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to think the expectations about children starting Reception are very low?

(294 Posts)
mendimoo Fri 02-Sep-16 23:55:57

I look after my nephew a lot because his parents both work long hours (NHS.) Today he had a home visit from his teacher before he starts school next week. She bought some things with her as 'ice breakers' and, in her words, was 'absolutely amazed' by DN. She bought some five piece peg puzzles that my two year old has been able to do for months. DN showed her the 100 piece puzzle he'd completed that morning and she was gobsmacked. She asked some leading questions to see if he knew his colours and again was shocked that he did. Again, my DD can pick out colours and colour sort and she's two - DN has known his colours since around 18 months.

DN also demonstrated that he could read numbers 1-10 (he can read 1-20 but she didn't have the resources to stretch that far), read CVC words and use words like more, less, bigger, smaller, the same to compare objects and groups. She asked if he could recognise his name and was really shocked that he could read and write it.

I think reading the CVC words is a little ahead but don't most children know their colours and numbers by reception age? The teachers expectations seemed extremely low.

coolerthanthereddress Fri 02-Sep-16 23:58:49

YANBU but will probably be told you are.

As an aside, there is no way I would ever let a teacher into my home!!

TheTroubleWithAngels Sat 03-Sep-16 00:01:03

Reception teachers generally like to praise children.

If he had sorted everything and she had said 'Hmm. Mediocre, Charlie,' you would be complaining.

PerspicaciaTick Sat 03-Sep-16 00:01:33

I think she was mostly being kind and smiley to a small boy who was performing his best tricks for her. Did you want her to say "Oh, that's nothing special" hmm or were you hoping she would sing his praises.
She just wanted to meet, break the ice, reduce the scariness of the unknown for DN, introduce herself and maybe discuss any specific concerns that parents don't want to raise in front of a room full of other parents at the induction day.
She'll get a better chance to assess his abilities once he has actually started school.

PerspicaciaTick Sat 03-Sep-16 00:03:39

As an aside, there is no way I would ever let a teacher into my home!!

Yeah - fucking teachers, coming into people's homes and....nope - no idea what the problem is.

BTW does this include friends and relations who are teachers, or just teachers who are educating your children?

1Catherine1 Sat 03-Sep-16 00:04:51

My daughter's school did this with new starters (those that didn't attend the nursery - my daughter did). I understand what you are saying but it probably reflects the local intake ability and attitude towards school. Also, "teacher surprise" could just be partly encouragement (although I am impressed by the 100 piece piece puzzle - although the mathematician in me is questioning its dimensions and hoping you have rounded it). A lot of children are apprehensive about starting school, so teachers want to reassure them that they will be fine.

To quote the headteacher at my daughter's primary school when I questioned the school's expectations of homework, "we're just happy if they do it". I was a little shocked at her response.

Chunkamatic Sat 03-Sep-16 00:06:05

My youngest DC could do all of that before starting reception, whereas my eldest couldn't do some of that when starting year 1! Same parents, same pre schooling, different children.
I don't think standards are low, I think they are realistic. Sounds like she was very positive, which is a good start.

CinderellaRockefeller Sat 03-Sep-16 00:07:09

Why is the mathmetician in you questioning the concept of 100 piece puzzles?

JellyPlum Sat 03-Sep-16 00:07:14

Was she really "absolutely amazed" or was it a way of showing praise to DN?

Children vary, I have one a similar age to your DN who can do most of what you mentioned quite easily with the exception of anything involving words - two parents from different countries (so raised bilingual) makes learning spelling/talking/pronunciation a little more of a slower process. I'd guess others are slower than others, for various reasons, at figuring out certain skills.

coolerthanthereddress Sat 03-Sep-16 00:07:16

My home is my family's private space Persp, and so no teacher will be entering it. What goes on in our home is our business.

