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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:57 pm
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Need some insight from a teacher or parent who has been in a similar situation.

DS2's parent evening at his school (specialist music) on Friday. I've been very shocked at the low standards of academics and the supply teacher who is covering for three weeks is equally shocked. Anyway to cut a long story short, she and his teacher (on sick leave) think he's exceptionally able. Supply teacher thinks he's not being challenged and can't understand why he's been given such easy work. When he is being challenged he produces excellent and, at times, exceptional work. But most of the time the work is basic and his response is shawdy work.

She finished by saying she expected he'd get Level 3 :shock: in his SATS but was clearly capable of level 5. I'm stunned and angry to say the least. He was in top sets less than one term ago at an independent school, even in maths, and has done well enough to pass a selective entrance exam without tutoring. I'm also very concerned at how the next term will pan out as he does virtually nothing at school.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:24 pm 
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WFG - got to dash but one thing I would say is that a great many year 6's do very little after exams and before they move to new schools. DDs prep had days out and cake making etc etc and all soughts of fun events. Actually didn't matter, particularly if they are able as they will soon get going again in September. It can be quite nice for them to have a bit of a rest..

And they didn't do SATs either so it really doesn't matter


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:41 pm 
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Thanks Herm. I'm not bothered about the SATS but about his level really. How can he be underachieving in such a dramatic way? :?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:45 pm 
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WFG - boys will often do the minimum expected.

If I were you I'd give him some KS2 test papers and challenge him to get 90% - I bet he will!

www.emaths.co.uk has old papers and mark schemes.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:07 pm 
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On a day when he cose to concentrate :roll: he'd get them all right, but she was actually talking about his English which has always been streaks ahead of his peers. :?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:09 pm 
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There are the English papers on there as well - not just Maths.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:18 am 
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I don't think this is an uncommon problem. DS1 will only try his best at with work pitched at his level. When he was younger, if he was given a ridiculously easy comprehension he'd do it eventually, with deliberately provocative answers. In maths he makes more mistakes with easy questions that bore him. We were frequently in a catch 22 situation. He wouldn't do work he regarded as beneath him, and some teachers would refuse to give him extension work until he'd completed the work at the lower level. He's mostly grown out of it.

You should find that Year 7 is, to some extent, a catch up year in core subjects as the schools try to bring all the boys up to the same standard as they come from such diverse primary schools, but all have potential.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:38 am 
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Thanks New2me and I agree with the catch22. We suggested he move up a year because standards were so low but some of his work was so shawdy that they could not see why. But there are moments of brilliance and the supply teacher said that some of his work was a couple of years above his age. She was the only one to notice this whereas only the slap-dash work was noted by other members of staff.

I just hope he's not moving to a school where tutoring is the culture from day one because he cannot compete with that. :(


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:06 am 
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I don't know you and I don't know your son so please do not take this in anything other than the spirit it is intended.

You have moved your son to a school which you are not happy with, and have set about trying to rectify that as soon as possible by looking for an alternative...and you have found one. Your son knows this. Most children in this scenario would be feeling perhaps a little unsettled, even if they know the impending move is for the best. They would also probably have picked up that Mum doesn't feel happy with the quality of teaching at the new school. Neither of these things is enormously motivating in terms of applying oneself in the prevailing environment. This is in addition to all the usual emotion attached to moving schools and houses - new area, new friends to make etc. Under these circumstances, I think it would be really surprising if your son was performing academically to his best standard. I would not be in any way concerned about what 'level' the school thinks he is in your case - he has proven his academic worth by gaining entry to the selective school of your choice with no preparation. I would be far more concerned about making sure he is feeling secure, happy and very positive about the transition to come, and enjoying his remaining time at his current school. I think it would be good to praise enormously for his huge achievement (as I am sure you have) and then try to ignore academic stuff totally in favour of all the things he loves - music, friends, whatever and letting him have lots of fun before starting his new school in September.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:14 am 
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For people living in the wrong side of St Albans, i.e. those not in the catchment for the best state schools, tutoring is common from year 3 in primary as parents are looking at Parmiter's and independents, so tutoring is already in the mindset at secondary level. It's very much at a one hour a week level and tailored towards the needs of the child. For example, summer born children are often behind their peers and sometimes may lead to a crisis in confidence, or some families feel that they cannot offer homework support for maths or sciences. A tutor may be used be employed to support the child. I don't anticipate needing a tutor for my own DS for any GCSE subject - between us we can cover any maths/ science questions. However as neither of are fluent in any other language I will be sending him on a week long language summer school. Does this count as tutoring?


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