Should I be concerned about this?

(23 Posts)
BarbieBrightSide Sat 09-Jul-16 17:15:17

Ds ended reception meeting or exceeding all but two expected levels of the EYFS.

We have just had his report for the end of yr1 and he has now reaching the expected level for one of the two, but has dropped back to 'working towards the expected level for everything else.

To me it appears that not only has he not made progress this year, but he has actually gone backwards (I expressed concerns about his lack of progress in the autumn and spring terms and at parents' evening). I am concerned to the point of potentially moving schools.

There is more to this, but I just wanted to gauge opinion before continuing, prepared to be told I am over reacting!

catkind Sat 09-Jul-16 18:21:15

I'm not sure I would be on that alone. The new NC targets are hard. And they need to tick every box to achieve the standard.

When you say he's not progressing, is that based on him or on the levels? Has he been happy in school? Has he engaged with the topics? Has his reading improved? Has his writing improved? Has he learned new things in maths? Those are what I would be raising concerns on. I've already written off NC standards as largely uninformative.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 09-Jul-16 18:33:50

Catkind is right. Do you think he's actually gone backwards or are you basing that just on the levels in the report?

There's a big difference between a child only just meeting EYFS and narrowly missing expected levels in Yr 1 and a child that was nearly exceeding but who has missed expected by a lot.

BarbieBrightSide Sat 09-Jul-16 20:29:42

I don't know where in the bands he was at the end of last year, but his reading was expected level at the end of yr R, now emerging ( he has just gone onto ORT stage 4). He failed his phonics test. When I raised concerns with his teacher about his reading in the spring I was told that 'he will be fine, some children take longer for it all to click' etc

I do get the point that there might not actually be that big a difference between where he is now compared to last year, that has made me feel a bit better!

Our school have mixed year classes and he was one of a group that stayed mixed in with reception, supposedly so that the small group would have additional support with the yr1 curriculum to bring them in line with their year group, which they were meant to rejoin in yr 2. For various reasons this isn't happening for the next year, the year group is staying fractured. The gap between the most and least capable is already wide and I am concerned it will get wider still, but have been told to trust that the school are doing what they think is best for my ds. I don't want to abandon the school but as my eldest is about to go to secondary, I am not tied to the school as much as I was.

I just want to do what is best for ds.

Dizzyingly Sat 09-Jul-16 20:40:56

I would ask them what support they have in place for him after the phonics screening. At my school we give extra support to those children in reading and writing as well as phonics and work with parents so they know how to support at home

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 09-Jul-16 21:17:06

Hmm. ORT 4 at this stage would be low particularly considering he didn't meet the expected standard on the phonics check. I would probably have expected the school to have flagged that up before.

It seems oddly low to me considering he achieved expected at the end of YrR. Agree with asking the school with what their plan is to catch him up and see if you are satisfied with that answer before considering your options.

AppleAndBlackberry Sat 09-Jul-16 21:40:59

I was told that the year R and year 1 levels don't necessarily correlate, e.g. my daughter was exceeding in maths in year R and meeting expectations in year 1, but her teacher reassured us that she had made plenty of progress. That said, it does sound like your DS is a bit behind in some areas so it would be good to find out what support they will be offering him next year.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 09-Jul-16 21:52:29

That was why I wondered whether the OP was just going off the two judgements or had other concerns. EYFS judgements don't always marry up with later NC ones.

But it doesn't make sense to me that a child that was expected at the end of YrR would still only be on level 4 and would fail the PSC. Either he hasn't made as much progress as could be expected or that EYFS assessment may have been a bit optimistic and he was actually emerging in reading.

Either way, the school need a plan going forwards. If they have, then that's great. Otherwise the OP needs to work out what she wants to do next.

BarbieBrightSide Mon 11-Jul-16 09:55:09

Thanks for your replies.

