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Bottom set for Literacy

(7 Posts)
doubleexpresso Tue 06-Oct-09 22:37:56

DS (Y7) has come home and finally told me why he is so upset. They've been told which 'sets' they're in today. It was (apparently) read out as 'Top Set = Set 1 ... Bottom Set = Set 7. ' He was told he was in Set 7, the bottom set. The placing is no surprise, but I can't quite believe the crass manner in which this was handled and the negative language used. WWYD ?

TheFallenMadonna Tue 06-Oct-09 22:44:22

We wouldn't say top and bottom set to the children, but we would say set 1 and set 7, and the pupils would say topand bottom themselves I would think. IME at secondary pupils know how they compare with their peers pretty well.

doubleexpresso Tue 06-Oct-09 22:49:35

Thanks. He is fully aware that he has AEN and will therefore need to be in a set with a smaller number of pupils and more adult support. However, he is humiliated by the public announcement of who is in which set and also by the term, 'bottom'. I am a teacher and really try hard never to use language that labels children like that.

distraughtmum56 Tue 06-Oct-09 23:29:16

What do you expect them to do, keep the sets secret? Everyone sees who goes into a classroom (and DS's two state schools, one of which I worked in as a TA, had specialist SEN/AEN rooms which were well known.)
The school isn't being unreasonable to call a spade a spade here, it's not like they're calling them retarded or dunces... like they might have done in my school days.

cat64 Tue 06-Oct-09 23:46:12

Message withdrawn

VulpusinaWilfsuit Tue 06-Oct-09 23:51:04

I think this is unduly harsh on DE's kid though. How very tactless of them to 'read out' the list, even if they all do know what it means.

And if the teachers did use the words 'top' and 'bottom' it's a bit horrific. I always pull up my DC if they use such phrases as I think it is not at all pleasant to think of oneself as below or above others. Being more or less able currently is fine, but labelling someone as 'bottom' is a powerful thing and should be challenged.

doubleexpresso Wed 07-Oct-09 14:49:00

Thanks VulpusinaWilfsuit. My point is that yes, he does know he needs extra help, but I really don't think staff shold refer to 'the bottom set'. I agree cat64 that schools should foster talents in different children and I think by negatively labelling groups they are not doing this. He is brilliant at drawing grin

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