Shockingly bad yr 6 parents evening, DS in disgrace, what now?

(34 Posts)
Kamer Thu 15-Nov-12 20:47:16

Every parents evening in DS's school career so far has been a 2 minute, he is doing well job.

At the beginning of yr 6 DS brought his first ever behave our sheet home and said he had been told off a few times but we thought he had settled down and DS was confident Mrs X would have some nice things to say about him.

Mrs X did not she said he was lazy, immature, silly, distracts others and is distracted by others, can't concentrate. He is doing the minimum of work to get by and not making an effort.

And to top it off she said and I paraphrase, that the class were the most challenging she had ever had, especially the boys who had an ethos of low aspiration and poor behaviour and it would be good when they were split in high school. This in a school meant to best in area and have never heard the class were such a nightmare from others.

Only positives that DS was a good reader and predicted to be level 5 at language, 4/5 maths, 5 sciences at end of y6 but as his reading age was 16 and his levels 4/5 at end of yr 5, surely that means little progress.

Me and DH came out of the meeting and told DS we were ashamed of him. He was in tears and saying he would turn over a new leaf. What do we do now in terms of improving the situation?

shinyblackgrape Thu 15-Nov-12 20:54:39

Gosh - I really don't k ow. Did you ask the teacher for suggestions? Whatever it is, I think it needs to be a joined up approach. Could you get brief daily reports of his behaviour? That might concern him in to behaving well

However, aren't lots of 6 year old boys a bit over excitable etc? Hopefully he will mature a bit and grow out of it too.

MarshmallowFarm Thu 15-Nov-12 20:58:39

Wow, I can't believe she has been so disparaging about the whole class.

I think you need to get to the bottom of this. There are various possibilities:
1) She is an inexperienced teacher or one who lacks discipline, or who maybe labels children as naughty very early on, continually berating them until some of them (maybe those she picked out as particularly "naughty" boys) realise she will groan whatever they do so they may as well mess about....
2) DS is bored at some level, or has some sort of learning difficulties that haven't been identified, especially maybe around concentration/working memory...
3) DS is acting out because he is unhappy about something at school, or trying to get himself seen as "cool" by distracting the lessons...
4) DS has behavioural issues that for some reason waited until Y6 to manifest themselves (unlikely!)

Or there's probably loads of other possibilities that others will think of. This is odd though, when there's been no issues thus far. i would be asking for a proper meeting with maybe the Head or Deputy present and ask for concrete examples of the behaviour. Talk to DS and try to unpick what's different about this year/this techer for him....Good luck!

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 20:59:06

My first reading of this is that it's the school's fault not yours. It looks to me as though you've got a very bright boy who is coasting. This should have been picked up last year and he should have been stretched. (Did anything unusual happen at the end of last year which impeded his progression?)

Floralnomad Thu 15-Nov-12 21:00:23

There are often issues in YR 6 , because a lot of the children have outgrown primary school and are ready to move on . As long as he knows his behaviour is unacceptable ,and it sounds like he does , I really wouldn't worry too much about it . Have you had any dealings with this teacher before ? I would be a little concerned that she had nothing positive to say but hadn't felt the need to contact you earlier in the term.

Kamer Thu 15-Nov-12 21:01:09

He is year 6 not age 6 so is nearly 11. But yes I was thinking about suggesting some kind of home/school report book. I was a bit thrown that the teacher had a lot to say about how bad DS was and no suggestions about what should be done by us/the school. Although to be fair we were too shocked to think of practical suggestions.

carocaro Thu 15-Nov-12 21:01:24

I think a reality check/wake up call/kick up the arse is needed. My Y6 DS1 was totally vile two weeks ago, I lost it, went ballistic, made him cry, threw things at him - not my finest moment I know and not a step from 'Fab Parenting 101' but he was taking the piss and being so rude, I won't go into it all now. His parents evening was perfect, lots of issues overcome with dyslexia and he is fantastic in class, his teacher was even a bit emotional about his efforts. Not what you want to hear BUT the point I am trying to make it that sometime a tipping point such as mine or you horrible parents evening can and does make the difference for things to change. DS has been so much better since, he has said since that he had not even realised how he behaved and how it affected me and the rest of the family. Your teacher sounds like she is very pissed off and tired of it all, she was obviously trying to make the point that it was bad and she'd had enough.

Y6 is a revision year, reenforcing stuff they know, looking for gaps in their knowledge. His results are good!

Moving forward, I would make sure you DS does what he says he will do, keep weekly contact with the teacher, get your DS to write her an apology. Also set some pretty hard rules at home and for school. Y6 is time to get tough and with the programme, rewards and praise where due but no messing. Kids who are doing well at school but piss about make it really hard for others who need help from the teacher whoose attention is elsewhere with kids taking the piss. He has to suck up his bad behavior and change, secondary school will be so hard otherwise. I have said all this to my own bolshy moody hormanal 'he knows best' Y6 boy, so crack on!

