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Setting - high, middle, lower ability, NC levels

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

  1. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    No it's not my daughter, and nobody's cross about it. The parent wants to understand it all better. Without knowing more, their concern is that the child might not in this particular middle set cover as much ground as they are capable of.
    I am only used to grouping children by ability at secondary level, or deciding on lower tier / higher tier GCSE papers. Even then it's scary to think that you might have limited the opportunities of an able but underachieving child by putting them in a lower set.
    Fixed groups by ability in early primary sound scary to me. It's different for you experts in the field as you know how it all ticks.
  2. Firstly, has your friend considered that, in this class, level 2c is average, and there are some Gifted & Talented children working above that level in the "higher" group?
    Secondly, and more importantly, children do not progress in regular, predictable steps throughout their academic career. An average of 2 sub-levels per year would be expected in KS2, but this is an average, and could result from 1 sub-level progress in Year 3, 2 in Year 4, 2 in Year 5 and 3 in Year 6. The "average" is based on the idea that 2 full levels progress is expected across KS2.
    Your friend might also consider that, when levelling at the end of KS1, children will only achieve Level 3 if they are a secure or good level 3 due to, I believe, an anomaly in the recording systems which does not allow for Level 3c.
  3. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Thank you that is helpful. Friend needs to find out more from school. It is definitely possible that the top group has several very able students in it. It has got a bit lost in this thread but friend recently had Ed Psych ability tests done for child and came out with standardised results of spelling top 21%, vocab top 6%, understanding of number top 1%, reading top 5%.
    Without further info it is hard for parent to know if being in the middle group is an issue or not. But friend is concerned that the middle group might be aiming for lower NC levels than child is capable of, and that the work will be tailored accordingly, and that everything will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Hopefully friend will get some reassuring answers from school this week. Is it likely that the Ed Psych report could be misleading?
  4. Having read the whole thread and cringed a little at some of the posts I thought I would chuck my hat into the ring just to say that:
    1. As lots of posters have mentioned, just because a child comes into year 2 at a 2c in Maths and English does not necissarily mean that they are gifted or talented - I would expect 1a/2c for my middle(ish) group. Achieving 2a/3c at the end of the year.
    2. Ability grouping is used in year 2. I do it and it works well. I am sure that the teacher in question does the same as I do and constantly assesses the pupils and changes their 'group' depending on the task in hand.
    3. To have an Ed Psych report done on this child confuses me.
    4. It may be the case that this child has made significant progress over the last year and now will plateau (sp?) and make slower progress in the next year during a period of consolidation. This is normal.
    5. Its not all about levels.
    6. There is only 8 months left with this teacher until they move to a different one who will have their own take on setting/ability.

  5. I agree. And when teaching in KS2, I have found it amazing how many "3c" children have just edged in by a single mark (in a range of maybe up to 10) and how many children, pressured by parents, try/succeed in copying from others. In these circumstances, a full bottle of wine is needed when, 4 years later, parents assess the results of their stressed child with 'But s/he got a 3c in Year 2!
  6. I thought by end of year 1 children should be getting 1b? 2c is pretty high is it not? Whats the expetced in

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