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comps: how much movement between bands?

(20 Posts)
Yolande7 Sat 11-May-19 21:16:34

We were told by many people (including our daughter's primary school teacher) that there would be lots of movement between bands in secondary school. However, this is clearly not the case. So far only two children out of well over 200 have moved bands in my daughter's year. If a child outperforms their band, they can only move up, if another child moves down. I am wondering if it is only her school handling it like that or if "there will be lots of movement" generally is a myth? How much movement is at your child's school?

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Sat 11-May-19 21:22:30

Our school doesn't 'band' until y10, and even then there is overlap between bands.

The trouble with bands is you move for everything, not individual or linked subjects. I'd really only expect movement between years not mid year iyswim, with movement in y7 for those clearly and obviously misbanded. I'd also expect some overlap between bands, and for a child not to be 'restricted' by which band they are in.

I don't like banding/streaming in KS3 and it would have been a negative for me when choosing a school.

OxanaVorontsova Sat 11-May-19 21:24:05

At my daughters' school there is some movement every year, but it is not an annual rather than regular event. At my school, there is discussion once a term and students move if they are above/below peers across subjects, with maths and English getting the casting vote.

TeenTimesTwo Sat 11-May-19 21:24:23

(At least, that's how I understand banding.)

PenguinsRabbits Sat 11-May-19 21:24:52

Very little movement going on - daughter joined school in year 8 and as she didn't join in year 7 they put her in random bands - several were very wrong. One moved her after a term but she was the only child moved and one was moved down - DD was predicted a 8/9 and had been put in middle set initially.

In French DD predicted 8/9 and put in bottom set as no spaces in top set and they've refused to moved her all year and say they may not move her next year either. So very little at ours. The science tbf gave her harder work in the middle set so she didn't lose anything by being in wrong set, the French she has learnt nothing all year. In English 2 children have moved from middle up to her top set in whole year. So very little at our comp and anyone new gets put in random sets.

m0therofdragons Sat 11-May-19 21:30:50

Dd goes to secondary in sept and they change every term with a fair bit of movement and streaming in yea 7 for maths, English and science.

OxanaVorontsova Sat 11-May-19 21:35:00

Bands and sets aren't the same thing - they can be set within a band and may move more within that band and that can be different for every subject, but movement from say middle to top band (with perhaps 4 sets in each band) is less frequent - at least this is the case in the majority of schools I know

PineapplesandtheGovernment Sun 12-May-19 12:53:45

Our school sets but doesn't have bands/streams. How do streams work if someone is a maths whiz but struggles with English due to a SEN?
Ours change once a year.
Is it possible your dc school bands based on KS2 SATs so they've got a vested interest in keeping kids who got high sat results in top sets as they need them to get good GCSEs?

Yolande7 Sun 12-May-19 16:07:43

Many thanks for all your answers.

Interesting point, Pineapple. They based the original banding on an entrance test, SATs, last primary school report and primary school teacher recommendation as far as I know.

My daughter is at the the top of her class in the middle band. Her teachers told me they will recommend her to move up, but someone would have to come down and of course she is not the only one doing well in the middle band. There has been hardly any movement so far. I wished I had known that beforehand, because then we would have had a proper discussion about it with her primary school teacher.

OP’s posts: |
Hellohah Sun 12-May-19 20:42:05

@Pineapple DS' school streams. They have 1 top stream, 2 middle and 2 bottom.
However, they have timetabled English, Maths and Science at the same time. DS has mostly the same kids but some will move up/down to top/middle/bottom for these 3 subjects if that makes sense?
So friend A is in middle stream, but particularly good at Maths. He stays in his middle stream for everything, but goes in the top set for Maths. Friend B is top stream but not so good at Maths, so they go in the middle stream for Maths.

BiBabbles Sun 12-May-19 21:02:38

It seems to vary widely by school. At my DD's secondary sets from the start and they seem to make point to say and repeat to the kids at the end of each term that the sets may change at the beginning of the next term, but really it seems only a few people, if any, do each time. Sometimes I wonder if it's good for motivating kids if they know it's possible to change so regularly, but other times it seems to just cause some of them to worry needlessly.