I have a proper meeting later today with the teacher that he will be having from September (who was another one who said 'don't worry he'll be fine' when I mentioned in passing that I was worried he'd go into her class behind the rest of his year group)

I will ask what specific plan will be put in place to bring him up to speed with reading and writing, and also ask how and when it will be monitored as to whether it is working or not. I will also take in the reports that I have got from last year and this. I looked through Ds's reading record this morning and in January I had written to the teacher that I was extremely concerned at his lack of progress (and was told at a subsequent meeting that in her experience some children were later to get it than others but that she had no doubt that he would fly once it clicked. It still hasn't!)

I have left the school to it up to now as felt that they probably knew best, but I just can't leave it any longer and will now be that parent until this is resolved.

He is happy at school and I would prefer not to move him, but equally feel that the school has failed him this year and that can't continue.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 11-Jul-16 10:05:28

If he has spent 2years toiling through 4ORT levels, then I imagine he has lost the will to live let alone any interest in reading.
Do you read lots of books at home, go to the library and let him choose ones that he thinks look good? Maybe try and borrow a copy of "You Choose" or some simple non-fiction on topics he loves to read with him (he only needs to try some words, you can do the rest so he really enjoys the stories).
I hope the meeting with his new teacher goes well.

BarbieBrightSide Mon 11-Jul-16 10:13:08

Thanks.

We do read at home, there are loads of books both fiction and non fiction in our house and I am an avid reader, as is our older dc, who I do tend to use as a benchmark against which to measure how ds is doing.

Just a thought - their Dad is dyslexic and while we mentioned it to school with our eldest, we (perhaps wrongly) assumed that none of our children would suffer with it as the eldest didn't. Might it be worth getting an assessment done to see if that is at the heart of his lack of progress?

PerspicaciaTick Mon 11-Jul-16 10:21:55

It is definitely worth raising at the meeting, it would seem like a sensible thing for the school to assess him.

BarbieBrightSide Mon 11-Jul-16 16:38:17

Meeting was more of the same. No specific plan in place, don't worry he will be fine etc. And 'working towards' is not the same as 'working below'. Perhaps I should suggest to the head that they put a key of the levels on the reports for people like me?

Can't screen for dyslexia until age 7 apparently and as he is summer born that won't be until the first term of year 3.

Looking at another local school on Wednesday but fear that it might be more disruptive than helpful to move him at this stage.

InternationalHouseofToast Mon 11-Jul-16 16:53:38

Barbie, my son is summer born and is now coming to the end of Yr 2. He failed all of his reception targets bar 2, so your son got off to a much more confident start for a summer baby, but Foundation uses the EY curriculum and Yr 1 uses the National Curriculum, so it's not as simple as comparing the two and the Yr 1 version uses a higher bar, iyswim.

We weren't told DS failed the phonics test, and his yr 1 teacher was utter sh*t (and left at the end of Yr 1) but this year DS has had daily reading support and his teacher has sought advice from the SENCO as they were concerned he may have short term memory problems - he'd read a word on one page, turn the page and have to sound it out again as it didn't stick even though he'd seen it seconds before. We're also looking at dyslexia screening for DS but, as you say, they won't test before 7, which is rubbish for summer babies as they essentially lose their Year 2 year when other children in the same class are being screened and supported.

I would keep a print out of your OP now, and go into school to meet with the new teacher a couple of weeks in, so she's had a chance to get to know your son, and raise the need for support. DS' teacher this year contacted us and asked us to come in and meet with him as he felt there were things we could do at home to help support their additional measures (memory games etc.) taking place within the classroom.

I'm not going to say it's been easy, DS has sort of got to the bottom end of normal reading levels, and will now sit and read to his guinea pigs, but not always the correct words on the page, but he's starting to see the appeal of reading. DH and I both love reading so have been baffled by this child who has no inclination to read and finds it difficult but hopefully Yr 3 will be his year.

Constructive squeaky wheel, with planned review meetings in addition to parents' eveings, may be the way to go.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Mon 11-Jul-16 19:03:25

I'm not sure I'd think about dyslexia until you can rule out 'I'm sure he'll be fine' as part of the issue.

Do you know if he's had any additional small group or 1:1 help so far? Some children do need a bit of extra help and practice to get going. I'd worry that if he's not getting that, then the gap between him and his peers is just going to grow.

