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Advice on contacting new school re DS and support needs

(2 Posts)
FrancineSmith Mon 19-Oct-15 19:54:31

DS has recently started a new school. He has mild ASD, but copes generally quite well. He also has a tendency to be a bit lazy when it comes to school/homework. So far the new school has been really good at supporting him, keeping in regular contact, letting me know when he's missed homework and what things they're doing to support him. His head of year caught me after an event at school the other day to tell me that they had moved DS into to the bottom set (there are only 2) for one of his strongest subjects. This was because he had not been completing work and they thought it might encourage him to put the extra effort in to get back to the top set.

Firstly, does anyone think this is a good move? My first instinct is that this will have the opposite effect on DS, he is lazy and will happily coast if given the opportunity to. Ability-wise, he had always performed in the top 2-3 children of the top set at his old school, with the minimum effort he could get away with. I'm happy to be told I'm wrong if others have experience of techniques like this pushing children to work harder.

Secondly, if my instincts are right and this is a bad move for DS, how can I best word this to the teacher without damaging what has so far been a very positive relationship?

Blu Tue 20-Oct-15 07:56:37

Different kids respond in different ways to this, presumably, some being determined to get back into their original set, some giving up and some perhaps finding that the new set genuinely suits their learning pace better.

Will he get bored in the new set?

Also setting isn't just about motivating pupils, it is mostly about the actual level they are working at, so if he has not been completing work he has dropped in relation to the others in the group, whatever his potential.

What tends to have the best effect on getting him to focus and get on with a task? How will he respond if you give him a target to get put back in the first set? Does he enjoy the subject? Does he get bored? Can you tell him he will be finishing topics quicker if he gets himself back in the other set?

If he has stayed at the top and achieved with little effort it might be time to let him learn that actually that can't go on and little effort won't get him anywhere in secondary, whereas if you somehow persuade the teacher to let him move back, with no effort, he is learning that he still needs to make no effort....

To begin with, I would try and strongly emphasise to your DS that he has been moved down because he was being lazy and not completing work. But you know your DS, and his confidence and everything, best.

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