Reception targets- too high??

(14 Posts)
Scruffey Tue 21-May-13 14:55:03

My ds also had terrible writing in reception. He was below average as well. Now he is in yr 2, he has moved up the class to the "middle". I read with him every day and get him to do basic sums. You can try to encourage handwriting by getting him to write something he is interested in such as a list of toys he wants(!) or places to go or an invitation to a friend to come and play or a diary (this didn't really interests ds)

eviekingston Tue 21-May-13 14:53:13

The new Early Learning Goals have meant that end of year expectations have changed somewhat. The expectation for writing for the end of Reception is now very high, as is Maths - number (not shape space and measure) I teach in an outstanding school with a very middle class, professional catchment area - our children generally achieve above the national average - and in these two areas the majority of my class (probably 20 out of 30) will not achieve the expected level for writing and about half will not achieve it for Number. There is such a massive range in Reception, and in my opinion if your child is settled, happy, making friends, communicating well with children and adults, following the rules most of the time, able to blend some sounds to read simple words, write a few words that have reasonably well formed letters, recognise numbers to 20 and find a total of two sets of objects, then they are doing fine. Try not to worry!

Elibean Tue 21-May-13 14:51:13

Well...have a look at the thread lower down, 'EYFS profiles' etc.

The expectations of 'development' have changed very recently, and put loads of pressure on - some of them are totally daft, in terms of child development, and very much focused on academic achievement.

That aside, no teacher should ever make a child or his parent feel the way you feel - there are always plenty of positives, and 'average' is largely irrelevent at this age. What matters is individual progress, and if that is an issue they should be offering support.

I'm with allyfe - and I hope your next meeting with the teacher is more helpful.

redskyatnight Tue 21-May-13 14:49:57

OP - at the end of Reception my DS's handwriting was dreadful (he could just about form all his letters in a recognisable way), his writing was non-existent and his reading consisted of intelligent guessing.

He was below national expectations for reading and writing (but not below average in his class, which tells you how meaningless comparing against an individual class can be).

In Y1 it “clicked”. And in Y2 it clicked some more. And he finished KS1 well above average.

Slightly stereotyping here, but I think a lot of boys find Reception hard going – they haven’t got the fine motor movements needed to write well and prefer to engage in more active play.

You sound like a concerned and supportive parent – which means your child is likely to do well.

(and reading between the lines you possibly go to a high achieving school, so comparing against class averages may be disappointing).

cassgate Tue 21-May-13 14:48:02

Kittycat - I could have written your post two years ago. My ds was in reception and left way below average in everything. His reception teacher told me that she thought he was really going to struggle in year 1 and she wished she had the power to hold him back a year as at that point he was deemed still to be at nursery level in most things. I was so upset and worried about him. However, year 1 was the making of him and he made up the lost ground and ended the year average in reading and numeracy (level 1a in both) and only a little behind in writing (level 1b). His expected levels for end of year 2 are 2b/2a across the board. So he has completely made up the lost ground. Unless there is a senco issue I wouldnt worry just keep a close eye on it and speak to the year 1 teacher to see if there is anything you can do at home to accelerate his learning. Sarah

allyfe Tue 21-May-13 14:04:22

Simpson your post just about made me cry! How totally vile of a teacher not to say anything positive about your child. I can't imagine how upset I would have been.

OP my daughter is going into reception this year, and I think that we have all become so obsessed with education and a good university education, and so focused on achievement at every step, it is so easy to forget that children learn at different stages and sometimes, in different ways, so the classic markers of 'achievement' (like phonics, maths etc) are not always the best. If you think he has been doing well, and he is happy, I honestly would say that you are the best judge.

Periwinkle007 Mon 20-May-13 20:00:51

I wouldn't worry if it his handwriting, this comes with practice and from what I can see of my daughter's reception class they don't do handwriting practice, they don't even have lines so....

maths - I think they want them to be able to use numbers up to 20 by the end of reception (someone correct me if I am wrong) so I assume that means recognising them, writing them, counting them and using them for basic addition and subtraction? I could be wrong on that, subtraction may not come into play until yr1. They do it as counting on and counting back I think so you could probably work out for yourself how he is doing with that.