If he's willing to work with you and the library have some phonic based reading books then 10-15 mins a day over the summer might help. Are the ORT he's getting the older look and say ones or the phonics based ones?

BarbieBrightSide Wed 13-Jul-16 21:05:09

Just a bit of an update. Me and DH looked at a local good school today. I was a bit surprised when the head said that he had rung our current head to ask about DS (but said he does that whenever a parent wants to move to his school).

Current head apparently told him that Ds was a lovely boy, he would be sorry to lose him and the other school would be lucky to have him and that he wasn't aware of any problems.

I felt massively guilty about going behind our school's back and spoke to our current head after school today, who re-iterated that he would be sorry to lose DS and felt that the school would serve him well. He said if it was a knee jerk reaction to this year he would advise against it, but we discussed other factors that he agreed with me on. It is so hard to know what to do!

lougle Wed 13-Jul-16 21:39:10

Only you will know what you feel comfortable, but if it's any encouragement, my very bright DD3 was still on stage 2 ORT in year 1, finally reached the dizzy heights of blue (ORT 4) at the beginning of year 2 and is just leaving year 2 on white book band (ORT 10) having 'clicked' with reading.

In her case it was a combination of refusing to read because she didn't want to get it wrong, hating Biff, Chip and Kipper, and a stubborn character!

BarbieBrightSide Thu 14-Jul-16 11:10:18

Thanks all.

Very interesting about your DD3 Lougle perhaps that is the case here.

Sorry for the drip feed, but DS is actually twin DSs. The information applies to both. They scored the same on their PSC and are on the same reading books (so I get double helpings of Biff, Chip and Kipper, lucky me!)

The other school we looked at has two classes per year group, which would allow my boys to be taught separately (they do seem to be viewed as a unit currently). It is also a feeder school for the secondary that I now know that my older DC will attend whereas their current school isn't. But then they are happy at their current school and it might just be that they are not going to be academically bright children.

I woke up this morning thinking we should move them, but I am not convinced that it is necessarily the right thing to do and of course it is an either/or decision, so whatever I do I won't know whether the other choice would have been better!

QuiteQuietly Thu 14-Jul-16 11:58:58

I'd be tempted to move. They would be taught with their year group instead of being in an enclave in the year below. They would have the opportunity to be in different classes. The head sounds proactive. It will be a smoother transition to secondary. A bigger school would have more children of similar ability to make special groups and interventions. Personally I think two classes per year is ideal - not too big, but some economies of scale and enough of a gene pool for friendships with the option of mixing classes. They are young and they could be happy anywhere. Children move all the time and it is fine. But only you know them and can make the decision. Hope it all goes well.

BarbieBrightSide Fri 16-Sep-16 12:51:30

Bit of an update:

I am now that parent!

I have just had a meeting with HT and SENCo who have told me that there are measures in place for DTs . (I wish I had known before I sent a slightly pointed email!)

Reading is still very much a chore, and the DTs leapfrog each other in terms of how they are doing but they are getting additional support in other areas of literacy so hopefully will make better progress than last year.

It is possible to have tests to get an indication of likelihood of dyslexia before age 7 and I might get that done for DTs. If nothing else, it will tell me whether to be sympathetic or strict with respect to their reading!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 16-Sep-16 13:26:30

It's a failing on their part that you are that parent. It's their responsibility to inform you of concerns and any measures put in place. It's shouldn't be up to you to have to go chasing for that information.

maizieD Fri 16-Sep-16 13:47:29

Just wondering about that ORT stage 4. Is it the 'old' ORT or the newer decodable ORT books?

If it's the 'old' ORT and he's having trouble with remembering words he's previously sounded out it might be that he's just not getting enough practice to get words into long term memory. The old ORT books can only really be 'read' by using a mix of phonic and guessing strategies; which can be very confusing for some children.

BarbieBrightSide Fri 16-Sep-16 14:00:27

Thanks for that Rafal. I don't do pushy / complaining very well hence the email to start the ball rolling. It does seem a bit daft that I had to push to be informed.

maisieD I'm not sure whether it is old or new ORT books, but it is the decoding that they struggle with, they can do most of the required phonics in isolation.

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