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Would you query this with school? Maths sets in yr 7

(55 Posts)
Strumpetpumpet Wed 21-Sep-16 20:17:08

DD has just started at a lovely secondary modern & has found out today that she's in set 6 (out of 9) for maths. I'm unsure whether to leave well alone or to query it with school; her sats score for maths was 112 & she missed out on a grammar place by 10 marks (without any tutoring) so I would have thought she'd be in set 2 or 3 at least, given the "top" set have been creamed off by the grammars?
I don't want to sound precious or be "that parent" but I suppose I'm wondering if there has been a mistake? I've told her if she thinks she's in the wrong set, the best thing to do is work really hard & show school that she is capable of being in a higher set.
Would you query it or leave well alone? Thx

Leeds2 Wed 21-Sep-16 20:19:43

I think I would leave it. If your DD has been obviously put in the wrong set - and it happens - the teacher will soon realise and she will be moved up accordingly.

noblegiraffe Wed 21-Sep-16 20:36:22

Sounds like an admin error, definitely phone the school and query.

Longlost10 Wed 21-Sep-16 20:46:47

are you sure they are in sets, or that every number is a separate set? Classes often have to be referred to by number in computerized timetabling, but it doesn't always mean sets. It could be mixed ability, or bands.

Floggingmolly Wed 21-Sep-16 20:49:29

I would query it, actually. No harm done if it turns out to be as Longlost suggests.

Strumpetpumpet Wed 21-Sep-16 20:54:12

Thanks everyone for your replies. Yes they are sets, we were told about it at the new parents eve before the summer. They are in sets for English & maths, and form groups for other subjects.

LizzieVereker Wed 21-Sep-16 20:54:50

Query it by all means if you worried, honestly, no reasonable teacher/form tutor will think you're "that parent". However as a pp said, would it reassure you to know that the 6 might be a time tabling code, rather than a rank order? For example I teach class 7EN5 -A - which means a mixed ability English class within band A. The 5 doesn't mean they are ranked fifth by ability, it's just the timetable slit that they're in.

LizzieVereker Wed 21-Sep-16 20:55:34

Apologies, crossed posts with you about the setting!

exexpat Wed 21-Sep-16 20:56:18

Are you sure they are actually set by ability already? Many schools run maths classes as mixed ability for the first term until they have a chance to run their own tests and decide on setting, rather than going on Sats results etc.

kittymamma Wed 21-Sep-16 22:41:35

In all honesty (as a maths teacher), I would think you were "that parent" if you contacted in week 3. SORRY!! However, I have just e-mailed my DD school regarding my concerns about her, so I am also "that parent". There is in fact absolutely nothing wrong with being "that parent". As a mother and a teacher, I have great respect for parents who care enough to notice and politely bring it to our attention, although in the area I teach this is a rare thing.

The thing is, some primary schools are very slow sending the data over, so in our school, we were mixed ability for the first 2 weeks, and we did our best to set asap and are a much smaller school. The parents were also told that they would be setted for maths. Bear in mind though, with a school with 9 sets, it is possible that the year group is cut into two parallel halves, so one half of the year numbered 1 to 5 and the other half 6 to 9, so your daughter would actually already be in one of the top sets.

I would say though, most of us experienced teachers will spot a child that is in the wrong set very quickly and fix it.

Wolfiefan Wed 21-Sep-16 22:44:51

Is she upset? You could contact school and explain she's worried. It might be as kitty says and not 1 is top and 9 is bottom. It might be they will review sets at half term.

Strumpetpumpet Wed 21-Sep-16 22:58:07

Ha ha thanks Kitty no need to apologise, that's precisely why I posted here, to get some rational objective opinions! She was upset earlier Wolfiefan but I told her to work hard in maths lessons and prove herself & she seemed OK later on. I might just contact school for clarification - if they really think she is in the correct set then I'll be happy she's getting the level of teaching she needs, but if it is an error I don't want her to be left to coast. Thanks for all the responses, great advice & food for thought xx

noblegiraffe Wed 21-Sep-16 22:58:11

I'm also a maths teacher and certainly wouldn't think you were that parent if you queried something so obviously odd!

newmummyagain Wed 21-Sep-16 23:00:49

Do remember that not every child that could pass an 11 plus exam has gone to grammar school. Not every parent wants that. So to assume that your child who narrowly missed it would then be at the top as every child more intelligent than your daughter has gone to grammar school is inaccurate.

Personally I'd leave it a little longer to settle down. At least until parents evening as its so early in the term.

noblegiraffe Wed 21-Sep-16 23:09:20

I teach in a very high attaining comp, so no one has been creamed off into a grammar, and every kid who got over 110 in the KS2 SATs has gone into set 1. Set 6 of 9 would be ridiculous!

I honestly don't know why people are telling you to ignore this or wait till half term or whatever, at my school if it was discovered on the next lot of testing that we'd made this mistake, we'd wonder why on earth the parents hadn't flagged it up.

