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Do some nurseries and schools 'favour' the children they think are cleverer or more advanced?

(18 Posts)
lottieandmia Tue 16-Apr-13 21:35:43

I have come to the conclusion that they do. I have a 9 year old in a school where this has never, ever happened. She was a late bloomer - was one of the last to learn to read, etc it was never made anything of, nor was she made to feel inferior to anyone. Now in year 4 she's considered academic.

Dd3 goes to a nursery where I feel they are more interested in the children who can already write their names and who seem more mature for their age (she's just 4 and like older sister is a bit later doing some stuff). They have never seemed very interested to give me feedback on how she's doing and I have noticed she really lacks confidence in her ability. Luckily she's only there for another term - I chose it because of its outstanding rating by Ofsted but looking back perhaps I should have sent her to the one her sister went to.

Has anyone else found that this happened to their child? I have also seen it in a local primary school where I did some TA work - I think it's a shame tbh.

ChasingStaplers Tue 16-Apr-13 21:46:59

Sounds like it's just a crap nursery to be honest.

The nursery my two eldest went to, which was opposite where I worked (am on maternity leave now) was rated 'good' but they were absolutely fantastic. Great fun, great communicators and I really trusted that my DC were fine there, regardless of how able they were.
(DD was always first to milestones but others caught up, whereas DS1 has been much slower but is now ahead of his peers so I've seen both sides)
In contrast, they are now in another nursery near where we live for 3 mornings a week. Rated 'outstanding'. To be honest, I'm really disappointed. They aren't a patch on the old nursery and all they really feedback about is what they have for lunch, unless pressed. confused
The staff aren't as enthusiastic (some are very lethargic, even!) and I've noticed this has an effect on my DC's enthusiasm and enjoyment too.
Luckily DD is starting school in September as she's more than ready and when I go back to work I will be putting my boys back in the other nursery.

Sorry, that was very long! In a nutshell, I think it's more about the specific nursery/school. I've worked in lots of schools and some staff lean towards the more able, some towards the less able but it usually evens itself out. Sorry your DD is lacking confidence, can you send her to the other nursery?

lottieandmia Tue 16-Apr-13 21:51:59

I don't know if I could move her now as she only has the summer term to go and most places require a term's notice don't they?

In May she will be starting some morning sessions at the nursery my older dd went to, because she'll be starting in the school which it is attached to in September. Do you think I should move her for just one term?

MNBlackpoolandFylde Tue 16-Apr-13 21:54:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lottieandmia Tue 16-Apr-13 21:56:34

Hmm, seems to me that maybe Ofsted reports are not reliable indicators of whether a provision is any good.

lottieandmia Tue 16-Apr-13 21:59:33

This is exactly what I mean MNBlack - the teacher decides a very young child is not clever so is not worth bothering with and the child gets this message and therefore feels the label has stuck - it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is happening to a friend's dd who at the tender age of 6 has been labelled low ability and the teacher isn't interested in her sad

CloudsAndTrees Tue 16-Apr-13 22:02:54

I've worked in a couple of pre schools and reception, and this hasn't happened in my experience.

It may come across to parents that this happens because the children who show an interest in reading and writing need to have their needs met too. Sometimes this will mean that they are given a little more attention because that's what it takes to engage them in what they want to do.

You need to ask for feedback if you want it on particular things, or if there's anything you are worried about. Sometimes staff will be keen to tell a parent about something their child has done that is particularly 'clever', but that's just because its nice for staff to share special achievements with parents. I can see how that may come across as the staff are more interested in the able children, but unless it's a really bad nursery, it's unlikely that they really are.

Your child's key worker should be able to tell you about your child's progress any time you ask. You could go and ask to have a look at your child's observations, and that will let you see the things your child has been doing at nursery. If there is a shortage of observations or they are very repetitive, then you might have a reason to worry.

ChasingStaplers Tue 16-Apr-13 22:05:54

Ofsted aren't very good indicators IMO.
I worked at a special needs school and had to write the report to give to the inspectors and half of their report was in my words! I think it's just a good indicator of how well they can fill in forms.

With regards to moving her, our old nursery only required 1 week notice to leave and this one is two weeks so I guess it's worth looking at your contract.
I'd see how she settles as maybe you could build her hours up at the new place? Maybe it will help build her confidence up just attending there a short while each week anyway.
Is she 4? If so, I'd speak to her about how she feels about nursery and when she's been at the new one as well I'd ask how she would feel about going there more often. I'm sure my DD would let me know how she felt (she still talks about the old nursery and the things that she preferred when she was there). If her school is attached it might even be beneficial to move her there before she starts reception.
Obviously you know your DD though so that might not be the case.

lottieandmia Tue 16-Apr-13 22:09:37

'You need to ask for feedback if you want it on particular things'

I do ask and I get vague responses tbh!

ChasingStaplers - what about the Sure Start funding though? That I suppose will already have been allocated to the current nursery?

LittleEdie Tue 16-Apr-13 22:26:24

If children at the other nursery will be going to the same school then I'd think about moving her. Though if it's too late to give notice then not.

ChasingStaplers Tue 16-Apr-13 22:29:21

I agree about the feedback. I ask for it but really have to push for anything more than 'he/she's been good today'.
Not sure about the funding, we started new nursery just before Christmas and there wasn't a problem with the funding changeover. I'd ask at the new nursery if I were you.
It's so tough making sure your DC get the best care for them and so frustrating when you feel they aren't. I feel like a terrible mum taking them out of the old nursery but I have no choice as I don't have a car and it's an hour away on public transport, whereas this one is a one minute walk sad

lottieandmia Tue 16-Apr-13 22:30:47

She often says she doesn't want to go to nursery but when I ask her why she won't say.

lottieandmia Tue 16-Apr-13 22:35:49

Yes it is annoying. If only I'd had the benefit of hindsight... There is a child who moved into my older dd's class from another school. Her mum was telling me that she was ignored at her old school and was one year behind average NC levels for her age. Now, one year on at the new school she has caught up to where she should be. It just goes to show how a provision can really matter.

SquirrelNuts Tue 16-Apr-13 22:38:28

I dont think DS nursery is like that, he is clever at some things but very behind in speech and language. I think DS keyworker has a bit of a soft spot for him though, he gives his cute face and gives her cuddles and generally pretends to be a little angel hmm

ChasingStaplers Tue 16-Apr-13 22:41:42

Fantastic that her DD has caught up but so wrong that the school/nursery matters so much. You only have to look at the stress of the school place applications to see how varying the quality of it is. All our local schools are rated outstanding but for me that isn't enough. The proof will be in how DD settles in and how well she achieves (for herself).
I would definitely speak to the new nursery. They might be able to accommodate you, especially as she's due to start there anyway and has a place at the school.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Tue 16-Apr-13 22:44:55

My DD is aged 8 in year 4....also a late bloomer, she's had nothing but positive help and attention since day one and DD is in reception...she can't read yet whilst others can...she's got tonnes of support and her teacher is VERY interested in her.

lottieandmia Wed 17-Apr-13 13:50:27

Im wondering whether the 'outstanding' provisions are most concerned about their results than the individual children? As Neo says, some schools clearly don't have this ethos.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 17-Apr-13 14:46:58

Well our school is outstanding Lottie....I've always felt that they're keen to maintain their results and so they put a lot of effort in.

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