MollyButton Sun 12-May-19 21:33:37

My DCs very high achieving Comp doesn't Band. It starts off with no sets, but does set for Maths at about 1/2 term in the Autumn of year 7. Science sets start year 8. And other subjects at various times. Never set for Geography or History or DT subject's or Arts. Sometimes set for Language.

PineapplesandtheGovernment Sun 12-May-19 21:44:19

That makes sense Hellohah

LolaSmiles Tue 14-May-19 18:44:57

It varies widely by school, but in a nutshell the school is right that for someone to go up, someone else must go down.
It's the common sense principle that gets forgotten because everyone who thinks their child is at the top of their group wants their child to move up, but there can't be a limitless top group.

If the teachers know she s doing well and she can't move then they can differentiate and have extension material, alternative tasks, tasks with less support, have more advanced conversations with her. It's not like being top of one class vs the bottom of another is going to make that much difference.

Yolande7 Wed 15-May-19 00:23:33

@LolaSmiles The top band moves faster than the middle band, the children are more focused and generally behaviour is better, so it matters in which band you are. It also matters psychologically. The top group would not be endless, because in order to move up, children have to be as good as the bottom of the top band and only very few children in the middle band are.

I can see that from an organisational standpoint the school needs someone to go down so their class sizes stay even. It is a tricky one. I know of another school where there is a quite a bit of movement and children are constantly threatened with moving down. In comparison to that I prefer the static solution!

OP’s posts: |
LolaSmiles Wed 15-May-19 06:34:32

But class teachers who are differentiating can still stretch a student in a middle band. I've had students in middle groups who have studied extension material and got grades 8s and 9s.
There's always going to be some overlap between the top of one class and the bottom of another unless there's a situation where one child in the top class is consistently lower than the child in the class below across a number of topics and in that situation there's grounds for a class change. As the teacher has told you, there are lots of students doing well in that band.

It's not about class sizes staying even. It's about class sizes being reasonable and having a line that it's not reasonable to have an ever expanding top class because people want their child to be in the top class. The higher bands, in my experience, usually start the year with class sizes of 30-32 So increasing the sizes further becomes unreasonable in terms of workload, attention to students, having classrooms set up for more than 32, having classrooms that will safely take more than 32.

I'm not a fan of banding/streaming across all subjects as a process, but if your DC is consistently outperforming those in the band above and is top in her band, then the case to push for band movement is stronger. If it's she's doing well and towards the top, could manage top band but there's nobody to come out and there's others who are comparable to her in middle then there's probably less of a case.

SilentSister Wed 15-May-19 12:10:22

Our school sets only for Maths and English, and only changes once a year after end of year exams.

I always caution, beware what you wish for. My DD has been very inconsistent, particularly in maths, and has gone up and down yearly. She is now in the third set, and was devastated a couple of years ago when she was "sent" there. However, it has been a godsend. She found her place. She really struggled with the pace of the higher groups, and this year in particular, has gone from a predicted 5/6 to a predicted 8/9. The lower set allowed her space and time to grasp concepts, which she then understood better. She has thrived by being top of that set, rather than bottom of the next set up.

gloo77 Wed 15-May-19 12:12:34

Every half term and definitely a lot of movement at ours. It does seem to vary from school to school though.

typoqueen Wed 15-May-19 12:54:09

by the middle of the first term DD was moved up 2 bands in both English and Maths and science, in primary she was always in the bottom bands, Teachers predict she will be in all top bands across the board by end of year 7 beginning of year 8. She does not seem to be struggling with the work

teyem Wed 15-May-19 13:03:12

There has been very little movement in my ds first year at seniors. It's just as well he did well at his sats because parents had been assured at open evenings and introductory meetings that kids would be reshuffled to meet their attainment within the year that seems to have come to nothing at all.

Put it this way, I won't be pulling out the "they're only testing the school" spiel for ds2 when he hits KS2 sats.

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