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Form Groups in Secondary School

(27 Posts)
FagAshMIL Fri 24-Mar-17 14:49:06

Does anyone know how, generally, form groups are compiled for the new starters (Y7) when moving up from primary? By form groups I mean where they go for registration and not which group/stream they might be put in for a particular subject which will be allocated according to academic ability.

Do secondary schools get a pupil record sent to them from primary that they read and possibly gleam information as to who might/might not mix well together? I'm sure that Heads can't possibly speak to Heads from all local primaries for information on each pupil? Do they only get a 'heads up' (if you'll pardon the pun) about certain pupils if there are very particular issues such as SN or previous (bad) behaviour of a consistent nature.

Do these form groups stay the same throughout (like they did when I was at school) or are they fluid now?

I suppose all schools are different but I'm thinking along the lines of very big state comps rather than small state/private schools.

Any Heads/Deputies or admin staff who can shed some light?

golfbuggy Fri 24-Mar-17 14:54:02

I imagine it depends very much on the school.
DS's school has vertical tutor groups so they have 3 or 4 children from each of Y7-Y11. They seem to have tried to pick children who didn't know each other in each year group (different schools). They stick in the same group all the way through (losing the Y11s and gaining new Y7s).

WhatHaveIFound Fri 24-Mar-17 14:56:40

My DC were asked to name a friend they'd like to be with in their Y7 form class. With DD, both the primary school and I wrote requesting two girls that she didn't want to be with due to previous bullying issues.

There have been form group changes each year but they're supposed to stay in the same class from Y10-Y13 as they've been arranged alphabetically. However i understand that changes are considered.

ExitPursuedByUser54321 Fri 24-Mar-17 14:56:54

When DD moved to secondary school they grouped the two forms by location - presumably on the basis that children who lived close to each other would meet when travelling etc.

That worked well. hmm

MaisyPops Fri 24-Mar-17 14:59:25

We mix all ours up into form groups. It's fairly random other than making sure theres a mixed ability range.

Children with additional needs will usually get placed into a group where school think the tutor is the 'right' person to meet the needs e.g. I've often had boys with ASD in my groups and more challenging behaviour whereas a colleague tends to get girls with a lot of SEMH issues.

Some schools ive worked in they stay the same y7-11 ans others have a y7-9 group and then they get shuffled in y10/11. I like either.
Generally theres not much moving because otherwise you get endless requests tk move groups every time some friendahip spat happens. We get all kinds of calls asking for form groups, teaching groups, seating plans etc to all be modified based on who did/didnt say something on snapchat or whatever. Moves beyond asking staff to keep separate are rare and only happen if there is a real and serious need.

1nsanityscatching Fri 24-Mar-17 15:05:11

Dd was placed in a form with her two best friends and with a tutor they felt best met her needs (ASD) A child who bullied didn't get on with dd was placed in a group in a different house so their paths wouldn't meet. It was y6 teachers who flagged any issues for us

oklumberjack Fri 24-Mar-17 15:06:46

At my dd's school tutor group they seem to have a smattering of pupils from each primary school and a few 'odd' pupils who came on their own.

My dd was one of only 4 to come from her primary. They were put into 2 different tutor groups, 2 and 2. Made no difference to my dd as she barely knew the other girl with her from primary.
In fact I'm glad of the fact now as their is lots of drama within the tutor right now as old primary friendships are breaking down.

oklumberjack Fri 24-Mar-17 15:07:53

Oh and yes, each primary sends info and notes etc to the secondary. In our area a teacher visits each primary school to meet pupils. Even if just one pupil is going.

MirandaWest Fri 24-Mar-17 15:08:02

At DSs school the tutor groups are vertical ones for Year 7-11 with about 5 children from each year. They were asked in Year 6 to say children they'd like to be with so the year 7s should know each other. I think it might be better to mix them up a bit but presume it will still be the same when DD starts there.

pho3be Fri 24-Mar-17 15:08:46

DC in yr 7, was asked at a meeeti g if there was anyone he particularly did or didn't want to be in a class with

FagAshMIL Fri 24-Mar-17 15:14:43

Very much dependant on the school then. My issue concerns a 'frenemy' who i'd rather wasn't in the same form group as my dd. AIBU to make a request to the secondary school, it's low level bullying and my dd is not the only one to have been on the receiving end so primary are aware and assuming that 'proof' will be on the girls school record?

FagAshMIL Fri 24-Mar-17 15:18:42

Vertical tutoring sounds like a brilliant idea in some respects though I would worry about Y7 ears being exposed yr Y11 pre registration conversations of weekend shagging etc.