LemonBreeland Thu 15-Nov-12 21:02:22

I would agree with learnandsay that he is most probably messing around beacuse he is not being challenged. If the whole class are that badly behaved then the teacher needs to look at herself.

Cahoots Thu 15-Nov-12 21:03:17

I would keep reminding him to behave, praise him when he does well and generally 'be on his case'. I would ask the school for lots and lots of feedback. There is no reason why your DS can't turn this around. This meeting and your reaction might have been the shock he needed.
It is good that he is doing well otherwise.
Good luck.

3b1g Thu 15-Nov-12 21:03:53

He sounds like a bright boy and is maybe just getting a bit of Y6-itis. He is possibly getting a bit bored of primary school or just growing out of the primary school environment. I'm sure that when he starts Y7 he'll start to knuckle down a bit. All you need to do is keep him on track for the next 8 months...

Cahoots Thu 15-Nov-12 21:05:21

I really like the idea of getting him to write a letter of apology to the teacher too.

carocaro Thu 15-Nov-12 21:06:07

"I think you need to get to the bottom of this. There are various possibilities:
1) She is an inexperienced teacher or one who lacks discipline, or who maybe labels children as naughty very early on, continually berating them until some of them (maybe those she picked out as particularly "naughty" boys) realise she will groan whatever they do so they may as well mess about....
2) DS is bored at some level, or has some sort of learning difficulties that haven't been identified, especially maybe around concentration/working memory...
3) DS is acting out because he is unhappy about something at school, or trying to get himself seen as "cool" by distracting the lessons...
4) DS has behavioural issues that for some reason waited until Y6 to manifest themselves (unlikely!)"

Or 5) he is just being a pain in the ass and needs to shup up, listen and do! It can and often is as simple as that, no big underlying issues, not the teachers fault, the crap about them being too brainy and bored is utter nonsense, after all if they were that clever they would know full well that bad behavior does not cut it!

3b1g Thu 15-Nov-12 21:10:22

In Y6 some children are given a bit more independence. If this is true for him, then it might be worth reminding him that increased privilege and trust is dependent upon increased responsibility and maturity. This works for my children, anyway.

shinyblackgrape Thu 15-Nov-12 21:11:35

So sorry! Missed he was year 6!

Thinking back to my time at school at the same age (20 years ago), we had homework diaries where the teacher wrote behaviour reports in respect of some "naughty" boys. Never had to be done for long as they got bollocked by their parents if they were bad.

The other thing I would do is examine very simply
and clearly the risks to him of it behaving. Essentially on the basis of dies he enjoy his life at the moment/current standard of living? If so, he's going to have to pick his game up or he's not going to be able to go to uni/get the same type if job as you to sustain it

Gemsie77 Thu 15-Nov-12 21:13:20

I feel that there could be a teaching issue here as well. The teacher should have informed you of any problems your son has had settling in to Yr 6 before parent interview. I also feel that the teacher was rather unprofessional saying they were the worst class ever. You can think that but don't say it. Maybe she should have said there are a few boys/ girls that would need to be split up & she'll try that. Yr 6 can be challenging & get a bit too big for their boots but the teacher needs to completely be on top of that both discipline wise & setting work that is engaging & challenging.

admission Thu 15-Nov-12 21:15:04

I think that there is a need to take this further. Your description comes across of a class who is playing up badly, but playing up because there seems to be no control,even accepting year 6 can be a handful.
The question becomes one of, is this the teacher who has lost control of this class or the school that has lost control completely.
My inclination would be to arrange a meeting with the head teacher urgently. You need to explain your shock at how bad things appear to be in the class and how much your son's behaviour has deteriated. The reaction from the head teacher will be interesting but they need to do something. Given your son's capabilities all is by no means lost and a term of concentrated effort and hard work will resolve the situation. The problem is, whether the school has the capability and capacity to turn the situation around, because we are not talking about one child here, we are presumably talking about 30. Reintroducing control and discipline is going to be a major problem in year 6 pupils who think they are the bees-knees, but that has to be a priority for the school.

TheDetective Thu 15-Nov-12 21:16:07

I don't know what to suggest - but just a post to say I have similar concerns with my year 6 DS. He shows little enthusiasm for work, careless attitude, 'that'll do' is his answer to everything. In short, he is a coaster!

He could get 3 level 5's at the end of the year, IF he pushes himself. He doesn't want to push himself.

