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Another one about school reports-give me some hope, please!!

(33 Posts)
PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 21-Jun-09 21:10:20

We've just had ds1's end of year report. There were only a couple of good comments on it- one from his PE teacher saying he had pride in his appearance and one from his ICT teacher saying he'd had some good homework.

The rest were, without exception, appalling.

Homework not being handed in (ds1 claims no homework was set-ever). If it was handed in, it was of an unaccpetable standard.

Lack of concentration in class, calling out, disrupting lessons for others.

Low level results (all well below the 'average' they would expect for his age)

Working below his potential.

The worst thing about it is they all say that he is clever/able/bright. His maths report, level-wise, is the highest of the whole thing but is the worst re attitude, homework etc.

He's in year 8. I've reduced or completely taken away tv time, xbox, ipod etc etc. I've started him on omega 3 capsules. I've given his father a copy of the report and he's spoken to him. (Ds1 lives with me and my dh)

What else can I do? Does anyone have any stories to give me some hope that he'll improve?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 21-Jun-09 21:13:57

From experience, it depends on the behaviour of all the other children in the class, not just your child. If there are others messing about then it can be really difficult to keep a child on the straight and narrow because he will copy them/join in. Set aside some time to supervise the homework if you can. Does he get a homework diary so you can check he's doing the right thing? He does sound bored at school to be honest.

hocuspontas Sun 21-Jun-09 21:14:43

I never understand why parents aren't told about problems like disruption and no-show homework during the year. Why leave it to report time? How are you supposed to work with the school if you don't know? Do you have a space for a reply - if so I'd be commenting on this.

SueW Sun 21-Jun-09 21:15:06

Ask the school why it got to the end of the year before you were advised there is a problem?

Reports should never contain surprises.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 21-Jun-09 21:19:49

Hi Sue smile

I'd be annoyed at this too, there's not long left of the term so there's not alot you can do. It's worthwhile asking him what the behaviour is like in the class as it's probably not just him that's behaving this way.

Lilymaid Sun 21-Jun-09 21:29:14

One ray of hope is that Year 8 is generally the worst school year. The pupils are no longer new and are a long way from exams and with hormones kicking in as well progress is often not made. From Year 9 onwards things generally get better. (I speak as a mother to 2 DS who have been through the school system and out the other end!)
Didn't he have a planner where the teachers would flag up homework not handed in - and any detentions that resulted? You need to speak to your head of year and see if communications can be improved and if there is some way DS can be encouraged/kicked into working better.

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 21-Jun-09 21:29:23

Umph. Sorry. Guilty of leaving stuff out.

We are aware of the problems- or rather, we were aware that there HAVE been problems. We've seen the year tutor a couple of times, ds is on a stage one report.

But ds had assured us that he was doing 'ok' at school and we hadn't heard otherwise from the school.

They've tried (in his worst classes) moving him so that he's not sitting with the others who mess about. He does say that he prefers this and, having not heard from the school since a meeting after the parents' evening, I assumed things were ticking along.

I think I may have been hiding my head in the sand, there.

They are a good bunch of teachers there who seem to have really been trying their hardest. But ds is not responding to anything.

Quite apart from the worry about him and his future/education etc, I fret that he's making it difficult for his classmates.

captainpeacock Sun 21-Jun-09 21:31:42

I would certainly be making an appointment to see his tutor. Have they not said anything about this behaviour on previous reports that you have received this year?

captainpeacock Sun 21-Jun-09 21:32:47

Sorry cross posted.

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 21-Jun-09 21:33:13

BTW- he does have a diary, but of late it's been 'left at school'/'lost'/'teacher's got it' or whatever.

I only found out why the other day. There's NOTHING written down re homework. The only entries are for detentions.

When I've asked why he hasn't written his h/w down, he says he forgot. Even though, apparently, the teachers tell them to get there diaries out and write it down.

One other thing- his handwriting looks like it's been done by a 7 year old. Is this normal?

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 21-Jun-09 21:34:35

Thank you, lilymaid, for the small ray! smile

zanzibarmum Sun 21-Jun-09 21:34:42

Plump.... not sure I understand your reference as follows:

I've given his father a copy of the report and he's spoken to him. (Ds1 lives with me and my dh)

Does DS1 see his father? Is DH DS1's father - are you certain the problem is a school problem??

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 21-Jun-09 21:35:56

Is it possible foy you to get the phone number of another mum at school, then call her to check what the homework should be?

Is there a problem which is hindering him? Dyslexia?? This would put him off writing/working/behaving as his self esteem will be low.

