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Old 27.03.2019, 09:59
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Primary school grades...

Dear All,


Here I am looking for advise and not for nastiness, thanks

My child got h grades and they are not what I expected. My child speaks 4 languages and the teachers said before how good and everything is and never mentioned an issue in the contrary they said that my child was great and intelligent, but now when is grading time they gave only 4.5 !!!

I also found out that there are 4 kids in the class that got only 6!! ok good for them, but they get a more advance homework and everything ... that means that my child will be always 4.5 and the other will go ahead and get more support and attention from the teachers!!! my child will be always behind.


I am really disappointed and of course my child is devastated, what can I do?


Thanks
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Old 27.03.2019, 10:12
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Re: Primary school grades...

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Dear All,


Here I am looking for advise and not for nastiness, thanks

My child got h grades and they are not what I expected. My child speaks 4 languages and the teachers said before how good and everything is and never mentioned an issue in the contrary they said that my child was great and intelligent, but now when is grading time they gave only 4.5 !!!

I also found out that there are 4 kids in the class that got only 6!! ok good for them, but they get a more advance homework and everything ... that means that my child will be always 4.5 and the other will go ahead and get more support and attention from the teachers!!! my child will be always behind.


I am really disappointed and of course my child is devastated, what can I do?


Thanks

Ask the teacher what can be improved and work with your child. Having a grade now does not mean the child always will have that grade.


And is 4,5 that bad then??

Last edited by roegner; 27.03.2019 at 10:13. Reason: grammar
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Old 27.03.2019, 10:20
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Re: Primary school grades...

Could be that he or she doesn't perform well in tests, and those periodic test results are used in the Zeugnis marks.

Your child could perform well in a general classroom environment, hence the "great and intelligent" comments but screws up when under pressure. Happens to the best of us...

Have a chat with the teacher and see if you can find a way of upping the marks.

4.5 isn't that bad, though. It's above average.
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Old 27.03.2019, 10:22
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Re: Primary school grades...

Telling you from someone who has been there...

you are overreacting and your behaviour will hurt your child in the long run.

Every child develops differently. Just because your child can speak four languages does not mean they automatically get 6s on their tests. Have you looked at the tests themselves? Have you seen where your child excels and where your child needs some additional help?

Also, why the hell does your child need constant 6s? Because you deem it necessary? The problem is your expectations. Do not make your child unhappy because you feel your child isn't performing enough. 4.5 is fine.

The beauty of Switzerland's school system is that it allows time through different channels of learning for children to grow and aspire to reach their best. It also takes into consideration that not every child is academic and offers apprenticeships to every type of learner.

So again, please change your attitude towards your child because they may come back in ten years and accuse you of being overbearing. Unless your child has a learning deficiency and needs additional help, lay off the pressure.
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Old 27.03.2019, 10:57
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Re: Primary school grades...

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Could be that he or she doesn't perform well in tests, and those periodic test results are used in the Zeugnis marks.

Your child could perform well in a general classroom environment, hence the "great and intelligent" comments but screws up when under pressure. Happens to the best of us...

Have a chat with the teacher and see if you can find a way of upping the marks.

4.5 isn't that bad, though. It's above average.
4.5 is actually slightly below average in my books. I consider 4.7 the average norm. However, it's a above a "scraping the barrel 4" pass, so 4.5 is still quite satisfactory.

Edit:

I'd also like to add that schools are quite aware of parents who challenge the teacher's assessment and are concerned about the damaging pressure teachers endure as a result of panicky parents. There's a troubling trend of parents actually threatening to sue schools if their children's marks aren't changed. Teachers aren't perfect and it's appropriate to speak to the teacher if something is troubling you. Perhaps the teacher needs to change their assessment strategies or perhaps the parent needs to change their attitude.

Learning isn't about who gets the highest marks but being part of the process to reach learning objectives. Some will understand the objectives more than others. I have students who are devasted when they don't get high marks which I find troubling. Instead of looking at the test to see what they didn't understand, they sulk and mutter how difficult the test was. This kind of attitude may cause the student to be shunned by the rest of the class, especially when others did quite well.

By being a role model and helping your child to react to life in a mature way, you'll be teaching your child how to get ahead in life.
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Last edited by olygirl; 27.03.2019 at 11:24.
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Old 27.03.2019, 11:48
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Re: Primary school grades...

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Dear All,


Here I am looking for advise and not for nastiness, thanks

My child got h grades and they are not what I expected. My child speaks 4 languages and the teachers said before how good and everything is and never mentioned an issue in the contrary they said that my child was great and intelligent, but now when is grading time they gave only 4.5 !!!

I also found out that there are 4 kids in the class that got only 6!! ok good for them, but they get a more advance homework and everything ... that means that my child will be always 4.5 and the other will go ahead and get more support and attention from the teachers!!! my child will be always behind.