I'm working on it. Luckily (unlucky for him!) I'm on maternity leave at the moment and have the time, where as I was working full time shifts and less able to give him the kick up the arse he clearly needed until recently.

For what it is worth though, me and the teacher agree on his faults (and his positive sides!) and I was the one to raise the point at parents evening yesterday.

Also, his Grandma is the headteacher - yet it isn't enough to scare him into a better attitude towards his education.

Also. He takes after his mother blush. I was a coaster too.

It is a battle in year 6 I fear...

Viviennemary Thu 15-Nov-12 21:18:59

Well the fact he was in tears shows he is remorseful for having let you down. Far more worrying if he didn't care. That's my opinion anyway. I think the end of year six is a difficult time. The teacher sounds very negative and might have just been having a really bad time of it this year. Sounds like she isn't in control of the class and it's a downward spiral. I don't think it sounds as if your DS is entirely to blame.

mam29 Thu 15-Nov-12 21:19:46

Definatatly appointment with head.

Here we 2nd week back term 2
so 8weeks term one sept-half term

2weeks back

10weeks in total of new year 6 class.

Its early days to rite off whole class surly?

From what i read on primaries year 6 in some schools can be very boring and abouts sats prep.

I suspect in this case as she mentions other kids its the teaching thats at fault.

What does year 5teacher say who taught class last year?

its very odd.

mummytime Thu 15-Nov-12 21:40:05

I would want to see the Head with some urgency. If your son has such good scores, they should be preparing him for level 6 SATs. It very much sounds as if the teacher lacks control, and that your son is bright and maybe bored. I would also gently sound out other parents, are they all getting similar messages?
I think the teacher needs help. How experienced are they? If an NQT it could be they need support. Are they new to year 6?
I would also lay off your son a bit, until you know the full story.

Do work with the school to see what they suggest of behavious issues, but do also use something like a behaviour book to identify when he is misbehaving (or even if his behaviour is as bad as the teacher says).

Kamer Thu 15-Nov-12 22:42:18

Thanks for all the replies. The teacher is a very experienced one, known for being tough. DS is a bit bored of the school and the limited friendship pool but that's no excuse for his behaviour.

I am annoyed with the teacher for not letting us know sooner that there was a problem, I am going to suggest a home/school report book with sanctions at home where necessary. Am also shock at the writing off of the whole class, many of whom I know are very bright non problem children.

Kamer Thu 15-Nov-12 22:43:52

I told DS to apologise to the teacher also, I didn't think of suggesting a letter.

jamdonut Thu 15-Nov-12 23:28:22

Once again the teacher gets blamed.
You obviously have no idea how soul destroying it is to have a class where the children have poor behaviour. I expect half her time, which ought to be spent on teaching, is spent instead on trying to get some semblance of behaviour for learning.
Even the best teachers can be flummoxed when all their tried and tested methods fail to work, and they don't know where to go with it next.
I'm sure she doesn't mean the entire class is bad, but the fact that there are some challenging children makes it feel like the class from hell. Sounds like she is having a very hard time,with maybe no support from management.

learnandsay Thu 15-Nov-12 23:31:58

This isn't teacher-rant-net it's mumsnet.

shinyblackgrape Thu 15-Nov-12 23:42:50

Hmmm - teacher may be having a hard time with no management support. Therefore a meeting with the headmaster would definitely be in order to ensure its brought to the relevant person's attention

Ihavenobum Fri 16-Nov-12 00:54:09

HMMM...very challenging class....Quite sure my YEAR at school was the most challenging, and Dh's, and older brothers, and younger sisters, come to think of it so is my Ds's.......must run in the family ;). Yet we will always have chats about the teachers who taught us well and they always seemed to be the ones who entertained us, very rarely raised their voices, let you go the loo without it being a massive issue, didn't need their pupils to be "pencils down-backs straight-arms folded-eyes facing front-do not breath!" and in return we had maximum respect and they had the same for us even though we were just children ;). See how he goes on after his swift kick up the butt, maybe the teacher and Ds just aren't a good fit?.

Marni23 Fri 16-Nov-12 08:54:51

We had something similar in Y5. The teacher told any parent who would listen that this was the worst class (in behaviour terms) she had ever taught, that they were totally lacking in discipline etc etc. Pretty much everything you've said in your OP. Some parents were extremely worried about it, imposing sanctions at home and generally thinking that their previously largely well-behaved boy (the class was overwhelmingly boys) had turned into a delinquent overnight.

I was less concerned; the same teacher had taught my DD's class in Y5 and had said exactly the same things. As with DS's class, there had been no problems in previous years.

In both cases, the teachers they went on to have in Y6 had no problems and the way they described the DC you'd think they were totally different classes or had had personality transplants over the summer holidays.