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 21-Jun-09 21:42:56

zanzibarmum- yes, ds sees his dad every fortnight, for half or most of each holidays etc. Dh isn't ds1's dad. xdh came down to collect ds1 this weekend, he came in when he got here, I gave him the report to read, and he spoke to ds1 over the weekend.

Fluffy- I could try getting a number, but he doesn't share classes with the same people all the time. I have wondered about getting him assessed or something for dyslexia or whatever, but have no idea how to go about it.

He was recently due to go for counselling as he said he was angry all the time, but the appointment took several months and when it arrived he said he didn't want to go as he no longer felt angry. The option is still there, though.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 21-Jun-09 21:47:11

Have you seen any of his work? Are the letters the right way round? Readable?

It's worthwhile having a chat with the school to see if they have concerns about him. My neighbours boy had dyslexia, his writing was way behind where it should have been, as was his reading. He was so unhappy at school because he was unable to cope and it would show in his behaviour.

mumblechum Sun 21-Jun-09 21:55:35

Maybe it's a yr 8 thing. DS made it clear to us at the start of yr 8 that he had no intention of doing any work whatsoever. Same as yours, all the teachers said he was bright but lazy.

Beginning of yr 9, he said he was going to work hard because of SATS and because he wanted to get into the top sets for everything.

Yep you guessed it his Ds are now A*s, his last parents evening was fab, everyone saying he'd turned over a new leaf, got top SATs results etc.

It's very easy to coast in yr 8, and so long as your ds is bright, only he can really motivate himself. He may well say he'll start work when he goes into the GCSe years and amaze you.

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 21-Jun-09 21:56:52

Fluffy- the letters are all the right way round and it's readable- it just looks very young, iyswim. I haven't mentioned it specifically to his tutor in our meetings, but I did ask if they thought there were any concerns (other than his attitude etc) and they said no.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 21-Jun-09 22:07:50

hmm. I asked an old head teacher if my son needed to see an educational psychologist, she said no. It turns out he's got aspergers! Dyspraxia is a possibility, it's a motor skill problem, lack of coordination, children fall into things, find hand writing hard as they can't control the pen. If he has this then writing may be really difficult and he's not keeping up. This will make him frustrated so he'll mess about. Could you get in touch with the school nurse? They are really helpful. You can contact them through the school, you tell reception you wish to speak to the school nurse, leave your phone number and she/he'll call you back.

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 21-Jun-09 22:25:41

That's a good idea. I'll try that tomorrow.
Thanks, Fluffy.

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Sun 21-Jun-09 22:34:26


School nurses are ace! Soo helpful!

PlumpRumpSoggyBaps Sun 21-Jun-09 22:50:06

smile Here's hoping! Thanks to everyone, btw, for your replies.

(Am keeping fingers crossed that he'll turn out like mumblechums ds grin)

JeffVadar Wed 24-Jun-09 08:39:32

I am totally shock at the school leaving this until the last moment to tell you there were problems with your DS's performance. If that happened to me I would be furious.

I would definitely make a strong complaint about this.

Good luck with your DS anyway! I cannot better the advice above...

KingRolo Wed 24-Jun-09 08:49:56

Year 9, fresh start, new teachers - I'd make sure you give him a proper talking to over the summer, make an appointment to see his form tutor / year head and set a strategy for improvement.

Some strategies I have used (as form tutor) -

Making sure all his teachers:

- sit him on his own or away from friends
- see that he has recorded homework before leaving class
- make a note in his planner at end of each week's lesson with a brief comment about attitude / progress etc

I'd also make sure you see his planner every night as it's intended to be the main form of communication between home and school. If all else fails, arrange to shadow him for a day in school, go to his lessons with him, hang round the canteen - the threat should be enough to sort him out!

Littlefish Wed 24-Jun-09 12:18:39

Also, ask the school for a copy of his timetable so you make a rough assumption of what homework he should be having.

Good list of strategies from KingRolo.

I think it's important that your ds knows that there is regular communication between you and the school. He's managed to hoodwink you for part of this year and that can't be allowed to continue.

LIZS Wed 24-Jun-09 12:34:04

Poor writing may be an indicator of a sld like dyspraxia - how are his gross and fine motor skills, is he sporty or does he shy away from group activities, is he sensitive, a loner or lack instinctive social skills ? This could also affect sequencing, memory and organisation skills. It might be worth requesting an assessment if only to eliminate that possibility. Any treatment is more about developing coping strategies than a cure.

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