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  #21  
Old 09.02.2010, 10:00
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

To all, thank you so much for supporting me with your advise and views yesterday, this was all very helpful.

We had our meeting yesterday evening and thought I would now post the outcome.

The Psychologist first gave her report (sons stats) from the test, of which she said he did infact do very well, mostly average and above but with some knowledge below average. On this conclusion she advised would be good for him to repeat klasse 5 if the gemeinde/education board allow.

After much discussion and too and fro-ing with the teachers, psychologist and of course my son. We in agreement for now think Klasse 5 repeat would be best. If between now and summer he suddenly clicks better with the deutsch and maths they may then consider Sek.

His teachers were infact very supportive to us and explained everything in full, as the schooling system here is very different to the UK education system I know, (Psychologist was very quick in telling me to stop comparing!) But my sons' teachers were more helpful and understanding of my points etc.

So from what I can gather, they say there are holes in his knowledge which at the moment due to still not having full understanding of Deutsch and the fact he still turns maths into english in his head before answering I can see this point, they feel to give him a better chance with a Swiss education would be to make a special case for him and allow him to repeat klasse 5 and then hopefully he would progress well through Sek or even BiZ!

There are only 4 Cantons in Switzerland that only go up to primary 5 (Aargau being one) the rest do continue to do a further year.

As many of you said there is certainly not a stigma here with repeating, kids are very mature with this and seem to be more accepting than say the UK. (maybe repeating yrs is something the UK should look at if kids are struggling or come from a foreign background)

Having discussed this fully and now having a better understanding of the Swiss High School System I do feel that for one year now is probably the best for our son, but for any of you who have yet to come across this kind of situation please keep an open mind and think of your child individually and what is best for them.

Thanks again, and if there are any other changes I will certainly let you know.
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  #22  
Old 09.02.2010, 10:10
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

I wouldn't draw any conclusions on his German level from that fact to be honest. It is well known that with multilingualism the last thing you "migrate" is numbers and maths. You can be fully functional in a second or third language and still do maths in your mother-tongue.


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the fact he still turns maths into english in his head before answering I can see this point
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  #23  
Old 09.02.2010, 10:16
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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I wouldn't draw any conclusions on his German level from that fact to be honest. It is well known that with multilingualism the last thing you "migrate" is numbers and maths. You can be fully functional in a second or third language and still do maths in your mother-tongue.
Yes I understand he may always convert to English but whilst he is still learning the new areas of Maths and still learning Deutsch at the moment this slows him down, for instance if he is doing a timed test this is a drawback, but given this extra year this can only help him gain speed and ultimately better marks.
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  #24  
Old 09.02.2010, 10:40
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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To all, thank you so much for supporting me with your advise and views yesterday, this was all very helpful.

We had our meeting yesterday evening and thought I would now post the outcome.

The Psychologist first gave her report (sons stats) from the test, of which she said he did infact do very well, mostly average and above but with some knowledge below average. On this conclusion she advised would be good for him to repeat klasse 5 if the gemeinde/education board allow.

After much discussion and too and fro-ing with the teachers, psychologist and of course my son. We in agreement for now think Klasse 5 repeat would be best. If between now and summer he suddenly clicks better with the deutsch and maths they may then consider Sek.

His teachers were infact very supportive to us and explained everything in full, as the schooling system here is very different to the UK education system I know, (Psychologist was very quick in telling me to stop comparing!) But my sons' teachers were more helpful and understanding of my points etc.

So from what I can gather, they say there are holes in his knowledge which at the moment due to still not having full understanding of Deutsch and the fact he still turns maths into english in his head before answering I can see this point, they feel to give him a better chance with a Swiss education would be to make a special case for him and allow him to repeat klasse 5 and then hopefully he would progress well through Sek or even BiZ!

There are only 4 Cantons in Switzerland that only go up to primary 5 (Aargau being one) the rest do continue to do a further year.

As many of you said there is certainly not a stigma here with repeating, kids are very mature with this and seem to be more accepting than say the UK. (maybe repeating yrs is something the UK should look at if kids are struggling or come from a foreign background)

Having discussed this fully and now having a better understanding of the Swiss High School System I do feel that for one year now is probably the best for our son, but for any of you who have yet to come across this kind of situation please keep an open mind and think of your child individually and what is best for them.

Thanks again, and if there are any other changes I will certainly let you know.
Repeating a year is done here, but it is often due to failing grades, which your son does not have. He sounds like a bright child but I wonder how much support he has received in German as a second language.

I know families(both clients as well as friends) who arrived here with children of primary school age who entered the 4th class when they arrived (same as your son) and these children currently attend the Bezirkschule. Some are in the Sek. I don't know anyone with a child at the Realschule and not one who repeated the 5th class. I also don't know any child who repeated a level with the grades your son has. Basically many of his friends move on and he doesn't. This can be tough for some kids.

Schools in small villages often do not have the resources to provide enough German language tuition or they lack experience in dealing with children who do not speak German and families only found out too late there is inadequate support.

Usually at the 5th class the grades are used to determine the appropriate level to proceed to. This is done in consultation with the class teacher and the German language teacher who is providing tuition in German as a foreign language. I don't know why the school psychologist was called in except it sounds to me like the teachers couldn't agree.

While you seem to be happy with the decision, I personally would have pushed for your son to go the Sek where he should continue to receive support for the German language. After the first semester they would evaluate the situation. He would be challenged and based on your earlier post it seems one teacher thought it would be fine for him. Perhaps he just needs more tuition in German and if the school can't offer this perhaps you could get him a tutor.

