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NQT/ mum told to suck eggs- I think!

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by anon1008, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Our child is an average learner and achieved all level 2A?s at the end of Y2 - so proud! Child was always so happy but now in a mixed Y3/4 class, with an NQT and 32 other children, including 4 with SEN and other very challenging and disruptive children, our child now constantly complains that lessons are boring, can't or wont explain what she has been doing during the day, and only goes to school to see friends. We feel the classroom set up hasn?t helped our child but we are realists and understand the budget situations and feel she would only encounter the same experience if we moved her to a different school.



    She is very quiet therefore rarely gets noticed for anything, however other Y3 children have made progress and are at least a level 3c and above. My child's attitude is heart braking for me and has set off alarm bells.


    Most recently during parents evening the CT explained that our child is a 2B in Number therefore we are gutted. Class teacher told us not to worry about the drop as this can happen and it?s not a cause for concern. This however does cause us great concern as we feel we could have accepted this weak explanation if it had been at the beginning of year 3 when settling in, etc, but not now coming to the end of Y3. Especially as my child actually went into Year two a 2C, therefore has only gained 1 sublevel in 2 full years, which we think is appalling.





    In the teacher?s words our child is lovely to teach and has many friends, as she has a very caring nature. At home our child knows every avoidance tactic in the book, which buttons to press to wind me up and wont do extra work with me, although does do spellings, reading and times tables daily and always has done, plus we all know how the pressure of trying to force a child can do more harm than good. As a result we are joining the band wagon and are looking for a tutor for the immediate future, she accepts this but doesn't want others knowing.





    Can anyone advice if we are overreacting?
    Is this common, I know not gaining a sublevel during transition from KS1 to KS2 can be normal, but is it normal to have gone a full year in Y3 to gain no sub level but to only have dropped a sublevel?





    Most schools don?t use sublevels and I believe these are being abolished this year with a new level system being introduced, although in our case I don?t agree with this new system as this could have easily been covered up or not recognised at all until it was to late.





    Thank you in advance for your reply.
    From a KS1 teacher/mum.
     
  2. Our child is an average learner and achieved all level 2A?s at the end of Y2 - so proud! Child was always so happy but now in a mixed Y3/4 class, with an NQT and 32 other children, including 4 with SEN and other very challenging and disruptive children, our child now constantly complains that lessons are boring, can't or wont explain what she has been doing during the day, and only goes to school to see friends. We feel the classroom set up hasn?t helped our child but we are realists and understand the budget situations and feel she would only encounter the same experience if we moved her to a different school.



    She is very quiet therefore rarely gets noticed for anything, however other Y3 children have made progress and are at least a level 3c and above. My child's attitude is heart braking for me and has set off alarm bells.


    Most recently during parents evening the CT explained that our child is a 2B in Number therefore we are gutted. Class teacher told us not to worry about the drop as this can happen and it?s not a cause for concern. This however does cause us great concern as we feel we could have accepted this weak explanation if it had been at the beginning of year 3 when settling in, etc, but not now coming to the end of Y3. Especially as my child actually went into Year two a 2C, therefore has only gained 1 sublevel in 2 full years, which we think is appalling.





    In the teacher?s words our child is lovely to teach and has many friends, as she has a very caring nature. At home our child knows every avoidance tactic in the book, which buttons to press to wind me up and wont do extra work with me, although does do spellings, reading and times tables daily and always has done, plus we all know how the pressure of trying to force a child can do more harm than good. As a result we are joining the band wagon and are looking for a tutor for the immediate future, she accepts this but doesn't want others knowing.





    Can anyone advice if we are overreacting?
    Is this common, I know not gaining a sublevel during transition from KS1 to KS2 can be normal, but is it normal to have gone a full year in Y3 to gain no sub level but to only have dropped a sublevel?





    Most schools don?t use sublevels and I believe these are being abolished this year with a new level system being introduced, although in our case I don?t agree with this new system as this could have easily been covered up or not recognised at all until it was to late.





    Thank you in advance for your reply.
    From a KS1 teacher/mum.
     
  3. I wouldn't say there is too much cause for concern. Children progress at different rates at different times and their development isn't uniform. Your child has obviously progressed well at KS1 and there may not be as much room for improvement at this stage of KS2 (although she should be challenged this may be broadening her education rather than stretching it).
    Hiring a tutor seems like a sensible idea to me and certainly won't do any harm (other than to your wallet), as it will ensure she does feel challenged. It will also give her the opportunity to be taught and assessed 1-1 rather than 32-1.
    A drop is not usually a cause for concern at the beginning of KS2, sometimes children are overmarked at the end of KS1 (for a variety of reasons). Depending on the assessment strategy used at the school it could have just been a bad task/test for her. However, if, she doesn't achieve a 3C (or at the very minimum a 2a) at the end of Year 3 this might be an issue.
    So far, it doesn't neccesarily mean she hasn't progressed as such, but she may have built a very solid foundation for good achievement in the next term.
     
