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Streaming in primary school

15 replies

pippibluestocking · 07/01/2009 22:40

Hi - looking for some advice from primary school teachers.

DD is in year 2 and excellent at reading and comprehension, quite good at writing but pretty bad at maths. I understand that even in year two, they are grouped according to ability, so how does it work if your child is at one end of the spectrum for one subject (in this case, reading) and at the other end for another (in this case, maths). Listening to who else is "on her table", they are mainly the children who she mentions as disruptive or bullying, so I am concerned that, to put it bluntly, she is in a duff group on the basis of her poor ability at maths. Perhaps I have got it completely wrong, so would appreciate thoughts from those more in the know about how grouping is done. Many thanks!

OP posts:
pippibluestocking · 07/01/2009 22:46


OP posts:
27 · 07/01/2009 22:47

At my DDs school they have separate, streamed groups for maths and english. This is different to the table they sit at.

pippibluestocking · 07/01/2009 22:49

thanks - need to investigate further - hope that is the case for DDs school too.

OP posts:
ramonaquimby · 07/01/2009 23:19

yes, different tables for Lit/Num. There will be a parents evening coming up soon this term - why not ask then

LynetteScavo · 07/01/2009 23:21

At DS's school they definately have two different groups for English and Maths.

ThePellyandMe · 08/01/2009 07:24

DS is in Y1 and they definitely have different groups for maths and english.

Takver · 08/01/2009 09:45

Not the case at dd's school, they don't differentiate by subject. She has the opposite problem in that she is with the 'top group' (her teachers words) because she can read well & does well with maths, but she cannot write/spell at all, and really struggles when they do writing. I would definitely ask about it - when I asked tentatively, her teacher was really happy to discuss it and did say she would think about moving her to be with another group when they were writing.

choccyp1g · 08/01/2009 09:50

At DS school it is separate groups for maths, reading and writing I think. Plus general "home table" groups for other topics. But there is also an element of behaviour involved, in that it is partly to do with how much intervention they need not just innate ability.

chopchopbusybusy · 08/01/2009 09:55

I'm not a teacher, but streaming and setting are different. Most schools put children in different sets for different subjects whereas streaming separates them for all subjects.
My DDs schools have always been good at rearranging the sets regularly. DD1 is always top set, but DD2 has been in all sets (there are 6) for maths at some point.
Ask to speak to the teacher if you have concerns about your DDs group. It's possible they have parallel sets and she could just be changed to a different group.

imaginaryfriend · 08/01/2009 09:56

Why not ask your dd if she does literacy and numeracy with the same people that are on her table? If she says not then you'll know they do their work in different groups and the table is just a general table.

Dd is in Y1 and has a similar problem - very good at reading and writing but struggles with maths. She's on the 'top' table and loves the literacy stuff but says the maths they get given is too hard. They don't seem to have separate groups in her class, they do everything in the same group. I'm hoping this will change over the year.

cory · 08/01/2009 09:57

At dc's schools (both infants and primary) they differentiate by subjects. And they never hesitate to move a child if his/her performance changes.

Ds has been in bottom groups, but never had a problem with it being a "duff" group; to the contrary, it was the group that got most support. He is well behaved but has motor problems, so needed quite a bit of extra input.

imaginaryfriend · 08/01/2009 09:58

chopchop, from what you said it would seem that dd's school does 'streaming' rather than sets? I find it all very confusing!

FAQtothefuture · 08/01/2009 09:59

DS2's infant school they do it differently to the tables they're usually sat at.

It's not just "Maths" and "English" though, they split them into groups for the various bits of those subjects too.

So someone might be in the "Zebras" (was animals last year when DS1 was there ) for adding and subtracting, but in "Polar Bears" for multiplying or problem solving".

All sounded very complicated as there seemed to be about 50 groups LOL , but none of the parents I talked to were unhappy with it and most of the children seemed to progress well.

imaginaryfriend · 08/01/2009 10:00

Yes, I'd avoid thinking of it as a 'duff' group. Two of dd's best friends are in the 'bottom' group as they are not from English-speaking families. She adores them and they are beautifully behaved and very bright, just needing a bit extra support. In her own group, 'top' group there are a couple of very bright but extremely disruptive kids who bully dd all the time and call her 'slow coach' when they're doing maths

Takver · 08/01/2009 13:46

I agree that it isn't really helpful to think of 'top' and 'bottom' groups, in dd's class it is very stratified by age, the so called 'top group' is pretty much all the pre-Easter birthdays, not surprising I guess when you think how much difference a few months makes at this age. I certainly wouldn't see any of the children in the other groups as being disruptive. If your dd is having trouble with some of the children, though, maybe again it might be worth raising it - something as simple as rearranging the table might help her. I know that dd didn't get on with sitting next to some of the girls (her problem not theirs - she couldn't stop chattering instead of working), we mentioned it to the teacher & she now sits next to a couple of quieter boys & is happier with that.

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