Obviously we don't know but I think you may be worrying unnecessarily, as others have said half are above average and half are below average and often age and boy/girl plays a large part in it in reception.

I think if I was you I would put a note in his bag asking if you could arrange to speak to her again following some concerns that came up at parents evening when there wasn't time to discuss them fully. You can then ask whether there is anything to worry about and if so, what you can do to help. It may be that just a bit of reminding with counting over the summer holiday would help make sure he doesn't slip behind over the holidays.

simpson Mon 20-May-13 18:02:37

What is he behind in?

Lots of boys find writing harder.

Also the way the EYFS is set up a lot of children get distracted doing work when they can see their best friend making a telescope on the creative table for example.

The only time that my DD does any work all together with her class is phonics and numeracy and topic time.

The rest of the learning she does is in much smaller groups so that some kids get distracted by what their class mates are doing.

This will not happen on yr1.

I also think its shockingly bad of the teacher to tell you now in the school year that your child is behind. IE no hint of it earlier in the school year.

My DS (now yr3 - Aug born) struggled for the majority of reception and his teacher made me cry at parents eve blush as she did not say one positive thing about him..

learnandsay Mon 20-May-13 17:43:29

It's possibly that the teacher has explained herself badly or that we OP's post hasn't fairly represented what the teacher actually did say.

sitzonhandz Mon 20-May-13 17:34:33

(But no, reception targets aren't too high. For an awful lot of kids, they are way too low. But averages at this age are a fairly meaningless concept. There's a huge range of difference at 5)

sitzonhandz Mon 20-May-13 17:33:37

He's in yr r. And he's 'below average'. At this point, this information alone is fairly meaningless. In a class of thirty, fifty percent of them are going to be 'below average', and fifty are going to be above.

How far below average? If she is talking about calling in the senco, and getting him referred to a developmental paediatrician for assessment, then do start to be concerned. If he is just an ordinary kid, and not 'below average' enough to bother listing as school action, let alone seek external support, then you are worrying completely unnecessarily.

Below average is meaningless. Completely meaningless.

Is she suggesting senco involvement? School action? Or was it a passing comment?

Yr r is mostly about playing and getting to grips with school routines. No need to panic. Some kids take a year or two to warm up to education....

lunar1 Mon 20-May-13 17:27:41

I have no idea if its normal as my DS1 is only in his KG year but it sounds like a horrible experience for you. Why on earth if you son was so far behind would it have taken the teacher so long to let you know. I would want to know if he just got behind in the last couple of weeks or if it has been noticeable for a while. Why hasn't the teacher called you in before now and given you guidance as to how you could help him. I would be very disappointed in the school and teacher too op.

learnandsay Mon 20-May-13 17:10:13

This may turn out to be a boy versus girl thing. Anecdotally it's common to hear how well infant girls are doing.

kittykat001 Mon 20-May-13 17:04:20

Im writing at the end of my tether really.
My son is nearly at the end of his reception year, I had my parent consultation with his teacher last week who basically told me that he is below average in the class, his handwriting is very bad, as well as maths. I work full time- I read every night with him, we do all his homework at weekends - everything has been done 'our end' to my knowledge until now. When I am asked my friends how he has been getting on I have been gushing about how pleased I've been with his reading and writing (I didnt even think he'd be doing so much in the first year of school!) adn he seems happy enough.
When he comes home from school my parents or the childminder (whoever collects) encourages him to change, have a bite to eat adn then go outside to play and run about. I dont really want him to be doing work as soon as he gets home - (he is only 5!!).
So I am feeling very dispondent about the school- firstly not telling me that he was so far behind - and secondly that they are doing so much academic work- of course I knew that - but I thought it would mainly be done through play. I thought the idea of reception was for the school to 'receive' the children and then prepare them for the years ahead. I also feel like I hvae perhaps failed my son in some way- but possibly now making him feel that he isnt as clever as the other children in his class.
Is this how all reception classes work? Or is this standard? shoudl I be thinking about moving him? I dont know what to do.....
(am having another meeting with the teacher - who didnt actually have that much positive stuff to tell me about him, later in the week).

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