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Parents evening woes - not one positive comment

(25 Posts)
itssnowjoke Fri 04-Mar-16 09:43:05

Have name changed so as not to out myself with my other posts.

Parents evening last night for year 8 DD (12) who has Dyspraxia, Processing disorder, Sensory issues and paediatrician said in his opinion she is also on the ASD spectrum.

DD is apparently quiet and well behaved and got exceptional on her last termly report for behaviour. She is moving up sets quite quickly (bottom to middle in a year) so appears to be doing well for her ability. She is predicted Cs in year 11 and possible some Bs. This is a child who was working at level 1 in year 5 just to give a picture.

If she were being a pain in the backside I would back them like a shot but the negatives were all sen related

I don't think she got one positive comment of 'she does this well'. No one mentioned her moving up sets (I found this out off dd but definitely know it is true as knew who the next set teacher was and she has them)

All I got was:

She takes too long getting dressed in PE:
She is Dyspraxic and struggles, she is not being given any extra time to get changed. The teacher even said that the other kids get annoyed and shout to hurry up which I am guessing flusters her more sad

Maths . she sometimes doesn't process what teacher has said in the intro until she has moved on, because she has a processing disorder, again no mention of how they were helping her, giving her a planning sheet etc. When I asked if she knew dd had sen she said no despite the fact she had spent three minutes saying about dd having those 'annoying yellow paper books' So her maths teacher had no idea she had SEN.

The English teacher is 'irritated' that she struggles to get stories from her head to paper. She has processing disorder. He is a brilliant teacher from what I can gather but rather than telling her at parents evening to just do it and get it down on paper whether it is rubbish or not (dd has massive self esteem issues and thinks it will be rubbish so he was not being unkind) give her strategies to help and explain to me at parents evening what you are doing to help, mind maps etc.

In D and T she is exceptional and was on secure in most subjects so predicted a B as they average the scores out for all the D and T areas. In cooking this term she has got a bottom level score and is predicted a E in cooking. She won't take cooking so I am not too concerned but surely a child going from B level to E level would raise concern? The cooking teacher was not there and the other DT teacher couldn't understand why she had got that grade. The food she has produced is fine, she has burnt nothing, she has not set fire to the kitchen etc.

The history teacher and DT teacher did give good ideas on how she can ask for help without being shy or embarrassed and how she can improve but not one person praised her for anything.

I am just left feeling a bit crap, she is an sen student achieving higher than her predicted ability who behaves in school. What does she have to do? They comment she has low self esteem but never give her anything to be confident about. sad

Am I being very PFB?

hottea Fri 04-Mar-16 09:55:32

No, you are not being pfb and definitely nbu. Your dd is doing very well, considering the progress she is making.

First, nothing at parents' evening should come as a shock. If it does, it is the teacher's fault for not informing you earlier.

I would get in touch with the Sen coordinator at school, request a meeting and put forward my concerns that your dd's sen needs are not provided for in the classroom. Ask to work out a plan so that all teachers are involved.

Could you afford private tutoring in english and maths? It might improve your dd's confidence and self-esteem as she sees herself how much she can leatn when taught as per her requirements.

hottea Fri 04-Mar-16 09:58:56

In your meeting with school, I would also raise concerns about her E grade in cooking and not getting more time to get changed.

Not giving any positive comments shows serious lack of professionalism at your dd's school. Your dd is doing great!

itssnowjoke Fri 04-Mar-16 10:09:28

I did speak to the senco last night who told dd to come and see her anytime she needed to. I had discussions over the school reward system changing to include aptitude rather than just behaviour, effort and attendance meaning most of the sen students went from gold to bronze or nothing at all (dd went to bronze) and she was just as upset about it and told dd she should feel sorry for the ones who get no award term after term. I already made a complaint about the reward system which included a boy with substantial sen being one of the few who did not get a selection box from school at Christmas because of the changes because he had no reward sad

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

anotherdayanothersquabble Fri 04-Mar-16 11:25:46

Awful. Email to all of them!! And meeting with Senco.

