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Reception DS will not meet EYFS goals. School not helping - what can I do?

(63 Posts)
RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 15:47:06

I would really appreciate some help and advice from anyone who has experience of this, as a teacher or a parent.

DS attends a local primary school. I have just been asked to go into school to meet the Inclusion officer. She stated in no uncertain terms that DS will not meet EYFS goals in handwriting and a couple of behavioural areas (listening). He is in reception.

Has class teacher has had a quick word with me at pick up, perhaps 5 times throughout the year. She has said things like, DS refused to do handwriting today. Or DS did not listen today. I have been talking to DS about this a lot. I did not get the impression from his class teacher it was a severe problem. Nothing has been mentioned at the 2 parents evenings we have attended.

The inclusion officer told me there are incidents of DS not listening every single day. Why have they not made me aware of this before?

The inclusion officer also said DS will definitely not meet EYFS goals/targets. There is no time for him to turn things around because the reports are being written in 3 weeks. The school did not propose anything for helping or supporting him, or addressing the problems. They said if DS was unable to do the things being asked of him they would help, but as he is CHOOSING not to do the things asked of him, they will not help.

They repeatedly asked if he behaves like this at home.

I am completely confused. What should I be doing next in regards to getting the school to support these issues? I am working with DS every day at home and talking, explaining to him what is expected at school. But I am not there throughout the school day and clearly me supporting him at home with this is not enough.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 30-May-15 15:49:37

What sort of things are you doing at home? It may be that you need to change your approach

pudcat Sat 30-May-15 15:52:51

The first thing I would do is get his hearing checked. Is he one of the youngest in the class? Turn the tables on the teacher and ask what they are going to do to solve the problem. I can think of several reasons why he might refuse to do things. Perhaps a different teacher in the next year will suit him better.

Mistigri Sat 30-May-15 15:53:26

I don't live in the UK, and the system isn't the same here, but we had some issues with DS at his French preschool when he was reception age. The school were very keen to have a moan but less keen to propose any solutions. I asked for a meeting and threw everything back in their face - what did THEY propose to do to help him? would they be happy for me to remain in the classroom with him if they were unable to meet his needs? how did they plan to take into account the recommendations of his speech therapist? when could we expect a referral to the educational psychologist?

Funnily enough as soon as they were confronted with the need to do something and provide some resources themselves, the problem was suddenly not serious enough to require any intervention.

We changed schools the following term and have had no issues since.

Mistigri Sat 30-May-15 15:57:43

Also, very young children (assuming a normal home life with supportive parents) do not CHOOSE not to meet early years goals. They are either unable to meet them, or are being failed by the school, or both.

pudcat Sat 30-May-15 15:58:52

Not meeting the goals in handwriting really does not matter too much. His hands are not developed properly.

Get him using chalks on paper, drawing with hands in sand or foam. Do lots of finger rhymes. He can catch up next year.

What are his other goals like? The school should really have kept you better informed. Ask them why they didn't.

karbonfootprint Sat 30-May-15 15:59:04

I agree with needsasockamnesty. It sounds like issues in his school readiness, rather than anything educational the school can actually address. It is worth getting his hearing checked, but does he listen and follow instructions at home? That is the roots and basis of behaviour in school.

MrsGoslingWannabe Sat 30-May-15 16:04:18

Tell the HT that his teacher did make you properly aware of her concerns.

And yes check his hearing.

bronya Sat 30-May-15 16:08:30

Check his hearing and his eyesight.

BarbarianMum Sat 30-May-15 16:10:56

Regarding the handwriting, have you noticed (or have the school flagged up) any particular problems with hypermobility? If so, it might be worth pursuing this as there are things that can be done to make things more comfortable for your ds.

If not, and this is more likely, it may be that your ds has not yet developed the core strength and fine motor control to produce good handwriting. Typically this comes in boys from age 6-7, so if he is 4 or 5 its not particularly surprising that it's something that is difficult for him to do. Equally, he may not be very motivated to sit and write (and handwriting practice is, let's face it, deeply dull).

Ask his teacher what other methods they will use to assess his attainment as he is not happy writing yet (my ds1 would barely touch a pencil in reception but scored well across the board, writing excepted. He got to grips with it in Y1, and he was one of the eldest in the year).

As for the 'not listening' approach with caution. Firstly you need to ascertain (with a hearing test) whether he can actually hear. Secondly, can he process what he hears quickly? If he can hear and understand what is being asked of him, then you can decide whether this is a maturity thing (does he not want to do as he's asked) or if thee is something bigger going on.

In short, you (and the school) need to work out what is going on and why before you can sensibly assess whether there is a problem or not (Failing the EYFS is quite a loaded phrase - I would have thought not made the expected progress would be more accurate).

6LittleOnes Sat 30-May-15 16:12:58

Check his hearing and eyesight. One of the boys in dd1s class had a problem with paying attention in lessons, when his parents took him to the opticians they found he needed glasses and his behaviour in school improved massively.

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 16:14:45

We had his hearing checked and he had a period of very mild hearing loss (glue ear). It has now cleared up. He is not one of the younger ones in the class, he's in the middle.

His behaviour at home is generally good. We have a routine, boundaries and rules. That is not to say he doesn't sometimes try to cross them, but if he does he is given a consequence straight away. He has a strong character and knows his likes/dislikes. I say this in comparison to my other son who is very easy going. I do not let DS get away with bad behaviour at home and he knows very well how to behave. If he is not behaving bit is because he is struggling with something at school.

