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DS14 put in lower ability group than expected

(10 Posts)
skysallblue Wed 17-Jul-19 08:31:01

DS is going to start GCSEs next September (year 10). He came home yesterday clearly annoyed as the had been told their set for a subject that he has always been very good at. He was put into middle set bit cannot understand why he's not in the top. He has always been at least one whole (level with 3 sub levels) ahead of his peer group average and teachers have always said he is one of their advanced students in this subject at parents evenings. In his last report the teacher said his ability in this subject bodes well for an excellent performance at GCSE and even beyond. So do I phone school to discuss and what do I say? I have never felt the need to interfere in school life before and am a bit nervous at the prospect.

OP’s posts: |
2cats2many Wed 17-Jul-19 08:32:12

Yes. Phone and ask to discuss. Maybe they've made a mistake.

bigKiteFlying Wed 17-Jul-19 10:23:00

At DC school I'd e-mail relevant person and ask.

It could be down to timetable constraints with other options or a simple mistake or they may have a good reason but yes I would be asking questions.

ohcanada Wed 17-Jul-19 10:31:14

Another one for timetable constraints, either way definitely worth a polite enquiring call just to double check! Can your son not ask himself to his head of year?

catlovingdoctor Wed 17-Jul-19 10:39:01

I remember at school being put in the highest-ability set for one subject, and the timetable meant I was in a mixed-ability set for another. Maybe it’s just something like that

BringOnTheScience Wed 17-Jul-19 11:00:34

Could be timetabling. Could be space if there are lots of high-achieving students in that subject. Could be that the sets aren't as clearly delineated as you think. Could be that they think your DC will perform better being at the top of a middle set.

Is it really a deal breaker and worth making a fuss about?

PenguinsRabbits Wed 17-Jul-19 11:01:00

I would get your DS to politely as the teacher about this - how many sets there are, can he still achieve a high grade in that set (sit higher paper if that applies), can he go onto A level if desired. Sometimes children misunderstand the setting system - sometimes 2 sets are equal - or worry more than they should about the impact so would just double check it first. Might be worth him asking what he can improve on. It can be very borderline between sets and there's some overlap and there's normally a range like 4-5-6. Do you know what he's predicted at GCSE?

RedSkyLastNight Wed 17-Jul-19 12:36:04

How many sets? Depending on the grading system that your school uses "one whole level higher than average" might still mean there are plenty of DC doing better than him, and the teacher comments could easily mean that he is just doing well, without doing superlatively well iyswim. Who told DS what set he was in? If it was his subject teacher, they would likely have spotted that it sounded like the "wrong" set if it is a mistake.

Does DS know any other children in his set? That's normally a good guide.

I'd agree with asking DS to find out a bit more how the sets are divided, how frequently DC will move between them, if he's precluded from getting any particular grade by the set he's in ... before you ring up. And if it turns out movement is frequent, may be no need to ring up at all.

skysallblue Wed 17-Jul-19 13:14:32

Thank you for the replies. Teacher is ringing me later to discuss. At his school you get a breakdown of his marks and target and the average mark and target so I can see he is well above average. He knows other DC put in the highest ability group that have a lower score than him so he is feeling put out.

OP’s posts: |
OKBobble Thu 18-Jul-19 15:19:35

My DC was put in a lower set for sciences than his exam marks suggested because he would never speak up if he didn't understand something. The teachers feltif he was top of a lower set he worked mpre confidently. Also if he didn't understand then likely as not someone else wouldn't either in a lower set and would ask. They had no problem explaining this to us when we asked why.

Their strategy worked he got 9 Chemistry 9 Biology and 8 Physics for his gcses.

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