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...to not be happy with the way the school does things?

(93 Posts)
gimmecakeandcandy Thu 03-Jan-13 23:55:19

I need opinions here please...

My child started school last September so he is in reception but I - and lots of other mums - have not been very happy with the lack of communication with regards to how our kids are doing/their progress etc. Other mums I know with children at other schools have told me they get updates via email, text, etc on things going on, one mum told me her school invited parents in so they could take them through how they teach the kids to read etc so they could follow it up at home, etc.

At our school I learnt from another mum that some kids have had reading books but others haven't and I had to ask about it, whereas I expected more communication about how our kids are getting on. There just seems to be a general lack of communication compared to what i hear from friends with children at other schools and it is bugging me as I'm not sure if I should be bugged iyswim!

Should I be 'bugged' or not?! I just don't know!

My DDs school doesn't send texts and email out but we can make appointments with the teacher or pop in after school if we want a chat about progress. I think most schools are the same.

HollyBerryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 23:59:25

Not all schools have the same budgets - some schools have yet to move over to parent mail etc, others still rely on school-bag letter mail systems. If your school does have parent mail - did you give them your email address?

Are you actually unhappy with the way communication is handled or do you think other schools do it better and you want the same systems?

Never listen to other parents - always see the teacher direct. Thats the best bit of advice I can give on navigating school gate horrors!

oldpeculiar Fri 04-Jan-13 00:00:55

Thay are 4, they have been there 1 term! What do you think they have been doing- Calculus?

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 04-Jan-13 00:02:31

I don't feel they communicate very well. School is in a 'well to do' area and is a bit snotty if I'm honest and it seems to think its better than it is! I think they should talk to us more, tell us more.

I will have a chat with the teacher - thanks x

Dancergirl Fri 04-Jan-13 00:09:12

I don't give a shit about all this 'communication' rubbish. Good quality teaching is all I'm concerned about. You'll be able to tell with time how your child is doing.

WorraLiberty Fri 04-Jan-13 00:10:47

Do you get a weekly newsletter?

NotOnTheBeach Fri 04-Jan-13 00:10:56

Generally schools seem to communicate with you 3 times a year: 2 parents evenings and a report. Possibly only 1 parents evening and one report.

Over the whole year.

Or else they get in touch when there is a problem. Or expect you to get in touch if there is a problem.

They almost never communicate 'just for the sake of it'. IME.

Do you get a weekly school newsletter? Not that that tells you more than whihc class got the punctuality cup and when the next PTA cake sale is.

Cathycomehome Fri 04-Jan-13 00:12:43

Tell me this isn't because your child hasn't had a reading book yet, and the other mum you spoke to has a child that has?

They all learn at different speeds, and it is silly to obsess about who's done what at reception age.

KobayashiMaru Fri 04-Jan-13 00:13:31

The teachers are probably busy doing the actual teaching rather than sending you emails.
If you want to know how well your child is reading, sit down with them and a book and you'll soon find out.

Picturesinthefirelight Fri 04-Jan-13 00:18:49

When my dc started school we had a parents evening after hdlf term them if there was Snything the teacher was concerned about or you were concerned about you had a quick chat at collection time

That was all. We do get occasional newsletters and also get given a little booklet saying what areas are being covered each term.

Pandemoniaa Fri 04-Jan-13 00:19:15

I'd prefer to have more detailed information at fewer times of the year than I would constant communications aimed at doing little more than prove that so-called communications are more important than actual teaching.

SchoolFool Fri 04-Jan-13 00:19:18

I think communication style is key for a school and can mean the difference between a mediocre school and a brilliant one. It was one of the main reasons we changed schools at one point in fact.
That said, if there is an open door policy and you can pop into the teacher to ask a question, I wouldn't worry. I would rather that than a canned newsletter stating which class won the attendance award!

BackforGood Fri 04-Jan-13 00:22:07

Agree with everyone else. Leave the teachers to teach. If there is an issue, they will contact you. If you feel your child is not happy, then contact them. They have 30 children to teach for 5 hours every day - they do not have time to be giving daily or weekly updates to each and every parent. That will happen at Parents' Evenings and then (usually) a report at the end of the year.

Goldmandra Fri 04-Jan-13 00:38:50

I wouldn't be expecting any real detail about my child's progress at this stage. They are still settling in and the children and staff are getting to know each other.

I'd expect to hear if there were any serious concerns but apart from that I don't think reports on attainment would be particularly accurate or worthwhile at this stage.

What I think would be useful, however, are parent information evenings where the teachers share phonics and word building skills so the parents use the same approach at home. They are also a good way of promoting the kind of activities parents can use at home to support their children s' learning. I don't have many good things to say about our village school but they did invite us in regularly to learn the skills our children were being taught in the classroom and it really helped with homework!

