those results. It gave the DC a chance to settle in and apparently you can't coach for CAT tests.

Just asked DS what he thought a 4b in maths would mean set wise and he reckoned set 3 out of 6 at his school.

He got a 5a but they didn't offer the level 6 paper at his school and we are not in a grammar school area.

PurpleDaisies Mon 14-Sep-15 08:44:00

She or he doesn't actually alter the question does it?!!!

It doesn't but you lose some good will when people feel like you aren't being straight with them.

In all the schools I've worked in the different sets still have the same subjects at the same time so it is really easy to move pupils between sets if they need to go up or down. Sets are usually reviewed when there is a big test and it's in everyone's interest including the teacher to have the kids in the right class so I really wouldn't worry too much.

dolcelatteLover Mon 14-Sep-15 08:52:01

At my DCs school which is a grammar, they don't set at all in the first year.other local schools set after half a term when they have got an initial feel for their abilities.IME lots of movement because children develop in fits and starts not in a linear way.

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