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Concerned about DS settling into Primary 1. Can you offer some help? Possibly long!

(12 Posts)
concernedP1parent Sun 16-Feb-14 09:32:33

DS started Primary 1 last August (Scotland). I have posted about this before in Chat but it was ages ago so I think likely to have gone by now.

Anyway, at Parents evening which was November, we were told he was having some speech issues. We knew about this. He has trouble with some letters of the alphabet so we are waiting on a speech and language assessment. We were also told about some behaviour issues in class. As a result he was put on to a behaviour chart which worked extremely well.

The chart lasted until Christmas. We came back and were told no need for anything further. I told hi teacher not to leave it if anything hapens again as I had always been a bit angry that she'd left issues from August to November without telling me. However, at the end of January I received a note home from his teacher saying that his behaviour in class and the playground was not acceptable and could we talk to him again. We always do but re-confirmed anyway.

So 10 days ago, another note. Quite firm saying she is very concerned that he is not taking onboard what she is telling him about behaviour and making better choices. We came down on DS quite hard. Next morning he woke to say he didn't want to go to school so I asked why. Response was he was worried about another letter. I told him to behave in class and that wouldn't happen. He then started to cry and said she is never happy with him.

I put a letter back into school saying I wanted to meet with teacher that afternoon and I expected a call to confirm ok. I got a call from the head saying teacher was off sick but she has met my son and he is a lovely, polite boy but is struggling with the structure of being in a class room. I am annoyed again because I was told it was bad behaviour. Anyways, I am told by head to expect a call from teacher next week.

I finally got to meet her on Friday. DS was with me so I instantly feel that I have to be on her side in order that DS sees that we are united and committed rather than me being defensive towards DS in anyway.

She is very firm with DS. I personally didn't like her tone but I suppose that's a teacher and she has another 19 children to look after.

DS behaviour is things like not sitting still, not following instructions - for example having 2-3 things to do and once done he can play but he is not doing the 2-3 things or rushing through it and going off to play.

Also won't play (I forget the word used) but basically, others are playing with say building blocks, DS comes along, mucks about and leaves for the next group of children. Won't sit and play constructively for any period of time.

Forgetting to put had up. Shouting out in class.

She also mentioned that she had been watching him in the playground the day before (before the 9 am bell went) when he was playing with a stick in a small puddle. She told him this wasn't acceptable. He shouldn't have played with the stick as what if he'd gotten wet or the stick hit someone. Similarly, when the bell went he the stick over a fence. She told him he should have made a better choice and that this was unacceptable because the stick could have hit someone so was not good behaviour.

The next point was she asked who is friends are in class. He has several friends at school but only one in his class. He gave the name and his teacher said this boy doesn't behave like he does. She then went on to say you don't have any other friends do you?

Then they were supposed to be icing biscuits for valentines day. He washed his hands but he rubbed his face after so she made him wash again only for him to do it again. He was not allowed to ice after that. DS has a habit of touching his face in a way that I touch my hair kind of thing or push my glasses up my face.

I asked if she thought there was an underlying additional needs issue. She said may be and that would account for the speech issue we have and also if he gets an assessment it should help with the following of instructions. We just need to wait for the assessment to come through.

I have tried to be a thorough as possible. What can I do about the issues in class? He is generally well behaved at home. I am seeing her again a week on Friday and I am asking a friend to take DS as I want to be able to speak back without DS thinking we are against each other.

The speech therapy thing will come.

We need to address the behaviour in class.

Am I being unreasonable (please be kind!) in that the playground stuff is just that, playground and also I don't think she should be playing my son against another pupil, nor do I think she should be passing comment about the number of friends he has in class.

At the end of the meeting she stood up but it was down to me to ask what good points he had, how was his learning coming along all of which were responded to very positively. he is going back on the chart on Monday which she said to DS he is 6 months into P1 and it shouldn't be happening but at that point I did say if he responds well to it and she is happy and he is happy then I don't care.

I don't know if I am looking too much into things but I felt she was very negative to my son. She was standing in her room and through 150 pupils all age 5/6/7 she saw my son with a stick at the other end of the playground - he is easily spottable though with a bright red ski jacket which is being replaced today!

I hope you can help and I hope I have not rambled on too much.


concernedP1parent Sun 16-Feb-14 09:32:54

oh dear, huge post.

