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  1. #1
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    Default Would a school switch be an option?

    Hi, if any teachers want to offer some advice, it would be much appreciated...

    I'm in Qld, and have been told that our curriculum is being fast tracked to correspond with other states. My two younger children brought home their reports this week, and I was disappointed, particularly with their maths result.

    Youngest child is only year one, the other year 3. They both received a "C" in maths. I understand that a C means they are working to year level expectations. I'm not sure about my year one child, but I know that my other child has typically worked above this level and I was told at the end of last year, year two, that he was headed towards an "A" in maths (receiving a B result). His english result was a "B" and again I had been informed at the end of year two that he was very close to an A result. He has the same two teachers that he had in year two.

    I had the interview with both teachers this morning and they said that he hadn't put in sufficient effort (rushing, not checking etc) and as a result his mark wasn't as high as it potentially could be. They showed me his english results from earlier in the year (February/March/April) and he received B's and I think 1, maybe 2 C's. They had spoken with him about these marks, and told him he was capable of much better, the past 4 tests he received three A's and a B - resulting in a "B" result on his report card.

    He is in the highest level spelling, reading and maths group (the spelling group is made up of him and one other child), yet the teachers showed me that children from the other groups actually received a higher result than him in their report cards (apparently due to his lack of effort).

    He is in a composite 2/3 class, there are over 50 children taught by two teachers.

    I know that a "C" result is not a bad result, however for him, it is below his ability, and I am concerned that he has been overlooked, the class size is too big, and it is too difficult for the teachers to adequately teach individual children in this situation. I don't think they are bad teachers at all, but I do think that they should have advised me earlier that his effort was slipping, and I admit I was quite surprised at both his english and maths result. He is capable of better, and I don't want him to think he is average.

    All of my children are at a state school, there is a private school that has a maximum of 20 students per class, and I am considering looking into it if it means that my child won't be just one of many. It's important that they are give the best opportunity and I don't want to look back on this time with regret. Any thoughts, advice?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't think that moving schools solely based on class size is a great idea.

    If you do your research though and think that the private school is better in a lot of aspects though, then go for it.

    I have only ever taught in state schools so I can't advise on the differences.

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  4. #3
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    Also I just wanted to say that a lot of kids have experienced a 'dip' in grades this year due to the move to the National Curriculum. There's been such a huge increase in workload and expectation. It may take a little time for the kids to adjust.

    This will likely be the same at the private school, unless they're not using the NC.

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    I also have a daughter in Year 3 in QLD. We have been told to expect a drop in grades due to the rise in the level of work in year 3 compared to year 2 last year. My DD who in year 2 was getting B for Maths first semester and an A last semester, is according to her teacher coming home with a D this report card.

    I had a chat with her teacher and another year 3 teacher who said that this year for year 3 (at our school in any case) they have had to pack in year 3 and 4 maths to catch up to the Australian curriculum.

    While I am a little disappointed that it has had such a huge affect on her maths performance, I think working at what is expected (or a C in our report cards) is great considering the amount of work they are having to cover in a short space.

    Anyway just my take on it.

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    I was so upset yesterday when I read DS grade 3 report card 😥(in private of course) Like pp have mentioned QLD grade three kids are doing it really tough this year. They have gone from spelling words and sentence construction to writing a persuasive text??? As for the maths, I can't see how they can be expected to do long division when the times tables basics are barely there. My DS is an average student at best, but I think the rapid increase in difficulty of the work has made it harder for him to concentrate in class and has caused his "effort" to drop dramatically as well.

    I too am considering a private school next year or the year after in the hope that there are more resources for one on one help. I just don't know what to do

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  9. #6
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    Firstly let me say I am from Vic, so we may do things a little differently to Queensland.

    Working at a C level in Vic is regarded as expected, and the ch'n actually have to work quite hard to score anything above. We have been using this method of I supposed you could say 'grading' on our reports since about 2006, and when it was first introduced parents were told not to expect above C's unless their children were really doing an outstanding job.
    My understanding of the NC (because Vic hasn't signed on, we've begun using what they call AusVELS- an interpretation of the NC in conjunction with our current curriculum) is that to bring all states into line, there was going to be a period of 2-3 years where uncertainties were to be expected- and it is the same everytime a new curriculum is introduced. Your child has spent his entire school life to date learning in conjunction with the previous QLD curriculum, and then when it changed to the NC, the goal-posts have moved. Teachers rarely get an insight into what a new curriculum will look like before they are expected to teach it, so everyone is in the dark until it is required to be used. It would have been very hard for the teachers to prepare your child for reporting against the NC, therefore some setbacks unfortunately are to be expected.

