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AIBU re: reception class progress?

(42 Posts)
whatty Wed 07-Feb-18 06:35:19

Am worrying a bit about my 5 year old son's progress in reception. I found out at the weekend from another mum that there are child specific targets for all the boys in my DSs class.
After chatting to him a bit at the weekend, it appears that his target is to start his work more quickly. Apparently, he often doesn't get to go out to play as he hasn't finished a task, and he sometimes takes 30mins of a 40min session to get going (the teacher told my mum this at pick up yesterday).
I have made an appointment to speak to the teacher about this primarily to ask why this target was told to me by my DS rather than the teacher. And I am also going to ask how long this has been an issue, what support is being given, and how we need to help him going forward.
My questions are though- is it common for a 5 year old to be slow off the mark re: doing tasks? And how can we change this? And am I worrying unnecessarily? And AIBU to think that the teacher isn't doing a very good job?hmm
If it is relevant- he is at a private prep school and was 5 in October.
Thanks in advance.

LucyLastik Wed 07-Feb-18 06:39:11

Why do you think the teacher isn't doing a good job?

jarhead123 Wed 07-Feb-18 06:41:09

Personally I think you need to chill out smile

The teachers often set the kids goals, if they've not mentioned it to you it's obviously not a major issue.

I wouldnt worry or hassle the teacher about it, what support he is being given etc hopefully with his play time at risk he will learn to knuckle down and get his work done.

Pengggwn Wed 07-Feb-18 06:42:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BigSandyBalls2015 Wed 07-Feb-18 06:43:38

Keeping in a 5 year old at playtime sad I'd be much more concerned about this than him reaching any targets or finishing 'tasks'

saoirse31 Wed 07-Feb-18 06:44:23

Would be v unhappy with child constantly not getting out to play tbh. However you need to talk to teacher obv to get facts.

Owletterocks Wed 07-Feb-18 06:48:10

I thought reception was all child led and play based? It is in our school anyway. Keeping a 5 year old in at playtime is likely to be counterproductive I would think

Palavapalava Wed 07-Feb-18 06:51:19

I’d be more bothered that they are stopping him from having a break- it’s going to make whatever the issue is worse if he’s having to work through all the time. That should be discussed with you.

Henrysmycat Wed 07-Feb-18 06:53:12

Chill for god sake! I read it’s a prep but it’s not a mathematical Olympiad hothouse for 5 year olds.
I was like, and still am, like that. Once you grow up a bit, you learn to control it. Some say it lack of motivation but if the need is there, you get on with it.
Is he a dreamer?
Without outing myself (cause I know some of my friends are here), it didn’t hamper my life. I’m very successful with an engineering PhD, a patent and 1% income. It’s nothing to fret about. Some of us are getting lost in the beauty of the world around us and live in our brains.

Esker Wed 07-Feb-18 06:55:58

If I had to tell every single parent every single target I set their child, I wouldn't do any teaching as I'd be on the phone all day long. I'm secondary though so I understand it's different for you as you're new to your child being in school. No harm having a talk with the teacher to find out what is going on, but I certainly wouldn't approach it adversarially.

Shedmicehugh Wed 07-Feb-18 06:56:22

Do you have any other concerns? You could ask at the meeting if this is schools only concern.

There are lots of reasons why it takes him so long to get started.

norfolkenclue Wed 07-Feb-18 06:56:54

All children will have targets specific to them, all through school. That's what we's one of the very first questions an Ofsted inspector will ask a child, 'Do you know what your targets are?' I don't necessarily tell parents what every target is unless the child is making no progress to achieve it. Further up the school they will have targets for each subject, which change frequently as they are met. It would be impossible to keep informing parents about these constantly. As long as the children know what they are and are working towards them it's fine. You should, however, speak to your child about the fact that it's taking him 30 minutes to 'get going'. Maybe work on his independent skills and concentration? A little reward chart might motivate him perhaps.

Shedmicehugh Wed 07-Feb-18 07:01:09

I do think 30-40 mins before he has even started on a task is concerning.

Maybe he understood the task? The task is too difficult? How he is at home with tasks OP?