  4. Sorry I have to jump in and disagree with some points. Although I agree that children progress at different rates I wouldn't expect a year 3 child assessed as 2A in year 2 to have dropped to a 2B and still be there at the end of March. As a year 2 teacher I would say that this is very worrying. I would also be worried about your child's attitude to school.

    Although it may help to hire a tutor in this instance as a rule I would be very wary of putting undue pressure on a child at this stage and I really do think it is an issue the school should be addressing. Unless a tutor is chosen very carefully your child may feel that she is being punished in some way for her apparent lack of progress. I know this is not your intention in any way shape or form and you want what is best for her but children can see these things very differently.

    A child should not be over marked at end of KS1 if the year 2 teacher is doing their job properly. Most schools do not (and should not) rely solely on test data for end of year assessment but should have teacher assessments which have been evidenced by APP (or whatever is used) though out year two to make an informed final assessment. The results should also be internally and externally moderated.

    Whilst I agree it could be your child is about to make great progress next term from a solid foundation I would be inclined to make a further appointment with the class teacher to discuss your concerns and if you are not satisfied then make an appointment with the head teacher. I do feel some sympathy for the class teacher, it sounds like a difficult class for an NQT. However, that said she should be getting support to manage this.
     
  5. newposter

    newposter Occasional commenter

    You're attaching rather too much significance to levels which are, after all, an individual's intepretation.
     
  6. The levels are not an individuals interpretation. Any decent school will be moderating work to ensure that the levels given reflect more than 1 person's judgements.
    Having said that, it is not uncommon to see a Y3 child apparently sliding backwards by a third of a level or so. I am a bit concerned that you specifically mention that your child is taught by an NQT, Are you presuming a lower standard of teaching? I hope not.
    I am not sure a tutor is the right idea, for a number of reasons. It seems to me to be too soon to be reacting in this way. It may not be the right thing to do to put more pressure on your child in this way. Too many tutors simply do not bring about any significant progress. They often do not liaise with the school to discuss what areas, if any are weak. Others are often retired and so out of touch with the current curriculum. All of them are there to make money so will say that a child is behind and needs their specialist input.
    My advice as a Head teacher of many years: talk to the HT at the school and listen to what he/she has to say before making any rash or expensive decision.
     
  7. There are often many things said about a dip in performance in Y3 but if children are assessed accurately in Y2 they should continue to make progress in Y3. This child sounds unhappy and bored so regular meetings looking at work and asking about challenge are every parents' right. Tutors are a waste of money and cause children anxiety about learning at a young age.
     
  8. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Oh dear, you are not going to like this advice but I think you are pushing too hard and are a typical teacher/Mum! You say your daughter does spelling, reading and times tables but knows all the avoidance tactics - what is she avoiding? I know it's hard to "let go" of your little girl during the day, but the CT knows her best during the days of the week and would notice any real problems. She won't tell you what she does at school? Normal behaviour! Other Y3 children have made progress? I don't think you should be that interested in the others' results. Extra tuition? Please don't - she's only 7 and such pressure will certainly make her see school work as a chore and a punishment.
    I don't mean to be harsh and I'm speaking as a Mum and as a teacher (Mum first) I have 2 children and C1 was very bright from early on, sailed through school, uni and working happily now; C2 was a hard worker but quite different from C1, struggled with writing and spelling especially (had a rotten Y2 teacher who had been a teacher for 10 years) but Y3 teacher went right back to basics and school was fine then, he has a Masters and a very satisfying job with good prospects. I'm glad we left their education up to the school - even the poor Y2 teacher and her odd methods.
    On the other hand, I was pushed by my overly-high-achieving parents and knew I was not up to sitting the pile of advanced school exams they forced me to sit. I am a rebel at heart and refused to do the work I knew I couldn't manage (advanced Maths, history and French mainly).I would go to study but did nothing. I concentrated on the subjects I liked and I passed them. I didn't have a private tutor as my parents could not afford one - thank goodness!
    Please be kind to your little girl or you will put her off education for ever. I know parents worry about composite classes but it is teaching children a life-long lesson about accepting and working with others different to ourselves. My final bit of advice is that if you feel you want a selective, formal learning focussed education for your daughter, put her to a private school - they tend not to bother with the "new systems" .
     

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