To question school over this and be a bit annoyed?(21 Posts)
She needs to be doing the HFW.
Having said that, I have many children on spelling programmes 2,3 or even 4 years below their actual year group and it's astounding how many parents complain and want them on, for example, Y5 spellings because they are in Y5 and are demoralised by having Y3 words. But if that is where they are at then those are the words I'm going to give them. How else can progress be made?!
YANBU. At the very least, the spellings should be differentiated so that your Dd has appropriate spellings to learn (so if she is good at phonically regular words for example, she should be extending the phonic patterns she knows). Does her IEP have anything about spellings or literacy on it? As that would be a good starting point.
That does sound ridiculous.
At My DCs school there are three different spelling groups and they get words according to their ability. Brings it's own problems because of course no matter what you call the groups everyone knows which is the best and which the "worst" but at least they all have a chance to score well.
In fact, those who struggle with the high frequency words go out into phonics groups with a TA during tests to practise those, so in our school your DD may well not be doing spelling test at all.
FWIW I do think spelling tests are pointless. My yr6 Ds gets 9 or 10/10 every week after practising (middle group words) at home but his spelling in written work is atrocious and he doesn't retain the "learned" words beyond the test.
as a teacher and a parent of 3 DC, 2 of whom now at secondary school, I have never known a primary school class where there were not at least 3 differentiated groups for spellings! How strange that the teacher is insisting on this, especially since she has recognised SEN as a contributory factor to her spelling being below average for her age.
is the teacher new/inexperienced or "old school" - maybe this is a reaction to another parent complaining that your DD did not have to repeat tests when theirs did, even so what they have done is totally unfair on your DD and demoralising for her. Speak to the head, they will probably be appalled.
Does she have an official diagnosis of something like dyslexia? I would suggest that you point out that she has a disability and this conduct is unlawful discrimination.
It might also be worth exploring the possibility of a statement, you could possibly get provision written in that she is not to be subjected to this sort of stress as well as getting more support for her.
How do you learn about your child's progress "through the grapevine"? That sounds very off.
I would be pulling out the big guns. I would be asking for a meeting with the senco and the teacher. I pulled this from a website.
"A child's progress at SA+ stage should also be reviewed regularly (i.e. at least twice a year) and an IEP should also be written to assist the child."
Surely she should have had her iep reviewed in late sept or October to see if she has met the targets, if not then there should be additional measures to help her meet these targets. Unless your a pushy parent, you don't get anywhere.
I'm not familiar with the sound write program, but often literacy programmes have words incorporated in them which could be used for a spelling test if it's really necessary to have them.
But seriously, her IEP has not been done since march? No progress this year! I would be pushing for a meeting with the senco and asking for a statutory assessment (basically deciding whether she needs a statement of SEN). As she has several diagnosed conditions then that is a good basis for getting a statement- but the school also have to show what they have been doing to help her and it might highlight some of the things they should be doing but don't seem to be.
Dd is dyslexic and ends up with the same spellings. More recently I have learned to teach her to judge the system and it's proponents instead of herself. Her teachers this year are 'old school' and tbf they are not bad in a lot of ways but they have totally draconian views on dyslexia which we have tried and failed to challenge so we explained that to dd, told her some people have difficulty understanding the condition and she should pity them. It has really worked. It is awful when they start to feel bad you want to scream but what is the point.
As a guide, we aim to review all IEPs once a term (around the half term mark). So since march all our children with SENs have had at least 2 new IEPs, and we are in the process of reviewing their progress ready to write their next IEP to start after the half term holiday. Even if there has been no progress against the targets (which is very rare) we will be detailing new strategies that we will use, after all if there has been no progress over the term then there is no point continuing it!
OP- I would be thinking very hard about putting in an official complaint and also whether this is the right school for your DD.
It looks like you can ask for a statutory assessment yourself www.education.gov.uk/popularquestions/a005393/sen-statutory-assessment
It's not down to the school whether she gets a statement though. (And by the way, they are right, she won't get one because there isn't enough evidence that the school has tried to help her themselves)
But if you request the assessment then the LEA will come back and say 'but the school needs to try this, and that, before we'll consider an assessment' which strengthens your case.
It just makes me so mad that schools can get away with this. I've worked at a few schools. One of which had such an appalling attitude towards children with SEN that it was driving them away- which is of course what the school wanted but they can't actually refuse a place to a child because of their SEN.
The school I work in now is much more supportive of children with SEN, however this means we get many children with SEN from other schools who have basically been turfed out through no provision being made for them. And as a result, we're sliding down the league tables, getting poor OFSTED reports, etc. Not that I give a shit about all that, but it means that the teachers are constantly having to justify themselves and we have staff members becoming ill through stress.
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