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How Will My Child Be Taught?

Setting and Streaming

Many primary schools use ‘setting’ – grouping children according to their ability for certain lessons. Other schools teach children of different abilities in the same group.

If you believe that your child is in the wrong group or ‘set’ for a subject, try discussing this with the class teacher to get an explanation of the teacher’s assessment.

‘Streaming’ means that children are split into different ability groups for all lessons.

Children will take formal tests and schools will also carry out ‘mock’ tests to allow students to learn what it feels like to work in test conditions: following instructions, obeying the rules, working in silence, etc.


Most children get work to do at home after school and/or at weekends. In primary school this might be, for example, a book to read, spellings to be learned or times tables to practise. There might also be bigger projects. Schools should have a written policy on homework, which you can ask to see.

Parents often disagree with schools about homework. Some feel there’s too little, others that there’s too much. This is the kind of issue that you can raise with class teachers or at Parent Teacher Association or governors’ meetings.

English as an Additional Language

Some children need to learn English as an additional language in primary school. They should be given extra help. Research shows, though, that being fluent in his/her first or heritage language is very important for a child so don’t be surprised if he/she is also encouraged to read books in his/her first language.

Although there isn’t a legal requirement for education authorities to provide it, some schools may offer some teaching in a child’s heritage language.