In our case I think our particular Y5 teacher was a) pretty close to retirement and lacking the patience to deal with anything other than perfect children who behaved perfectly all the time and b) given to dramatic statements to make her point, which parents took literally.

I'm not saying that bad behaviour should be ignored, but do make sure that it's as bad as it's being made out before getting too upset.

Theas18 Fri 16-Nov-12 08:59:59

All the above re behaviour but my 2p re " levels and progress" at this stage.

In a state school it's pretty much impossible to demonstrate progress at the top of the ability range. If the asessments go up to 5A and that is what the child is getting in year 4 or 5 then they will seems tio have made " no progress" when they hit a 5A at end of key stage. Clearly this isn't the case but the formal monitoring (unless they now take the level 6 papers) just can't " bean count" higher up the scale. (you do the paper, get all the q right. no way to tell how much further you could have gone with a harder paper is there?)

HeathRobinson Fri 16-Nov-12 09:00:17

Given your son's levels, he must be concentrating in class.
I would ignore the teacher make your own judgement. Does he do his homework? Does he take time over it? What's his take on it?

The primary school my dd was at, took some of them to France. They didn't do a trip to France after that, citing bad behaviour by the kids. My dd, very quiet and well-behaved, told me that behaviour hadn't been bad on the trip. I believe her over the teachers, I feel it was just an excuse to get out of doing the trip.

bruffin Fri 16-Nov-12 09:26:57

Ds's year 6 class were a bit of nightmare, but they did behave for their teacher. There were several problems causing it

There were a lot of very bright, physically mature, autumn born boys, a lot of them already 5ft. The boys in my dds class two years later were no where near as mature physically.

The boys got blamed for everything. Girls used to wind them up and the if the boys reacted, girls shouted "Miss" boys were in trouble. Again the younger children could attack the yr 6 boys, but they yr 6 boys were always the ones told off because they were "older". This was mainly the dinner ladies but the boys ended up very disgruntled because everything was their fault. Their teacher was very good with them and their behavior was good in class, but the dinner ladies were the main offenders. We had a letter home about the boys behavior in the french class(different teacher), but the girls had behaved badly as well and nothing was mentioned.

Kamer Fri 16-Nov-12 10:49:25

I am hoping this will be a wake up call for DS. I am going to speak to the teacher on Monday and ask for a home/school report book with sanctions at home, also say given DS' levels at the end of y5 we will be expecting and pushing for excellent end of y6 levels. Not sure re talking to head at this point it seems quite extreme. I might talk to the deputy head who is also my DD's teacher and taught DS in y4 to get her take on things. Still mystified about how a child whose end of y5 report was all positives apart from "can be a little chatty" can turn into such a nightmare so fast.

Startail Fri 16-Nov-12 14:24:51

Hmm, sounds like teacher trying to nip the usual Y6 sillyness in the bud in a very heavy handed way.

Very lazy to get the parents to have a go at their children rather than handling it together. Likely to be the wrong parents who come down in their DCs hard.

Y6s need to feel some advantages in being the oldest as well as being expected to work hard.

It really is a balancing act of mutual respect. For all the bravo they are still children. They still have a child's black and white idea of fairness. If they think their teacher is being unfair they will lose all respect for them.

No amount if parental input will stop Y6s thinking their teacher or HT is a total prat if, in their model of the world he is.

Work with Y6 and they are your greatest asset, get it wrong and they are a nightmare.

As parents our job is to ensure they get reasonable SATs results and continue to enjoy going to school and enjoy learning.

This means nodding and agreeing the dinner lady is a idiot and explaining that the HT has to back his staff. It doesn't mean that a 10y won't still think the HT was wrong to tell them off.

And in truth the Y6s are right, why should adult niceties get in the way of justice.

They are children they have years to learn the world isn't always just.

RaisinBoys Fri 16-Nov-12 14:58:13

"The boys got blamed for everything"

I have a Y5 DS, who is well behaved likes the teacher's approval and even he says that the, largely female, staff always blame the boys if there is any trouble. He has correctly deduced that some of the girls are more adept at negotiating their way around situations including deflecting blame.

I'm sure your DS has had the wake up call necessary but I'm surprised that you knew nothing before parents evening. Nothing at parents evening should be a surprise to the parent. His teacher should have raised any concerns early on so it could be nipped in the bud.

I wouldn't be too heavy handed on the home sanctions. It is very easy to overreact when a teacher draws attention to your child. You know him.

Back the school up but keep some sense of proportion.

Startail Fri 16-Nov-12 15:12:49

Definitely a sense of proportion.

I helped at a school where one boy was always in trouble at school. He told me his mum had removed all his privileges at home too. I got the feeling he felt if everyone thought he was naughty, he might as well be naughty.sad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now