Ha! My dd would probably say she wants to be in the same form as this girl

oklumberjack Fri 24-Mar-17 15:20:28

As far as I know you can request certain pupils not be together. I know one of my friends did this with her ds. Different school to ours though.

aginghippy Fri 24-Mar-17 15:23:08

Absolutely not unreasonable to make the request. I would. If nothing else, it will make the new school aware of the previous bullying.

In my dd's school they tend to spread out kids coming from the same primary in the different tutor groups. They also make sure the groups are mixed in terms of ability and ethnicity. My impression is that they would try to accommodate a request like yours.

MaisyPops Fri 24-Mar-17 15:26:01

OP, a quiet work aboit primary bullying (if it hasnt already been passed across) would be more than ok.

When I mentioned earlier about groups not moving much its because some parents spend a lot of tike wanting sets/classes/seating fitting around who gets on with who. And theres new drama every week. Always the same names who cant be sat near people.

Genuine reasons are listened to

FagAshMIL Fri 24-Mar-17 15:56:10

Thanks all, very helpful and reassuring

FagAshMIL Fri 24-Mar-17 15:57:45

Oh and as an aside, am I able to read my daughter's school record or is this for school eyes only?

simpson Fri 24-Mar-17 16:03:33

The majority of the local secondary schools (locally) will send the HOY 7 round to the primaries of kids going to their secondary to chat to the kids first and then form tutor or KS2 Head.

You are definitely not BU to request your DD is in a different form. But tbh my DS is in yr7 and all of his friends are in his classes rather than form group. He is only with his form group for 20-30 mins a day max.

TheColonelAdoresPuffins Fri 24-Mar-17 19:38:27

I'm curious about this too. Dd is in year 8 and her tutor group has worked very well for her. She's integrated much better with her class than she did at primary school. I wondered if it was by accident or design!

user1490123259 Sat 25-Mar-17 08:05:20

if you are orting 250 students into 10 groups of 25 then there is a limit to the number of parental requests that can be accommodated!

Spread of gender, abiltiy, feeder school, SEN, that is about it.

We probably have a few thousand parental requests a year for different pupils to be separated or but together thoughout all ages and subjects. whether they are taken on board or not depends on many factor, is is possible? is it disruptive? does it contradict other parental requests ( we have many pupils who have so many parents asking for them to be kept away from their individual child that there would be nowhere left for that child to go) has the person who receives the request got any time to act, or are they snowed under with parental requests? does it contradict the schools observation of the situation? is it a long way down on the list?

doublesnap Sat 25-Mar-17 08:10:28

I think it's fairly random, that seems to work as the local primary schools mix up the children in year 6 so they get to know a wider variety of pupils. In my experience the children pretty much have all new friends by the end of the first half term.

CauliflowerSqueeze Sat 25-Mar-17 13:27:09

Depends. When I did it for my year group many years ago I based it on an even number of boys and girls, a range of ability, ensured that kids the primaries said should be separated were and then tried to make sure they looked balanced. Took into account also their interests and needs. Took HOURS. But I feel I knew them quite well by the time I'd organised it all.
The Head of Year for the year below me got the computer to do it.

At my current school it depends on the language they do.

clary Sat 25-Mar-17 13:35:36

I work in a large state secondary (1200 students) and yes, we get lots of info from primaries.

Not all of it is useful or accurate in my view! however it is certainly used (and shared with staff) to avoid students who don't get on/must be kept apart, being in form together, and also to provide a mix of abilities within the form etc.

The form will broadly stay the same but there is certainly movement - my year 10 form has had two people move to other forms and one person move in; others are probably similar.

OP I think it's reasonable to ask but a others say, it might not be possible for all kinds of reasons. But I would certainly let them know.

MaisyPops Sat 25-Mar-17 15:51:16

Another thing that i always feel for is that child (most feeders have one in the year) who has been labelled the 'naughty' child and we get requests from some parents saying 'we dont want out DC to be in a class with timmy/sarah'.
Often those 'naughty' children actually settle really well at secondary, theyre not big fish because theyre y7 they value the fresh start.
Last lad who came up with endless warnings was lovely and spent most of his time looking after a child with ASD. 'Naughty' lad still had his moments but I really felt for him because you could tell in the first term that some parents were so keen to ring and complain about him for the smallest thing (e.g. danny stood in front of DC in the line outside class and didnt go to the back).

lacebell10 Sat 25-Mar-17 23:41:51

In our situation one of the deputy heads and another went to primary school and met the children. Primary had an input. We emailed very early on to request dd not put with another child due to bullying but phrased it diplomatically. The response from the school was as it had been an early request they would do their best to accommodate. Which they did. But it is an intake of 360 so they do have some manoeuvre space. Some of the schools round us are a 90 intake so much less chance of requests being able to be accommodated.

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