I am really disappointed and of course my child is devastated, what can I do?


Thanks
You need to add some context here:
- What age is the child and what year are they in?
- Is this the average mark, the highest, the lowest or what?
- Their first exam or what?
- Where did the child fall down in the exams?

As to what you can do, you could start by being the adult in the room, because your attitude is not helping your child.

We can’t comment on your conversation with the teacher other than to conclude that there seems to have been a miscommunication.

From my experience of the system I’d say:
- Marks don’t come easy in the exams
- Results tend to be a fair reflection of reality in most cases
- Very few kids get all 6s
- Most kids get a 4.5 or lower from time to time
- Advanced home work keeps the more advanced kids occupied so teacher can work with the others
- In general I’d say kids of all levels get fairly good support at school

I don’t know where you got the idea that language abilities should mean a person is highly intelligent and is bound to do well in all subjects! My kids speak three languages and two dialects, but it does not stop them from coming home with 4.5s from time to time.
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Old 27.03.2019, 12:20
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Re: Primary school grades...

6 means "very good, well above the expected learning goals"
5 means " good, above expected learning goals(above grade level)
4 means "expected learning goals achieved"
So a 4.5 actually means the grade level learning goals were well achieved. So yes, everything is great, and your child is doing fine.
Do not compare other kids with yours. The number of kids in a class is too small to calculate a reliable average. Sounds like your child is in a class with some high flyers. In a weak class your child might be average or above. Of course the kids with 6s get more advanced work, otherwise they would be bored. Just as your child gets work that is geared to her level. Why would you want her to get work she cannot cope with?
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Old 27.03.2019, 19:25
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Re: Primary school grades...

Is your child happy at school.... quite apart from her marks? Does she have some friends there? Does she like at least one teacher and perhaps enjoy a subject or find some aspect interesting?

Is she managing to complete and hand in her homework punctually?

Do you and she occasionally talk (and read) about some body of knowledge that's not in the syllabus, just for fun?

Has the teacher pointed out anything that's wrong or needs special attention? If the teacher(s) have no complaints and if the child is feeling more or less okay with her school life, then perhaps it's best not to upset that balance.
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Old 27.03.2019, 19:52
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Re: Primary school grades...

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but they get a more advance homework and everything
I'm just gobsmacked to discover that differentiation has finally made it into Swiss public schools...!

I'll be drinking to Lehrplan 21 this evening!
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Old 27.03.2019, 20:11
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Re: Primary school grades...

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I'm just gobsmacked to discover that differentiation has finally made it into Swiss public schools...!

I'll be drinking to Lehrplan 21 this evening!
Was already the case when I was in primary school more than 25 years ago.

On topic: just relax, kids develop differently and at different speeds.
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Old 27.03.2019, 21:41
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Re: Primary school grades...

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And is 4,5 that bad then??
Nope. It's like a B in the UK. Or a 2i at degree level...

My daughter has qualified as a pharma-technik. She's now studying for her berufsmatura. Recently she took a chemistry test and got a 4.5. She was upset because most of her class got 5 or above. Some of them (who've never done a day's work in their lives) sneered and said - oh well, your qualification isn't worth much is it?

The she found out that a) one question was focused on a lesson she was excused from (for academic reasons) and wasn't in the revision material, and b) half her classmates cheated.

She feels pretty good about her honestly earned 4.5

Oh,and for the OP, this is the same girl who was sent to Realschule by her primary teacher. At Real, before the first semester, she was moved to Secondär. And she went from there to Gymnasium. She did two years there, then did an apprenticeship. So, what can you do? Stop whining, start learning how the system works and use it for your child's benefit.
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Old 28.03.2019, 08:26
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Re: Primary school grades...

The teachers also round up or down grades based on the 'mundlich' or verbal grade, so how often the child puts their hand up in class and the quality of their answers. Is that something your child perhaps needs to work on?



In the primary school my children attended, 5.0 in maths and german was required at the end of the 5th class to allow entry into gymnasium preparation classes, but 4.5 was fine to go into the academic A stream in secondary that could also later lead to gymnasium.



There really is no need to be devastated, but have a chat with the teacher to check if your child is having any problems in class. One more thing, my child's grades suddenly got worse in primary school and it turned out she was having trouble concentrating as she needed glasses.
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Old 28.03.2019, 08:32
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Re: Primary school grades...

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My child got h grades and they are not what I expected.
This very much reads like your problem, not your childs.
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Old 28.03.2019, 09:25
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Re: Primary school grades...

Just maybe, your child isn't quite as smart as you've pumped him up to be....
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Old 28.03.2019, 09:41
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Re: Primary school grades...

