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Grade 3/4 curriculum

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#1 jupiter71

Posted 28 February 2013 - 12:13 PM

My son started the year in a composite 4/5. On the 8th day of term this then changed to 3/4. He is a very bright kid, and has previously thrived in composite classes where he was the younger grade. He has done extension work every year he has been at school, going up to the year 5/6/7, I know that this is the years that they come from, because the assignments say grade 6 SOSE assignment for example & the teacher has told me when i've been to see her.

Now he wasn't very happy about this change, the poor kid was almost in tears when he showed me the note. I talked to the teacher, and the principal, they told me a change of class to a straight grade 4 wasn't possible so as to not upset the dynamics of one of the other classes and that there was no room in the other class. Ok that's fine, so I asked for assurances about what they would be learning and that it would be the same as the straight year 4's. I was told that there is a specific year 3/4 curriculum that has been developed, which is different to the year 4 curriculum. The year 3's and 4's would be having the same assessment and more would be expected from the year 4's to achieve standards.

Okay alright, so I say to my son that we will see how this goes. FF a couple of weeks, and the assignment he has gotten is fine, he's actually been motivated to do that each week, and is bringing in extra to it and doing well (speaking assignment once  a fortnight, he's been using powerpoint to make slides  and show them to the class, and likes to make things a comedy original.gif) But the rest of it, his homework and his classwork, is ridiculously easy...3x table, 4x table, doing stuff in English like which word is correct, pour or paw? I have gotten a hold of the homework that the other year 4's are getting and it is much harder than this. The hardest thing that has come home is triple digit additions and subtraction with carrying, something he has mastered years ago. He told me yesterday, it's okay mum, i'll just have a holiday this year. rolleyes.gif

Granted, I do not know what the other 4's are learning in class. What i would like to know from teachers if they have heard anything or know anything about this year 3/4 curriculum and  how concerned I should be about this level of work. I realise it is still early days yet and it could just be revision work but i am not encouraged at all so far.

#2 liveworkplay

Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:24 PM

Sounds odd. There is no such thing as a year 3/4 curriculum under the National Curriculum. I find it odd that they would have one class of a grade not learning what the others are. Sorry, I'm no help but I know if it were my DD (who is quite bright and been in extension classes) I would NOT be happy about it.

#3 somila

Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

Are you in Qld OP?

My son was in a Grade 3/4 class last year (he was Grade 3) in Qld and there were specific Ed Qld documents (called "C2C") to cater for the combined year levels.  

In practice this seems to have meant that he is studying the same novel and task related to it in the English again this year.  Not ideal!

I'd talk to the teacher about your concerns, OP.

#4 Expelliarmus

Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:44 PM

I would be unhappy about it. As a year4 he is entitled to the year 4 curriculum content NOT Year 3 curriculum with more expected. While spelling words are individualised not necessarily grade levelled, the mathematics and history curriculums are very differed for the year levels, English standards are different. It's not possible to simply assess year 4s doing more on an ad hoc curriculum.

I'd probably speak to the principal and ask about the year 4 content.

If you are in NSW though they are still on old curriculum. However the principle still applies IMO.

Edited by howdo, 01 March 2013 - 07:01 PM.

#5 Julie3Girls

Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:58 PM

Really depends on what state you are in.  If you are NSW, yes there is a 3/4 curriculum. But the year 4 kids in a straight class would be using the same curriculum. Because NSW still works on a stage based curriculum with outcomes being for a 2 year stage, not 1 year.

I wouldn't be making judgements based on the homework coming home. I've had my daughter in a 3/4 who was coming home with homework far easier than the kids in the 2/3 class (she was in yr3), mainly because her teacher only gave homework because it was expected, so kept it very simple.
I've also seen two straight classes bring home very different levels of homework. But they all learnt the same sort of work. Homework can very so much depending on the teacher.

I regards to the class having the same work with different levels expected ... Our classes do that. The school does accelerated literacy, the whole class studies the same book, do the same writing/literacy tasks relating to , but the yr 4 kids would be marked on a harder scale, with higher expectations for their answers compared to the yr3.  It seems to work well.  Maths however, is done with the kids working out of grade appropriate books .... Eg targetted maths text book grade 3 for the yr3 kids, the grade 4 one for the yr4 kids.

If you are unsure about, follow it up with the teacher, get some peace of mind,

Edited by Julie3Girls, 28 February 2013 - 07:00 PM.

#6 jupiter71

Posted 28 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

Yes I did speak to both the principal and the teacher. The principal was really insistent that it is a year 3/4 curriculum and is the one that told me what I wrote in the OP. I am also concerned because when he was in 2/3 composite as the year 2, the teacher gave him straight year 3 work. Last year he was in a straight 3, and although he got extension work as per the OP, he still had to do the year 3 work. Now he has these year 3's in the class and it appears the year 4's are being brought down to the level of the year 3's. So that is like doing the same work for 3 years in a row.

When we was in the 1/2 and 2/3 there was little combined work 80-90% of it was separate. There were some tasks such as speaking where they did do the same thing, but most of it was grade specific.

I am a little unsure of what to say to the teacher. I don't really want to go to the principal again, I don't think that would go well, particularly as I found out that another year 4 student initially in the class was moved to a straight 4 after she told me it could not be done. I was thinking perhaps I should take his report from last year, as his last year's teachers mentioned to ensure that his extension work is continued. My son is the type of kid who isn't disruptive or loud, he does his work in 2 seconds, then he'll be off to read a book or draw cartoons, or in the case of today write an ""ode to slenderman"". Which is nice and everything but he's there and school to learn not to repeat previously learned concepts.  Any suggestions would be great.

ETA: I am not making judgements just with the homework, I went and had a look at the work he has done so far in his class.

Edited by jupiter71, 28 February 2013 - 07:03 PM.

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