Shedmicehugh Wed 07-Feb-18 07:01:56

‘Has not understood’

ittakes2 Wed 07-Feb-18 07:05:30

I think you are worrying too much. All children are set goals or set goals with their teachers so they have something to work towards. Once that goal is achieved, they set another one. He's 5 - I bet thats a common goal for lots of kids his age not just him.

ittakes2 Wed 07-Feb-18 07:08:17

Also, you jumping to the conclusion the teacher might not be doing a good job is a bit concerning. You have quite a few years with your son at this school - please be careful about how you talk and deal with the teachers. You don't want them to label you as one of 'those' parents before he has even settled in properly. Your son will be fine.

Palavapalava Wed 07-Feb-18 07:08:55

I’d also add that keeping a child in to work whilst their classmates go off to play smacks of punishment. This seems very unfair to me. Children do things at different rates and if it’s got to a point where he is effectively being punished for not being as quick as his classmates then damn right they should have been talking to you about it. You shouldn’t be finding out from another parent or ds ( although, how did she know about the targets, was a letter sent home that ds hasn’t passed on?)

Speak to the school, tell them what has been said and give them an opportunity to say whether it’s true and explain what’s been happening.

Hmmalittlefishy Wed 07-Feb-18 07:11:46

Is it an all boys school? Only because you say all the boys have targets.
If this is the case and everyone has a target then you don't need to worry that the teacher is somehow singling him out
It's good he knows his target
Maybe you could work at home to help him or talk to him about what he is doing instead of the task at hand
It's hard to offer advice as at dc school that isn't a prep they tend to be play based and have stickers for being the quickest ready, a piece of music to signal its time to tidy up/sit on the carpet

Pengggwn Wed 07-Feb-18 07:12:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pengggwn Wed 07-Feb-18 07:19:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NicheArea Wed 07-Feb-18 07:20:31

I think you are right to be concerned and it is appropriate to speak to the teacher- but in the spirit of asking for her advice and expertise, not accusing her of being a bad teacher and demanding she sorts it all out.

You should also think for yourself about what you can do at home to help. It sounds as though you also see this as the teacher's responsibility- to tell you how to sort the problem at home. Do your own research and put some measures in place right away.

Do you see anything at home which suggests he is slow to get down to 'tasks' or activities? Have you asked him to do different types of things- and observed him in action when not continually supervised, reminded or chivvied?Does he generally do as asked? Can he process multipart instructions? When he gets on task , does he have focus appropriate for his age?

As others have said, teachers cannot inform you of every target. But I would also raise the issue of why he is being punished and the suitability of withholding play time as a suitable punishment. I don't think he should be punished at all for struggling with this- UNLESS he is being disobedient, obstinate or cheeky about not getting down to his work. He needs motivating. And playtime, expending energy in the fresh air, prepares children to learn. If they take that away, then they are possibly contributing to set him up to fail.

Willswife Wed 07-Feb-18 07:32:35

All children have targets set for different areas of learning, teachers can't be expected to communicate them all so I don't think it's unreasonable that you weren't told.

I would expect it would be raised at Parent's evening if you weren't already going in to discuss it.

If it was a better of concern then I think the teacher would already have been in contact with you.

I would be bothered about my child missing play, but I would establish whether this was choice or forced. Your child may enjoy the task once he gets going and choose to stay and finish? If the teacher had done it for a couple of days to try and help motivate your child to begin work earlier in the session I probably wouldn't mind, but more than that I wouldn't be happy with,

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 07-Feb-18 07:38:29

The assumption a teacher isn’t doing a good job is prevalent in fee paying schools.

I could turn this round on you and say, your ds isn’t concentrating well. You have him more than School so perhaps you’re not doing a good job of teaching him to concentrate.

I’m not going to. Because that would be nuts. He’s 5. Yes, 5. Boys tend to have more of a problem than girls to sit and learn or do a teacher led activity. My friends ds has only just learnt to sit and learn properly. He’s in yr5. Ie 9 and he’s learning well, exceeding targets in places.

Have a chat with the teacher, see if they have any major concerns. I think reception is much more about a child learning to adapt to schooling IE institutionalisation and crowd control.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 07-Feb-18 07:39:57

I also meant to say, my main concern would be missing break times. Socialising and socialisation is a very very important aspect of schooling, especially in the first year or so. If the school refuse to reinstate his full breaks, I’d be removing him from school. He’s far to young for this treatment.

BrightBurn Wed 07-Feb-18 07:42:19

You need to talk to the teacher. There's a difference between a child who is genuinely struggling and one who pisses about and avoids doing any work. I've worked in many schools and I've never seen a teacher punish a child for struggling! I also know they'd rather go to get a brew and a biscuit rather than have to sit with a child during break.

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