Mention progress to date, support requested, emphasise patience and positivity.

itssnowjoke Fri 04-Mar-16 11:53:07

The problem with pe is her uniform is a buttoned blouse, tie, tights and buttoned and zipped skirt (only available from one shop as logo'd ) then her pe kit is knee high sport socks, a wrap around skirt with a sidewards zip etc.

Im going to ask if she can go 5 minutes early again.

Have contacted the senco a few times to make sure people know as this has popped up before more than once sad

Ive had to fight every step of the way for anything with her and i don't feel honestly they take the Dyspraxia seriously.

itssnowjoke Fri 04-Mar-16 11:55:09

Like i said a simply youve moved up a set and you are doing well at x,y and z we need to work on a,b,c now was all i was looking for.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WonkoTheSane42 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:05:20

"I had discussions over the school reward system changing to include aptitude rather than just behaviour, effort and attendance meaning most of the sen students went from gold to bronze or nothing at all."

God, what an awful system. The kids should be rewarded or not based on the things they have control over. They can't help what they're good at, or not.

teacher54321 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:11:42

I cannot imagine ever seeing any parent at a parents' evening and not saying one positive thing. Even with the most difficult students I always start off with something nice to say. Your poor dd. Sounds like the school has got its priorities wrong.

lem73 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:13:03

I find secondary school teachers, on average, very poor at dealing with SEN children. I agree you should have an immediate meeting with the Senco and say the teachers in the school are not meeting your DD's needs. I find the English teacher's remark particularly appallingly. Such difficulty is to be expected in a child with your dd's needs. It makes me so cross. Did your DD hear all these remarks? Poor thing.

Meeep Fri 04-Mar-16 22:13:23

I really feel for your family, it seems like the school aren't listening. sad

lurked101 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:17:01

As a teacher I think this is appaling and I'd be asking questions of how well your DDs teachers are preparing, to make complaints addressed to SEN is rubbish and they need to up their game.

I had parents evening last night, and I'm always really careful to make sure that anything said is constructive and that as much as possible there are positives to be taken.

Not the same as what you dealt with, but I sat for years with people whinging about DS/DDs , and as a teacher my self thought: " Yeah your complaining about my child being a fairly typical teenager. DS is distracted by other boys and can be immature, DD talks a lot etc etc. I am now very careful that if I have to mention something like that to say: " But that's typical behaviour of a 15 year old boy/girl" so the parent doesn't feel like its just them.

I'd ask the SENCO to make sure your daughters needs are emailed to all with the difficulites she may have strongly stressed.

lurked101 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:18:33

and as a teacher I should have read that message through before posting, typos are abundant

RandomMess Fri 04-Mar-16 22:24:57

Yeah that would have left me very upset, and angry that they are not helping her overcome her SEN issues angry

I would take your time writing a letter highlighting your concerns and also your disappointment that despite her achievement the negativity when she is a child who has low self-esteem and needs to hear the praise for what she is achieving despite the obstacles in her way that they are not helping her with!

Spandexpants007 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:25:16

You need to feed all this back to the head of year. They don't seem to have a grasp of her SEN and the lack of positives highlights that parents evening wasn't very balanced for your DD. I do think its fine for teachers to express that the other children get annoyed when she takes long to get ready.

Spandexpants007 Fri 04-Mar-16 22:27:26

I would ask the head of year to outline DD's SEN to each of her teachers. Along with a list of how best to help her learn (you can scrape a factual list together as you have the knowledge)

elephantoverthehill Fri 04-Mar-16 22:31:48

I totally agree with Teacher54321. I always try to find something positive about a child. Whether it is at a teacher/parent meeting or in the classroom.

starry0ne Fri 04-Mar-16 22:47:41

I had a parents evening like this once..My DS didn't have a diagnosis at the time.. I refused to attend any further meetings and explained why...