Fairenuff Fri 04-Jan-13 00:46:23

It's unreasonable to expect communication just for the sake of it.

If there is a problem, the teacher will ask to speak with you.

If you want to know something specific, ask the teacher.

Other than that, what is the point in weekly, daily, hourly check-ups?

What is it that you actually want to know about your child OP?

WilsonFrickett Fri 04-Jan-13 00:52:38

I think if, for example, your child was at a private nursery where you get a little report every day, school is a massive culture shock in terms of communication. I know it was for me, anyway. And every school has a different approach too, which adds to the confusion. Unfortunately its just one of these things you have to get used to.

Although something like a session on how reading is taught can be really useful and is something our previous school did. Stuff like that you can raise through the parents' group or forum.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 01:07:41

You are over reacting. Why do you need to ask about why some children have reading books and some don't? What makes it your business what other people's children are reading?

I think you are expecting far too much when you talk about emails and texts being sent out. What are these texts you are hearing if of actually about? Because no school I know of uses text for anything other than to say school is closed because of snow, or sports day has been postponed due to rain and such like. Email may be used more frequently, for whole school newsletters or year group newsletters, but I doubt teachers are sending parents individual emails to parents about their child's progress.

I am sure that the teacher will welcome any questions you have, or respond to any notes you wrote about your child. Go and have a chat and ask about reading. Does your child have a learning journey or anything similar that you could go in and look at. Do they welcome parent helpers in class so you could take the opportunity to see what goes on?

Please remember that your child is still in reception. Reception is not the same as the rest of the school, children are still under the EYFS, and sometimes things that are relevant to the rest of the school don't apply to reception. The EYFS is very open to interpretation by different teachers or practitioners, so don't worry about the fact that you haven't had a reading meeting, it does not mean the teacher isn't doing a good job. It really doesn't, and there is a very valid argument against putting so much pressure on four year olds to learn to read.

If your child is happy and settled and familiar with the teachers, TAs, dinner ladies, school routines etc, then you have had a successful first term.

I am an Early Years practitioner in a primary school reception class by the way.

Loveweekends10 Fri 04-Jan-13 06:19:53

Chill your beans love or by the time your child gets to high school you will be a nervous wreck!
Reception is mostly about learning through play. Wait until parents evening then do what other first time parents do and hog the teacher for 30 minutes instead of 10.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 04-Jan-13 07:16:12

^Add message | Report | Message poster Goldmandra Fri 04-Jan-13 00:38:50
I wouldn't be expecting any real detail about my child's progress at this stage. They are still settling in and the children and staff are getting to know each other.

I'd expect to hear if there were any serious concerns but apart from that I don't think reports on attainment would be particularly accurate or worthwhile at this stage.

What I think would be useful, however, are parent information evenings where the teachers share phonics and word building skills so the parents use the same approach at home. They are also a good way of promoting the kind of activities parents can use at home to support their children s' learning. I don't have many good things to say about our village school but they did invite us in regularly to learn the skills our children were being taught in the classroom and it really helped with homework!^

Yes! This I totally agree with and would like! You have hit the nail on the head there for me goldmandra smile

My child has had a reading book and could read a little before the book came home but there wasn't any info in the progress book about it or here is a reading book etc. just a general lack of communication...

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 04-Jan-13 07:20:19

It's not that I need to know about why some have had reading books and some haven't... It is the lack of communication telling us that reading books are coming out etc. Also at the start, word pots were put in the book bags and books to read at home but because the teachers hadn't been organised enough only some had them and others didn't and no one told us what the word pots were for or what to do with them. A little more communication would be better?!

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 07:29:10

If your not sure about something then why dont you communicate with the teacher? Ask them the explain things to you!

You seem very concerned about what some are getting and others aren't - that will be because each child is different. What other children are Gettinh sent home doesn't matter to you at all.

gimmecakeandcandy Fri 04-Jan-13 07:36:14

Sirzy it's the lack of telling us 'this is what is happening' that concerns me and lots of the other mums too. But yes, I will talk to the teacher. I think book logs should be written in and I like the idea of some guidance on how to follow the reading teaching at home like some other schools do. That sounds like a great idea and will be a help for everyone all round.

RobotLover68 Fri 04-Jan-13 07:47:59

Also at the start, word pots were put in the book bags and books to read at home but because the teachers hadn't been organised enough only some had them and others didn't

I would think this is due to ability of child rather than any lack of organisation on teacher's part

You really need to stop worrying and go with the flow

kilmuir Fri 04-Jan-13 07:56:03

I have a child in reception.
I neither know nor care what other children have in their book bags.
Why don't you go and ask the teacher if you are unsure about something.

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