In general, in Kanton Aargau, when parents do not agree with the decision, you have to ask for an inspector to get involved. They evaluate all the information, talk to the teachers and the parents and the student (and not always in front of the parents and teachers).

At the end of the day, you have to be happy with the decision. I hope everythings work out.
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Old 09.02.2010, 10:51
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

Glad that it's sorted out to your satisfaction. It may be worth getting him extra tutoring in German and Maths (this tremendously helped my youngest daughter).

re: maths. My wife is a totally fluent English speaker - in fact she even teaches English. Yet for maths she still uses her mother tongue. She's very fast at translating it though!
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  #26  
Old 09.02.2010, 10:52
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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Repeating a year is done here, but it is often due to failing grades, which your son does not have. He sounds like a bright child but I wonder how much support he has received in German as a second language.

I know families(both clients as well as friends) who arrived here with children of primary school age who entered the 4th class when they arrived (same as your son) and these children currently attend the Bezirkschule. Some are in the Sek. I don't know anyone with a child at the Realschule and not one who repeated the 5th class. I also don't know any child who repeated a level with the grades your son has. Basically many of his friends move on and he doesn't. This can be tough for some kids.

Schools in small villages often do not have the resources to provide enough German language tuition or they lack experience in dealing with children who do not speak German and families only found out too late there is inadequate support.

Usually at the 5th class the grades are used to determine the appropriate level to proceed to. This is done in consultation with the class teacher and the German language teacher who is providing tuition in German as a foreign language. I don't know why the school psychologist was called in except it sounds to me like the teachers couldn't agree.

While you seem to be happy with the decision, I personally would have pushed for your son to go the Sek where he should continue to receive support for the German language. After the first semester they would evaluate the situation. He would be challenged and based on your earlier post it seems one teacher thought it would be fine for him. Perhaps he just needs more tuition in German and if the school can't offer this perhaps you could get him a tutor.

In general, in Kanton Aargau, when parents do not agree with the decision, you have to ask for an inspector to get involved. They evaluate all the information, talk to the teachers and the parents and the student (and not always in front of the parents and teachers).

At the end of the day, you have to be happy with the decision. I hope everythings work out.
Thank you, yes initially this was my view to push for him to go to Sek but his grades are average and we don't want to push him too hard. Also the system changes this year and they are no longer evaluated after the first semestar but after the first year and if failed then he could face going down to Real, which to me would be worse for him.

I will say that his german classes have dropped down now to just two per week, gemeinde will not pay for anymore, but we are getting two weekly sessions outwith school hours with his teachers in Deutsch,which we pay for, so this will definitely be good for him.

One question Mrs Doolittle which maybe you or others can help with, as I have said before I can only compare to the Scottish school system i know. What level of difficulty is the work in Sek in comparison to a child in say 1st yr high school in the UK. Which he would have gone to this year. From my understanding it sounds more difficult, which is another reason for us accepting this decision, but please correct me if I'm wrong?
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Old 09.02.2010, 10:53
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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I wouldn't draw any conclusions on his German level from that fact to be honest. It is well known that with multilingualism the last thing you "migrate" is numbers and maths. You can be fully functional in a second or third language and still do maths in your mother-tongue.
If you want to know someone's mother tongue, just listen to how they count money, or add up numbers.
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Old 09.02.2010, 11:30
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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Thank you, yes initially this was my view to push for him to go to Sek but his grades are average and we don't want to push him too hard. Also the system changes this year and they are no longer evaluated after the first semestar but after the first year and if failed then he could face going down to Real, which to me would be worse for him.

I will say that his german classes have dropped down now to just two per week, gemeinde will not pay for anymore, but we are getting two weekly sessions outwith school hours with his teachers in Deutsch,which we pay for, so this will definitely be good for him.

One question Mrs Doolittle which maybe you or others can help with, as I have said before I can only compare to the Scottish school system i know. What level of difficulty is the work in Sek in comparison to a child in say 1st yr high school in the UK. Which he would have gone to this year. From my understanding it sounds more difficult, which is another reason for us accepting this decision, but please correct me if I'm wrong?
I have a important contact at Kt. Aargau and I spoke to her because in my experience what has taken place here is most unusual and she agreed with me. I gave her some of the details of your posts and she said that calling in the school psychologist was very strange. Also, the fact that the assessment system is changing but does not mean there is not ongoing assessment.

My contact suggested you get in touch with the group leader of the inspectors to discuss your son's situation. I obtained a name, email and phone number for you. This is your right as a parent and I strongly suggest you exercise it. Please send me a PM and if you want to talk on the phone, please give me your phone number. I can fill you on on my conversation in detail.
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Old 21.05.2011, 20:26
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

As other parents may find themselves in similar situations, it might be interesting to read what happened after the visit to the school Psychologist. The results and an update a year later are to be found here.
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Old 22.05.2011, 08:54
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

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As other parents may find themselves in similar situations, it might be interesting to read what happened after the visit to the school Psychologist. The results and an update a year later are to be found here.

Thanks Longbyt for doing this link, if it helps anyone else with their childs schooling then thats great. Cheers.
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  #31  
Old 22.05.2011, 09:51
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Re: What kind of test will son get from School Psychologist???

Can I just add to the thread that a lot of parents come to this 'bridge' at year 5 because in Zurich you are not allowed to do year 6 twice (or sit the Gymnasium entrance exam twice) so if you are going to do an extra year, it's year 5 that has to be done twice.

Also, children tend to enter secondary school older than what may be the case in the US, Australia or other countries, so that can be taken into account - the stigma for being 'old' in the grade is not as high as it may be in other school systems.
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