I would definitely ask for Senco to get involved and want answers about how they will be supporting your DC

MerryMarigold Fri 04-Mar-16 22:55:36

Yes, I'd go straight to Head of Year. Your disappointment is very reasonable, and considering your dd's self esteem issues, this is a massive knock-back. I can sympathise as ds1 has some of those issues although more mildly and sometimes parents evening was painful, but teachers would also always say positive things. It was more me, dwelling on the negative. If your dd was there, listening to it all, it is perhaps time to find another school.

kawliga Fri 04-Mar-16 23:57:56

OP, just to give some perspective, my dd has no SEN but she struggles with many those things you wrote down. She has always been very slow at getting herself dressed. Her classmates are ready for PE and she is still standing about, hasn't even started getting changed. She is easily distracted and her mind wanders off in class. So she is slower than most children in getting stuff done. Many children struggle with these things. Even without a processing disorder, maths is hard to process! Putting stories down in writing is hard for many people! What are these teachers on?

Anybody who is a teacher should be aware of this, and look for ways to encourage the dc and acknowledge when they are making progress. Since there are SEN in your case they should be trying even harder to be even more sympathetic and supportive! My dd's teacher knows what she's like and he praises her for being 'on task' even though she's still slow. She'll always be slow, it's just who she is. It takes all sorts to make the world go round, nothing wrong with being slower than the rest. Teacher should tell off the classmates who are putting pressure on your dd. What about being patient and waiting? They should learn a lesson in patience and kindness.

YANBU and you are definitely not being PFB. I find this sad that there is not even one supportive teacher sad

Stanky Sat 05-Mar-16 03:11:58

I've had a couple of parents evenings like that op, and my dc are only 8 and 4. I can see that they have made progress, and I think that they are doing well, but the teachers have had nothing positive to say about my 8 yo ds. He's had 2 teachers in the past who managed to be very positive, but not the rest.

4yo ds has SEN, dyspraxia, sensory issues, etc. His parents evenings have been quite positive, apart from the SENCO never wants to see us, and she always looks like she's trying to hide and can be very dismissive. I've also had to fight every step of the way to get ds the support in school. We've got parents evening next week, and I'm dreading it. I have come out of them crying before.

itssnowjoke Sat 05-Mar-16 07:05:35

Thank you so much.
Yes she does do the tie thing so she can get it back on easily.

The history teacher was fine, although he didn't say if she was doing good or bad when i mentioned she wanted to take his subject and asked his opinion he did say that history was a lot more literacy based and she had challenges there but if she enjoyed it more than geography it would make a difference. Hes the one i had faith he understood her needs.

The English teacher is new to dd. She adores him. He is fantastic in class from what i can gather and the irritating part was said in a joking way. I really liked him as a person but its still frustrating when a sen issue is mentioned and just do it is the answer sad

Ditsy4 Sat 05-Mar-16 07:29:05

That's awful Stanky.

I would ask for an appointment with SENCO and agree with hottea's post. I sent one of my children to a private tutor for a year and it made such a difference. He was able to ask questions without feeling silly and they could work on it the next time. The tutor took him for Maths and English. I sent him because his previous school said he was above average12+at 8 in English whereas his new teacher said he was average. The other school was 90% forces intake so very academic. It was worth every penny and I did without to pay for it. The tutor confirmed he was above average in English and helped him improve his Maths.
I would also be inclined to send a print out/ email to PE teacher about Dyspraxia. I worked with a child with this condition and she needed extra time. Does she have any 1:1 support at all? If she could go 5 mins before it would help. A TA might be able to help her organise her clothing I did this or perhaps go through the process at home to see if she could make a routine to speed her up. Systematic dressing helps because the processing makes it difficult to chose what should be attempted next whereas an order of what to do helps speed things up.
I would be inclined to speak to the Headteacher about the lack of any positive comments as the teachers should be balancing their comments. I found Secondary Parent's Evenings a nightmare. One of the teachers didn't even know who one of my kids was! He had been in class for 9 months. He was going down a list and looking at another teacher with an expression of help me out who is this kid? I finished by telling him I would bring a photo of my son next time( the children didn't attend those days) and thankfully the next teacher was wonderful and knew a lot about his difficulties too. He had been bullied.
I would take her for a treat this weekend and say how proud you are. I think she is doing brilliantly to make that level of progress in that time. I work with pupils with SEN in Primary.

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