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Questions about new pupils and streaming
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confusedandold · 25/07/2020 12:30

I hope it is ok to post this here and thanks in advance.

We are moving back to the UK from overseas and my son will be entering Year 8. How do schools go about testing children these days to work out what set they need to go into? Also, how is homework usually set? When I left school in 1995 we used to have a homework timetable so we would know what night we would have certain homework and we would enter it in a diary. Does it still work this way or is homework often set online?

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StainlessSteelCat · 25/07/2020 13:31

TLDR: it varies.
It will depend on the school. But some guidelines:
Streaming: unlikely to test at start of year 8. May ask what they have done, may have some knowledge of education in that country, so would be able to estimate best stream. Check that school does allow for movement between streams,and ask what they intend to do to ensure your child is being sufficiently stretched and challenged. Find out if they are being streamed (grouped into a class that does all subjects together) or settled (different class for each subject).
Homework: will.probably use system as you described. May or may not follow HW timetable in practice, check your child's planner.

But.... Corona. All children will be going back in September with gaps, chances are the school will be assessing these. Year 8 may not be streamed until later in year when the school has better idea of all pupils. Or may be streamed from start in only some subjects. HW - may be more online due to increased familiarity with online learning and to reduce amount of paper passing between staff and pupils.

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confusedandold · 25/07/2020 14:41

@StainlessSteelCat
Thanks for that. I read somewhere that they sometimes do CAT tests, I'm not sure how common that is?

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StainlessSteelCat · 25/07/2020 14:54

The only time I've known secondary schools do CAT is at the start of year 7, and not all secondaries do them - they would use the year 6 SAT data.

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Danglingmod · 25/07/2020 16:18

Cats likely to be done year 7&9, unusual to do them in year 8.

My school, and many others I know of, are not setting or streaming ks3 at all in September. They're going to be taught fully within tutor groups for all subjects, because of Covid.

My ds was at a private school which streamed (amd then set within those streams for maths and mfl). If a child arrived with no data from another country, they would be placed in the middle stream until they proved they needed to move up or down. But who knows what might happen this coming year about moving sets/classes/streams?

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MsJaneAusten · 25/07/2020 21:53

It’s completely different in different schools. Mine, for example, only sets for maths. Everything else is mixed ability. This September, that will mean all Y8s are taught in form groups, except for maths, but that wouldn’t usually be the case.

What has been common across all the schools I’ve worked in though, is that staff are usually sent the latest data from the previous school (in whatever form that takes) and setting decisions are based on that. There’s also generally the understanding that new pupils may need to swap classes once they’ve settled in and we know the pupil’s abilities a bit better.

Homework varies from school go school. Most have a HWK timetable, but I’ve never known anyone stick to it (sorry!) Many have swapped from paper planners to online systems like ShowMyHomework.

Do you have a school place sorted? You might be best asking them direct as each school is so different.

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