DeWe Sun 16-Feb-14 13:49:13

Having got a small boy that was similar I would say that
is struggling with the structure of being in a class room
is a phrase which does mean "bad behaviour" but sounds better. I think what the teacher was doing was just expanding on what was happening rather than covering it with a nice phrase.

verdiletta Sun 16-Feb-14 13:56:06

I think the thing with the stick is absolutely ridiculous! And the teacher sounds mean. How old is your ds?

concernedP1parent Sun 16-Feb-14 15:51:56

He is 5.

ExBrightonBell Sun 16-Feb-14 15:57:20

Primary 1 is aged 4 to 5 isn't it? The equivalent of a Reception class in England?

I think that the teacher needs to be telling you a lot more about what strategies she will employ in the class room to help your ds. She seems instead to be trying to blame and also labelling him as naughty child.

Also, IMHO, what you describe is quite typical for 4-5 year olds starting school - she shouldn't be surprised by this, or start to think that your son must have additional needs!

The thing about the stick in the playground is just daft, and not worth mentioning to either your ds or yourself other than a quick "remember we don't throw things in the playground".

I think she is expecting a lot from a very young child, especially as she knows he has some speech delay which surely must make him frustrate occasionally. In a class of 20 she should be able to manage with this kind of expected behaviour.

concernedP1parent Sun 16-Feb-14 16:07:28

Primary one here is age 5-6. He will be 6 inn the summer.

I can see DEWEs points above but I did say to school is it bad behaviour to which I have been told no it is not, just a struggle with structure.

The only other thing I can add is that of the 20 in class he was the only one who didn't go to school nursery. He went to a private nursery. apparently in anti preschool age 3 and preschool age 4 they are in and out of class, meeting teachers, etc daily so DS never had this although I do accept that 6 months in he should be getting it by now.

I suppose I am trying to find the middle ground between his behaviour, associated speech and language issues and the teacher and my thoughts about some of the things she has said, ie puddle and stick.

concernedP1parent Sun 16-Feb-14 16:19:47

I should add, we don't have reception where children are in school full time aged 4. At age 3 and 4 in school nursery you get 2.5 hours a day. Usually an afternoon slot for age 3 and a morning slot for age 4.

verdiletta Sun 16-Feb-14 16:42:11

How upsetting for you. He's 5 fgs! I'd be astonished if he's the only kid in p1 who forgets to put his hand up etc unless you live in Stepford. Boys (imo) take a while to adjust to the school structure, rules etc, particularly if he hasn't been drilled at the school nursery. There's 8 and 9 year old boys in my dd's class who still struggle with not shouting out etc and generally have ants in their pants. He sounds like a lovely wee boy and the teacher is being way too hard on him.

naty1 Sun 16-Feb-14 17:04:48

It does sound a bit over the top from the teacher.
But i guess the issue is when you are only being told it it is hard to see the scale of how serious something is like the stick. And also to understand that maybe all the other children do behave differently identifying something different about him. Its hard to see where she is going about the friends as thats not bad behaviour so much as socialising.
I am surprised they would say that in front of the child.(if someone is struggling to fit in the last thing they want is to be told it)

BettyFlour Mon 17-Feb-14 08:01:17

Hi. I think that the teacher is being mean.

He's told to do 2-3 things and either isn't doing them or is rushing it well this sounds like a concentration issue not bad behaviour

Not putting his hand up again sounds like a concentration/excitement issue.

Nowhere did I read that he answers back to teachers, or speaks rudely or hurts other children. I would consider THIS as bad behaviour.

I think either he's a stereotypical boy. Or he may have SEN. I think either way the teacher is mean and I would try to speak to the HT and get some support and explain your concerns about the teacher without sounding like you are attacking her.

I like your idea of not undermining the teacher in front of your DS. You sound like a very good, thoughtful mother.

Can you cut down screen time at home and play board games or do some drawing and give him rewards if he concentrates for 10 mind at a time. Give him 2-3 things to do before a reward etc. Get him to put his hand up if he wants to ask a question when you read him a story. What I mean is, basically practise (the behaviour he has difficulty with) at home.

concernedP1parent Mon 17-Feb-14 13:19:16

Thank you everyone for your input. I really do appreciate it. I wanted to know if I was being too soft but the puddle and stick thing has really bothered me all weekend.

I've tried to remain fair in my post to both my son and the teacher but I do think I need to have a conversation with school without DE being present.

Betty - you make a good point about screen time. We have spent some time over the weekend with items on a tray, covering it over, taking one away to see if he can remember what has been taken away. he didn't do too well on boring stuff like cutlery but knew his playmobil so it worked well.

Thank you everyone again.

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