I think he does find it difficult to follow instructions all day long every day. I understand he will need to learn to do this quick smart, but if don't know how to help him, and I don't know what I should be asking of the school.

pudcat Sat 30-May-15 16:17:20

The teacher should be helping him to develop his fine motor skills. Bead threading, lacing cards, playdough, finger painting, sorting buttons etc.

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 16:29:17

They don't believe he has a problem with his fine motor skills. At the beginning of the year his handwriting was outstanding.

He now says it is boring. So as he has no problems with other fine motor skills (he sews with me at home, and draws well), the school won't be helping.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sat 30-May-15 16:35:51

Well, first of all there needs to be better home-school communication. If he was in my class, there would be a behaviour chart going home every single day and every incident of disobedience would be recorded.

Does he need cajoled and coaxed into every movement?

Goldmandra Sat 30-May-15 16:36:54

They cannot absolve themselves of responsibility by saying he is choosing not to meet the goals. All behaviour is communication. They should be trying to work out what he is trying to communicate. They need to observe him, assess him, try different strategies to support him, record what they are doing and, if those things don't help, get help from their learning support team to see if they can work out what are his barriers to learning.

There should be regular meetings with you to discuss his progress and review and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategies they are using.

I would ask for a meeting in a month to review his progress with a view to applying for an EHC assessment if the support they have put in place is not successful. He isn't likely to get an EHC Plan or even an assessment but the LA will ask the school to account for how they are spending their SEN budget to support him.

Mistigri Sat 30-May-15 16:37:21

Well, either there's no problem - in which case why is he failing to meet the early years targets? (the implication being that it's the school that is failing your son not the other way round) - or there is a problem and they need to propose a solution! They can't have it both ways.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 30-May-15 16:52:54

This is why I hate all this assessing and tick boxing with very young children. He is 5, he is the rest of his life to improve his writing skills, as for listening, he is still little. In my mums country and in others, they do not start proper school unil 7 when they are emotionally and cognitively ready.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 30-May-15 16:54:03

What are school doing to help his handwriting and other skills? It does not sound like he is school ready, not all children are. This is the trouble with such young school age.

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 17:03:21

Thanks for the replies everyone.

Goldmandra, what is an EHC assessment?

TroublewithAngels, I asked the class teacher to give me a note on a chart each day so that I could follow up at home if he is not behaving in class. I was told they do not have time to do it. DS does not need coaxing into everything - that is my understanding anyway. I understand it is once a day or sometimes twice a day when they may need to ask him 3 times to listen, or stop annoying the child next to him, or move from one task to another. Honestly, I don't know exactly how frequently this is happening. The class teacher and the inclusion officer have told me 2 different things.

They also said he does not seem to care when he is reprimanded by the teacher.

The school is ranked as the highest achieving school in our borough. On that basis alone I am confused as to why they haven't offered any support.

Goldmandra Sat 30-May-15 17:10:35

EHC means education health and care. An EHC Plan is what used to be called a statement of special educational needs.

If you request an assessment, the LA has to consider the child's current level of need and ask the school how they are supporting them. It works well as a way of getting the school to step up and put support in if the child is falling behind. The school has a budget to cover SEN support and they should be using it to support a child who is not making adequate progress which includes not meeting the early learning goals.

The school is ranked as the highest achieving school in our borough. On that basis alone I am confused as to why they haven't offered any support.

Some of the higher achieving schools make a point of not supporting children with SEN so their parents move them and their results look even better. This doesn't apply to all but it isn't as uncommon as it should be.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 30-May-15 17:11:18

Exactly Gold, they are placing the blame on a very young child, instead of taking responsibility for trying to help him, and setting up stratergies and goals. Sometimes the most highest achieving school or outstanding, is not necessarily the best. I have heard on Mumsnet, how others children have done better in 'good' rated schools than in 'outstanding' ones. I know dd outstanding mainstream school, did not want the trouble of SN kids, especially those with behavioural issues, that would show the school in a bad light. DD now goes to a fantastic ASD special school and is doing so well.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 30-May-15 17:16:13

I always felt that dd outstanding Mainstream school where trying to push those with SN out so it would not tarnish their reputation. You need to have a meeting with the school, to establish what they are doing to help your ds in those areas, what stratergies are they using so that you can also try them at home. They sound a bit meh to me, like they can't be arsed.

RaisinsNotGrapes Sat 30-May-15 17:23:03

They opened the meeting by stating the reason they had called a meeting, was to discuss DS's EYFS profile because it had been highlighted by the auditor from the LA as 'spikey'. The auditor had questioned the schools' reporting because they could not understand how DS could be exceeding in some areas and not meeting expectations in others.

I had the impression we would not have had the meeting if the LA had not recommended it.

I really do not know what to make of the school so far. Are they simply handing the issues with DS back to us as his parents, to sort out?

Are they saying they don't think there is a big problem but they had to have this meeting because the LA recommended it?

They said they have concerns about DS managing in Y1. Do they want us to find another school so they don't have to manage any issues he may have?

mumofthemonsters808 Sat 30-May-15 17:29:45

Try not to worry too much, my reception aged son will not be meeting his handwriting targets either. He can not even grip his pencil properly, his teacher has kindly proved us with a development pack to use over the holidays, it consists of lots of things which require him to manipulate his fingers i.e. threading beads, using tweezers.i would have thought the teacher would also be providing lots of support to enable your boy to progress

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