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Setting - high, middle, lower ability, NC levels

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mystery10, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I'm aware that this doesn't add to the discussion in a constructive way, but the idea that a parent is seriously worrying whether their Y2 child is going to achieve level 5s by the end of their primary education depresses me almost to the point of tears.
    There really is so much more to a child's education than this...
    I need a glass of wine...

     
  2. Thank God for that, I was beginning to think I was the only one[​IMG]
     
  3. Quick question for OP -
    Why has an "above average" Year 2 had an Ed Psych. assessment? I makes me wonder whether there is more to the teacher's decision on groupings that raw data.
     
  4. Whoops
    <strike>that </strike>raw data THAN raw data
     
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Parents decided they wanted one - no problems with child, just for information.
    I guess the paranoia as you see it comes from living in a county where children who pass the 11+ go to grammars, and those who don't go to non-selectives. Many of these are extremely good and those who failed the 11+ marginally go on to get good grades at GCSE and A level. But some of these schools do not have high enough expectation of the more able students and some students do not achieve their potential.
    But, irrespective of this, why is a parent hoping for a capable child to get level 5s so depressing? There are teachers who want keen parents, and those who don't. Everyone knows that there's more to education, life etc than exam results, but if a child is capable of getting above average exam results and have parents who want to give them the opportunity to do so, why is this so depressing.
    I find it v. depressing that you find it depressing. Bottle of vodka for me!!
     
  6. I do sympathize with your despair in principle, nick909, but I think there is a bit more to it than that... This is the big problem with the whole idea of "levels", I think - if we focus on these little arbitrary pieces of data too much, then yes, we lose sight of all the other things that education should be about. But on the other hand, a parent has the right to expect that their child should be appropriately challenged in order to fulfil their academic potential, and their progress towards this potential is what these levels are (however crudely) designed to represent.
    As a parent myself, I might well have concerns if my child was the one described in the OP (although it is impossible to say this without knowing more about it). Not because I gave a monkeys about what "level" my child was going to end up at in four and a half years' time, but because I have seen too many children who have been allowed to coast through school because they are "bright", and who, as a result of never being properly challenged, have not developed the skills or attitude needed to cope with things that are difficult, and who have not achieved anything like what they are capable of before they leave for secondary school.
    Of course education is about more than "levels", but surely stretching and challenging children, and helping them to fulfil their academic potential, whatever "level" this corresponds to, is quite a big part of what it is about?
     
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    you obviously don't know the OP nick [​IMG]
     
  8. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Yes, I agree with you, but this isn't quite the point of much of this thread. If the child's parent believes that the work the child is doing is unchallenging (which we don't know, I might add, as it hasn't been mentioned) then yes, of course a quiet word with its teacher would be appropriate.
    However, to base this belief on predicting its potential NC levels at the end of year 6 and thus calculating that their little darling will be above average ability by then and so is inappropriately grouped now, and so therefore isn't being taught adequately is clearly ludicrous. In fact it seems even more bizarre now I've actually written it down.
    How do you know, for example, that grouping is the only form of differentiation that takes place in this class? It certainly isn't in my classroom, and I hope it isn't in yours. What's to stop a child sitting on a middle ability table from accessing the same work as the the higher ability table if it is able to cope with it? The teacher might also have other very good reasons for choosing the groups he or she has, such as behaviour management. We also know nothing about this class. Might, as hard as it may be for this parent to consider, this child simply be of average ability within its cohort?
    If a parent approached me and told me they were concerned that the work their child did wasn't challenging, based perhaps on a conversation with the child (now there's an idea!), then I'd happily and earnestly look into it. If, however, they approached me and waffled on about having predicted their end of KS2 levels 5 years hence (entirely arbitrarily I might add), and were thus convinced I was doing their child a disservice, I'd politely suggest they clear off and allow me to do the job I'm professionally trained to do.
    This all rings somewhat of the 'things teachers would really like to tell parents' thread!
     
  9. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Clearly, Msz...your post is lost one me somewhat!
     
  10. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Will ignore the criticism and ridicule. Parent has had discussion with class teacher so far as was possible and was told that grouping based on teacher assessment of ability in term 1 of year 2. Parent asked questions that were possible in the time available and came back with impression that the groups are the same for all aspects of literacy and numeracy, it is nothing to do with behaviour management.
    Yes child could easily be of average ability within that particular class, but it seems less likely that child is average ability within the population as a whole given the facts other than NC levels stated in the OP. The parent has not been given the impression that the middle group will be able to access the same work as the top group, and the homework so far in the new group has been like a return to beginning of Year 1. Quite what the classwork is like is not known yet as this information is not given to parents.
    Parent is finding out more from the school asap. I was hoping to help with a bit more info from the clued up people on this site so they have a greater understanding of the system before they try to find out more from the school. Please don't wade in with criticism of parents trying to do their best for their children and to fathom their way through the meaning of NC levels etc. Hope you don't bite your pupils' heads off if they try to further their understanding of some topic or other, or show a desire to achieve high grades a few years down the line.
    This is not about a parent who wants their child to achieve this or that level come what may, whatever their ability, it's a parent who wants to know more, how to support child, what areas they are having difficulty with and to be sure that the curriculum they receive in the middle group will still provide opportunities to achieve the higher levels. Homework set so far has not been reassuring.

    P.S. Msz ........ do you really think you know me? This is a virtual forum. I will report abuse if you make any more unpleasant comments in my direction.

     
  11. WolfPaul

    WolfPaul New commenter

    Fight, fight, fight, fight!
    [​IMG]
     
  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Calm down. I'm not criticising or ridiculing you and nor have I, even once.

     
  13. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I wasn't referring to you Nick, your posts have been helpful. It was the poster who referred to knowing the OP and followed by some emoticon or other. Perhaps it was supposed to be funny but it doesn't improve the quality of discussion on the thread. Thanks for your input.
     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Please feel free to do so Mystery[​IMG]
    Your posts on EY have caused a few sharp intake of breaths as I'm sure you are aware not to mention your request for recommendations to get a young child to Green band quickly on English [​IMG]
     
  15. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    What is green band in English, and who wants to get their quickly? It certainly isn't me. That's a mystery!
    Do you have a breathometer over there in Early Years, and a webcam into everyone's houses?

    Happy posting Msz. Glad you are virtual only!!
     
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    there
     
  18. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Oah yesss, that woz mee. I did not recognise the quote when you mentioned green band in English - I did not immediately relate that to asking about decodable books that go from very easy words up to about book band level 5. I'm sorry about the word quickly. I received some useful recommendations and in the end I went with Read Write Inc as it's quite fun, started off at the right level, and the black and white version was very cost effective.
    I think I would have received the same recommendations if I had used the word slowly. As reading scheme books go, it's OK in moderation.
    We seem to have drifted away from the original question.[​IMG]
     
  19. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Is that your daughter and are you cross about it?
     
  20. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    I've been wondering this all along. It would explain an oddly detailed knowledge of the situation and being a tad defensive when the parent's intentions were called into question.

     

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