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My child got h grades and they are not what I expected. My child speaks 4 languages and the teachers said before how good and everything is and never mentioned an issue in the contrary they said that my child was great and intelligent, but now when is grading time they gave only 4.5 !!!
Hi there
Do you mean 4.5 in average in all different topics? (German/Math...etc?)
I'm not sure how it works in your school, but we get all written test to sign at home and the "Zeugnis" at the end is not a big surprise because we know all the grades he got during the semester. And because of that we also know the weaknesses and can work on it . Also you have to consider, that 4.5 in average are not an issue for the teacher, he don't has the same expectations as you have.

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I also found out that there are 4 kids in the class that got only 6!!
Hard to believe to be honest, 6 are very rare and to have 4 Kids in the same class who only get 6 are very unlikely but of course not complete impossible. But it maybe makes sense to check your source again.


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I am really disappointed and of course my child is devastated, what can I do?
I assume your Kid is mainly devastated because of your disappointment. At least thats my own experience and i had to change my behavior to take pressure from my Kids and just try to support them as much as possible.
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Old 28.03.2019, 09:51
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Re: Primary school grades...

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Nope. It's like a B in the UK. Or a 2i at degree level...

My daughter has qualified as a pharma-technik. She's now studying for her berufsmatura. Recently she took a chemistry test and got a 4.5. She was upset because most of her class got 5 or above. Some of them (who've never done a day's work in their lives) sneered and said - oh well, your qualification isn't worth much is it?

Just blame her former chemistry teacher
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Old 01.04.2019, 16:49
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Re: Primary school grades...

I am a school consultant and I have taught in the UK and the Swiss system.
You are probably used to a different school system, where the expectation is that teachers help children to reach their full potential.

In Switzerland, a teacher will usually not sound the alarm if a child brings home what would be considered average grades. The focus in the Swiss system is not so much on 'maximising the full potential' but on working with what is there. So if a child in year 5 and 6 of primary school has an average of 4.5 or above, it is not the job of the teacher to help the child to improve these grades (with a view to entry into Sek or Gymnasium for example) but to recommend the child for the level that he or she is currently achieving.

If the child's grades pick up later, he or she might be able to change from one performance level to another in secondary school (e.g. from Sek. B to Sek A, or with very good grades even from Sek A to Gymnasium).
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Old 01.04.2019, 16:55
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Re: Primary school grades...

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I am a school consultant and I have taught in the UK and the Swiss system.
You are probably used to a different school system, where the expectation is that teachers help children to reach their full potential.

In Switzerland, a teacher will usually not sound the alarm if a child brings home what would be considered average grades. The focus in the Swiss system is not so much on 'maximising the full potential' but on working with what is there. So if a child in year 5 and 6 of primary school has an average of 4.5 or above, it is not the job of the teacher to help the child to improve these grades (with a view to entry into Sek or Gymnasium for example) but to recommend the child for the level that he or she is currently achieving.

If the child's grades pick up later, he or she might be able to change from one performance level to another in secondary school (e.g. from Sek. B to Sek A, or with very good grades even from Sek A to Gymnasium).
Exactly why my child is thankfully no longer in the Swiss system. God forbid a teacher inspires and motivates a child to reach their full potential!
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Old 01.04.2019, 17:23
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Re: Primary school grades...

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but now when is grading time they gave only 4.5 !!!

I also found out that there are 4 kids in the class that got only 6!!
If you're looking for a participation-trophy-type country where everyone's presumably a supersmart and precious flower, you're in the wrong one.

Having 4 kids with 6 sounds dodgy to me already, as in "it's too many". Hardly anyone gets 6 in any (public) school here and certainly not as (the equivalent of) a GPA. Most people by definition are average, they have to be, otherwise average wouldn't be average. 6 isn't average. 6 is outstanding. 4.5 is average, not superb, not bad.

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the other will go ahead and get more support and attention from the teachers!!!
No they won't.

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my child will be always behind.
Well if THAT's the attitude you want to teach your child, then they're in for a rough ride. So what, they thought they were better than they were, now received grades that are absolutely perfectly acceptable, and the conclusion is "bad teacher, s/he will always be behind"? No, this is life, you deal with (in this case minor) setbacks, reassess what it is you need to do and move on. That's what you should teach your child.

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Exactly why my child is thankfully no longer in the Swiss system. God forbid a teacher inspires and motivates a child to reach their full potential!
God forbid a parent should acknowledge their child may not be the gifted wunderkind they thought...
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Old 01.04.2019, 17:27
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Re: Primary school grades...

There definitely are teachers in the local program that inspire and motivate children/students to reach their full potential. The luxury of the local system being the many different ways that one can take to achieve one dream.

There is more emphasis on child's intrinsic motivation, without constant awards for everything and "everybody is a winner" rhetorics. Big grades are used for quantifying current knowledge, not for encouraging or motivating. There are other means to motivate kids to take their own responsibility for their learning, not by giving good grades for mere effort.
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