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 Post subject: started Year 7
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:08 pm 
Hi all

I have not been on this forum since my school appeal in June. Our two appeals failed and my son is now settling in the local failing school. He is very happy there. Made lots of friends, joined in the School Football team ( in the A Team). He said that he is finding the work very easy and some of the subjects are not challenging.

We had two parents meetings. One after two weeks to see the form tutor to find out how the students were settling. The form tutor was new and didn't know the answers to many quetions asked. Our second meeting was a learning day couple of weeks ago where one of the head of year (as our form tutor went home off sick) saw us and said that our son was a star pupil blah blah blah.

Our worry is that not enought homework is given and when there is homework it is not marked. Sometimes the teachers don't turn up for lessons and other times if one or two children misbehave in the classroom, the whole classroom is penalised.

As this is my first child in the secondary school, I am not sure how to approach the school. I have already spoken with the head of year 7 and said that not enough homework is set, work is not challenging, we are willing to support the school etc. Parents and teachers, please could you give me some tips as to how I should deal with the problems without being shown as a pushy parent.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:43 pm 
As in line with most secondary schools, the first point of contact would be the Head of Year and you have rightly approached him/her.

I wholly sympathise with your situation and have friends facing the same problems you have. Your child is happy socially but you can see the slide in the academic front coming!

What has the Head of Year 7 said to you with regards to your concerns?If action has been promised, it leaves you to watch that it is indeed carried out.

My friends, sadly, had to supplement their children's inactive and failing schools with extra tuition at home/with tutors , an unwanted repeat of primary school problems when very able children were not catered for.

Maybe others will have more positive things to report.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:34 pm 
Has your son done his CATS tests yet. IF so, maybe he will be identified as being G & T and then you could press for him to do extra tasks. ALso, when do they set the children at his school? IF he is in mixed ability classes then he may get quite bored if he is considerably brighter than the average child.
All teachers have to differentiate in their lessons and at the very least have extension tasks available for those who finish quickly.
Perhaps he could do some independent research and project work to supplement his homework on the topics set. WHen the teachers see that he is doing so much more than is being asked they will realise that they are not stretching him enough?
If this doesn't work then i think that it would be an idea to see whether you can obtain copies of the schemes of work for each subject so that you can be aware of the curriculum they are teaching and cover any areas you think haven't been taught well. Don't forget that if nothing is done by the Head of Year and later the headmaster then you can write to the chairman of the governors and this usually works.
My daughter's just sat the watford grammar tests and i fear that i might be in the same place as you next year so i wish you all the luck in the world.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:41 pm 
Thanks for the reassuring replies. As we have only seen the head of the year with the list of our concern a week ago we will give her another week to come up with some answers. Yes he has done the CATs test but we have not got the results. Should we be asking for this? They are setted in Maths and Science and our son is in the top set for both, but the work is not challenging in Maths. In English they only set the bottom group and others are in mixed ability. They have a couple of long projects to do (History and English) where we will try and show some good work put into it.
Good luck for Watford school. 8)

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