    As for class-sizes, the way we do team-teaching in Vic sounds similar. In effect, he is one of 25 students assigned to one teacher... but then 2 classrooms are opened up together and both classes combine. Yes, when you say he is one of 50 with only two teachers it does sound bad, but it is becoming a fairly common practice once again (worked well in the 80's.. was phased out and is now coming back in again- these things happen in education all the time, it's a bit of a cycle.)

    Would I move him based on how the school sets it's grade structure? No. Would I be annoyed that the school didn't make you aware of the fact that he was going to score an average mark? No. From the school's point of view, I'm sure they would most only likely call you in if he was 'in danger'... not scoring average, but well below. It's common practice. A teacher just simply does not have the time to contact parents every time a students standards slip. And, as bad as it sounds, a stellar student in the lower years often just becomes an average student once they hit middle years or senior years of primary school, simply because the workload and expectations increase, their interests broaden to things outside school, they become more aware of peer pressure ("Oh, you read at home? DORK!") and so many other reasons.

    What *would* I be doing? Ask to see an individual learning plan- I'm fairly certain each student should have one. It's a teachers plan on how to bring up to level/ extend students in certain areas and what should be done at school, at home and the indicator of achievement. Ask what you can do at home to help your child. Often programs like mathletics are popular, and more and more are being introduced onto the market every day.

    Good luck

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    Thanks everyone.

    Nomsie, the reason I think they could have advised me that his work was slipping, is because I am at school most days, and surely a friendly chat may have included some kind of comment about his progress? That's all really. I don't make a habit of constantly asking about how they're going as I know that's a bit of a no no, but in this instance, particularly since I've had kids at the school for 8 years, it could have been mentioned earlier than now.

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    That's fair enough, I get your point.

    I think about what I do as a teacher when I see parents fairly often. We don't often talk about a child's progress unless they specifically ask. And again, it all pulls back to the change in curriculum. It is a huge upheaval. I am doing parent teacher interviews right now (I have lots of gaps not filled, hence why I am on BH at this point ) and a lot of the parents are upset because their child has not continued receiving the above average scores they received on their last one or two reports... it's just that when a curriculum changes, a lot changes with it. It's so hard within one semester to try and bring kids up to speed at where they should be- the transition between junior and middle school can be hard enough (no longer being 'babied', having higher expectations of themselves, more responsibility not to be 'spoon-fed' etc) let alone trying to bring them in-line with the new standards.

    I think, if you are truly upset, organise another meeting with the teacher and outline why it is bugging you. I guess it definitely could have been that your child was overlooked (no one would like to admit it, but it can and does occasionally happen) and perhaps you should have been let known about it. But usually there are quite valid reasons as to why slips in grades happen and your child could have the best teacher in the world and still not be maintaining their previous standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxy View Post
    I was so upset yesterday when I read DS grade 3 report card 😥(in private of course) Like pp have mentioned QLD grade three kids are doing it really tough this year. They have gone from spelling words and sentence construction to writing a persuasive text??? As for the maths, I can't see how they can be expected to do long division when the times tables basics are barely there. My DS is an average student at best, but I think the rapid increase in difficulty of the work has made it harder for him to concentrate in class and has caused his "effort" to drop dramatically as well.

    I too am considering a private school next year or the year after in the hope that there are more resources for one on one help. I just don't know what to do
    My son is Grade 3 too and I cried 😞😞

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    Just another little mention... A B from the end of last year, with a growth in expectations and no change in ability or enough demonstration of ability becomes a C.
    There is a jump from Year 2 to Year 3 in expectations and for a child half way into the year to be "at level" is a good thing. Another couple of jumps happen later on, about Year 4/5 and then again from Year 6/7.
    If it is about your child's effort then this is something that he can change. A change of environment could help, or hinder, depending on whether or not you think your son is better off taking academic risks (chances to challenge his learning) in a comfortable place or in a new one where he feels able to re-establish himself. Only you know this, and I'm sure you have looked into this other school and what they offer pretty well or you wouldn't be considering a change at all.
    A class of 50 students is huge, but with 2 teachers? This really makes it a class of 25, pretty decently sized. Some teachers have no assistants or support with 30 +. I'd say he isn't be overlooked, but rather given a little bit more free reign with the hope that his self management skills will start to develop. Can I ask though, if your son has always been a high achiever then what was he like after seeing the C? If he didn't seem to care then maybe that might influence your decision? If he did then maybe he will pick up his pace a little???
    As to not mentioning it to you, teachers tend not to discuss students that are not at academic risk unless the parents initiate the discussion or ask for it. Particularly if they are involved in the school in anyway.

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