Cakescakescakes Sat 03-Sep-16 00:07:28

But there is such variety among children at that age. My sister is a reception teacher and she has had children come into her class who don't know how to work a book ie that you open it and turn the pages one at a time. No one had ever read a book with them or to them before. It's pretty sad actually.

m0therofdragons Sat 03-Sep-16 00:10:07

At dtd's 2 year check the hv was impressed we were all dressed. It was 11am and I'd already taken dd1 to school! I can only assume they see a huge variety of dc and family set ups. Ability starting reception varies hugely as the difference between a dc who turned 4 in August and one turning 5 a week later in the same class really shows. At that age 12 months is massive in developmental terms.

zoemaguire Sat 03-Sep-16 00:10:38

Well, it depends on the child, hmm? Great that your nephew is ahead at the beginning of school. I had one child like that. The other one wasn't. He still struggles with dealing with numbers to 20 and forming letters at the beginning of yr 2 - though his reading knocks most of his class into a cocked hat. Do you know what, they are both very bright, they have just developed very, very differently.

The expectations for the beginning of reception aren't low, they are just reflective of the massive range in developmental stages kids of this age will have reached. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that being 'ahead' at that kind of thing is indicative of much at all at this stage of the game.

1Catherine1 Sat 03-Sep-16 00:10:45

Why is the mathematician in you questioning the concept of 100 piece puzzles?

Because I have had very little sleep and for some reason the obvious combination of 10 by 10 didn't occur to me and I was thinking how big a 25 by 4 one would be...

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 03-Sep-16 00:16:06

You just haven't come across many children his age - the enthusiasm is normal, and yes, she did have the resources to count to 20 if need be! grin

blackheartsgirl Sat 03-Sep-16 00:20:23

I'm more surprised at the fact teachers come into your homes before your kid starts receptionconfused. That doesn't happen in my area.

CodyKing Sat 03-Sep-16 00:20:27

Sorry they all develop at different rates - some know how to ride a bike and tie laces - some can name every animal or car - so can recite the alphabet others count to 100 -

If we decided that the 'best kids' can ride a 2 wheeled bike at 4 - would we then assume other children will never do this?

It's just a starting point - the finishing line is a long way ahead and the teachers want every child to cross it.

Witchend Sat 03-Sep-16 00:21:15

I expect rather than being astounded she was probably doing encouraging praise.
This continues up the school. So little Billy's mum will tell you in an awestruck whisper that the teacher is so impressed that they wrote their name alone. You won't tell them that your dc has been writing it for going on three years as that sounds like boasting.
Unfortunately when they get to GCSE estimated grades (my oldest is there) these parents will be furious to discover that the estimated grade of their genius is a D. This will be entirely the school's fault as the reception teacher held their breath in awe when talking about their ability.
The thing was the reception teacher was genuinely pleased they wrote their name, but didn't mention that they have three children writing the sequel to War and Peace in their spare time.

Brokenbiscuit Sat 03-Sep-16 00:23:58

Witch grin

mendimoo Sat 03-Sep-16 00:24:35

Of course it's her job to be enthusiastic and encouraging but the things she came armed with were more suited to my two year old than my nephew. She was saying how amazed she was to me while DN ran upstairs to get something to show her so it wasn't for his benefit, and obviously she knows I'm not his mum so it wasn't to make me feel good about myself.

ninnypoo Sat 03-Sep-16 00:24:42

As someone who conducts home visits, I am very aware of how nervous parents can be about their children being 'behind' others. I always downplay the academic expectations early on- if the child can do it then great but there's no point stressing or worrying parents when I know that they'll pick it up quickly once they are in school (and if they don't, then we talk more!)

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 03-Sep-16 00:25:34

This may be a classic case of confusing politeness for genuine amazement.

Johnny5isAlive Sat 03-Sep-16 00:28:17

I agree with others. She was probably being encouraging rather than astounded

WorraLiberty Sat 03-Sep-16 00:29:04

I agree it was politeness and enthusiasm.

Even though she knows you're not the parent, she knows you'll pass it on to the parents and so will the child.

How many Reception teachers are you basing this on though?

I mean how many home visits have you actually witnessed?

amammabear Sat 03-Sep-16 00:32:29

I don't understand an issue with doing a home visit- and I think that would likely worry the school.

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