JustRichmal Wed 21-Sep-16 23:13:05

Do you know how they got put in sets? When I went from middle school to comp, the teachers from middle school decided who went into what stream, which did not benefit the quiet child.
The comp refused to move children until the end of the year as it would be disheartening to another child who had to be dropped a level having just started in that school.
In the first few weeks I was obviously in the wrong stream. All I got was the headmaster walking into a lesson to tell the class someone's parent had complained about their child being in the wrong class. Though I went home crying with embarrassment, I wish my parents had done more to push for fairness.
Despite coming top of the year in maths, I was only allowed to go up one level.
You may have got a better school, but do not expect them to admit a mistake or do anything about it. And you do not want to start her new school by making waves. However checking if there has been some sort of error will at least alert them that she could be one to watch for reassessment.
The problem you also have is your dd not only being taught at a lower level, but also being given the message she is not very good at maths. Read Carol Dweck; about the advantages of having an open, rather than closed, mindset, in order to build her confidence. Also maths to a large extent is just a case of learning it, so try some websites like Hegartymaths or Khan Academy to keep at the level she should be.

MumTryingHerBest Wed 21-Sep-16 23:14:35

Strumpetpumpet speak to the teacher to find out how they decided the sets. I don't think you will be "that parent", you will be a new parent who doesn't know the school. Perhaps position it as you would like to understand how it all works.

The missing a "grammar place by 10 marks" doesn't mean a lot to me because where I am that could have mean that 30-40 children (possibly more) scored higher. This is not a critisism, just not sure what the relevance is as the 11 plus exam doesn't just test for maths ability.

kittymamma Wed 21-Sep-16 23:41:41

JustRichmal - That is absolutely outrageous how they treated you! I hope that behaviour is out of date and does not happen in schools today. I does not happen in mine.

I think it is shocking to say a school will not admit it made a mistake, ofc it would. It is also important you speak up if there is something not right. They will try to fix it if there is a mistake.

You do have to voice your opinion to teachers if you think there is a mistake, teachers will listen and answer your questions, where appropriate act on what you have said. We do want your support and you know stuff about your child that we don't! It will not get your child victimised in anyway. At least not by normal teachers. The whole "that parent" is a bit of a joke. The only parents we dread talking to are those that defend their child's bad behaviour and blame us. FWIW, my mother took the advice of my maths teacher and allowed me to be put in the intermediate tier of the maths exam, despite me wanting to be on the higher. She didn't fight it even though I wanted her to, she could have/should have, explained that I wanted to go to Uni to do a maths degree so intermediate tier wouldn't cut it. It cost me an extra year of my life to get my maths degree because of it.

Strumpetpumpet Thu 22-Sep-16 07:12:11

Thank you all, really appreciate the input. The comment about her sats score and entrance exam result was purely for context - she's no maths genius and her English is much better than her maths (she has been put in top set for English)so I wouldn't for a second expect her to be top set but I'd have thought she'd be 2 or 3. Even 4 I wouldn't have thought strange but 6 does seem a bit odd.
Thank you all xx

CallarMorvern Thu 22-Sep-16 07:29:13

I'm having a similar issue with English. DD is in the top sets for everything bar English, but English has always been her best subject by far. They have been told that they can only move up a set if someone else moves down. She's really demoralised, her homework so far has consisted of easyish spellings. They use MidYis tests and primary levels to set.

schokolade Thu 22-Sep-16 07:34:42

I'd definitely be asking for a clarification. I'd probably start by asking them if they could tell you the reasoning behind your DD being in that set, followed by why you were surprised. If she's in the right set, fair enough. If not, surely they'd be happy it was sorted early on?

As the school/teacher, I'd only think you were "that parent" if you came in shouting about things. Otherwise, you're the parent that cares enough about their DDs education to want to understand setting? Yep, that'd be me then.

JustRichmal Thu 22-Sep-16 07:58:40

Kitty, yes, it was a long time ago and I do think schools have changed a lot for the better. I'm sure, reading the other comments, the OP will fair better. I'm glad you persevered and got your maths degree.
I think the one thing my school experience gave me was the idea that my dd's education would be my responsibility rather than the school's.
I also don't care if I'm "one of those parents", Plus, I get the impression the teachers would rather have someone who are politely putting their views directly rather than being disgruntled, but not saying anything.

mouldycheesefan Thu 22-Sep-16 08:04:03

I would query it. Why would you leave your dd in set six just because you don't want school to think you are a pushy parent?
I am happy to be a Pushy parent when needed, this is one of those times! Don't be silly just call up or email! If you don't have your Ds best interests at heart, who will? Don't leave her stagnating just because you won't make a phone call fgs!

BertrandRussell Thu 22-Sep-16 08:13:06

How is she finding the work? And the homework?

Ciutadella Thu 22-Sep-16 08:24:13

I never understand the advice not to be that parent. Why does it matter if anyone thinks you are it (whatever it is)?

Op it does sound as though there may have been a mistake - so yes i would politely ask the rationale, and if not satisfied politely ask again - even if that makes you that that parent!

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