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AIBU to expect DD to not be judged on size?

(36 Posts)
Nashanoo13 Sat 18-Mar-17 00:35:41

We currently have two issues swimming and school 😔

School - DD1 is 4 and is in her first year, she is able to read and write simple words, write her own name and count any amount of things... at home.
Having just had her first parents evening I'm at a loss at what to do 😔 They say she can't do any of these things and has shown no signs that she is ready. (This was prompted by me asking about reading books, several classmates have come out with them but DD has not.)

Swimming - She has been swimming since tiny but since moving swim school we've struggled to find anywhere that won't put her back down to the start. I'm so exasperated by the whole thing if she didn't beg to go everyday I'd have sacked it off ages ago

She's tiny anyway and quite babyish looking and this seems to get in the way of people seeing that she can do things. She's too quiet to stand up for herself so just gets upset when we leave. She often asks why XYZ won't let her do the things the same as the others.

Is this something that will right itself? What do I do as I'm so stuck and feel really upset for her 😭

OwlinaTree Sat 18-Mar-17 00:40:07

What is their reason for putting her down to the start in swimming? Have they seen her in the pool?

ScarlettFreestone Sat 18-Mar-17 00:43:16

I'm not sure that size is necessarily the issue.

I'd work on the quietness and lack of confidence.

If she can read at home why isn't she doing at school?

NuffSaidSam Sat 18-Mar-17 00:44:45

This probably hasn't got anything to do with her size.

I very much doubt the teacher is basing parents evening comments on height! For whatever reason she just isn't showing she can do those things at school. It's quite common. It's probably more to do with her being quiet than her height!

With swimming are you saying that they put her in the lowest group, she swims 20 lengths and the others are standing at the edge in armbands, but they won't put her up because she looks babyish?! Or do you mean they just want her to start at the bottom because she is new and will move her up when they see her ability?

BackforGood Sat 18-Mar-17 00:53:34

Nothing to do with size.

When my dd moved from the local swimming club, to the council run scheme, they put her initially in the group that were in the 'baby pool' of 5m width and not a lot of depth, even though she could comfortably swim a length at the time, because she hadn't 'been through their scheme' and ticked off one or two other bits they were expected to do before moving up. the swimming teacher couldn't quite believe it, and got her moved in the end as some sort of 'exceptional case' - the next group's teacher kept raving about how brilliant her stroke was. She was always the tallest girl in her yar at school in Infants and early juniors. It's just some people get sucked into a "system" and lose the ability to use common sense sometimes.

The school is probably a slightly different issue. It's not that uncommon for children to do things at home and not be able to reproduce them at school. As others have said, this is about her confidence not her height.

VestalVirgin Sat 18-Mar-17 00:55:05

Put your foot down.

It could be she's so far ahead they don't get it (when I learnt reading I never had the patience to wait until my classmates had stuttered their way through the book we were reading, so read ahead, and therefore never knew where we were in the book, leading my teachers to assume I could not read!), or she is so quiet they assume she can't do stuff, or whatever.

Have you asked her how things happen?

Nashanoo13 Sat 18-Mar-17 01:22:04

Thank you I think I probably meant stature as opposed to height. You're also right about the confidence thing but I've no idea how to tackle this as it wasn't an issue at all in nursery (if anything she was quite boisterous) or at her old swimming.
I'm not sure what to do with school they won't tell her to do things and she won't just brag. If they just said 'read this' she'd do it rather than 'can you read this done in baby voice! Same goes for swimming, one teacher told her to jump in and swim the width - which she did. The next stood in front of her arms outstretched for her to jump into and then complained she didn't jump far enough 😣

ScarlettFreestone Sat 18-Mar-17 01:40:58

In which case you need to talk to your DD about following instructions regardless of how they are phrased.

Nashanoo13 Sat 18-Mar-17 01:47:47

How? 😩 I know this may seem stupid but I haven't got a clue how to broach the subject.
A lot of the time the problem is people assuming she can't do not bothering. How do I get her to speak up?
I'm also tiny but v confident, in reality I have probably learnt to be heard from similar experiences I just don't remember them or how I dealt with them 🤔

ScarlettFreestone Sat 18-Mar-17 01:54:02

I find role playing very effective with my DC.

Pick a scenario and discuss how to deal with it, acting it out.

If you spot occasions where she isn't giving her all, speak to her about it afterwards, ask what she could have done differently.

Ask her what she has done in class, whether she raised her hand etc.

Set expectations for what you expect. Put some (gentle) responsibility on her to achieve her potential rather than expecting her teachers to coax it out of her.

Nashanoo13 Sat 18-Mar-17 01:57:03

Thank you I'll try that 😊

I was feeling a bit hopeless so thank you for making me feel I can help.

How do you suggest doing the last point?

ScarlettFreestone Sat 18-Mar-17 02:02:09

Have you had a chat about parents' night with her?

Ask her why she isn't reading/writing/counting in school? There may be a problem you can help resolve.

"I know you can do it, it would be lovely if you could show Mrs/Mr Teacher how nicely you can read"

MassDebate Sat 18-Mar-17 07:31:08

The same happened with DH in his first year of school - his parents knew he could read and write but at parent's evening they were told he'd done well to be able to read a few words by the end of the year hmm. PIL were not impressed and they decided to move him to a different school, where he thrived. I'd be questioning the school in your position as if they haven't realised your DD's ability something somewhere is going wrong.

