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Primary Teachers (esp Key Stage1) - a question about how you assess children?

10 replies

tortoiseSHELL · 08/11/2007 16:39

Ds1 is Y2, and doing ok. His reading is excellent (I think) - he is young for the year, (summer birthday) but is a free reader, reads Horrid Henry, Roald Dahl etc. Maths - I've no idea how he's doing, he's in the 2nd group for literacy and numeracy. My gut feeling is that he ought to be in the top group for literacy at least, if not numeracy, because his reading really is excellent - the reason I'm bothered about this is that I worry that he isn't being stretched enough - he seems to be cruising atm.

We've got parents evening next week, and I'm going to bring this up (not the groups, just the cruising!), and I was wondering if any teachers could advise me on how they differentiate between
i) a bright pupil who is coasting and not achieving as much as they could
ii) a pupil who is doing as expected
iii) a less able pupil who is working really hard and doing fantastically well to achieve what they are doing.

Because I think ds1 is category 1, but I suspect his teacher thinks he is category 2. It's hard to ask without sounding APPALLINGLY pushy, but I just want him to do as well as he can, and not to get into the habit of getting by and coasting.


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tortoiseSHELL · 08/11/2007 17:11


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LIZS · 08/11/2007 17:23

I raised the same about August born dd at our parents evening yesterday. Was told that her presentation is letting her down, her hadnwiritng needs to be tidier and smaller, to the extent that although she is bright (using speech marks for example without promoting) this has only become apparent through close scrutiny of a piece of work they did unaided around half term. Until then what she had produced in literacy was in the upper middle but her maths is above. Her class is probably the most applied academically and has the least number of lower ability/concentation pupils than the parallel ones. I asked about her being more challenged, as otherwise she may rest on her laurels, and was assured she would be from now on ! Worth asking about.

seeker · 08/11/2007 17:24

How do you know what groups he is in?

tortoiseSHELL · 08/11/2007 17:42

Thanks Lizs - that's really interesting.

seeker - I know because he has told me! They have very transparent labelling of groups!

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LIZS · 08/11/2007 18:10

oh and for spelling they had taken a rough idea from the end of year 1 assessment (when dd was well above average for her age) and an intial year 2 assessment, so dd marginally ended up in the 2nd group, but again she admitted there may be room for flexibility. btw I'm not a pushy mum before anyone comments !

tortoiseSHELL · 09/11/2007 08:52

It's really hard to say you think your child should be being pushed more without sounding pushy isn't it LIZS!!!! I simply want ds1 to be challenged a bit more, not beyond the remit of the class, simply for the teacher to have the correct expectation of what he can produce.

Any more experiences?

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tortoiseSHELL · 09/11/2007 12:10


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seeker · 09/11/2007 19:42

OK - here's my thoughts, for what they are worth.

Being a free reader early in year 2 is very good. If he really is not in the "top"group for literacy, I would question that. It could be that the labelling isn't quite as transparent as it looks, and he is in the top group. However, you don't mention his writing, and in my experience, more weight is put on writing than reading when "setting" children. A lot of good readers (my year 2 ds for one) still have a bit of a struggle with writing - particularly the type of extended writing you need to do well in SATS - and, indeed to do well in Juniors.
The other thing to remember is that they are doing a lot of other sorts of learning in year 2 - not least more "advanced" social skills and stuff like that. If your ds is finding the work on the easy side , he's got more time and brain power for these other aspects of school life. "Coasting" a bit isn't necessarily a bad thing, so long as he's having a nice time! There's lots of time for school to get really serious. IMHO of course - feel free to ignore me!
Happy to discuss year 2 boys endlessly- have one - don't understand him!

seeker · 09/11/2007 19:44

Sorry - just noticed that you were asking for teachers' comments - please feel even freer to ignore me!

tortoiseSHELL · 09/11/2007 20:57

seeker, that's really useful, thank you! I think the writing might be an issue - more handwriting than content - he is still quite messy. He's quite good at writing, but perhaps doesn't write the reams that the girls do.

I am sure he is in Group 2, from the names of the groups to the people in the group. I don't mind him being in that group, as long as it is the right group for him, and he isn't just settling back and taking it easy!

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