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Gone into Year1, all the extra stuff has stopped

(11 Posts)
suecy Mon 19-Oct-09 14:12:00

DS was classed as G&t in reception. I know that his school doesn't use it as the top 10% in each year, as my DD is top of her year, clearly not gifted just normally bright, and she isn't on register - no one in her class is. I'm not saying DS is Einstein, just that he clearly is over and above the normal top 10%. Can whip his way through any advanced KS1 workbooks.

His reception teacher was brilliant at giving him classwork and homework to push his buttons and develop him, particulalry lateral thinking. He had weekly extra sessions working on a project to broaden his learning.

Now going into Year 1, all this has stopped. I'm not concerned about literacy - he changes his own library books at school and reads widely at home. Like many boys, he doesn't enjoy writing too much, so even though the spellings he is being sent home with are far too easy for him, we do them because he has to write a sentence about each and that's really good practise for him.

However, his maths homework is absolutely woeful - all the Year 1's are given the same stuff every week and it's literally taking him less than a minute. He's in a mixed class with Year 2 and I at least expected he would get the normal sheets they are being given, but no. No extra sessions, no differentiation - again his classroom groups for numeracy and literacy are all his Year 1 peer group - I thought at least exposure to some Year 2 groups who he could easily have kept up with would have been considered.

Shall I say anything, or just carry on giving him the maths challenges he loves myself at home - I'm more than happy to do that, but as I see it the school aren't fulfilling what they should. I don't want to pee anyone off, so what would you do? It does just irk me that depending on the teacher your experience can go from brilliant to rusbbish!

lljkk Mon 19-Oct-09 14:19:57

I would say something, it's completely reasonable to want him to be stretched. Even if he weren't G&T those would be legitimate concerns.

suecy Mon 19-Oct-09 14:22:49

Just to add:

I know he's only 5 fgs and some people reading this will think I'm an overly pushy mum, but I don't think I am - he's completely normal in many ways and I have no expectations of him becoming a NASA scientist.

It's just:
1. He really really enjoyed the maths stuff he got last year
2. I think he teacher is just being lazy tbh. She was involved in giving some workbooks to the Reception teacher last year for him, so she's already told me she knows what levels he's at. It took her 5 weeks to set any homework for anything, and it's still hit and miss and I just think she can't be a*sed to manage the needs of her class properly.

Every week the homework goes back I do write in the parent's comment that it was far to easy for him and how long it took, but nothing has changed.

lljkk Mon 19-Oct-09 14:35:28

Well... you could take bull by the horns and just get him maths workbooks yourself, printoff sheets from the 'Net, enroll him in Kumon, whatever. Eventualy school will have to sit up and take notice, but don't expect them to do all the educating in the meantime.

Whatever you do don't call teacher lazy to her face, lol.

suecy Mon 19-Oct-09 14:49:40

Really?! grin Would it not motivate her to up her game?! smile

Have just found the stuff he was doing last year (mathsphere - which goes all the way up to year 6 stuff so can easily be tailored for him) online and ordered a couple of cd's.
Will probably raise it at parent's evening, or may just ask if she's seen the comments on the homework.

DadAtLarge Tue 20-Oct-09 11:53:42

Don't muck about.

Collect your evidence.

Complain to the head.

In writing.

suecy Tue 20-Oct-09 19:35:47

It's a really small school (15 per year) and I help out 2 mornings a week and have good relationships with all the teachers so would feel bad about jumping straight to writing to the head.

Do you think I should ask for an appt with his teacher or wait for parents evening - dunno when that is.

The thing that's been niggling away at me is that homework is like 1% of his education - if he's being given the same homework as his peers and in the same classroom groups as his peers then I'm thinking all his education is being 'dumbed down' to the lowest common denominator, which I would be very concerned about.

Also, his TA has mentioned that sometimes he needs to be made to settle down to do the things he's expected to do rather than the things he wants to do, which could very well be 5 year old boy behaviour or could be a sign that he's bored stupid.

Don't really want to come across as Mrs My Son is a Genius so What are You Doing about it!

saadia Tue 20-Oct-09 19:45:03

I would say something but present it from ds' point of view. Ask him how school is going and pick up on what he says and then discuss your concerns with the teacher.

saadia Tue 20-Oct-09 19:45:23

I would say something but present it from ds' point of view. Ask him how school is going and pick up on what he says and then discuss your concerns with the teacher.

DadAtLarge Tue 20-Oct-09 20:19:27

Sorry, I thought you had spoken with the teacher, I mis-read. Do have a word with the teacher first but you don't need to wait months for results. If you don't see them early I'd write to the head.

I'd suggest not leaving it for the 10 minutes you get on parents' evening. Ask her for a convenient day to speak after school - urgently - and then you'll have the time to ask for and go through his school work (don't let them pick out the best pieces).

Don't be afraid of coming across as a pushy mum. Evidence is evidence.

DW and I had exactly that concern about not coming across as pushy and we are kicking ourselves now that DS suffered in silence for the first three whole years of school. He was bored, unhappy and losing interest in the subject he was obviously very, very talented at and interested in. (It's sorted now he's in Y3. He's got an Individual Plan, works with a SENCO often, a secondary school maths teacher once a week and lots more)

>>I'm thinking all his education is being 'dumbed down'
Evening out is built into the system. It's a cancer at the heart of state schools.

Toffeepopple Tue 20-Oct-09 21:50:51

Do you help in his class or in other classes? I help in my son's and for a lot of the activities it would be easy to self-accelerate.

e.g. today I was there for alliteration exercises (I know you're worried about numeracy, but bear with me).

The strugglers managed things like "Charlie chomps chocolate" with a lot of help (three adults around) in the time allowed. The ones that were further ahead mostly wrote much, much more - and were encouraged to add adjectives -"Charming Charlie chomps chunky chocolate" and around nine or ten other sentences in the set time.

That said, one of the really smart kids refused to extend himself. Because the exercise as explained to the class meant that "James jumps" was an acceptable answer that was all he would write.

So amongst things to find about when you ask the teacher is whether your son needs to be shown the areas where he can extend himself within the parameters of the same exercise and, if he is, whether he takes those opportunities when they are presented.

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