MollyHuaCha Sat 18-Mar-17 07:59:00

When my son was eight, he achieved his 1 mile swimming award in the local swimming baths. Then we moved abroad and he went to a third rate international school where swimming did not feature highly in the curriculum. At the end of the academic year, he brought home a certificate (which had been awarded in assembly) saying 'I can now swim 25 metres'. Luckily he saw the funny side to it.

Regarding your DD, if someone doesn't tell the teacher what she can already do regarding reading and swimming, it's possible they might not find out.

whatsfair Sat 18-Mar-17 08:05:05

I don't understand why the school aren't teaching her to read though? My 4 year old started school unable to read and now she can. Isn't that the point of school? If they're under the mistaken impression she can't read or write anything shouldn't she still be bringing home basic reading books by this point in the year? confused

FumBluff1 Sat 18-Mar-17 08:05:19

I also doubt its her size.

Why is she not reading at school when she can at home? I think she needs to be told (nicely!) that it's this that is holding her back

catkind Sat 18-Mar-17 08:20:44

Did you tell the respective teachers what she can do?

DD's school had noticed she could read but not nearly the extent, we told them, they went away and reassessed, came back the next week with a completely revised set of targets and a book she'd chosen from the library with her teacher.

Similarly i can't imagine a half decent swimming teacher not letting a child swim if you tell them she can swim a length or whatever award level she had at previous school. Though swimming schools do seem to like to snub other schools - we got "we teach breathing from stage 1" so back to scratch. The local council lessons move them up fastest here, and do a proper assessment when they start. We currently have DS in a private school to learn technique and a council pool where he gets to swim with kids who eat up 100s of m rather than some who flail at 20.

Nashanoo13 Sat 18-Mar-17 19:56:36

On both counts I've been in and said her level and asked them to give her a shot.
In terms of swimming she's been fine for the last 10 lessons but suddenly they seem to think she needs to move down (they resisted moving her up originally but she flew in her trial so had to). Weirdly it's the secretary that has questioned her level not the teachers.
At school they just said she's not showing them signs she's ready and that she may come home with a book in summer term but it'll be a wordless one. As far as I'm aware they've not sat down with her once one-to-one to actually see. I got this impression from both teacher and DD.

Nashanoo13 Sat 18-Mar-17 20:00:10

This is exactly why I asked about reading books as her peers come home with them.

SparklyLeprechaun Sat 18-Mar-17 20:23:49

Tbh I'd have some serious doubts about her teacher's ability to teach. Even if she started reception unable to read a word she should be able to read simple sentences by now.

I can't say anything about swimming, we switched schools 3 times and were never put as the same level as before - once higher, once lower.

DrAbbyYates Sat 18-Mar-17 20:54:46

As far as I'm aware they've not sat down with her once one-to-one to actually see. I got this impression from both teacher and DD.

You need to clarify this urgently. It is an appalling failure on the school's part if true.

Nashanoo13 Sat 18-Mar-17 21:15:30

I've asked twice now but was met with word to word 'she has not given us any reason to believe she is ready'
I don't know what to do 😔 I feel awful like I'm failing her. Do I pull her out or keep on at them and just do masses at home? I really don't want her to feel uprooted, I already moved her to this school away from her preschool friends because I believed it was more well rounded.

phlebasconsidered Sat 18-Mar-17 21:16:07

I have lost count of the times a child has apparently been able to do things at home but fails to do so at school. I think there are often a few reasons from a teachers viewpoint.

1. The child can do the reading / counting one on one with their parent. But they cannot do it independently, either because of the classroom situation, or shyness (my own daughter could read early but wouldn't read to a teacher until year 2!), or because the parent is instinctively "cuing" the child to give an answer without realising.
2. The child can read, but has little understanding of what they have read without a cue.
3. The child is simply too interested in other stuff to "perform" in a school setting.

Reception is, and should be, about learning through play. It is not about rushing through Biff and Chip.

Reading ability in reception has no impact on their eventual ability. My early reader child levelled out. My late reader child whizzed past her. I've seen class after class.Your efforts are best put into inferential ability and actually enjoying books rather than seeing reading as a race.

I would also say that no reception teacher worth anything will have failed to hear a child one on one at least bi-weekly. Small groups and phonics groups will also be happening. It may well be that your child can sight read but not use phonemes. Either way, before you panic, have a meeting and be prepared to listen to what the teacher has observed.

Together with year 6, Fs is the epitome of patent / teacher pressure and misconception about what actually is required. Talk to the teacher, don't assume. Good luck!

Nashanoo13 Sat 18-Mar-17 22:02:14

Thank you.
Unfortunately this is all having spoken to her teacher and having got nowhere. It is her teacher that has said she's not up to it, this is not quibbling between stages this is no book whatsoever?!
I myself am or was pre kids, a primary (yr1&2) teacher so I am aware of the way phonics etc is taught in school, or at least was in the three I've taught in.

catkind Sat 18-Mar-17 22:10:28

Just checking - on the reading, is she using phonics when reading with you? Only if she isn't able to blend that might be a reason they're not sending books home yet. I really think though you could ask for a proper meeting separate from parents evening, and ask for more explanation of what signs they're looking for, what she's not doing that they would expect. I'd find it rather disappointing that they're so vague having just had a parents evening which spelled out next steps in great detail. Has she been in school since September or Jan?

Swimming too, tell the receptionist she seems to be doing well in the current class and doesn't want to move, and if pressured ask for a chat with the teacher about what the problem is. Height could possibly be an issue with swimming if the group are moving onto stuff that requires them to be able to stand in a certain depth.

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