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To think it's precisely this that knocks the confidence out of DD (5)

(123 Posts)
legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:33:40

My DD is in year 1 at school, and seems to be almost bottom of the class in almost every subject. There are perhaps 2-3 children below her, but none of them girls.

The school operates a system where children get points for good behaviour and good work, kindness, etc. My DD has half the amount of the other girls and feels very, sad about it. It's affecting her confidence, she thinks she is no good at anything, and I've noticed her friends are even beginning to behave with superiority around her and boss her around more, which she seems to take because she believes she is not as good or clever as the other girls.

I don't know what to do to make things better for her but I feel like I have to help her or her confidence will reach rock bottom and she's only 5.

I don't think she has a learning disability. She has similar levels of intelligence as her peers and holds the same level of conversation, but is slower to learn new things. It takes her more effort and more time to pick things up. For example, maths, reading, swimming.

She also is a fidget and drifts off and forgets things, doesn't focus for long. But as I have said, she is only 5. I don't think she should be feeling this amount of academic pressure at her age.

Her teacher says she is a lovely kind child, but she does worry about what her friends think of her. Teacher does not think she is falling behind, but to me something is not right.

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:34:37

I forgot to add, in the school holidays she seems so much happier, but after a few weeks back at school she gets withdrawn and unhappy.

AngelinaCongleton Fri 31-Jan-14 18:36:02

Aw that's sad. I'd speak to the teacher. In my dds class they fling points about like confetti. Maybe they could do some points related tasks she knows your wee one is good at.

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:40:39

We are thinking about changing schools, but I don't know if that will make things worse.

Have spoken to the teacher but get nowhere with it. The school think nothing is wrong.

defineme Fri 31-Jan-14 18:41:02

If she behaves herself, then it's absolutely appalling that she has fewer points. I'd be straight into the teacher and I'd be having a very long chat about what they were going to do about improving her self esteem and managing her difficulties concentrating.
Tbh, I feel very sorry for your dd- do you think this is the right school for her?

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:44:44

She does behave herself, absolutely she does and is never in trouble. But she will fidget when standing in a line for example.

If you saw the school you would think it's the right place for a child with less confidence, it's small and one of the things all the parents seem to say is it's good for nurturing confidence.

The issue I have is that when she started at the school last year in reception, she had bags of confidence and was a very outgoing little girl.

No one would have said she was shy or less confident. Almost every other child I know seems to be thriving there, so I don't know what is going wrong for us.

MunchMunch Fri 31-Jan-14 18:44:54

Is she one of the youngest in class? I think something like that would count for a lot.

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:46:37

She is a Summer child but so are half of the girls, and they are all achieving far more.

MunchMunch Fri 31-Jan-14 18:46:54

Anyway. If they get stickers for good work etc being in a lower group shouldn't mean she gets less stickers. I would see the teacher.

defineme Fri 31-Jan-14 18:51:01

It's usually the opposite in school-the lower achievers get more stickers to spur them on.
If it was having such a dramatic effect on my child, and the school were not responding,I'd be visiting the other schools.

Nanny0gg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:51:36

She might be one of those unfortunate 'under the radar' children. (I'm not condoning or excusing it btw, it shouldn't happen)

If she is behaving well and completing her work (even if you think she is 'slower') it might be that she doesn't stand out enough to get the points.

IMO teachers should be aware of this, and actively look out for those children and reward them because of it, but sadly it doesn't always happen as they're too busy with the 'lively' ones.

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:52:28

I can't make out where the disparity in the stickers is coming from. Surely good work should be marked as 'good work' for the level that particular child is at.

If it's all for sitting and listening quietly, paying attention, I can see she would get less as she does get easily distracted.

If it's for kindness then she should have more than a lot of the other children, she is very caring in nature.

I wouldn't rule out SpLD like dyslexia or dyspraxia at this stage. Sometimes its difficult to tell what is within the normal range of skills development for a child's age and what is not quite right. Both of my DS have dyslexia and they were noticeably behind in Yr1 despite being of above average intelligence (we've had Educational Pyschologist's reports now for both so this is how I know).

