is this fair?

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ealteacher
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is this fair?

Post by ealteacher » Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:00 pm

The year sevens at my school are divided into five sets for English. I take the bottom set as I am an SEN teacher.
Trouble is I have 23 kids some of them with reading ages of 5 and 6.
When I looked into it, the other sets have big numbers too except set three which has 15.
I understand that this set is to do progress units to boost their sats English from a 3 to a 4.
Does this seem okay to other people?
Pat Oxley-Wakefield

Pat
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Location: Berkshire

Post by Pat » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:05 pm

It is certainly not fair but not surprising as so much emphasis is put on boosting children to a particular level to achieve targets. A smaller group makes it much easier to help each child.

Last year I had a bottom set of year five and six children (26) and I tried out loads of SP ideas having discovered the RRF site ( after coming across 'Why Children Can't Read' by chance in the cheap basket!)
This year I have some of the same children for spelling group (23) once a week and I am very excited to find that they are making real progress now that they understand the concept of phonemes and syllables.
I have made some whiteboard slides where you can move around the phonemes on small tiles (blue/red as in Jolly Phonics magnets) This is very motivating for the more able pupils (often boys) who have a good vocab and good ideas but poor spelling. They like the idea of a code to break(!)and some wish they had had it explained that way earlier on.
I also do lots of mini white board work based on the lists in Alpha to Omega, dictations and investigations of spelling patterns. I keep the Jolly Phonics tree poster ( vowel alternatives) up all the time. If we discover another alternative I put it on a post it note and add it to the chart. I refer to this all the time with my class and maths group as well.
I have strayed off the point - sorry. I am sure you use all these sort of ideas but there might be one there that would be good for a large year 7 group.
If I can get to the conference it would be great to talk to other year 6/7 teachers who are using SP ideas. Has anyone used the worksheets that go with Alpha to Omega?

frances5
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Post by frances5 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:33 pm

You are right, it stinks! Getting a child to reach level 5 in year 9 SATS is the aim of a secondary school not to educate. The kids who dont stand a chance of reaching level 5 in year 9 are just forgotten about. What is really awful is that many of them must have considerable special needs.
Do you have an LSA?

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maizie
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Post by maizie » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:38 pm

When I looked into it, the other sets have big numbers too except set three which has 15.
I understand that this set is to do progress units to boost their sats English from a 3 to a 4.
My experience of secondary children is that children at L3 at the end of KS2 are not competent readers, though the Ed Establishment would have you believe that they are. They have huge gaps in their phonic knowledge and cannot benefit much from the text level work in the PUs as they don't read & spell competently enough. I don't know about the current Progress Units, but I 'taught' them when they first came out, about 5 years ago and the 'phonics' & 'spelling' units were dire - a real mish mash of stuff which did not progress the children at all! Yet phonic skills are what the L3s are most in need of! I 'predict' that the progress units won't do much to improve their levels!


So no, I don't think this arrangement is 'fair', not only from your teaching load point of view, but also because the L3s won't be getting what they really need!

ealteacher
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Post by ealteacher » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:42 pm

+
thanks for your replies, Pat and Frances. I do have lsa help in these classes.
I am thinking of making a stand and challenging this allocation of resources.
I take the point that it is not so unusual.
the SENCO and the Deputy Head with responsibility for inclusion have both tried to get the situation changed.
But it is not right. Ruth Miskin talked about the Matthew principle have you heard of this - that for those who have little even that little they have shall be taken away.
thanks again
Pat

frances5
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Post by frances5 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:18 pm

I spent 3 days at an ebd school as part of a PGCE where children with levels of literacy just like your kids got the help they deserved. The teaching at this special school was truely awe inspiring. Its unfair that well behaved SEN children in mainstream dont get similar help. The ebd children had a class of 7 children with two LSA s as well as a teacher. These children could be violent so that high staff ratios were for safety as much as anything. The teacher had also had training in literacy teaching as well as science. These boys learnt to read and some of them even got GCSEs.

Why cant well behaved children get similar support?

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