What might help is a structured programme of phonics like Bear Necessities or Dancing Bears at home
www.soundfoundationsbooks.co.uk/
which will help her whether or not she has a SpLD.

I think the school points system is rubbish. My DS' school has scaled back the targets for DS2 (Yr2) so he gets a house point for 5 spellings right where another child might have to get 9 or 10. DS2 has to work very hard to get 5 right so they are correctly rewarding his effort.

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:56:45

She is on reading level 4, but I have asked the teacher to move her onto 5 a couple of times now. She reeves through the books, rarely has a word she stumbles on, good comprehension of the story and able to answer questions, and reads using expression.

I'm don't really think she needs practise with phonics, however we do read every night.

My concern, is her low self esteem and that she is so worried about finishing the term with the lowest number of stickers. I don't want her to be worrying about this at 5.

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:57:12

breezes

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 18:57:56

It could be she is under the radar. She doesn't do things to stand out and rarely puts her hand up to answer a question. She wasn't like this as a 3-4 year old though.

I would speak to the teacher again and explain she is getting demotivated. I had to push quite hard with one teacher to get him to try a different approach with DS1 as he was getting demoralised.

Could you have a sticker chart at home so she has a constant reminder at home of the things she is doing well to counterbalance the message from school.

Is there something she is good at that could be focussed on a bit more by the school so she doesn't slip into "rubbish at everything" thinking e.g. sport, drawing, singing

JuliaScurr Fri 31-Jan-14 19:04:41

I'm absolutely not doing amateur diagnosis, but your description of your dd is so like my friend's of her dd

might be worth a look

Nanny0gg Fri 31-Jan-14 19:05:01

I can't make out where the disparity in the stickers is coming from. Surely good work should be marked as 'good work' for the level that particular child is at.

Absolutely.

Start looking at other schools...

NannyLouise29 Fri 31-Jan-14 19:08:46

Your poor DD.

I looked after a little girl (a bit older) who had the same issues. A smiley, lovely little thing who had her head in the clouds! Very few friends, and despite being eager to please her teachers, was never recognised. Under the radar is precisely the way I'd describe it too!

Your DD may just need information presented to her in a different way to "get" things more easily. Try to work out her learning style and approach from a different angle. Even so, she's only little, and the academic stuff can wait. If I were you I'd voice your concerns to the teacher and keep close tabs.

I hope things get better for her.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Fri 31-Jan-14 19:10:53

Yes, start looking at other schools.

This shouldn't be happening.

Go in and have a meeting and say exactly what you've said here.

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 19:21:57

JuliaScurr, what was your friend's DD diagnosed with?

zipzap Fri 31-Jan-14 19:23:52

Have you told the teacher that you chose this school because of its nurturing reputation and yet not only is your dd not thriving (as you see other dc thrive) but that since she has been in their care, she is going backwards not forwards, particularly her confidence. And then ask them for a plan to rectify that.

sweetsoulsister Fri 31-Jan-14 19:24:15

My DS is going through similar, I recently asked about private schools wondering if that would be better. I feel the same - as though he is falling through the cracks so to speak.

I really do worry about the state of our education system in this country. Most of the teachers in my son's school are NQTs or 2nd year teachers. The focus is all on progression and paperwork and the teachers are overwhelmed, overworked and too inexperienced to do anything other than work themselves into a new career. I'm a teacher myself and I get so angry with this whole situation.

legosteg Fri 31-Jan-14 19:24:38

Even if we manage to move schools, we will have to wait for a place to come up. All oversubscribed where we live. So DD is likely to at least be completely the yes rat current school, and I want to limit the damage.

I was also very shy at infants and junior school, and remember not having much confidence. But I don't think I present to her now that I am a shy woman. She sees me confident in all areas.

If I were to look into possible learning disabilities, where would I start?

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